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How do you chop chocolate from a block

drussell's picture

Help! Well, I managed to get enough chopped but it wasn't a pretty sight. I've never purchased a block before and it really never entered my mind that chopping from a block would be a problem. I finally resorted to a pounding my knife into the block with a mallet. I got the small pieces I needed and then some over the counter tops, on the floor and other assorted places. There must be a method for this, so all you experienced bakers please clue me in. TIA.

plantlust's picture

(post #64929, reply #1 of 62)

I use the heel of a heavy knife to chop a smaller chunk off the block. Then I use my handy chocolate fork to chip smaller pieces off the smaller chunk.

I also use a controlled kindof pressure to minimize the chips all over the counter & kitchen floor. A challenge, fur sure.

More rain & sleet. I'm trying to remember why I live here...

Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with parsley sauce, goat cheese garlic mashed potatoes, Galena Cellars Niagra grape wine & Pie Boss's apple crumble topped with Ruth & Phil's sour cream/cinnamon ice cream.

Barbara48's picture

(post #64929, reply #2 of 62)

chocolate fork?

kathymcmo's picture

(post #64929, reply #3 of 62)

Sounds like something Miss Manners would have

drussell's picture

(post #64929, reply #4 of 62)

Wow! Now I have a good reason to shop for more utensils. A chocolate fork sounds good to me and now that you mentioned it, I do recall seeing someone using one.


Thanks for the info on  your method. I'll be trying it out the next time I chop from the rest of the block.

knitpik's picture

(post #64929, reply #5 of 62)

I use the chocolate fork to break into manageable pieces then my big
Chinese cleaver for fine chopping. With the cleaver I shave the edge
and work my way in. A big cutting board is always good.

drussell's picture

(post #64929, reply #14 of 62)

I have a cleaver. I should have thought to use that before my better quality knife. I will use a large cutting board nejxt time. Thanks for the ideas! 

jojo's picture

(post #64929, reply #51 of 62)

I love my chocolate fork. Less chance of cutting off body parts.

knitpik's picture

(post #64929, reply #52 of 62)

True but you still have to pay attention. I poked a little hole
in my hand not too long ago. :)

jojo's picture

(post #64929, reply #53 of 62)

Ouch!

madnoodle's picture

(post #64929, reply #6 of 62)

Beats me.  That's a job for my handy husband.


I believe in compost.


 

What if there were no hypothetical questions?

 

drussell's picture

(post #64929, reply #15 of 62)

Ha, ha! Calling my DH to help with the chocolate would have resulted in a bigger mess.

madnoodle's picture

(post #64929, reply #22 of 62)

Well, I didn't say it wasn't messy, just that he gets the job done.

I believe in compost.


 

What if there were no hypothetical questions?

 

BossHog's picture

(post #64929, reply #23 of 62)

Just an odd thought - Could you use a cheese grater to shred the chocolate?

I don't know what's wrong with my television set. I was getting C-Span and the Home Shopping Network on the same station. Yesterday I bought a congressman.



drussell's picture

(post #64929, reply #24 of 62)

I think that would work but for the cookies I was making I needed pieces about the size of chocolate chips so shredding would have been too fine. I think though there are times when a fine chocolate coating is needed and shredding would seem like the way to go.

BossHog's picture

(post #64929, reply #25 of 62)

O.K. - I get the point. I didn't realize you wanted chunks. I thought you were chopping it up into fine pieces.

Seems like a table saw would be kind of overkill for cutting up chocolate.

How about a coarse toothed hacksaw to cut it up into slabs? Then the slabs could easily be cut with a knife...

A fine is a tax for doing something wrong. A tax is a fine for doing something right.



CookiM0nster's picture

(post #64929, reply #29 of 62)

Speaking as someone who once had to chop chocolate professionally, the fastest and easiest way it to put it in a plastic bag (I double bag it) and smash it with a hammer. Honest.

kathymcmo's picture

(post #64929, reply #30 of 62)

That's the same method I used to prep my Dungeness crab last night!

