Introduction: Chocottone by an Engineer
Hi, in this instructables I hope to show precise instructions on how to bake a Chocottone with easy to access kitchen appliances. However, how it's an instructable, I'll give a little touch of science in the explanation.
So, to be brief about what are we doing today:
- Learning how to bake a chocottone;
- Understanding a little bit of science behind ingredients and processes done;
- Trying to use as much as possible simple kitchen appliances;
- Having some tips about ingredients backup (in case you don't have access to some in you location)
I highly recommend reading the full recipe before buying any ingredient.
Yes, like in thermodynamics, we do have a law zero, in this case step zero.
Just for a better understanding of the baking process, all the ingredients were divided in the following steps (tables in attachment).
During the process, I'll give some advices about my experience baking this recipe and will make some "Science Notes".
I highly recommend the use of a precise scale for this process. The scale in baking minimize the variations in the result, ensuring you will always make the same (or almost) chocottone.
If you do not mind with the chemical or physical process that are happening in each step, just ignore the notes. You will have the same Chocottone in the end, but come on, It'll be super cool.
So, let's do it.
For all the baking process, you will need the following supplies:
- 1 Bowl (a big one - 5L) or a similar container
- 1 Tough spoon
- 1 Mixer for heavy dough (I use a planetary one)
- 1 Scale (Highly recommended)
- 1 Knife
- 1 Chopping board
- 3 Chocottone baking pan - 500g each (the paper one, but you can use a metal one if you don't find it)
- 1 Usual Oven (Electric or gas heated)
- Wheat Flour (12 - 14% of gluten content or a good one. Usually wheat flour for bread is god enough)
- Yeast (Instant Yeast)
- Egg Yolk
- Chocolate (40% cocoa)
- Essences and extracts
- Panettone Essence
- Vanilla Extract
- Orange Extract
- Champagne Extract
- Lemon Juice
- Vanilla Extract only
*All the quantities will be in the tables attached
Step 1: Making the Sponge
For the first step, we will make the sponge (culinary term for fermentation process starter).
You should mix all the corresponding ingredients of step 1 in the bowl.
I usually follow this order:
- Wheat flour
- Water (attention with the water temperature)
Let it rest for 20 minutes with the temperature of 30°C (or inside the microwave off to keep temperature).
Does not matter too much if you don't have a place in the temperature of 30°C to let it rest. Just don't let it rest in a too cold place, so the yeast will not be able to grow.
Observe your yeast after the 20 minutes. It should be with a kind of foam on top of it (see the picture in attachment).
The reason that we mix the yeast with all this ingredients are many, some of them are shown below:
- Temperature: The saccharomyces cerevisiae (technical name of the yeast that we are using) are a living being and it needs the right environment to grow. The temperature have a crucial role in it. This kind of yeast grows best in the temperature range of 30 - 35°C;
- Sugar: The yeast does a tricky process to convert Glucose into Ethanol (Yes, our sponge may be alcoholic!) and Carbon dioxide called Glycolysis. It's a very complex bioprocess, but that's the reason why we put sugar in this step, to provide the righ elements to the yeast grow. The objective here are not develop alcohol, but provide carbon dioxide for the dough. But don't worry, you will not be drunk for eating chocottone or bread. Almost all the Ethanol evaporates during the baking process. It's usual for bread production;
- Wheat flour: The flour is added in this step for creating a culture medium for the yeast similar with what it will be added after. It makes the growing of the yeast easier when we put it together with the other ingredients. It's a very common practice in the industry for bioprocesses;
- Speed of growing: The growing speed of the yeast can be determined using the Monod equation, developed by Jacques Monod. There are many variations of this equation to find the right time that we should let a yeast growing. The 20 minutes should be enough for us.
Step 2: Making the Dough
For making the dough, you will need the mixer for heavy dough and the following ingredients (I added it in the order bellow):
- Wheat Flour
- Egg Yolk
This step can be done during the rest time of the Step 1.
Put all the ingredients inside the mixer bowl, sightly mix with the spoon and proceed to mix during 10 minutes.
After the mixing process are complete, join the sponge from step 1 and mix for another 10 minutes.
Let it rest for 50 minutes in the bowl.
The speed of the mixer should be just enough to homogenize the mix, doesn't need to speed too much.
