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Chocolate and More Chocolate

Chocolate and More Chocolate

For those who love chocolate – and there are many die-hard chocoholics among us! -- nothing surpasses it.

By FamilyTime

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If you like baking, cooking and eating chocolate, the more you know about it, the better your chocolate experiences will be.

Different Chocolates
Why can’t one chocolate be substituted for another in recipe?

Taste unsweetened chocolate and then take a bite of milk chocolate, and you will immediately know why. One tastes bitter, the other delicious. But this does not mean they behave the same way.

It’s good advice to use the kind of chocolate or cocoa called for in a recipe. The exception to this rule is that bittersweet and semisweet can be used interchangeably in nearly every instance.

Unsweetened: This is also called baking, plain, or bitter chocolate. It has no added sugar or milk solids. It is pure chocolate liqueur.

Bittersweet and semisweet: These are also called dark chocolate. More than a third of both bitter- and semisweet chocolate must be chocolate liqueur. Other ingredients added to them include sugar, cocoa butter, and some milk solids. These are great for baking, candy making, and eating.

Milk chocolate: This must be at least 12 percent chocolate liqueur and then is bolstered with milk solids, sugar, and fat (the best milks boast cocoa butter as their fat). The relatively large percentage of milk solids makes this chocolate sensitive to heat. It is not a great cooking chocolate – but a yummy eating chocolate.

White chocolate: This contains no chocolate liqueur – but instead is a mixture of milk solids, sugar, cocoa butter, and butterfat.

Some so-called white chocolate does not even contain cocoa butter! Look for ivory-colored white chocolate to insure it includes cocoa butter. This is tricky to cook with, too, for the same reasons as milk chocolate.

Cocoa: Made from chocolate liqueur that is ground into powder once most of the cocoa butter is removed, this is unsweetened and, for chocolate, low in fat.

The two kinds of cocoa are non-alkalized (also called natural) and alkalized (also called Dutch processed). Non-alkalized cocoa is lighter in color but bolder in flavor; alkalized cocoa tastes milder and smoother.

Chocolate Candies
Everyone has a favorite chocolate candy bar. Everyone has a favorite chocolate flavor combo: coffee and chocolate; raspberry and chocolate; coconut and chocolate; almonds and chocolate, to name a few.

More refined chocolate treats are sold as “chocolates” from specialty shops and chocolatiers. These include indulgent truffles, filled chocolates, chocolate bark, and other delights.

Truffles are made from ganache – a mixture of chocolate and cream, and sometimes butter. The ganache may be flavored or not, and enrobed or not with a thin chocolate shell.

Filled chocolates are made with cream or other fillings, encased in a thin chocolate shell.

Couverture chocolate is used for these shells This is professional-quality coating chocolate with a very high percentage of cocoa butter.

Whether you mostly cook and bake with chocolate, or prefer to eat it straight, nothing tastes better. Ever.


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Tagged With: chocolate, baking, Valentine's Day, semisweet, milk chocolate

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