6 Culinary Hacks & Simple Solutions
Genius hacks and simple solutions are amazing because they make our lives easier, save time, and minimize effort. Today I’d like to share with you some more kitchen hacks, including an easy way to handle a bunch of chives, how to make powder-free chopped chocolate, how to create the perfect chocolate curves, how to melt chocolate in no time, and more. I hope, these simple ideas and tips will make your time in the kitchen a little bit more pleasant!
Tip1. Powder-free chopped chocolate
When chopped into chunks for cookies or bars, chocolate often shatters, leaving behind shavings and powder. Use your microwave to solve the problem.
1. Place the chocolate bar on a microwave-safe plate and microwave on the lowest setting for about 1 minute, turning the chocolate halfway through microwaving. When the chocolate softens and begins to melt at the corners, remove it from the microwave. (if the chocolate bar is very thick, it may take longer to soften.)
2. Place the warm chocolate on a cutting board and chop it into chunks.
Tip 2. Easier chocolate chopping
Most home cooks don’t own a fancy chocolate fork for breaking up large blocks of chocolate into more manageable pieces. Here’s a way to improvise one: using the sharp two-tined fork from your meat-slicing set and a secured cutting board, press straight down into the chocolate. The chocolate breaks into neater pieces than when cut by a knife, and a lot less effort is required.
Tip 3. Creating perfect chocolate curls
The secret to perfect shaved chocolate curls is warming the chocolate.
1. Wrap a chocolate bar in plastic wrap and then rub the palm of your hand against the edge of the bar until it is warm.
2. To make curls, remove the plastic and run a vegetable peeler along the chocolate bar toward you. Repeat the warming process as needed.
Tip 4. Gadgetless chocolate melting
Many recipes call for melting chocolate in a homemade double boiler, which is created by suspending a heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water. If your bowl is too small for your pot, try this clever solution.
1. Place a heatproof colander in a pot of simmering water (the perforations should be above the level of the water).
2. Set a heatproof bowl with the chocolate inside the colander. Using an oven mitt to avoid a steam burn, stir the chocolate with a spatula until it melts.
Tip 5. Beat the citrus-juicing blues
Next time you find yourself with a lemon, lime, or orange to juice and no fancy juicing equipment on hand, try one of these alternative tools that you probably already have laying around.
1. For just a little bit of juice, slice the fruit in half and poke the flesh a few times with a fork.2. Then stick the fork in the citrus and twist, just as you would with a citrus reamer.
B. Kitchen tongs
For a more extensive juicing job, reach for a pair of kitchen tongs. Holding the tongs closed, stick the pincers into the halved fruit and use a twisting motion to extract the juice.
C. Mixer beater
Another unusual kitchen utensil that makes an excellent stand-in for a missing juicer is one of the beaters from a handheld mixer. Simply take the beater in your hand and use it as you would a citrus reamer.
Tip 6. Keeping chives in check
Prepping a bunch of chives can be tricky; the slender herbs roll all over the cutting board, making them difficult to chop. Try securing the chives with a rubber band to keep the leaves together.