I enjoy baking. One of the desserts, pronounced as zerts by my late father, I most enjoy baking – and eating – is white cupcakes with chocolate buttercream frosting.
A couple years ago, however, I decided to mix it up and make chocolate cupcakes with white chocolate buttercream frosting.
The cupcakes turned out splendidly and, in the end, so did the frosting. It’s just that it never became white chocolate frosting.
Indeed, as I mixed together the frosting, I multitasked by melting the white chocolate baking bars. But the bars didn’t actually melt. Instead, they appeared to scorch and form into puffs.
Assuming I had made a mistake, I expressed gratitude that I hadn’t mentioned the white chocolate aspect of the frosting to my family. Frankly, I feared they would accuse me of using outdated baking goods. And we all know what a ludicrous accusation that would be.
So, my pet army and I made a vow to never again speak of the incident and I scraped the brownish-looking white chocolate into the trash.
Flash forward to last December. As we gathered at my mom’s to prepare Christmas goodies, my sister tried to melt white chocolate chips. Although she frequently stirred them and added copious amounts of oil, the chips turned into scorched puffs. She noted that white chocolate is dern-near impossible to melt and lamented our lack of almond bark.
She might have felt forlorn, but I became so giddy I dern-near skipped down the road. (I also once again questioned the origin of almond bark. Is it literally the bark of an almond tree? And how does bark come in more than one flavor?)
Anyway, my happiness stemmed from the realization that I hadn’t goofed. It wasn’t me. It was the white chocolate. Flash forward to last week. After I purchased half a flat of strawberries, I decided chocolate-dipped strawberries would improve my quality of life.
As it turned out, I had some white chocolate baking bars in the cabinet. Where did they come from? How long had they been in said cabinet?
None of that matters. All that matters is that I said to myself, “Self, you’ve got nothing to lose. You might as well melt them and see what happens.”
I guess you know what happened. The bars turned into scorched puffs. I’m sure I didn’t help matters by adding milk instead of oil, but I think they were already beyond salvaging.
Fortunately, I had some chocolate baking bars, which I melted. In case you’re wondering, chocolate-dipped strawberries did improve my quality of life.
Yet, due to my thirst for knowledge, I had to know more about melting white chocolate. Was it simply something we Goff sisters struggled to accomplish? Is there an easy remedy?
In fact, based on everything I read, my sister followed the standard operating procedure vis-a-vis melting white chocolate.
My research also resulted in the discovery of a new term – seized chocolate. Surprisingly, this does not refer to confiscation of a bakery’s assets. It’s the term for the scorched puffs created when one unsuccessfully melts white chocolate.
Maybe someday I’ll learn the term for what happens when one successfully melts white chocolate.
This post originally appeared in the Appalachian News-Express.