Death by Chocolate!

There are so many types of chocolate in the world today!  It’s tasty and it’s good for you too!  If you go to a chocolaterie, a store that specializes in chocolates, you will notice that several different types of chocolate that are used as the bases for the various sweeties.  How are they different or is there even one?  Well, here is a list so that you can be more informed when buying your chocolates.

Cocoa Powder comes in two types: Natural and Dutch Cocoa.

  • Natural Cocoa is light and slightly acidic, but has a strong flavour.  It is frequently used in recipes with baking soda and this mixture can cause batters to rise.
  • Dutch Cocoas frequently has alkali in it because without it the flavour is a bit too acidic to eat and it must be neutralized.  This is the kind frequently used in drinking chocolates.  It blends well with liquids and turns out creamer than Natural Cocoa when used in drinks.

Compound Chocolate contain not only cocoa, but it uses hydrogenated fats, vegetable fat, or tropical fats rather than cocoa butter.  Those lovely candy coatings are usually this kind of “chocolate”.  Most places don’t even consider this stuff chocolate.  For good reason.  It’s pretty gross on its own and has an odd texture.

Dark Chocolate comes in a variety of strengths.  This particular type of chocolate is used in cooking and can be eaten as is.  These are usually anywhere between 50% to 99% pure cocoa.  There are a few different types of dark chocolate and here is the list for you all!

  •  Bittersweet Chocolates are the chocolates to which a no more than a third of the the finished product is sugar.  There is also some vanilla added and some cocoa butter.  The less of other products there are in this chocolate, the more bitter it becomes.
  • Couverture is cocoa butter rich and are the most commonly type of chocolate used by gourmet chocolatiers.  These typically contain quite a bit of cocoa, but not so much as to make it too bitter to eat.
  • Semisweet chocolate doesn’t contain milk solids like other kinds of chocolates.  This is the kind that is usually used in chocolate chips and candy bars.

Milk Chocolates are made with various milk products added. It was originally made as a drink.  In Europe it must contain at least 25% of cocoa solids.  However, in the United States it only requires 10%.  These are the most commonly used chocolates in candy bars.  

Raw Chocolate hasn’t been processed at all and isn’t mixed with any other ingredients.  It isn’t readily available outside of countries that grow chocolate.  Where it is, it is usually only available in health food stores as it is significantly healthier than a lot of other forms of chocolate.

Unsweetened Chocolate has several different names.  You might also know it as Baking Chocolate or Bitter Chocolate.  While I like to eat this horribly bitter substance without any sweetener, most people find it uneatable.  This is pretty much the only type of chocolate that uses pure cocoa beans which results in a very strong bitter flavour.  A little bit of fat is used to make it solid and that’s about it.  However, this is the type of chocolate that they use in cakes, cookies, and other baked goods because of the sugar that one adds to it making it sweet enough for pretty much anyone to eat.

White Chocolates are make of milk, sugar, and cocoa butters.  These chocolates don’t have cocoa solids in them.  Since White Chocolate doesn’t contain the cocoa solids it doesn’t have the dark colour that other chocolates.  Some places don’t consider it chocolate at all because ofChocolate a la Taza the lack of cocoa solids.

So, there you go everyone!  Now you know about the different type of base chocolates that are used when making candies and confections.  Another fun thing to note about chocolate is that it was brought to the European continent by Spaniards and was originally only used for drinking.  This is usually called Chocolate a la Taza.  That picture on the right is what it ends up looking like.  Chocolate a la Taza is a thick and creamy chocolate drink.  It’s delicious and amazing.