Who could resist that creamy, melting substance? Not only is it a cure for the broken-hearted but making chocolate has become an art since the prehistoric South Americans gave this gift to the world. Chocoholics can choose from so many varieties today. Ever wondered what are chocolates made of? This is an essential guide of what makes chocolates chocolate-y.
The Food for the Gods
It all starts with the cocoa pod. Thanks to the advances in preparation and cooking, we don’t have to offend the Aztec and Maya divinities to eat or drink chocolate. Cocoa is usually in powder form for easy mixing. It is produced by removing the fat from the chocolate liquor. Then it is hardened and ground into powder.
To be classified as chocolate, it needs to contain chocolate liquor. Chocolate liquor is made by grinding the cacao beans until they become paste or liquid. Most chocolates are made beginning with this process. White chocolate has milk, cocoa butter and sugar, but no chocolate liquor. Therefore it should not be included in the list of chocolates.
The types of chocolates are the following:
- Baking Chocolate does not have specific qualities. This could be in any form and taste to suit your baking needs. One example, the pre-melted chocolate, is a pasty unsweetened chocolate. It is composed of vegetable oil and cocoa powder.
- Chocolate Coating is used to decorate cakes and pastries. It is made from sugar and cocoa powder and butter. Couverture is a type of chocolate coating with more cocoa butter content.
- Ground Chocolate is simply powdered chocolate. This is common as toppings for desserts and drinks and is different from powdered cocoa used for baking.
- Compound Chocolate is a combination of cocoa and cocoa butter substitutes. It is used for coating and toppings. It’s sometimes not considered as chocolate like white chocolate.
- Chocolate Extract is an option besides chocolate coating if you don’t want the fat. It is made from soaking the cacao beans in liquor.
- Bittersweet Chocolate, also known as semi-sweet, unsweetened or dark chocolate have cocoa butter, sugar and chocolate liquor. The amount of sugar and chocolate liquor vary.
- Sweet Chocolate has lesser chocolate liquor content than dark chocolate but does not have milk like milk chocolate.
- Milk Chocolate has the same ingredients as dark chocolate but also contains milk which may be in the form of cream, liquid or powder.
- Raw Chocolate is made up of only two ingredients, cocoa powder and cocoa butter. Health-conscious individuals might find this healthier than other chocolates.
- Mexican Chocolate is a special variety that may contain sugar, cinnamon and almonds. These are mixed with pure chocolate.
- Gianduja or Gianduia is made from grounded and toasted hazelnuts. Most types of chocolates are made from cocoa.
- Cocoa Butter is the resulting fat removed from the chocolate liquor. It is used in chocolates we eat as well as body care products.