Chocolate 101

How Chocolate is made

Each year, the best cocoa beans are selected out and many different varieties are carefully blended to achieve that deep, rich flavour that chocolate lovers prize. After roasting at high temperatures to develop the chocolate flavour, the cocoa beans are shelled and the remaining nibs are crushed into a thick liquid called chocolate liquor, containing only the chocolate solids and the rich, creamy cocoa butter.

The Chocolate Family

Unsweetened: Made with solid chocolate liquor with nothing added. Too bitter to eat but lends a great chocolate flavour to brownies and cakes. It is made from a blend of fine cocoa beans that are roasted, crushed and ground between large heated rollers. Unsweetened is the purest form of chocolate. It is satin smooth, rich in cocoa butter and best for baking.

Semi-Sweet: This is made using the same method as unsweetened chocolate, but with just a pinch of sugar, cocoa butter and vanilla to give it a rich, sweet taste. Semi-sweet is perfect for garnishes and fondues.

Bittersweet: Contains chocolate liquor, additional cocoa butter and sugar but with a darker more pronounced European chocolate flavour, due to the higher chocolate liquor content.

Sweetened: Rich and creamy with a milder chocolate flavour and a larger amount of additional cocoa butter and sugar. Often used in commercial candies or bars.

Milk: Made from milk solids, cocoa butter and sugar, milk chocolate is most often eaten as a candy bar. The first milk chocolate bar was invented by Swiss candy-maker Daniel Peter in 1876 when he devised the process of adding condensed milk to chocolate.

White: Technically not even chocolate, it is made with cocoa butter, milk and sugar, but doesn't contain cocoa solids. As a result, it is creamy white in colour and mild and sweet in flavour. This is often used as a coating or decorative garnish.

Remember, never substitute one chocolate for another in a recipe as this will affect the flavour and may cause the dessert to fail. For best results do not substitute chocolate chips for squares either. Chips are formulated with less cocoa butter to enable them to hold their shape. Squares are specially formulated with quality ingredients to melt easier than chocolate chips.

How to Melt Chocolate

Place unwrapped BAKER'S Chocolate in microwaveable bowl. Microwave on HIGH (100%) according to the chart below and then stir 1 minute or until chocolate is completely melted.

When microwaved, the chocolate square will retain its shape. Chocolate will continue to melt after being removed from microwave. If after stirring for 1 minute chocolate is not completely melted, microwave an additional 10 seconds or until only small, unmelted pieces of chocolate remain.

How to Store Chocolate

Store chocolate in a cool dry place (below 75°F, if possible), but not in the refrigerator. At higher temperatures, the cocoa butter melts and rises to the surface. When this happens, the chocolate develops a pale, gray colour called "bloom." This condition, however, does not affect the chocolate's flavour or quality.

Easy Chocolate Dessert Recipes