Pay attention during the process, the dough is super sticky and elastic, if you mizer is not strong enough, it may doesn't work or even damage the equipment. It may be necessary stop the mixer some times and corret the dough disposition in the mixer bowl.
The main objective in this step is develop a dough with a good gluten net. What is this thing? Let's begin talking a little bit about gluten.
- Gluten: The union of two proteins (Glutenine and Gliadine) forms it. This union are done by a cross-link between the two molecules during the mixing process. The gluten provide to the dough an elastic membrane that form a 3D net. This net is the responsible to imprison the carbon dioxide generated by the glycolysis process and make the dough increase in size
That is the reason why is essential use a good wheat flour.
A curious fact is that fat inhibit the gluten formation, but the butter used in this recipe is not enough to affect this process. Water helps the formation of gluten, as well as a good mechanical agitation condition. That's why It's so important use a good mixer for this process. Mixing by hand is almost impossible in this recipe. The result will not be satisfactory (unless you are a x-men or hulk).
- The sugar content will help with yeast grow and with the caramelization process during the baking (letting the cake shell with a golden color), improving the flavor of the chocottone;
- The butter will help to let the chocottone as soft as a cloud;
- The egg yolk will improve the texture, color and taste of the chocottone, as well as help the mix between the fat and water (egg yolk contain emulsifier substances). We do not use egg white in this recipe because it let the core and the shell of the chocottone parched.
Step 3: Add Happiness
It's time to chopping and mixing.
I usually buy a 1kg chocolate bar and chop it irregularly. It gives a better look to the chocottone. However, if you want to avoid this work (It take some time) you can replace it for chocolate chips.
After the chopping process, just added the chocolate to the dough and mix with the spoon or with your hands until the chocolate are evenly spread.
Try to use a chocolate with 40% cocoa content. If you like your chocottone a little sweeter, use milk chocolate.
Be careful with the chopping process. Pay attention, not hurt yourself.
Step 4: Extracts Addition
For the last ingredient addition, we would use extract and essences.
As these ingredients are, sometimes, difficult to find, I let 3 options of essences packages, they are:
- Pack 1
- Panettone essence
- Pack 2
- Vanilla extract
- Orange extract
- Champagne extract (optional)
- Lemon juice
- Vanilla extract
You can choose the best option for you.
I, particularly, use the pack 2 (that I made myself).
Here we just need to mix the whole pack chosen to the dough until it are well spread.
You can try to develop you own essence to this step.
The essence are added in the last step because most of the ingredients are very volatile. Other reason are that some essences and extracts have a low ore high pH and it affects the yeast growing speed.
Step 5: Baking
Now it is magic time, let's bake the dough.
In this step, you need to do two important things before baking:
- Set the oven
- Fill the chocottone baking pan and let it res
The oven should be preheated during 10 minutes or until it get the temperature of 180°C.
The chocottone pans should be filled with 500g of the dough. It will reach about 50% of the volume of the baking pan (as shown in the picture). Make sure to fill very well the bottom of the pan to avoid air bubbles.
Put the chocottone baking pans in a larger baking pan to make it easier to insert and remove from the oven.
Let it rest for 25 minutes.
Bake during 30 - 35min or until the chocottone be golden on the top.
If you have a gas-heated oven (as I do), the bottom of the chocottone could have more heat than the top of it. To avoid this issue, put a second baking pan in a level under the chocottone one.
I recommend the use of an oven thermometer, so you can use the right temperature for this process. Almost all the home ovens have a difference between the set temperature and the real one that it heats.
If you have a pizza stone, put it in the lower level of the oven. It will help to keep an equal temperature in the oven. Makes the baking process better. However, it may take a longer time to preheat. I do not have it, so I use the second baking pan technique.
Now, if all the steps were right, all the carbon dioxide that the yeast produced and you need will be trapped in the gluten net. The fat, protein, sugar, water and others will be at the desired percentage. The baking process will denature proteins and collagen(40 - 60°C), the vegetable starch will gelatinize (70°C), the Maillard reactions (responsible for the amazing flavors and smells) will let the chocottone with a golden color and a impressive good smell (154°C) and some caramelization process will be observed in the shell of the chocottone (180°C).
Step 6: Enjoy the Result
After all the job done, enjoy your chocottone.