Chocolate! Chocolate! Lots of chocolate! I am sure many of you once a while will have craving for chocolate. Chocolate is not only tasty but it’s scientifically proven to give an emotion lift. It is not hard to explain why a lot of cakes, pastry and dessert are highly associated with chocolate.
When it comes to baking, there are two types of chocolate that are usually used by bakers. They are couverture chocolate and compound chocolate. Many beginners are confused among them. First of all, let’s understand that there are two major components in chocolate that contribute to its flavour and quality. They are chocolate liquor and cocoa butter. These two determine the chocolate taste, texture and worth. The higher quality of the chocolate liquor and cocoa butter, the finer the chocolate tastes.
Chocolate compound is generally cheaper than couverture chocolate. The chocolate liquor in the chocolate compound is substituted with cocoa powder whereas its cocoa butter is substituted with vegetable oil. It makes compound chocolate not “real chocolate”. However you hardly can identify its difference unless you taste it side by side with couverture chocolate.
Unlike compound chocolate, couverture chocolate contains chocolate liquor and cocoa butter which are the critical factors for better flavour, texture and also glossier in appearance. It is actually so smooth that it melts in your mouth. In other word, you can call couverture chocolate a more superior chocolate compared to compound chocolate.
So why people still using compound chocolate? Well besides it is cheaper, it is also easier to handle than couverture chocolate. Compound chocolate is perfect for making molded chocolates as it sets up well without extra effect of tempering. It is also more stable in warmer condition. On the other hand, Couverture chocolate requires to be tempered. Tempering means to stabilize the chocolate through proper heating and cooling process. The desired result is to give the chocolate a smooth and glossy finish, not easy to melt in your fingers and allows it to be beautifully dipped. It is especially required when you are making chocolate candies, truffles and dipped chocolate making candies, truffles and other confectionery. The good news is tempering process is not required when come into cake baking.
Next, we are going to learn what does the percentage on chocolate labels mean. The percentage actually refers to any cocoa product in the chocolate, which are cocoa butter (the fat from the cocoa bean) and other fat free cocoa solids. When you see 60%, it simply means that the chocolate contains 60% of the cocoa products above and 40% of it comes from other ingredients such as fats, sugar, emulsifiers and so on. Again, there are some companies that provide transparency of what that 60% is constituted from to their consumers.
Personally I use couverture chocolate in 99% of my products such as Chocolate Banana Tart , Chocolate Cheesecake with Oreo Crust , Chocolate Symphony Cheesecake , Chocolate Cream Cheese Tart , Chocolate Berry Tart, and many more… What I truly believe is bake to impress !