- Different Kinds of Chocolate
- "Unsweetened-Unsweetened chocolate is pure chocolate liquor, also known as bitter or baking chocolate, mixed with some form of fat to produce a solid substance. It is unadulterated chocolate: the pure, ground, roasted chocolate beans impart a strong, deep chocolate flavor. With the addition of sugar, however, it is used as the base for cakes, brownies, confections, and cookies.
- Dark-Dark chocolate is produced by adding fat and sugar to cacao. It is chocolate without milk as an additive. It is sometimes called "plain chocolate". The U.S. Government has no definition for dark chocolate, only "sweet chocolate", which requires a 15% concentration of chocolate liquor. Sweet chocolate is not necessarily dark chocolate as there is no restriction of milk in it. European rules specify a minimum of 35% cocoa solids.
- Milk-Milk chocolate is chocolate with milk powder or condensed milk added. The U.S. Government requires a 10% concentration of chocolate liquor. EU regulations specify a minimum of 25% cocoa solids. In the 1870s, Swiss confectioner Daniel Peter invented the process of solidifying milk chocolate using condensed milk, which was invented by Henri Nestlé in the 1800's.
Semisweet-Semisweet chocolate is often used for cooking purposes. It is a dark chocolate with a low (typically half) sugar content.
- Bittersweet-Bittersweet chocolate is chocolate liquor (or unsweetened chocolate) to which some sugar (typically a third), more cocoa butter, vanilla and sometimes lecithin has been added. It has less sugar and more liquor than semisweet chocolate, but the two are interchangeable in baking. Bittersweet and semisweet chocolates are sometimes referred to as 'covertures' (chocolate that contains at least 32 percent cocoa butter); many brands now print on the package the percentage of cocoa (as chocolate liquor and added cocoa butter) contained. The rule is that the higher the percentage of cocoa, the less sweet the chocolate will be.
- Covertures-Covertures is a term used for chocolates rich in cocoa butter. Popular brands of covertures used by professional pastry chefs and often sold in gourmet and specialty food stores include: Valrhona, Felchlin, Lindt & Sprüngli, Scharffen Berger, Cacao Barry, Callebaut, and Guittard. These chocolates contain a high percentage of cocoa (sometimes 70% or more) and have a total fat content of 30-40%.
- White-White chocolate is a confection based on sugar and fat (either cocoa butter or vegetable oils) without
the cocoa solids.
- Cocoa powder- There are two types of unsweetened baking cocoa available: natural cocoa (like the sort produced by Hershey's and Nestlé using the Broma process), and Dutch-process cocoa (such as the Hershey's European Style Cocoa and the Droste brand). Both are made by pulverizing partially defatted chocolate liquor and removing nearly all the cocoa butter. Natural cocoa is light in color and somewhat acidic with a strong chocolate flavor. Natural cocoa is commonly used in recipes which call for baking
soda. Because baking soda is an alkali, combining it with natural cocoa creates a leavening action that allows the batter to rise during baking. Dutch-process cocoa is processed with alkali to neutralize its natural acidity. Dutch cocoa is slightly milder in taste, with a deeper and warmer color than natural cocoa. Dutch-process cocoa is frequently used for chocolate drinks such as hot chocolate due to its ease in blending with liquids. Unfortunately, Dutch processing destroys most of the flavanols present in cocoa.
- Compound-Compound chocolate is the technical term for a confection combining cocoa with vegetable fat, usually tropical fats and/or hydrogenated fats, as a replacement for cocoa butter. It is primarily used for candy bar coatings, but because it does not contain cocoa butter, in the US it is not allowed to be called "chocolate." Unfortunately in America, to the untrained observer the adjective used for this substance appears to merely be the adjectival form of chocolate: "chocolaty". The candy bars sold in America often no longer have true chocolate as a major component. This is especially true for much candy passed as "white chocolate" , which need not contain anything from the cacao bush at all. This can translate to poor taste, texture and possibly health concerns, particularly when partially hydrogenated oils are used to replace cacao butter.
Notes from our German Team Members:
"In Europe we know a lot of different kinds of chocolate. We drink it as hot chocolate. We love milk chocolate, white chocolate but also the types that are bitter and less sweet.
The chocolate bars are massive and weigh mostly 100 grams. But, they are also very often filled with: almonds, hazelnuts, milk cream, yogurt, marzipan, raisins, rum, mint, wafers, nougat, coffee cream, cornflakes, Croat, caramel or several praline creams and many other different flavors. During Easter and Christmas time the producers form chocolate in the shapes of Easter rabbits, eggs and Santa Claus figures.
View Our Slide Show