Types Of Chocolate To Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth

Different types of chocolate

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People from all around the world love their chocolate.

Whether they use it to produce delicious chocolate treats or just enjoy it on their lunch break at work, people enjoy different types of chocolate every day.

A study from Statista on Food and Nutrition reports that people worldwide consumed just over 7.6 million tons of retail confectionary chocolate from 2017 to 2018.

Our chocolate cravings aren’t expected to let up any time soon either. By the end of 2019, data scientists at Statista predict people will consume 7.7 million tons of chocolate.

We’re not shaming anyone - embrace your love for chocolate and don’t hesitate to pick up your favorites on your lunch break.

The Journey From Bean Tree To Wrapper

chocolate on white plate

Source: pixabay.com

From the cocoa tree into your chocolate wrapper, the process to create a chocolate bar requires careful treatment at each step.

First, the cocoa pods, about the size of footballs, are harvested for their cocoa beans. Upwards of 50 cocoa beans may be present in each pod. Once the cocoa beans are removed from the pods, the fermentation process can begin.

For about five to eight days, cocoa bean farmers leave the beans out in the sun or covered by banana leaves until the beans turn brown.

After the fermentation process, cocoa beans are packaged into sacks and sent to chocolate manufacturers where the beans are refined into chocolate.

The manufacturers roast these beans into nibs — beans which are crunchier than coffee beans. Then, they heat the beans until melted into chocolate liquor. Sugar and milk are added for flavor to the chocolate liquor and then the chocolate we know and love gets pumped into molds, ready for wholesale.

When you go to enjoy your chocolate bar on your break today, think about all the different, labor-intensive steps it takes to make chocolate!

Types Of Chocolates That Everyone Love To Eat!

Now that you know how cocoa beans turn into chocolate, we bet you’re starting to dream of all those delicious, melty, rich treats. So, let’s get to the best part.

Here are 6 different, and wonderful, types of chocolate for you to enjoy as a true lover of chocolate:

1. The Pure One: Unsweetened Chocolate

Unsweetened chocolate is chocolate in its purest form — these types of chocolate are made with cocoa solids and cocoa butter. The natural fat content of a cacao bean is 52-55%, the usual amount of fat found in unsweetened chocolate.

When in its liquid form, unsweetened chocolate is chocolate liquor. This is the most basic ingredient found in chocolate. You may not want to eat this chocolate on your lunch break. However, you can experiment with making your own tasty dessert by melting this chocolate into chocolate liquor and adding varying amounts of sugar, milk and vanilla.

If you are a young baker enamored by the world of cakes and pastries, you need to have this chocolate in your pantry.

You can add unsweetened chocolate to a cake recipe as an easy way to change the cake from vanilla to chocolate-flavored. However, be careful not to add too much of this chocolate; otherwise you’ll keep adding more sugar to offset the bitterness of these types of chocolate.

When making a recipe which calls for a little dark chocolate, adding unsweetened chocolate may be overkill since you’ll need more sugar than usual in the recipe. Instead, stick with sweetened dark chocolate.  

2. The Baking One: Bittersweet Chocolate

Bittersweet chocolate contains at least 35 percent chocolate liquor and sugar. Just like unsweetened chocolate, this chocolate won’t be the best to eat when you have a chocolate craving. However, some enjoy their chocolate at the 70% cacao range.

Once again, young bakers, listen up, these types of chocolate will be a good choice in desserts in which the main flavor is chocolate. In some ways, this chocolate may be even more suited to your chocolatey dessert as you won’t need to add as much sugar to your dessert as you would with unsweetened chocolate.

As for the bakers at home, be careful not to substitute this bittersweet chocolate for unsweetened chocolate. If a recipe calls for bittersweet chocolate and you have none at home, there are a couple of things you can use in its place.

The first is semisweet chocolate chips. The taste and composition of semi-sweet chocolate chips are similar to that of bittersweet chocolate. Keep in mind that chocolate chips are designed to be melt-resistant thereby requiring a longer time to melt.

They work better in cookie and brownie recipes rather than puddings. Bittersweet chocolates would work better here.