Marcia's picture

(post #64929, reply #33 of 62)

Did it taste like chocolate? <G>

kathymcmo's picture

(post #64929, reply #37 of 62)

No, LOL, but the little wooden maller that came with my crab-eating set isn't worth a darn. So out came the big hammer!


I am hijacking the thread but wanted to reply to your query about whether I use my history degree (I can't remember what thread that was but didn't want to be rude and not reply). Yes, I use it all the time! I majored in history not with any grand career plans but because I found all my history classes just wonderfully engrossing. From them I learned how to write, how to research what I did not know and how to weigh the credibility of sources found during that research. Later on, when I realized I needed to find a real career, instead of the boring library work I was doing, I studied (medical) journalism, which taught me many of the same things, only in the present time--how to write and edit (and do so quickly), how to research and how to weigh the various sources encountered, how to interview and ask good questions.  Journalism is the first draft of history, it's often said.


I use all of it still in my current job doing communications for a medical device company, but even more often I use that to navigate life, be it current events, medical issues faced by me and my family, cultural life and so on. So a liberal arts major ended up preparing me well for life, even though I didn't have an exact plan at the time.


Back to the chocolate discussion ...

Marcia's picture

(post #64929, reply #40 of 62)

I hate losing a thread, but it happens rather frequently. Thanks for the reply. You reinforce my belief that a good liberal arts degree can be very useful. The humanities don't get enough respect, IMO.

Back to the chocolate discussion? You mean back to the dangerous tools discussion. But the real tools work as you found with your crab.

drussell's picture

(post #64929, reply #31 of 62)

Thanks, that's good to know. I'm glad I consulted the bakers here instead of trying to work it out on my own. Got a lot of ideas from all of you.

Syb's picture

(post #64929, reply #38 of 62)

Another vote for a serrated knife-- a large one.  Mine has an offset handle, which I love.  The points dig into the chocolate, so the knife doesn't slip.  That makes the job much less stressful for me.


The hammer technique or the chisel and mallet sound like a great way to produce more manageable pieces.

JillElise's picture

(post #64929, reply #7 of 62)

I put it in a bag, plastic inside a paper bag. I take it outside to the sidewalk and beat it with a hammer. Not only do I get manageable chunks of chocolate, but I get to work out some agression.

drussell's picture

(post #64929, reply #16 of 62)

I like that idea. It should work fine in my concrete driveway. At least until the driveway is buried under snow, that is. I'll try this next time since the mess is trapped in a bag and if any escapes, not a problem.

nexus's picture

(post #64929, reply #34 of 62)

I use a part of my floor in the house that is under carpet and not easily damaged to do this and I use a cutting board under it. I also use a 32 oz. framing hammer. I call it ha-mar the horrible.  Works like a charm.


Cheryl

JillElise's picture

(post #64929, reply #35 of 62)

It's very therapeutic!

Adele's picture

(post #64929, reply #27 of 62)

I take it outside to the sidewalk and beat it with a hammer


Too funny, I did that with peppermint on Saturday.  Threw the bag over and over on the concrete.  Then took a hammer to the couple of stubborn pieces. 


But, but, it's SUPPOSED to taste like that!

But, but, it's SUPPOSED to taste like that!

Marcia's picture

(post #64929, reply #28 of 62)

You remind me of my mother who used to hammer a coconut on the driveway. LOL

JillElise's picture

(post #64929, reply #36 of 62)

My kitchen tools come in handy for household repairs sometimes. There's no reason that my household repair tools shouldn't come in handy in the kitchen.
And I enjoy beating the bejeesus out of things on occasion. Saves wear and tear on my marriage.

SuB's picture

(post #64929, reply #8 of 62)

Chopping chocolate drives me freaking crazy.  Hate it.  The best suggestion I've ever heard for chopping it off a block is to use an inexpensive chisel and a mallet.  I think it would work beautifully.  Hope this helps.


Cheers, Sue B.


The older I get, the better I was.

Cheers, Sue B.

The older I get, the better I was.