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3 Types of Chocolate...


Article by Matt Rosen

Photography by Matt Rosen

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What isn’t there to like about chocolate? I would literally give up my first born (sorry Natalie) to have chocolate every single day. Ok, obviously I am just kidding. But I must admit that chocolate is my absolute guilty pleasure in life. There is something appealing about that slight bitterness of the dark chocolate, the creamy sweetness of milk chocolate and then of course the ridiculous sweetness of white chocolate (or is this really chocolate?!?!).

What’s that you say, how is chocolate even made? Well, I’m glad you asked, let’s take a look. The cocoa pod (technically a fruit) grows on trees generally in hot, rainy tropical areas. The cocoa pod is harvested and then the cocoa beans are removed from the pods and fermented, dried and then roasted. The kernels inside the coca bean are then extracted and ground up to form a pasty texture. This liquified pasty mixture is now called chocolate liquor, sorry folks this is of the non-alcoholic variety liquor, and there you have chocolate in its purest form. Are you still with me?!?! Ok good, let’s talk chocolate varieties now.

Unsweetened chocolate is essentially pure chocolate liquor or a mix of cocoa solids and cocoa butter without any additional sugar added. This chocolate is generally strictly used in baking due to the extreme bitterness of this chocolate. This type of chocolate is the base ingredient of all other types of chocolate.

Dark chocolate has the highest percentage of cocoa solids and cocoa butter of all the “edible” types of chocolate. It generally contains on average between 35 – 70% chocolate liquor and can be considered semi-sweet or bittersweet. Dark chocolate can be eaten plain, as a candy bar or used in baking as chocolate chips or chocolate chunks. Two of my family’s favorite recipes is a coconut dark chocolate chip cookie, as well as a dark chocolate sea salt shortbread cookie.

Milk chocolate contains milk powder, sugar, a smaller percentage of cocoa solids and cocoa butter compared to dark chocolate. Milk chocolate can also be eaten plain, as a candy bar or also used in baking. Due to the lower melting point, semi-sweet chocolate chips are generally used in baking cookies over using milk chocolate chips. Semi-sweet chips do not melt as easily and therefore hold their shape better during baking.

White chocolate, depending on who you ask, is technically not chocolate at all. I know, mind blown right?!?! White chocolate is made up of pure cocoa butter and sugar, it contains no cocoa solids whatsoever. The FDA standard to be considered milk chocolate would be at least 10% chocolate liquor and at least12% milk cream or milk solids. White chocolate can be eaten as a candy bar or can also be used in baking as chocolate chips.

Well, there you have it, everything you wanted to know and some you didn’t want to know about the world of chocolate. Now the only thing left is for you to make the call as to whether white “chocolate” is in fact chocolate or not?

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