3. The Versatile One: Semisweet Chocolate

Semisweet chocolate chips are a staple item in any bakers’ kitchens. What you see is what you get with these types of chocolate: They contain cocoa solids, but more sugar than would be present in the bittersweet or unsweetened chocolates.

Today with chocolate labeling being more specific because of the increase of organic products on the market, labelling the chocolate’s cacao percentage is more and more important for consumers.

Essentially, semisweet chocolates are dark chocolates — meaning they contain cocoa solids and sugar as well as vanilla and emulsifiers like soy lecithin.

While regulation is bittersweet on the exact amount of sugar to cocoa solids which should be in this chocolate, generally, semisweet means that no more than 50 percent of the mass of the chocolate is sugar.

These types of chocolate are not only the most versatile in baking, but also something you can have on your lunch break that is a healthier alternative to milk or white chocolate. Eat your dark chocolate without a guilty conscience, but always remember to eat in moderation.  

4. The Fan Favorite: Milk Chocolate

Ah, milk chocolate. A crowd’s favorite. Milk chocolate is the most popular eating chocolate among North Americans today.

However, if it hadn’t been for the Swiss chemist and future founder Henri Nestlé, you would never have been graced with the decadence that is milk chocolate. In 1867, Nestlé invented powdered milk.

Scientists previously attempted to mix whole milk and chocolate liquor. However, the combination yielded a result that was less than delicious.  

In 1879, a Swiss chocolate manufacturer and neighbor of Nestlé’s Daniel Peter decided to combine powdered milk with chocolate liquor and thus was born “milk” chocolate.

Milk chocolate should contain at least 10 percent of chocolate liquor, at least 12 percent of milk solids and at least 25 percent of cocoa solids. This type of chocolate is permitted to contain up to 55 percent of sugar.

Today, people from all over the world enjoy milk chocolate from well-known brands such as Hershey’s, Lindt, Milka, Godiva, Kinder, Ghirardelli — shall I go on? If this doesn’t make you want to pick up a bar of your favorite chocolate at a nearby vending machine or 7/11, I don’t know what will.

5. The Pretender: White Chocolate

Many chocoholics are at least somewhat familiar with the origin story of their favorite treat. They know that chocolate comes from cocoa beans, which then are manufactured into chocolate liquor. Of course, they know that cocoa beans produce chocolate that is brown or dark brown.

Enter white chocolate.

You can then see the confusion that many have with these types of chocolate.

The age-old question for all chocoholics: What IS white chocolate REALLY? The texture and taste differ staunchly from milk and dark chocolates. And any baker would know that white chocolate doesn’t melt as gracefully as milk or dark chocolates.

Plot twist? White chocolate technically isn’t even a chocolate. Real chocolate must contain cocoa solids. However, white chocolate doesn’t contain chocolate solids. Instead, it is made from a mix of cocoa butter, milk solids, milk fat and lecithin — a fatty emulsifier that holds it all together.

Though the debate between whether or not white chocolate is real chocolate is between continents: Most Europeans would agree that white chocolate isn’t considered real chocolate while in North America the exact opposite is true.

Despite issues with its authenticity, if you’re like me and love the Cookies N Cream Hershey’s bars, then stick to your favorite chocolates no matter what others have said about it.

6. The Cake’s Blanket: Couverture Chocolate

Couverture chocolate is an absolute essential for bakers who also double as closet chocolatiers. Or who bake goodies with melted chocolate. Coming from the French word for “covering” or “blanket,” couverture chocolate does exactly what you think it does: It envelopes a dessert in chocolate.

These types of chocolate, although on the more expensive side, melts at higher temperatures and contains a higher content of cocoa butter at about 30-40%. They also contain premium cocoa beans.

Best suited for desserts such as truffles, cake pops and the infamous chocolate cake, couverture chocolates come in a variety of colors and in white, milk or dark chocolates. Whether dipping your ice cream or cake pops in this melted chocolate, you’ll come out with a smooth and velvety finish every time.

Treat Yourself To Your Favorite Chocolate

If you’re craving some chocolate after reading this list, you’re not alone. Whether your favorite is dark or white, semisweet or unsweetened (Why so bitter?), go ahead and treat yourself to your favorite chocolate today.

We certainly are on our way to pick up our favorite chocolate right now!

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