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There is pure or "real" chocolate, generally found in gourmet shops and baking chocolate, found in the grocery store. Both can MELTED to liquid form, with pure chocolate further TEMPERED to use for CHOCOLATE CONFECTIONS. Baking chocolate is perfect to use in RECIPES, as are chocolate chips or pure chocolate chunks. Chocolate is pressed into unsweetened cocoa powder and used for baking. For best results, be sure to use the type of chocolate and cocoa powder that the recipe calls for, as different varieties will react differently to heat and moisture, plus the taste and texture can change. You can SUBSTITUTE one for another, but within certain parameters.
Pure, also known as bitter, baking, or unsweetened chocolate, must contain no fat other than cocoa butter (with the exception of 5% dairy butter to aid emulsification, which does not have to appear on the label.) It also contains only chocolate liquor, called cacao (cocoa solids and cocoa butter), and flavorings plus a small amount of lecithin, an emulsifier. Depending on the variety of the cacao bean, 50 to 58% (53% is the average) of the chocolate liquor is cocoa butter, with the remainder being cocoa solids. It may contain flavorings such as vanilla or vanillin (synthesized vanilla). The addition of lecithin reduces the amount of cocoa butter required to cover the cocoa particles and frees the cocoa butter to act as a floating medium for these particles. It also makes melted chocolate less thick and more fluid.
Many baking recipes for chocolate desserts and cakes were developed with chocolate that contains about 53 to 60% cacao (amount of cocoa solids and cocoa butter as it relates to sugar; ie: more cacao and less sugar or less cacao and more sugar), and unsweetened cocoa powder, whether Dutch-Process (alkalized) or natural. If you substitute with chocolate exceeding 60% cacao or with different types of cocoa powder in recipes, you may need to make adjustments.
NOTE: If the percentage of cacao is not indicated on the chocolate wrapper, it is most likely around 53%. US Government standards require a minimum of 35%; most high-quality dark chocolate contains around 60%.
Make sure you STORE chocolate properly so it lasts a long time
|Made by grinding the center of the cocoa bean (nib) to a liquid form. Contains about 53% (av) cocoa butter and remainder cocoa solids when bean is pulverized.
|Responsible for the dark, strong flavor
|The vegetable fat from the cacao been extracted from chocolate liquor
|Non-alcoholic unsweetened chocolate liquor in solid form
|COCOA POWDER (NATURAL)
|Powdery remains of chocolate liquor after cocoa butter is removed
|Ranges from mild to strong, unsweetened
|Baking, reduced fat and calorie recipes, ice cream flavoring
|COCOA POWDER (DUTCH PROCESSED)
|Cocoa powder treated with mild alkalizing agent such as baking soda. The alkalization process neutralizes acidic components in the cocoa, removing some of its astringency and contributing to a more well rounded flavor profile.
As a general rule, alkalized cocoa absorbs more water than non-alkalized cocoa.
|Intense flavor and deeper color than cocoa powder (natural)
|To create deep color in baked goods, ice cream, beverages
|DARK, SEMI-SWEET, BITTER-SWEET CHOCOLATE
|The darkest of eating chocolates, high chocolate liquor content with added sweeteners
|Strong chocolate flavor with minimal dairy flavor
|Chocolate chips, baking, coatings
|Contains cocoa butter, milk, sweeteners & flavorings that are added to chocolate liquor
|Creamy, mellow chocolate with strong milk taste
|Candy bars, baking, coatings
|CHOCOLATE (CONFECTIONERY) FLAVORED COATING
|Used as coating for candies. Contains sugar, milk powder, hardened vegetable oil & flavorings. It does not contain cocoa butter
|Similar to other natural chocolate but may have a waxy taste
|Less expensive alternative to natural chocolates
|WHITE CHOCOLATE: is now recognized as "real white chocolate," but it does not contain cocoa solids.
|Blend of cocoa butter, milk solids, sugar, flavorings, such as vanilla or vanillin, sugar, and lechithin, and contains no chocolate solids
|Sweet, dairy taste with hint of chocolate from the cocoa butter
|Candy bars, baking, coatings
|CAROB: The carob bean is from an eastern Mediterranean evergreen tree of the pea family. It is not chocolate.
|Made from the carob bean, it is sometimes used by those who are allergic to chocolate
|Available as either toasted or untoasted powder (toasting helps bring out the flavor)
|Carob powder, raw pods and carob chips