Of all the types of chocolate available, what's your favorite of the bunch?
Decisions, decisions! If you're a complete and total chocoholic like I am, choosing your favorite chocolate variety really is a tough choice!
There are several different chocolate types to choose from. I really do love just about any sort of chocolate you can throw at me. Please, throw some at me! :)
If you really had to pin me down (please don't), my preferences are dark chocolate and milk chocolate. In recent years I've learned to love white chocolate nearly as much (but only if it's really high quality!).
My brother loves white chocolate and my sister adores gourmet chocolate of any variety. I have a good friend who is very health conscious, so she goes for organic chocolate every single time. I'd almost call her a chocolate snob if we were getting down to the nitty-gritty. ;)
The different varieties of chocolate are determined by the amount of cocoa each type contains. The higher percentage of cocoa makes the chocolate a higher quality and richer and deeper in chocolatey flavor.
If you are interested, you can read more about the true history and origin of chocolate. It's really quite fascinating to learn how chocolate is produced.
The word couverture means "to coat or cover." Couverture is used by professional bakers to make candy because it is a high quality product.
Couverture has more cocoa butter than most other chocolate. It is this quality which aids in coating and dipping so that you get a really nice finish.
Although some people disagree, real white chocolate
can be truly called chocolate because it does contain cocoa butter,
although it lacks any cocoa powder or "solids," which is why it is
There are a number of imitation white chocolates that are produced using vegetable fat. These versions do not have any real chocolate flavor to them, but are often used in candy making. More about white chocolate candy...
Milk chocolate is the "sweet" and most popular chocolate. It does, of course, contain cocoa solids, but also has added milk solids. This is what gives it that extra creamy texture.
Milk chocolate usually contains about 20% cocoa solids and gets its extra sweet taste from the amount of sugar that is added. More about milk chocolate candy...
If you were thinking that German chocolate is from Germany, you'd be wrong. :) That's okay. It's an easy mistake to make.
German chocolate is actually a form of dark chocolate, but it is a bit sweeter than semisweet chocolate. This chocolate gets its name from the man who developed it, Sam German, rather than the country of Germany. Now you know!
Semisweet chocolate is the most commonly used dark chocolate variety in baking. It has a nice amount of added sugar without being overly sweet.
Dark chocolate can be substituted for most chocolates in recipes. It is very chocolatey because it has up to 75% cocoa solids in its make-up. Yummm.
Bittersweet chocolate is similar to semisweet chocolate, but contains even less sugar or no sugar at all. Like semisweet, bittersweet is also made from up to 75% cocoa solids.
The bittersweet type of chocolate is often considered a more sophisticated chocolate by some, especially fine
Bitter chocolate is also referred to as unsweetened chocolate or plain
chocolate. Bitter chocolate contains absolutely no sugar and is very
strong. You wouldn't want to eat it on its own, but it is great for use
in baking and cooking.
These are just some of the basic types of chocolate that we eat and use in baking every day. Of course, we
could also include gourmet, organic, Belgian, Swiss, and other terms
when referring to varieties of chocolate. Realistically, though, all of
these will basically fall in one of the types of chocolate categories
I encourage you to try the different chocolate varieties. You may be convinced that one is your favorite, but if you experiment a bit, you might discover a whole new delight for your taste buds.