The Four Primary Kinds of Chocolate
There are four primary kinds of chocolate: milk, white, dark, and ruby. The cacao tree’s seeds, or nibs, are the source of chocolate. They are ground and roasted into a paste known as chocolate liquor. Two products are made from the paste: cacao powder and cocoa butter. From there, various ratios of chocolate liquor, cocoa butter, sweetener, and other added ingredients are used to create various chocolate varieties.
There are two types of dark chocolate: chocolate that is both semi-sweet and bittersweet. Dark chocolate must have less than 12% milk solids and at least 35% cacao by the FDA’s standards. After that, the manufacturer is responsible for identifying whether the chocolate is bittersweet or semi-sweet. Most of the time, bittersweet is less sweet than semi-sweet because it contains more cocoa.
Ideal for: Dark chocolate is ideal for desserts like ganache, mousse, truffles, and puddings where chocolate is the main ingredient.
Milk chocolate is naturally gentle, sweet, and rich in flavor. Milk chocolate must meet the FDA’s requirements of having at least 12% milk solids, 3. 39 percent milkfat, and at least 10% chocolate liquor. Milk chocolate is sweeter than semi-sweet chocolate and should not be substituted for in recipes because it contains more sugar and milk solids.
Best for: Sauces for dipping and drizzling, pastry creams, and confections can all benefit from the use of milk chocolate.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires that white chocolate contain at least 20% cocoa butter, 3. 5 percent milkfat, and 14% milk solids. White chocolate is one of a kind because it lacks the cocoa solids that give milk and dark chocolate their brown hues. White chocolate shines with bitter, tart, or nutty flavors to counteract its high sweetness.
Ideal for: white chocolate is great for making plunging and sprinkling sauces, mousses, cake creams, and confectionaries.
Ruby chocolate is a variety of chocolate made from ruby cacao beans, which can be found in Ecuador, Brazil, and the Ivory Coast. Ruby chocolate is served in a bowl. Despite not having any additional colors or fruit flavorings, it has a reddish-pink color and a sweet, berry flavor with fresh, sour notes.
Ideal for: Ruby chocolate can be used in a lot of different ways, like in ice cream, pastry cream, and confections.
Bonus Types of Chocolate
Unsweetened chocolate is composed entirely of cocoa and does not contain any sugar. Due to its bitter flavor, it is frequently referred to as “baking chocolate” because it is primarily used in baking and cooking.
Ideal for: For brownies, cakes, and cookies, which already contain a lot of added sugar, unsweetened chocolate is ideal for adding a rich cocoa flavor.
Couverture chocolate has more cocoa butter than baking or eating chocolate, at least 31%. When properly tempered, this high percentage of cocoa butter gives the chocolate a glossy finish and a firm snap. It comes in white, milk, and dark chocolate flavors.
Ideal for: Chocolate couverture is ideal for candy making, dipping, and enrobing. Baking is not a good use for it.