Types of chocolate
enjoyed by millions of people around the world every day, but
there are many types of chocolate available. Learn about the
many types of chocolate and what to use for creating your
Bittersweet chocolate: Bittersweet
chocolate is a form of dark chocolate that is only very lightly
sweetened. It is less sweet than semi-sweet chocolate although
the two may be interchanged in most recipes.
powder: Cocoa powder is a dry powder
made by grinding cocoa beans. During processing, most of the
cocoa butter is removed. Cocoa powder is frequently used in
baking or to make hot chocolate.
chocolate: Dark chocolate is
sweetened, but cannot contain any milk products. It must have a
minimum percentage of 15% chocolate liquor to be labeled dark
chocolate in the United States.
chocolate: Milk chocolate has milk
blended into the chocolate mixture for a creamy, mellow flavor.
Semi-sweet chocolate: Semi-sweet
chocolate is a form of dark chocolate. It usually has a lower
sugar content than chocolate sold as candy and is often used for
Unsweetened chocolate: Unsweetened
chocolate does not contain any sugar. It is the purest
chocolate, made simply of ground cocoa beans, and is also
referred to as chocolate liquor or baking chocolate.
chocolate: White chocolate is not
really chocolate at all. It often contains cocoa butter, but
none of the chocolate liquor that defines a substance as
chocolate. It is ivory in color and creamy in taste and texture.
high quality chocolate
really is a difference between chocolates! Throughout the
production process, there are many opportunities to affect the
quality of the chocolate. The beans must be of high quality and
should be slowly sun-dried to preserve their superior
characteristics. In addition, the best chocolates are conched
for up to three days to make them incredibly silky. The
ingredients blended with the chocolate are also very important.
High quality vanilla, pure cane sugar and flavorings are all
necessary for the most delectable end-product. Some less
expensive chocolates use fillers such as paraffin; they make the
chocolate more stable for storage or shipping, but do nothing
for the flavor.
traditionally European chocolates have been considered superior,
some North American makers are now producing excellent gourmet
chocolate. Of course, the taste of chocolate can be subjective,
so the best thing to do is to try a lot of varieties yourself.
For some of the finest chocolates in the world try products by
Scharffen Berger of Berkeley, California, French Valrhona or
Swiss Lindt. They all make bars that can be used in baking as
well as eaten plain.