Crazy Over Chocolates!
Chocolate truly is worthy of its title as one of the richest and most decadent foods on the planet. It’s delicious and wonderful, and we are definitely crazy over it. In previous articles, we’ve already talked about the health benefits of chocolates, how to choose the best quality chocolates and also some recipes that feature this wonderful ingredient. As such, we’d like to introduce you to a different facet of the chocolate story – one that takes you through the various forms of chocolate, both the common and uncommon sides!
In order to produce chocolate, there are several steps that must first take place. Let’s run through the process.
- Harvesting: Cocoa pods must first be harvested from the trees.
- Fermentation: The beans are cleaned and left out to ferment.
- Packing: The beans are graded, packed and shipped to chocolate makers.
- Grinding nibs: Cocoa nibs are ground into cocoa mass, or what is known and cocoa liquor. Other ingredients, such as sugar, milk, and cocoa butter can also be mixed into the liquor.
- Separation: At this point, the cocoa can be separated to produce both cocoa butter and powder.
Types Of Chocolate
#1 Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate contains chocolate liquor, sugar, cocoa butter, vanilla and lecithin (an emulsifier). It contains no milk solids as well. There is a huge spectrum of types of dark chocolate, based on the amount of cocoa in it. The amount of cocoa in dark chocolate bars ranges from 30% all the way up to 80%. For example, if you are eating a 70% dark chocolate bar, that means that 70% of the bar is comprised of pure cocoa liquor, while the remaining 30% is sugar.
#2 Milk Chocolate
Typically, milk chocolate contains cocoa butter and chocolate liquor, along with either condensed milk or dry milk solids. In order to be considered milk chocolate, it must contain at least 10% chocolate liquor, 3.39% butterfat, and 12% milk solids. As compared to dark chocolate, milk chocolate has a sweeter, less bitter taste. It also is lighter in colour, while having a less pronounced chocolate taste.
#3 White Chocolate
White chocolate, as the name suggests, does not have the dark brown, distinct colour that it has. The white colour is obtained as the chocolate does not contain any chocolate liquor or any other cocoa products. It usually does not have a bitter, chocolate flavour, but instead tastes more like vanilla or the other added flavourings. Typically, white chocolate must contain a minimum of 20% cocoa butter, 14% milk solids, and a maximum of 55% sugar.
#4 Semi-sweet Chocolate
The jury’s still out on what is considered semi-sweet chocolate. It should contain about 35% of cocoa solids, but there are no official guidelines that determine what should be considered semi-sweet. The flavour of semi-sweet chocolate can be sandwiched between bittersweet and sweet dark chocolate. This chocolate is typically used by bakers.
#5 Bittersweet chocolate
Bittersweet chocolate can be defined as chocolate that contains at least 35% cocoa. However, to increase the bitter, nutty, rich flavour of chocolate, most bars contain at least 50% to 80% cocoa. If you’re looking for that signature, bitter kick that chocolate is known for, this will be your best bet.
#6 Unsweetened Chocolate
As the name suggests, unsweetened chocolate contains no additives. It is made purely of ground cocoa beans! It is also commonly referred to as baking chocolate since it is not meant for consumption on its own. The lack of additives causes the chocolate to be extremely bitter, as such, it does not taste good for regular consumption.
#7 Cocoa Powder
Cocoa powder and unsweetened chocolate are pretty similar! Both are obtained from the “separation” stage of chocolate production. Similar to unsweetened chocolate, cocoa powder also contains 100% cacao. However, it has had all of its cocoa powder extracted out. It is also very bitter, which is why cocoa powder is never used on its own and instead is commonly used in recipes.
#8 Couverture Chocolate
Couverture chocolate is an expensive type of chocolate. The higher price of chocolate can be attributed to the higher percentage of cocoa butter than other varieties. Cocoa butter is an important ingredient in couverture chocolate as it can help the chocolate to melt quickly and evenly. As such, it is perfect for tempering and making candies. You can find couverture variations of milk, white and dark chocolates!
Grab Some Chocolates Today!
Chocolate is a wonderful product that the young and old alike can enjoy. We hope this article has helped you to learn about the variety of chocolate, as well as begin to whet your appetite! Try out our chocolate containing products down below.