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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Chocolate Jam from Scratch

Isn’t it time to make jam before winter? I remember my grandmother always make jams and I love the tartness and fresh fruit she picked and canned.

So how about mixed some with chocolate? I’ve found a few…

check them out!

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Homemade Banana Chocolate Jam

Ingredients:

300g bananas (about 3 large very ripened ones)

80g dark chocolate (coarsely chopped)

20ml rum (optional)

100ml water (room temperature)

210g caster sugar*

Method:

Thinly slice banana, about 1mm thickness. Place sliced bananas in a bowl, add water and caster sugar. Mix well. Transfer to a pot or a large saucepan. On medium heat, stirring constantly with a heat-proof spatula, bring the mixture to a full rolling boil (where the bubbles do not stop or lessen when you stir it). Once the mixture starts to boil, skim away any excessive foams or bubbles, stirring constantly all the time. Keep at a rolling boil for another 2 ~ 3 mins., stirring constantly till the mixture becomes clearer and brighter.  Add in dark chocolates, mix well and bring it back to boil. Remove from heat immediately, stir in rum if using. The jam will be a little runny when hot but the consistency will be just right after it has cool off. Ladle hot jam into hot sterilized jars leaving a gap of about 1~2cm from the top. (Since I do not have an appropriate ladle or funnel, I poured the jam into my measuring cup before filling the jars. The sprout on the cup helps easy and clean filling.) Secure lids. Let cool. Jam will keep up to 3 months if stored in fridge or in a cool, dark cupboard. Once opened, store in fridge and best consumed within 1 week.

Yields: 380ml of jam

Note: *Do not reduce the sugar, as the amount is required to preserve the jam.

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White Chocolate Peanut Butter

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups dry, roasted peanuts (I used salted)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil

1/3 cup white chocolate chips/chunks/bars, melted

Directions:

Add peanuts to a food processor and blend until a thick nut butter forms. Stream in oil and vanilla with the processor on, continuing to run it until the mixture is smooth. You can add more oil if needed, just do it in small increments.

Turn off processor, add melted chocolate, and turn processor back on. Blend until smooth.

Makes 3/4 cup

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Chocolate Raspberry Jam (Canning Recipe)

Ingredients:

6 cup raspberries (frozen, crushed or 7 pints fresh)

3 oz. unsweetened chocolate (squares)

4 cup granulated sugar

134 oz. pectin (dry, lower sugar recipes)

12 tsp. margarine (butter)

Directions:

Crush berries thoroughly, 1 cup at a time. If using frozen berries, use both liquid and solids; they were all part of the original fresh berry. (Sieve 1/2 of the pulp to remove some of the seeds if desired. You can sieve it all if preparing from those with dental problems. Removing seeds causes waste, so be sure you have enough berries.).

Make sure your canning equipment is scrupulously clean, and place 7 pint or half-pint jars on a rack in a boiling water canner. Fill the canner with water, adding a shot of vinegar to prevent mineral buildup, and bring to a boil while you prepare the jam. Allow it to boil for 10 minutes to sterilize jars, then turn down the heat to keep the jars hot. Remember to keep a kettle of hot water handy, and a saucepan of boiling water for your lids and rings.

Measure 6 cups of crushed fruit into a 6-8 quart heavy nonreactive saucepan. Break the chocolate squares into smaller pieces and add them to saucepan.

Measure sugar into a separate bowl. Mix 1/4 cup of the measured sugar with the pectin powder in another small bowl. Stir pectin-sugar mixture into fruit in a saucepan. Add butter. Bring quickly to a full rolling boil. Boil for EXACTLY 1 MINUTE, stirring constantly.

Remove pan from heat. Skim off any foam and ladle the jam into hot sterilized pint or half-pint canning jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace.

Process for 10 minutes in a boiling water canner.

Remove the jars to a towel/newspaper lined surface, invert for 10 minutes, and allow to cool. Label the jars and store in a cool dry place for up to 1 year.

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Chocolate Cranberry Jam

Ingredients:

1 12-ounce bag of fresh cranberries

1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) sugar

1/3 cup water

1 star anise

2 teaspoons orange zest

2 1/2 ounces bittersweet chocolate (60-72% recommended), finely chopped

Equipment:

Pastry brush

Pint jar or canning jar

Rubber spatula

Tall non-reactive metal saucepan

Zester

Preparation:

Combine the sugar and water in a saucepan. Mix until the sugar is completely covered with water, resembling wet sand. Add the star anise and orange zest. Wet your hand or a pastry brush and run it around the edge of the pot to remove any stray sugar crystals. Place the pan over medium heat and bring the sugar to a simmer. Continue to simmer briskly, without stirring, until the sugar reaches hardball stage (248 degrees F) and the bubbles on the surface begin to look evenly sized.

Immediately add the cranberries, stirring with a rubber spatula. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to cook, stirring often, until all of the cranberries have softened and the jam thickly coats the back of a spoon. Remove the pan from heat and immediately stir in the chocolate until it is completely combined. Transfer to a jar to cool, then store in the refrigerator.

Makes slightly more than 1 pint

[Chef's Note: When you add the cranberries, they may begin to clump together. Don't worry, as they will soon begin to pop as their skins burst, release all of their succulent juices and melt the sugar again.]

Service:

A spoonful of the jam is a delightful accompaniment with poultry or lamb. Spread on toast, biscuits or scones for a luscious breakfast.

Variations:

Jam-making can be one of the most creative ways to preserve fruit, and this jam is no exception. Omit the chocolate for a wonderfully fragrant cranberry jam, or try this recipe with other fruits to create your own recipe. Use different flavorings and spices instead of the star anise and orange: Lemon, lime, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves or peppercorns make flavorful additions. Brown sugar can also replace the white.

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Strawberry Jam with Chocolate and Rum

Ingredients:

500g strawberries

200g sugar

½ tsp. vanilla paste

1 tbsp. powdered pectin*

60g Côte d'or dark chocolate 86%

50ml dark rum

Directions:

Wash strawberries and cut into little cubes, place in a little pot and start to boil. When it releases its juice add most of the sugar and vanilla paste, boil for about 10 minutes then add the the pectin combined with the rest of the sugar, boil vigorously for a further minute. Take off the heat and stir in the chocolate, stir while it melts completely then add rum. Pour in sterilized little jars (2 × 250 ml) close tightly and put upside down for 5 minutes.

*I used Dr. Oetker Jam Fix Super 3:1.

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Sounds too good to pass?

Happy chocolate day!

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