Chocolate. It’s the one thing that will always be there in our times of trouble. It’s the sweet treat that serves as a light in the darkness when all other lights have faded. It’s the sweet treat that we look forward to at the end of the day and in many cases it’s a reason for living. You know about chocolate (who doesn’t?) but do you know how many different types are out there? We’re betting not, so read on to learn more about the different variation of the sweet treat that has defined your life.
Cacao – The Source of It All
This, Cacao, is the base of all chocolate. It’s the source that chocolate comes from and it can be prepared in several different forms. More than likely, those forms will be either roasted or raw though you can also find it in the form of Cacao nibs, or rather broken pieces of the bean. While this is the purest form of chocolate it is also the most bitter and is not likely to be something that you will eat outright.
Unsweetened Chocolate – The Ultimate Cooking Ingredient
Upon cooling, chocolate liquor gives way to what we know as unsweetened chocolate. This is commonly used in baking, and the lack of flavor allows bakers to forge it, creating their very own flavor combinations. This stops the need for unnecessary sugar and paves the way for many great confections.
Dark Chocolate – Rich but Wonderful
Dark chocolate is about 35% chocolate liquor but it also contains amounts of cocoa butter and sugar. Dark chocolate is usually bittersweet due to the higher amounts of chocolate liquor or cacao count. Still, there are plenty of people who enjoy eating it straight, as is evidenced by the amount of it you’ll find at the impulse checkout in any grocery store.
Sweet Chocolate – A Bit Easier on the Tastebuds
It’s a step up from the dark variety, but it’s often mistaken for bittersweet. This one contains 15% chocolate liquor along with cocoa butter and sugar. Keep in mind however that bittersweet chocolates have double the chocolate liquor count.
Milk Chocolate – The Treat of Choice
The chocolate liquor count is lowered a bit in this one, being about 10% with a total of 12% milk. Cocoa butter and sugar are also present as you would expect in any other form of chocolate.
White Chocolate – The Alternative
The interesting thing about this variant is that it is not a true chocolate by any means. It contains no chocolate liquor, but in order to qualify it does need to contain at least 20% cocoa butter and 14% milk. In addition to that it should contain a certain amount of sugar. Regardless of what anyone says, it’s still chocolate to us.
The next time you bite into a piece of chocolate, whether it’s sweet, milky, or bitter, you’re going to know precisely why, and you’ll have a much greater appreciation for this timeless sweet treat.