The name Ghirardelli is Italian in origin but say that name out loud and North American chocolate lovers will tell you that it's America's premier chocolate maker.
I was lucky to have stumbled upon The Ghirardelli Chocolate Cookbook (Ten Speed Press, Berkeley, ISBN: 13: 978-1-58008-871-8) because it not only narrates the history of Ghirardelli but it also contains 80 enticing and decadent recipes, some of which are simple to follow.
Domingo Ghirardelli was initiated into the chocolate world by working as an apprentice chocolatier in a small Italian town in Rapallo, Italy. He studied under Signor Romanengo and learned to make premium chocolate delicacies, sugar loaves and Italian fudge candies.
Why would an 11-eleven year old boy spend his time in a chocolate factory when he could be out playing with his friends? It probably had a lot to do with his father's travels to Sumatra and Peru. Listening to his father's exotic tales, his fertile, chocolatey imagination sprung forth!
Barely 20 and already married, he set out with his wife Bettina to Uruguay and then settled in Lima, Peru where they started a small store. But Bettina died and Domingo re-married a widow, Carmen Alvarado. Soon the couple were friends with an American cabinet maker, James Lick, who also had that entrepreneurial bent. Later, they decided to pack their bags and head straight for San Francisco.
At first Domingo tried to participate in the Gold Rush which was at its fever pitch in California, but somehow he always returned to the craft he grew up with and loved most.
Ghirardelli wanted to make his own chocolate so he imported equipment from Switzerland and Peru. It was only natural for the business to thrive: soon, Mr. and Mrs. Ghirardelli opened stores in Oakland, Stockton and Sonora.
Domingo Ghirardelli is credited with the discovery of the Broma process in 1867 and is still used today. This process involves leaving a bag of cocoa beans hanging in a warm room for a long time. When the beans melt, cocoa butter drops to the floor. The bag contains the leftover cocoa which doesn't have any trace of cocoa fat. It now forms the base of the company's Sweet Ground Chocolate and Cocoa.
|chocolat non-sucré||unsweetened chocolate|
|bain-marie (bain d'eau)||double boiler|
|brisures de chocolate||chocolate chips|
|mousse au chocolate||chocolate mousse|
|roulé au chocolat||chocolate Swiss roll|
|chocolat de couverture||chocolate topping|
|cachuète enrobée de chocolat||chocolate covered peanut|
|chocolat noir||dark chocolate|
|dragée||dragee (sugar-coated candy, nut or pill)|
|granulés de chocolat||chocolate cake decorations|