Friday, October 8, 2010

Types of Chocolate

In almost every country, chocolate is a popular ingredient which is able to add to many types of desserts and foods to increase deliciousness. A type of chocolate depends on quantities of different ingredients which are added in chocolate and also depend on the temperature and the length of roasting. These are types of chocolate which are generally produced around the world.

Check them out!


Unsweetened chocolate


Unsweetened chocolate is chocolate in its rawest form. This unadulterated chocolate is also known as baking, plain or bitter chocolate and popularly used as the base for cakes, brownies, confections, and cookies. Unsweetened chocolate is made from pure chocolate liquor that has been refined and contains 50-55% of cocoa butter. Since no sugar has been added to the chocolate it has a strong, bitter taste that is used in cooking and baking, but is never eaten out of hand. Unsweetened chocolate, if well wrapped and stored in a cool, dry place with good air circulation, could be kept for several years.


Dark chocolate


Also known as “plain chocolate”, Dark chocolate is chocolate without milk as an additive. The U.S. Government calls this “sweet chocolate” and determines a 15% concentration of chocolate liquor as its ingredient, different from Europeans who requires a minimum of 35% of chocolate liquor. Dark chocolate is considered as healthy chocolate. According to studies of two prestigious scientific journals, it states that eating more dark chocolate can help lower your blood pressure, but you have to balance the extra calories by eating less of other things.


White chocolate


In fact, white chocolate cannot be called “chocolate” because it does not contain chocolate liquor. White chocolate is the combination of cocoa butter, sugar, milk solids, vanilla, and lecithin, and is able to be kept from 6-10 months if stored in a cool, dry place. Generally, white chocolate is ivory-colored, but white chocolate which is made with vegetable fat is white-colored. White chocolate was first made in New Hampshire after World War I and become popularly distributed in America in 1984 with the introduction of Nestlé’s Alpine White Chocolate bar.


Milk chocolate


Milk chocolate is the combination of chocolate liquor, cocoa butter, vanilla, milk solids, and lecithin. This type of chocolate could be kept up to a year if stored in a cool, dry place. Milk chocolate must contain at least 10% of chocolate liquor, 3.7% milk fats, and 12% milk solids. The U.S. Government requires a 10% concentration of chocolate liquor while EU regulations specify a minimum of 25% chocolate liquor. This makes European milk chocolate better than American milk chocolate, because the more chocolate liquor added the more delicious it gets. Generally, milk chocolate is popularly used in decorating cake and cookies.


Semi-sweet chocolate and Bittersweet chocolate


Semi-sweet and Bittersweet chocolate are the same kind of chocolate, both refer to dark chocolate. In America, dark chocolate refers to Semi-sweet chocolate while in Europe dark chocolate refers to Bittersweet chocolate. The two  types of chocolate are able to use interchangeably. Both Semi-sweet and Bittersweet chocolate contain cocoa liquor, sugar, cocoa butter, vanilla, and sometimes lecithin. Semi-sweet and Bittersweet chocolate, if well wrapped and stored in a cool, dry place with good air circulation, could be kept for several years.


Couverture chocolate


The word “couverture” translates to “covering” and refers to one of the finest quality of chocolate in the world. Couverture is produced with premium cacao beans and a high percentage of cocoa butter. Additionally, this type of chocolate also contain a total fat content of 30-40%. Couverture are often used by professional pastry chefs in many famous chocolate manufacturers such as Valrhona, Felchlin, Lindt & Sprüngli, Scharffen Berger, Cacao Barry, Callebaut, and Guittard.


Ultra Couverture chocolate


In fact, Ultra Couverture chocolate is equal in terms of quality to Couverture chocolate. Because because this type of chocolate contains a higher content of cocoa butter, the name “Ultra” is therefore added. Ultra Couverture chocolate is not easy to produce because it is difficult to balance higher cocoa butter content while retaining superb taste and texture. Therefore, a few chocolate manufacturers are able to successfully produce this type of chocolate.


Compound Chocolate


The term ”Compound Chocolate” refers to a type of chocolate which is made by a combination of cocoa and vegetable fat, usually tropical fats and/or hydrogenated fats, as a replacement for cocoa butter. Compound Chocolate is primarily used for candy bar coatings, but because it does not contain cocoa butter, then it is not called “chocolate” in the US. Compound Chocolate is sometime added with flavors such as mint, orange, or strawberry to increase its deliciousness.


Interesting, huh? It’s really good to know!

Have a wonderful chocolate day!

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