When a person thinks of the word ‘Chocolate’, he/she don’t necessarily mean what another person is thinking. One may be thinking about dark chocolate and you may be thinking about a milk chocolate. Chocolate encompasses a versatile collection of different flavours, textures and types.
What is Chocolate?
Chocolate making involves the long process of fermenting, drying, roasting and grounding the cacao beans. This refining process gives the following resulting products
- Cocoa butter – It’s a smooth and solid fat used in food and cosmetics.
- Chocolate liquor.
Chocolate consists of cocoa butter, cocoa solids, sugar, milk solids, flavourings like vanilla or orange and emulsifiers like lecithin. The percentage of cocoa butter and chocolate liquor along with the amount of other ingredients is the basic difference between different types of chocolates.
It is the most intense form of chocolate and it’s primarily used for baking purposes. It contains pure chocolate liquor composed solely of ground cocoa beans. It’s also known as bitter or unsweetened chocolate since it does not contain any sugar and is bitter in taste.
Bittersweet and semisweet chocolate
Bittersweet and semisweet chocolate contains a minimum of 35% pure chocolate liquor and the sugar content varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. The higher percentage of chocolate liquor signifies a lower percentage of sugar. The higher the chocolate liquor percentage the more bittersweet the chocolate.
Milk chocolate contains a minimum of 10% chocolate liquor and 12% of milk solids. The percentage of chocolate liquor gives a milk chocolate its chocolate flavour. A milk chocolate having higher percentage of chocolate liquor or cocoa solids will have a stronger chocolate flavour.
A white chocolate contains 20% cocoa butter, 14% milk solids and 55% sugar. It does not have any cocoa solid content. Do not heat it above 110 degrees as it will burn above that temperature.
A couverture is a chocolate that contains extra cocoa butter. The minimum cocoa butter percentage in a couverture is 31%. It’s a high-end chocolate and it can semisweet, bittersweet, milk or white. When it is stirred for a long time or tempered, it gets a rich sheen. It is used as a coating in candies. It’s also used for enrobing and creating decorations to be used in cake decoration and as garnish.
This chocolate contains oils like coconut oil or palm kernel to give it its trademark shine without tempering. It has little or no cocoa butter.
A chocolate comes in many types and forms. It depends on your palate to choose a best-suited chocolate for you. Choosing a chocolate is also dependent on its purpose of use, whether you want it for baking or creating dishes or for just enjoying its taste. For baking purposes or for gifting you can buy in bulk from Lamontagne Chocolate, since they have one of the most varied chocolate collections.