The different types of chocolate

Who in this world does not like chocolate? It is tasty, sweet and it has become a major component of the many universally loved treats, these include brownies, chocolate chip cookie, and hot fudge. Thousands of companies have been able to enjoy the successes through the marketing and manufacturing of their various chocolate products.

Over the years chocolate has become the key ingredient when it comes to baking the delicious goodies. As a result, the armature bakers will benefit from the different types of chocolate that are available. Most people are familiar with the different types of chocolate that are available, but many people are not aware of how chocolate is easily converted from a cocoa bean, into this familiar final product that we all enjoy.

The different types of chocolate

Dark chocolate
The dark chocolate is commonly identified as such, as it carries far less milk than the other kinds of chocolate that are present. At times, the chocolate might contain no milk at all. Mixing sugar, fat and some cocoa solids make this type of chocolate. Chocolate that contains cocoa solid of about 35 percent or more is considered to be dark chocolate, but any percentage that is slightly higher than that is a completely different type of chocolate. Due to the absence of milk in the chocolate, it appears to look far browner than other types of chocolate. Dark chocolate is commonly used in cooking and baking because most o these recipes include an addition of sugar. Thus, the dark chocolate balances out the sweetness.

You can get dark chocolate in a range of cocoa percentages, and it could be sold with cocoa solid percentage up until 90 percent. Dark chocolate is considered by many to be far less sweet than the other varieties you can find in the market; this is including white and milk chocolate. If you get dark chocolate that has higher percentages of the cocoa solid, it will tend to taste a little bit bitterer, than those that would be having a lower percentage.

Milk Chocolate
Milk chocolate is the variety of chocolate that most people are familiar with. Milk chocolate has been found to be the most popular kind; this is regarding commercial use. The chocolate is made by adding milk, most of the time milk powder is added to the traditional chocolate combination of the cocoa butter, cocoa solids, sugar and often some vanilla is added in. Before milk chocolate was made to its solid form, people were only able to consume it as a liquid beverage. But this changed as the use of milk powder and condensed milk was introduced. The condensed milk or milk powder is made by evaporating until only the substance of milk powder remains, which enabled the chocolatiers to make the famous milk chocolate bars. The milk powder is commonly used as it has a longer shelf life than the liquid counterpart does.

 White chocolate
White chocolate is considered by most as a very sweet chocolate variety. What makes this type of chocolate unique is that it is not made using any cocoa solids. Thus, it is classified as a chocolate derivative rather than the common types of chocolate we consume. White chocolate is made of a mixture of milk, cocoa butter, and sugar. The white chocolate does not contain cocoa solids but contains milk, which helps in explaining why this type of chocolate tends to look yellow or ivory white rather than the brown color we are accustomed to in chocolates.

An interesting fact about white chocolate is, it can stay solid at higher temperatures than dark or milk chocolate will, this is because of the melting point of its main ingredient, cocoa butter, is much higher. However, white chocolate lacks many of the antioxidants found in the traditional chocolate due to lack of cocoa solids in its ingredients.

Unsweetened Chocolate
Unsweetened chocolate is mostly used interchangeably with the baking chocolate. The Unsweetened chocolate has been produced with no additional sugar. Thus, this type of chocolate maintains more of the original flavor contained in cocoa. As a result, this type of chocolate is very rich and rather bitter. The main ingredients used in making this type of chocolate are fat and chocolate liquor. When sugar and milk product is added, it will turn it to be milk chocolate. Unsweetened chocolate is primarily used in baking, as the bitter flavor is balanced out with the large amount of sugar included in the recipe.

Semisweet Chocolate
Semisweet chocolate is another type of dark chocolate. For dark chocolate to be classified as semisweet chocolate, it should contain half as much sugar as it does the cocoa solids. Any chocolate with sugar to the solid cocoa ratio that is higher than this is classified as sweet chocolate. Correspondingly, the bittersweet chocolates should not contain sugar that is more than a third the amount of chocolate liquor found n the product. Just like the unsweetened chocolate, the bittersweet and semi-sweet chocolates are mostly used for cooking and baking purposes, and most of these chocolates are sold in large quantities than the other types of chocolate you can find in the market.
Couverture Chocolate
It is a relatively new term for chocolate, which is not known by many individuals. It is a type of chocolate that contains a higher percentage of cocoa butter. Thus, this type of chocolate is mostly popular around the gourmet pastry and chocolatiers chefs. Some of the semisweet and bittersweet chocolates you might find can qualify as a couverture chocolate.

Compound chocolate
The compound chocolate is simply made by combining cocoa solids with one of the many substitutes for cocoa butter. The substitutes include coconut oil, vegetable oil and other hydrogenated fats you can find. Many countries do not permit compound chocolate to be sold as a traditional chocolate. This type of chocolate is mostly used as a coating or a topping on other confectionery goods. Compound chocolate is much cheaper to purchase and produce, compared to the other types of chocolate available. The reason being, the substitution of fats and oils is less expensive than the process involved in adding cocoa butter.

Now that you have been introduced to the different types of chocolate that are available in the market, you can now work them into your baking recipes more creatively. Whether you prefer the milk chocolate or the white chocolate, there are a number of recipes that have included the various kinds of chocolate present.

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