Chocolate Substitution Conversion

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My gift to all of you on Monday was my Best. Brownies. Ever. recipe, but I neglected one important and frugal detail:

chocolate substitutions

That is, how do you make the best brownie recipe ever if you only have unsweetened cocoa powder in the kitchen cabinets? Or worse yet, say you have a seemingly futile combination of unsweetened cocoa powder, sweetened cocoa powder and 70% cacao chocolate bars when the recipe calls for unsweetened baking chocolate? (This is exactly what happened to us over the weekend). Can this recipe be saved?

I am here to tell you, thanks to the folks from Ghirardelli Chocolate that no matter what combination of chocolate you have, and with enough scratch paper and third-grade math, yes you can!

In case Ghirardelli ever tries to take down their chocolate substitutions page, I have included it below (not to mention that even though I knew the page existed, it was still difficult to find on their website). Sorry for what amounts to an unpaid advertisement from Ghirardelli, but I am extremely grateful for the breakdown.

It's all here: unsweetened baking chocolate, semisweet baking chocolate, cocoa powder. Whatever you have on hand, Ghirardelli walks you through how to tweak your recipe so it all works out. I just hope the Brownie Gods are smiling down upon you so that you have extra butter and sugar on hand if you do need to make up the difference.

  • Ghirardelli Bittersweet and Ghirardelli Semisweet chocolate may be used interchangeably. Ed's note: bittersweet is approximately 60% cacao, and semisweet is considered 50% cacao, if you're using other brands of chocolate
  • Ghirardelli Unsweetened Chocolate and Ghirardelli Semi-Sweet Baking Bars: 4 ounces of semisweet chocolate equals 2 ounces of unsweetened chocolate combined with 2 ounces of sugar.
  • Ghirardelli Unsweetened Cocoa and Ghirardelli Sweet Ground Chocolate and Cocoa: For each 1/2 cup of Unsweetened Premium Cocoa, use 1 cup of Sweet Ground Chocolate and Cocoa and decrease the amount of sugar the recipe calls for by 1/2 cup.
  • Ghirardelli Sweet Ground Chocolate and Cocoa and Ghirardelli Unsweetened Premium Cocoa: For 1 cup of Ghirardelli Sweet Ground Chocolate and Cocoa, use 1/2 cup Unsweetened Premium Cocoa and 1/2 cup sugar. Mix together prior to adding to the recipe.
  • Ghirardelli Unsweetened Chocolate and Unsweetened Premium Cocoa: For every 1 ounce of Unsweetened Chocolate called for in a recipe, use 3 level tablespoons of Unsweetened Premium Cocoa and 1 tablespoon extra of butter than called for in the recipe.
  • Ghirardelli Sweet Ground Chocolate and Cocoa and Ghirardelli Unsweetened Baking Chocolate: For every 1 ounce of Ghirardelli Unsweetened Baking Chocolate, use 6 level tablespoons of Sweet Ground Chocolate and Cocoa; add 1 tablespoon extra of butter than called for in the recipe; and decrease the amount of sugar the recipe calls for by 3 level tablespoons.

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