Chocolate is loved by people around the globe. Chocolate in real means several different things. With so many options and types of chocolate available, it’s overwhelming. A glance at the chocolate aisle of a grocery store confirms this fact. When you hear the word chocolate, it refers to something sweet milk chocolate to super dark chocolate. All of the chocolates contain around 80 percent of cocoa. Cocoa is a host of other options in chocolate.
Different factors make chocolate differ from one another based on sweetness, bitterness, softness, and hardness.
Interesting Facts About Chocolate
Making chocolate is a long process. It begins far before the local chocolate shop or grocery. The beginning of the chocolate is from the seeds of the Theobroma Cocoa Tree, which is also known as Cocoa beans. The cacao beans are dried and roasted. After that, the beans are ground. This produces the following two products:
- Cocoa Butter (a smooth, solid, white fat)
- Chocolate liquor (ground cocoa beans)
What makes different types of chocolates?
The different types of chocolate are made from the percentage of cocoa butter and chocolate liquor. The main composition of the chocolate is based on these two products instead of sugar, milk solids, and other ingredients.
Types of Chocolates
Milk chocolate is a classic type of chocolate that is known by all of us. We have loved it in our childhood. The light brown color, creamy texture, and sweet flavor make it the most popular type of chocolate. It contains 10-40% percent of cocoa mixed with sugar and milk. The milk can be in two forms; condensed milk or solid milk.
According to FDA, it should contain at least 10 percent chocolate liquor and 12% milk. It is not great for baking because it is prone to overheating. It is sweeter in taste and softer in texture than dark chocolate.
Dark chocolate is the second most popular type of chocolate. It is notable because of its deep brown color. It is referred to as black or semisweet chocolate, but it is less sweet than milk chocolate. There are some of the health benefits of dark chocolate consumption.
It is composed of chocolate liquor and sugar. According to FDA, dark chocolate should contain at least 15 percent of chocolate liquor. In most of the dark chocolate products, it reaches 50 percent of dark chocolate. The firm texture of dark chocolate comes from the lack of dairy and sugar in its composition.
There is no chocolate liquor or cocoa in white chocolate. It is made from cocoa butter. The taste of white chocolate is not more chocolaty. It tastes like smooth vanilla. It contains 20 percent cocoa butter, 55 percent sugar, and 15 percent milk solids. It is sweeter and softer than milk chocolate.
According to FDA, white chocolate products cannot contain artificial coloring agents. It can only contain evaporated milk, skim milk, buttermilk, melted milk, etc.
There are no official guidelines about the semi sweetness of any product. Semisweet chocolate contains 35 percent of cocoa solids. It falls between bittersweet chocolate and sweet dark chocolate. It is a standard ingredient for making. You can use them for baking chocolate chip cookies at home.
According to FDA, semisweet chocolate should contain at least 35 percent of chocolate liquor. But in general, it contains 50 percent of cocoa content.
People have gained a lot of traction since they learned about cocoa and cocoa percentages in different types of chocolates. It is referred to as a bar of extra dark chocolate. Bittersweet chocolate gained fame when people started using dark chocolate along with a cocoa content of 70 percent or more for more health benefits.
According to FDA, bittersweet chocolate should contain 35 percent of chocolate liquor. Most of the bittersweet chocolate contains 66 percent or higher cocoa content. As the name suggests, bittersweet chocolate is a little bitter than semisweet chocolate.
Unsweetened chocolate is a pure form of chocolate liquor. As the name suggests, it is made from ground cocoa beans. Unsweetened chocolate is also known as baking chocolate. It cannot be consumed on its own. It tastes better when used with other ingredients in baking or cooking. It is a popular belief that chocolate does not taste good in its purest form.
The use of unsweetened chocolate in baking lends a deep and rich chocolate flavor to cakes, cookies, brownies, etc. as it is the basic form of other types of chocolate.
Cocoa powder is made under high pressure when chocolate liquor is separated. The remaining cocoa solids are then crushed to form cocoa powder. 100 percent cocoa is unsweetened cocoa powder. There are two types of cocoa powder; natural cocoa and Dutch-processed cocoa. The color of natural cocoa is light brown with a strong chocolate flavor. It is often acidic. Dutch-processed cocoa is alkalized, neutralizing the acidity, of natural cocoa. it is in deep, warm color with a mild flavor of chocolate.
Dutch cocoa is great for baking. It causes a delicious and deep chocolate flavor in baking. Unsweetened cocoa or natural cocoa can be used in recipes for a rich and complex flavor of chocolate.
Sweet German Chocolate
Sweet German Chocolate, was introduced for baking by Samuel German. It was introduced for convenient baking with added sugar directly in it. The taste of the sweet German chocolate is sweeter than semisweet chocolate. The most common use of this chocolate is in German Chocolate Cake. It is a cake with three layers of chocolate cake with sweet, gooey frosting in the middle. The topping on this cake is of coconut and pecans.
The most expensive type of chocolate with a higher percentage of cocoa butter is known as couverture chocolate. It is expensive than other types of chocolates. As it contains a higher content of cocoa butter, it melts quickly and evenly than other chocolates. It is considered best for making candies. The other types of couverture chocolate are; white, dark, and milk couverture chocolates.
Ruby chocolate was introduced in 2017 by Barry Callebaut. It is the latest type of chocolate. It is different from other types of chocolates because of its distinctive red-pink hue color. It is derived from a special type of cocoa. ruby cocoa beans are grown in Ecuador, Brazil, and Ivory Coast. Because of the latest discovery, there are no standard FDA definitions for ruby chocolate.
It is made from 47.5 percent cocoa and 26.3 percent milk. The ruby cocoa consists of rich fruit flavor and fresh sour notes.
Uses of Chocolates
Apart from using chocolate in baking, and loving chocolate because of its sweet taste and flavor, there are some health benefits of using chocolate.
- Powerful Source of Antioxidants
- Improves Blood Flow
- Lowers Blood Pressure
- Raises HDL
- Protects LDL From Oxidation
- Reduces Risk of Heart Attack
- Protects Skin from Sun
- Improves Brain Functions
In this article, we have mentioned 10 different types of chocolates. Some of the basic information about the content of chocolate liquor or cocoa content in different chocolates lets you decide the best chocolate for use. You can use different chocolates in baking according to the recipe and requirements. Along with this, there are some of the health benefits of chocolate used in daily life.