A Bakers Guide To Chocolate

A Bakers Guide To Chocolate

A Bakers Guide To Chocolate
What’s the difference between bittersweet chocolate and semisweet chocolate? Can I​ use Dutch cocoa in​ all my recipes calling for cocoa? Understanding the difference in​ chocolate and how they are used is​ essential to​ baking .​
In this guide, we’ll identify the characteristics of​ those chocolates used in​ baking.
Cocoa is​ the dry chocolate powder derived from chocolate liquor .​
It comes in​ two types: natural and Dutch process .​
Dutch processed cocoa is​ processed with an​ alkaline .​
It is​ slightly darker, smoother, and more easily dissolved than natural cocoa .​
In many recipes, natural cocoa and Dutch cocoa are not interchangeable .​
Natural cocoa is​ slightly acidic and will therefore chemically react with baking soda to​ create carbon dioxide bubbles and some leavening power .​
Dutch cocoa is​ slightly alkaline, will not react with baking soda, and must rely on baking powder for leavening .​
Bitter (unsweetened) baking chocolate is​ made from pure chocolate liquor .​
By specification, it​ must contain 50 to​ 58 percent cocoa butter though with inferior products, vegetable oil may he added .​
Depending on the producer, milk solids, vanilla, or​ salt may be added .​
I​ have a​ package in​ front of​ me that contains only chocolate and milk solids .​
Unsweetened chocolate has a​ bitter taste and relies on sweeteners in​ the recipe to​ make it​ palatable .​
Sweet baking chocolate--bittersweet, semisweet chocolate--has sugar added .​
These products must contain 35 to​ 50% cocoa butter but may have as​ little as​ 15% chocolate liquor .​
Because unsweetened chocolate has twice the chocolate liquor, we prefer to​ use unsweetened chocolate in​ most of​ our baking .​
Bittersweet and semisweet chocolate can be used interchangeably in​ recipes though there is​ a​ difference in​ flavor .​
Often, bittersweet is​ a​ more expensive chocolate and to​ many, a​ better, richer-flavored chocolate .​
Milk chocolate is​ made with ten percent chocolate liquor .​
It contains a​ minimum of​ twelve percent milk solids .​
Because it​ has such a​ low percentage of​ chocolate liquor, rarely is​ it​ melted and added to​ batter or​ dough .​
White chocolate contains no chocolate liquor but is​ made with cocoa butter .​
Historically, the FDA has not regulated the manufacture of​ white chocolate so you need to​ read labels carefully .​
If the product was made with vegetable oil instead of​ cocoa butter, it​ will not perform the same as​ a​ product with cocoa butter .​
Chocolate chips are made with chocolate liquor with only minimal amounts of​ cocoa butter .​
Instead, they are made with vegetable oil and stabilizers to​ help them hold their shape .​
Without the cocoa butter, chocolate chips have a​ different taste and mouth feel .​
Chocolate chips will have a​ firmer set in​ puddings, pie fillings, and sauces than baking chocolate .​
Chocolate chips can be purchased in​ milk chocolate and semi-sweet chocolate.

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