This is the cacao bean, minus the shell, and nothing else. You can buy cacao raw or roasted. Whole cacao is the whole bean, cacao nibs are crunched up pieces of bean, and ground cacao is powdered. Really the healthiest form of chocolate there is, cacao can sometimes be quite bitter.
2. Chocolate Liquor
This is the basis of all types of chocolate, formed by grinding cacao beans into a smooth, liquid paste. Nothing is added, and it does not contain alcohol, despite the name.
3. Unsweetened Chocolate
Chocolate liquor that has been allowed to cool and harden. It is used for baking and to make other types of chocolate. Many bakers prefer this type of chocolate for baking because they have more control over the flavor and sweetness.
4. Bittersweet Chocolate
Contains at least 35% chocolate liquor, plus cocoa butter and sugar in varying amounts. There is no technical difference between bittersweet and semisweet types of chocolate, and they are often referred to as "dark." Note that there is such a thing as "bittersweet (or semisweet) baking chocolate," which is sweetened cocoa liquor without the added cocoa butter.
5. Dark Chocolate - My Favorite!
Similar to semi-sweet chocolate, it is not always possible to distinguish between the flavor of sweet and semi-sweet chocolate. Contains often 35-45% cocoa solids.
6. Milk Chocolate - Another Favorite!
Contains at least 10% chocolate liquor, plus cocoa butter and sugar in varying amounts, and at least 12% milk (milk, cream, milk powder, etc).
7. White Chocolate
White chocolate is not technically one of the types of chocolate because it does not contain any chocolate liquor. It must contain at least 20% cocoa butter and 14% milk, plus sugar in varying amounts.
8. Semi-Sweet Chocolate
This is the classic dark baking chocolate which can be purchased in most grocery stores. It is frequently used for cakes, cookies and brownies. Can be used instead of sweet dark chocolate. It has a good, sweet flavor. Contains often 40-62% cocoa solids.
9. Cocoa Powder
Is made by slamming chocolate liquor with a hydraulic press to expel the fat, i.e. the cocoa butter. What's left is allowed to harden, and then it is crushed into a powder. There is roughly 10-20% fat remaining in the powder. Cocoa powder is often used in low fat cooking because it retains the chocolate flavor but has much of the fat removed.
10. Chocolate Extract
Chocolate extract is a good way to add chocolate flavor to your cooking without adding fat, but the flavor can be a bit strong. It is made like vanilla extract; cacao beans are soaked in alcohol.
A chocolate coating, it's usually some type of dark chocolate with extra cocoa butter added to make it melt nicely for enrobing (drizzling onto the outside of a chocolate confection). Because the high cocoa butter content (roughly 35-45%) makes it melt well, it is ideal for chocolate fountains, and usually no oil need be added.
12. Cocoa Butter
When chocolate liquor is pressed to expel the fat and make cocoa powder, the fat expelled is cocoa butter. Cocoa butter is added to chocolate liquor to make the type of chocolate we enjoy eating; it gives chocolate that smooth, melt-in-your-mouth texture. It is also used in cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. Because it melts at about 97° F, it smoothes into the skin nicely. Also, it has healing properties and is resistant to spoilage.
13. Chocolate Body Paint - My Other Favorite!
Luxurious paint made out of chocolate made especially for the body!
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