Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Nestle - Chocolate (Ghana) chip brownies - June 16, 2021

Chocolate of the Day

Nestle Toll House Artisan Collection Premium Baking Chips
(Made with Single Origin Chocolate from Ghana)
Good +
Weight: 2 oz. (56.6 g.) / 12 oz. (340 g.) in total package
Calories: 400 calories in 1 large, prepared brownie (210 calories in 3 TB of chips)
Cost: missing information
Purchased from: missing information

Welcome to Day #5 of Chocolate Brownie Theme Week.

Today's homemade chocolate brownie offering was based on premium baking chocolate chips distributed by Nestle USA, Inc. (Arlington, VA).

Nestle's origins stretch back to 1866 in Switzerland; and the company began to produce chocolate morsels (chips) in 1939. Prior to that (and for many years after/since then), chocolate chunks for baking were created by chopping or shaving off smaller chocolate pieces from blocks of dark baking chocolate.

When did brownies* first originate? One can't be sure, but recipes started to pop up in cookbooks in the late 1800s. In any case, brownies in some form have been with us for well over 130 years.

Today's Nestle chocolate chips made a flavorful brownie; and they also could be enjoyed a la carte. I used them to make a small batch of fudgey, gluten-free brownies.

The brownies paid homage to Nestle and brownie traditions. However, these single origin (Ghana) chocolate chips--an addition to Nestle's "Artisan Collection" premium baking chocolate family--added a present day twist. The chips had robust, naturally sweet, slightly earthy, roasted dark chocolate notes that gave the resulting brownies bolder cacao flavor than the cocoa powder used to evoke the chocolate color and taste in most brownies. (This cocoa powder is often alkalized, a process that makes cocoa milder and less acidic/bitter.)

I did not add any sugar to this brownie recipe, as these 48% cacao chocolate chips supplied enough inherent sweetness for my taste. I added some mild "fruit" and nut flavor by blending a little bit of banana flour and almond flour into the egg, (dairy) butter and crunchy almond butter batter used to make these. 

Chocolate maker's tasting notes: "chestnut, caramel, honey."

Ingredients: "Cane sugar, unsweetened chocolate, cocoa butter, vanilla extract, soy lecithin."

Allergen-related information: "Contains soy."

*Brownie origins
While rarely discussed in the 21st century, in the 1900s a "brownie" was a type of imaginary elf who performed helpful deeds while people slept at night. This elf may have been the inspiration for young Girl Scouts who were called Brownies. Going further back in time, the first reference to "brownie" as a chocolate dessert (that I could find) was from the 1890s, and it referred to a rich chocolate molasses cake made in a mold.

The Safe + Fair Food Company - Double Chocolate Brownie Mix - June 15, 2021

Chocolate of the Day

The Safe + Fair Food Company
Double Chocolate Brownie Mix
Good +
Weight: dry mix equal to 2 brownies / 20.6 oz. (584 g.) in total package
Calories: 520 calories in 2 brownies (prepared mix)
Cost: missing information
Purchased from: missing information

Welcome to Day #4 of Chocolate Brownie Theme Week.

Today's Double Chocolate Brownie Mix was manufactured for The Safe + Fair Food Company (Chicago, IL).

While almost all brownies share a dark brown hue and general chocolatey flavor, there are many variations, ranging from dense, gooey and/or velvety brownies to light, springy, cake like brownies (and brownie muffins/cupcakes), to firmer, crisper brownies (including brownie cookies). Happily, all of these types are represented this week.

Today's gluten-free, non-GMO and vegan double chocolate brownie with chocolate chips was lighter and cake-like (adding an extra egg to most brownie recipes will also create more cake-like texture). A bit of "ancient" grain (teff flour) was included in the gluten-free flour blend for good measure.

The "double" chocolate flavor (provided by alkalized cocoa and embedded chocolate chips) was satisfying. 

Ingredients: "Cane sugar, white rice flour, alkalized cocoa, semi-sweet chocolate chips (sugar, chocolate liquor, cocoa butter, sunflower lecithin and vanilla extract), potato starch, brown rice flour, tapioca flour, teff flour, salt, baking powder (sodium acid pyrophosphate, sodium bicarbonate, non-gmo corn starch, monocalcium phosphate, xanthan gum."

Allergy-related information: "Made in a facility free from the top 9 allergens...gluten free, non-GMO, vegan, kosher."

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