Chocolate Inside Out
A simple description of different kinds of chocolates and uses for each:
1. White Chocolate has no solid cocoa content. Creamy, sweet, and made from cocoa butter, sugar, milk, and vanilla. (Not technically chocolate).
2. Milk Chocolate contains 10 to 20% cocoa solids, sugar, and 12% milk solids.
3. Unsweetened Chocolate is 100% cocoa solids. Used for baking. (Very bitter).
4. Semisweet Chocolate is usually found in chips or bars. Contains 40 to 60% cocoa solids.
5. Bittersweet Chocolate contains 60 to 85% cocoa solids and very low sugar content.
6. Dark Chocolate is mildly sweet, with little or no milk solids, and a high amount of cocoa solids.
7. Sweet Baking Chocolate has added cocoa butter and sugar.
Tips for uses of chocolate:
1. Chop chocolate into small pieces to allow it to melt quickly and evenly.
2. Avoid scorching chocolate by melting over indirect heat in the top of a double boiler or a heatproof bowl set in a shallow pan of hot water.
3. Microwave chocolate on Medium power (50%). Stir at 10 to 15-second intervals till melted.
4. Chocolate shavings are easily made by running a vegetable peeler over the narrow side of a chocolate bar.
5. Warm chocolate, and apply more pressure with vegetable peeler, to make chocolate curls.
6. The fewer the ingredients found in a recipe the more pronounced the chocolate flavor will be.
7. The percent of cocoa printed on a label is the combined weight of cocoa solids and cocoa butter, so the higher the percentage of cocoa means less sugar and a more intense flavor.
8. Store chocolate in cool, dark, pantries or cupboards, and away from aromatic herbs and spices.
9. Chocolate Fat Bloom is caused by chocolate being overly warm making the cocoa butter separate and rise creating a powdery white film on the chocolate.
10. Chocolate Sugar Bloom is caused by chocolate exposed to high humidity or moisture allowing condensation to form on the surface leaving crystals behind.
11. Both blooms affect chocolate's texture but are safe to consume or use for baking.
12. Chocolate, like most other foods, should be eaten in moderation.