A Chocoholics Guide to Chocolate

types of chocolateDeath by chocolate–what a way to go!

There’s a reason why chocolate is considered one of life’s greatest indulgences. Its rich, smooth taste and texture, combined with its intoxicating aroma, make it a simply irresistible and oh-so-satisfying treat.

Try Dressler’s delectable chocolate cake with chocolate lava and vanilla ice cream!

Want to know more about your favorite sweet? Keeping reading.

It All Begins On Trees

Cacao beans grow in pods on cacao trees in West Africa, Southeast Asia, and Central and South America. After the beans are harvested, they are fermented, dried, roasted, and ground. From there, different types of chocolate are made from different combinations and amounts of cocoa butter (smooth, solid fat), chocolate liquor (ground roasted beans), and sugar.

Most Common Types of Chocolate

cocoa powder–An unsweetened powder; pure chocolate with most of the cocoa butter removed; available in Dutch-processed (alkalized) or natural varieties; natural cocoa has an intense chocolate taste; it is also bitter and slightly acidic, so use in recipes calling for baking soda; alkalized cocoa has a milder chocolate flavor and is less acidic, so it’s best in recipes that call for baking powder. See Hershey’s Cocoa Recipes.

unsweetened chocolate–Also known as “bitter” or “baking” chocolate. This is pure chocolate liquor, composed solely of ground cocoa beans (contains approximately 50% cocoa butter); adds a rich chocolate flavor to baked goods; this chocolate is used to make all other chocolates (except white chocolate). See Bakers Unsweetened Chocolate Recipes.

dark chocolate–Contains chocolate liquor, sugar, cocoa butter, vanilla, and lecithin (emulsifier); no milk solids added; dark chocolate can be sweet, semi-sweet, bittersweet, or unsweetened.

milk chocolate–Contains cocoa butter and chocolate liquor, as well as condensed milk or dry milk solids; per FDA guidelines, must contain at least 10% chocolate liquor, 10-20% cocoa solids (cocoa/cocoa butter), 3.39% butterfat, and 12% milk solids; easily overheats, so use caution when baking. Check out Milk Chocolate Dessert Recipes.

couverture chocolate–Used by professional bakers or confectioners, it contains at least 30% of cocoa butter and a high percentage of chocolate liquor; because it melts quickly and evenly, it is best for tempering and enrobing candies.

white chocolate–Contains cocoa butter, but does not contain chocolate liquor or any other cocoa products; according to the FDA, white chocolate must contain a minimum 20% cocoa butter, 14% milk solids, and a maximum of 55% sugar.

Chocolate: The Story from Beans to Bar

Chocolate: Types, Selection, and Storage