Things I wish I’d figured out long ago:
…That the silver backed tape used to fix everything is named for pipes, not for water fowl.
…That there are tabs on either end of a box of plastic wrap designed specifically to hold that godforsaken roll in place.
…That the final exam in my undergraduate Classics course was scheduled for Tuesday, not for Wednesday.
…That, if done correctly, ribbons of bold, red wine CAN be swirled directly into chocolate.
And if double chocolate bark marbled with wine is your kind of thing, you are going to want to pay close attention to the correct method, lest you end up with clumpy, clotted lumps of chocolate mess. As to the “why”, I shall turn this over to my scientific half, otherwise known as Mark:
“…Chocolate is a dispersion of cocoa solids and sugar in a pool of cocoa butter with a small amount of lecithin to keep the hydrophilic sugar suspended in the hydrophilic fat. Small amounts of water (even from steam) can cause these sugar granules to readily agglomerate which makes the once smooth emulsion a grainy mess (good for ganache, bad for tempered chocolate) – an occurrence colloquially termed ‘seizing’. There is no turning back from this point, though you can add tablespoons of water to make it ‘smooth’ again as in inverted emulsion (now fat suspended in sugar water instead of sugar suspended in fat), but it will not make bark…”
(As you can see, I don’t drive around with a “Talk Nerdy To Me” sticker on my truck for nothing.)