Jamie Oliver

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#1 Wed 27 Oct 10 7:14am

Pandaa

Member
From Sydney Australia
Member since Wed 27 Oct 10

Copha

Hi all. I have had a very frustrating hour or so trying to ice a chocolate/peppermint slice.
The recipe called for copha and unsweetened cocoa powder. I can't stand dark chocolate, so tried melting sugar in the copha to sweeten it up abit. To my surprise, it wouldn't melt at all.
I googled to find alternatives until I was blue in the face, but had no luck.
Any suggestions would be very gratefully received.

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#2 Wed 27 Oct 10 7:41am

cengland

Forum champ
Occupation teacher
From Darwin, Australia
Member since Wed 08 Sep 10

Re: Copha

So you were trying to melt copha, sugar and cocoa powder together?  Copha and cocoa mixed together by themselves do sound quite odd to me.

I'd suggest just melting together 200g chocolate and 20g copha or butter.  Let it cool a bit, then pour and spread it over the slice.  Let it set so that it will hold when cut (refrigerate for about 10 mins if necessary), then cut the slice. 

This is what I usually do for peppermint or caramel, etc., slices.  I don't like bitter chocolate either, but I use dark chocolate for this.  I just use a semisweet one (it has some sugar in it), even a dark eating chocolate.  But if you wanted, I don't see why you shouldn't use milk chocolate.

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#3 Wed 27 Oct 10 7:58am

Pandaa

Member
From Sydney Australia
Member since Wed 27 Oct 10

Re: Copha

Thanks for the quick reply ... geez there's alot of Aussies on this forum!  lol
No, I melted the copha first. The recipe said to "melt copha over gentle heat. Remove from heat and stir in cocoa powder and vanilla."
I then tried to melt some sugar in the copha (which had melted) but it wouldn't dissolve. I was thinking it would be like dissolving sugar in melted butter ... but no go.
I  didn't have any icing sugar left, so I ended up melting some dark chocolate with the copha, as that's all I had.
It's in the fridge now, so I haven't tried it yet. But no doubt it will be too bitter for my like!
There must be a way of sweetening cocoa powder so it mixes with copha, surely??? I didn't want to drive 20 mins to the shop to get some milk chocolate cooking chocolate, but next shop I will get some. It was more a case of "why the blazes won't the sugar dissolve.
Thanks again!

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#4 Wed 27 Oct 10 8:39am

cengland

Forum champ
Occupation teacher
From Darwin, Australia
Member since Wed 08 Sep 10

Re: Copha

No worries.  smile 

I've never tried to melt sugar in copha, so don't know what is going on in the chemistry there.  Sugar is funny science-y stuff though sometimes.   

I suppose another option, if you didn't have or didn't want to use real chocolate, would be to replace the copha with butter.  So you would melt the butter with some sugar, and stir in the cocoa powder and vanilla. 

I'm almost starting to think that maybe whoever wrote the recipe meant drinking chocolate powder, rather than pure cocoa.  Drinking chocolate powder is sweetened, but cocoa isn't at all.  Also, cocoa really needs to be cooked (more than just stirring into a melted fat) before it tastes anything like bitter chocolate rather than bitter sawdust.  And would anyone want just bitter chocolate with no sugar as an icing on something?  Most recipes for icing slices say dark chocolate, and dark chocolate is sweetened, just not as much as milk chocolate (or drinking chocolate powder).

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#5 Wed 27 Oct 10 9:38am

Pandaa

Member
From Sydney Australia
Member since Wed 27 Oct 10

Re: Copha

Yes, I thought of that too. But I didn't want the 'soft' butter icing with the slice, as opposed to the crisp icing with the copha - another question whilst we're on the subject ...
I took it out of the fridge and tried to cut it, well, talk about difficult! The chocolate crust layer just split all over the show and came away from the peppermint underneath. It actually doesn't taste too bad, though not good enough to do again from that particular recipe. I find that's the problem with 'internet' recipes ... some are really good, some not so. Very much trial and error. That was another reason I registered with this site, as Jamie's recipes are generally good, and I would imagine the people on the site have good recipes too.
Yes, I agree regarding the  reference to the chocolate in the recipe. I think they meant drinking chocolate too.
Thanks yet again for your input.

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#6 Wed 27 Oct 10 2:16pm

mummza

Forum super champ
Occupation avoiding housework
From The land of song.
Member since Tue 04 Oct 05

Re: Copha

http://www.practicallyedible.com/edible.nsf/pages/copha

for those that don't ( like me) know what copha is .

As far as I can see, its the solid block coconut 'milk' that I buy from the Asian stores for adding a little bit to some curries.

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#7 Thu 28 Oct 10 12:28am

cengland

Forum champ
Occupation teacher
From Darwin, Australia
Member since Wed 08 Sep 10

Re: Copha

I discovered the crackly chocolate the first time I tried to use it as an icing on caramel slice.  It's a tricky judgment call.  Chocolate in a block can be pretty hard to cut or break.  No recipe ever really says this, but I find when using it as an icing, it has to be set just to a certain point and no more, so that it's still soft enough to slice through with a sharp knife, but not so soft that the knife will just drag rather than cut it.  I always tend to err a bit on one side or the other ...

But if the chocolate is a bit too hard set, cutting it with a hot knife can help; just have a cup or bowl of boiled water, dip the knife in till the knife is hot, then quickly wipe dry with a teatowel and cut away.  When the knife cools down, repeat the process until the slice is all cut.

Yes, Mummza, Copha is a vegetable oil shortening product predominantly made from coconut oil.  It's seriously good artery-clogging stuff that's been used in Australia for decades.  It's best known as a primary ingredient in Chocolate Crackles, where you make a mixture of Rice Bubbles (the breakfast cereal), icing sugar, dessicated coconut, cocoa and melted Copha; then you blob the mixture into patty cake papers and refrigerate it.  First-rate fete fare.

White Christmas is a similar thing, made from Rice Bubbles, milk powder, icing sugar, dried fruit and Copha.

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#8 Thu 28 Oct 10 12:52am

mummza

Forum super champ
Occupation avoiding housework
From The land of song.
Member since Tue 04 Oct 05

Re: Copha

Rice bubbles = Rice Krispies !
Chocolate Krackles = Krispie cakes !

Isn't it funny how the same thing is called something totally different in other places.

I think the coconut based product I am thinking of is a bit different after all .
The solid block coconut milk that I buy comes in   blocks , it is about 95% solid coconut milk with a layer of around 5% more White solid oily stuff it the one end . Should be kept refrigerated and difficult to cut a small bit off. It melts fairly slowly when added to a curry but gives a lovely flavour. As the shopkeeper told me once " youonly need a little smidge of it "!

You can make crisp cake either bu storing the rice krispies into just melted chocolate ( nothing else ), or , for a different way .. Melt a bit of Trex( solid veg fats) in a heavy based saucepan , add some golden syrup and cook at a boil for a short while, stir in some drinking chocolate powder and then stir in the rice crisps and quickly spoon into little paper cake cases.
(very good !)

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#9 Thu 28 Oct 10 1:07am

JoyYamDaisy

Forum super champ
From Melbourne Australia
Member since Sun 12 Apr 09

Re: Copha

Hi Mummza. Copha is different because it is hydrogenised coconut oil (which makes it unhealthier I understand). It is so very Australian although they have it under different names elsewhere. smile

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#10 Thu 28 Oct 10 1:25am

cengland

Forum champ
Occupation teacher
From Darwin, Australia
Member since Wed 08 Sep 10
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