Differences In Chocolate Part Two
To continue on our differences in chocolate I thought we could include some chocolates that you maybe don’t recognize or see every day.
Other Variations of Chocolate
White chocolate gets its name from the cocoa butter it contains, but does not contain chocolate liquor or any other cocoa products. As a result, it has no pronounced chocolate taste, but commonly tastes like vanilla or other added flavorings. By law, white chocolate must contain a minimum 20% cocoa butter, 14% milk solids, and a maximum of 55% sugar.
There are some “white chocolate” products available that contain vegetable fats instead of cocoa butter—these should be avoided from a taste standpoint, as they contain no cocoa products at all, and are not technically white chocolate.
Used primarily by professional bakers or confectioners, this chocolate contains a very high percent (at least 30%) of cocoa butter, as well as a high percentage of chocolate liquor. This high ratio makes it expensive, but it also means that the resulting chocolate is smooth and melts quickly and evenly. Couverture chocolate is the preferred chocolate for tempering and enrobing candies. It comes in dark, milk, and white varieties, and can be purchased online or at well-stocked cake decorating stores.
Gianduja is the name given to a European style of chocolate made from chocolate and nut paste. Hazelnut paste is most common, but gianduja can also be made with almond paste. It comes in milk or dark chocolate varieties. Gianduja chocolate can be used as a flavoring or as a substitute for milk or dark chocolate. At room temperature it is soft enough to be rolled or cut, but is too soft to use for molding chocolates.
“Candy Coating” Chocolate
Also known as “confectionery coating,” “summer coating,” or “compound coating.” These terms refer to candy products that are flavored like dark, milk or white chocolate and substitute vegetable or palm oils for cocoa butter. These products are cheaper than most chocolates, and do not contain significant amounts of chocolate liquor; thus, they do not have a strong chocolate flavor or an appealing mouthfeel.
However, they have excellent melting and molding properties, and thus are often used in candy making for dipping or enrobing, since they do not require tempering and can withstand high ambient temperatures. Be careful to never mix candy coating with real chocolate, as the fats are not compatible and the resulting candy will be unattractive and discolored.
There are many, many different brands of chocolate and chocolate manufacturers to choose from. Names to look for include:
- Cacao Barry
- El Rey
- Scharffen Berger
- Van Leer
- and Wilbur.
Don’t forget to check out the Differences in Chocolate (Part One) to see other chocolate variations.