12 types of chocolate – Best chocolate for cakes and sweets

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Next time you’re in the bakery aisle, spend an extra minute or two in the chocolate section; the possibilities are limitless ! Want to know how to melt chocolate for dipping fruit? Cocoa powder for Ree Drummond’s sheet cake? How about rich chocolate for brownies? Or chocolate chips for cookies? There is a chocolate for everything! But how do you know what to use? Read on to learn about 12 of the most popular types of chocolate and the best ways to try them.

Most recipes will specify the type of chocolate needed, but understanding the Why behind all this is important. You will have more success substituting one for the other, and you can modify any recipe to achieve a sweetness that is correct to the right. But first, a quick lesson on the origin of chocolate: cacao beans are where it all begins, and they’re actually the seeds of the Theobroma cacao tree. Once the beans are dried and roasted, the refining process continues and results in two products: cocoa butter and chocolate liquor. Chocolate liquor is the purest form of cocoa and can remain in a solid or liquid state, depending on whether it is heated and melted. From there, chocolate liquor is used to make chocolate as we know it. Chocolate contains both cocoa butter and chocolate liquor, as well as sugar to sweeten things up and other ingredients to flavor and stabilize the final product (which is important to know if you’re wondering if the chocolate is bad?). Here we also explain the differences between chocolate in bar form and cocoa nibs and cocoa powder. Just take a look at these chocolate desserts to inspire you!

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Milk chocolate

This option is extra sweet, but generally tastes less “chocolatey” than darker varieties. (Milk chocolate only needs to contain a minimum of 10% cocoa to be labeled as such.) While it’s great in cookies, pancakes, brownies and more, it can be a little temperamental if you melt it, because the high concentration of milk solids make it prone to overheating.



Dark chocolate

Dark chocolate is a generic term for any variety containing 30% to 80% cocoa (bittersweet and semi-sweet chocolates are considered “dark chocolate”). The higher the percentage of cocoa, the less sweet it is and the more bitter… or black it is! Note that dark chocolate does not contain milk solids, which means it doesn’t have the same smoothness as milk chocolate, but it does have that characteristic “pop” when you break it up.


Semi-sweet chocolate

Mainly considered an American chocolate developed for baking, semi-sweet chocolate is composed of at least 30% cocoa. Semi-sweet chocolate is considered dark chocolate, but it’s not that dark – it’s a good in-between choice, and it’s usually the default for chocolate chips.


Sweet and sour chocolate

Also considered a dark chocolate, bittersweet chocolate is less sweet than semi-sweet chocolate – it ranges from 50-80% cocoa. The flavor is deeper and more bitter than semi-sweet, but it’s a great choice for serious chocolate lovers – and it makes a great brownie!


Chocolate in the oven

No matter what you call it (“baked”, “bitter” or “unsweetened”), this chocolate is 100% cocoa – it’s essentially chocolate in its purest form with no added sugar to mask the bitter flavor. natural cocoa. This stuff isn’t for snacking but it’s great for baking because it imparts a rich chocolate flavor and lets you control the added sugar.



Chocolate couverture

With a higher than usual percentage of cocoa butter and a high percentage of chocolate liquor, couverture chocolate is an expensive chocolate that is popular with professional confectioners and is ideal for dipping. The high cocoa butter ratio allows for a smoother, more even melt, and when it sets, it’s thin, shiny and crisp.


Chocolate Coated Candies

Similar to fondant candies, these chocolate discs are made with vegetable or palm oils instead of cocoa butter and do not contain high percentages of chocolate liquor (meaning they may not taste chocolatey) . These inexpensive chocolates are ideal for melting and are often used for dipping or coating.


Ruby Chocolate

This rosy-hued chocolate is the newest chocolate to appear since the invention of white chocolate in the 1930s. First developed in late 2017, ruby ​​chocolate comes from ruby ​​cocoa beans, which are grown in South America and West Africa. It’s best described as a fruity, berry-flavored white chocolate, although there are no actual berries involved – the unique flavor and color comes from the cocoa bean itself.


german sweet chocolate

Named after its inventor Samuel German, this baking dark chocolate was produced after German decided to add more sugar to the production process, thinking the added sugar would be more convenient for bakers. The most popular way to use this variety of chocolate is German chocolate cake, also named after the inventor of sweet chocolate.


White chocolate

This one is the most controversial – either you love it or you hate it! White chocolate is made from the cocoa butter extracted during the refining process of cocoa beans and contains no chocolate liquor. Chocolate purists have argued that because it lacks chocolate liquor and a “chocolate” taste, it shouldn’t be called chocolate, but its sweet, rich, vanilla flavor has won over many others. .



Cocoa powder

Composed of pure pulverized cocoa, defatted and without added sugar, cocoa powder is a bitter-tasting chocolate in powder form. It is ideal for mixing into batters and batters. Just be sure to note if the recipe calls for Dutch cocoa powder, which is an alkalized cocoa powder (recipes calling for Dutch cocoa powder are more likely to be paired with baking powder for leavening, because baking powder contains its own acid). If in doubt, stick to regular (natural) cocoa powder and only use the Dutch process when directed.


cocoa beans

You could say cocoa nibs are chocolate in its rawest form, given that they are 100% ground cocoa beans. After the beans are harvested, they go through a fermentation process before being crushed to form these dark, crunchy and bitter chunks. They are packed with antioxidants and other healthy properties.

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