The Earth is a happier place because of chocolates! We bet you can’t deny that. Chocolates are a kind of sweet food made from roasting and grounding of cacao seeds. They may or may not be sweet, depending on the chocolate being made. It is eaten as confectionery. They are made as solid blocks, as a powder or even as a paste. Some of these forms are ingredients for making a cake or hot chocolate milk and typically as a flavouring agent in many other foods.
Moderate consumption of chocolate is known to improve your mood and also make you feel happier. It also has a lot of antioxidant properties and thus is beneficial for the body. It is also known to enhance your cognitive abilities and reduce cardiovascular problems. But wait! Consumption of too many chocolates can welcome a range of risks such as diabetes, coronary heart disease and sometimes hypertension. It sure is okay to consume in mild quantities. Dark chocolate has been proven to be better than the other types. Take a look at the kinds of chocolates that are available.
Types of Chocolate and Their Facts:
Chocolates come in many types and shapes. Most of us have a particular liking for dark and some milk chocolates, and there are sure reasons why we like them. Here are the types of chocolate that most of us have tried at least at one point in our life.
1. Milk Chocolate:
Milk chocolate contains about 10% of pure chocolate with some extra doses of added cocoa butter and sugar. They are initially made for people who were allergic to cocoa and contain more of a vanilla flavour. They usually melt in the mouth and are most often used for making toppings for baked treats or as fillings and icings. If you have a sweet tooth, then milk chocolate is the one for you.
2. White Chocolate:
White chocolate is more of cocoa butter, sugar and other milk solids. They have a yellow or ivory colour and contain no cocoa solids at all. It is made from vegetable oil and has a cocoa smell along with the flavour. White chocolate is mostly used for frosting and for other decorative purposes on cookies and buns. If you would be okay with chocolate looking like a substitute, white chocolate is for you. They are not really accepted as chocolates, except that it seems like one.
3. Dark Chocolate:
Dark chocolate is also known as bitter chocolate. It is 35% pure chocolate with a very small amount of sugar in it. They are dark looking and are typically lesser sweet than semi-sweet. Dark chocolate is a healthy option among the many types and is known to have high antioxidant content that will promote a healthy heart. It enables better cognitive function and contains flavonoids. Cocoa flavonoids have been shown to help lower blood pressure and even cholesterol. The recommended dosage of dark chocolate is about 30 to 60 grams. They are used in cakes, truffles and even mousses. If you are looking to eat something and yet stay healthy, dark chocolate is a recommended choice.
4. Unsweetened Chocolate:
Unsweetened chocolate is the simplest chocolate ever. It is made with cocoa solids and cocoa butter, with about 55% cacao bean. It contains 0% sugar. Unsweetened chocolate powder is mostly used in cakes and cookies. Unsweetened chocolate is known to boost brain power and also improve artery health. So, if you are looking to binge eat, this one is a guilt free choice.
5. Couverture Chocolate:
Coverture is a high-quality chocolate with a high percentage of cocoa butter and a mild dose of chocolate liquor. It has to be tempered and thus needs better attention during its preparation. If it is not tempered properly, the chocolate will not set well. When done perfectly, it radiates a glossy shine and can literally melt in your mouth. Tempering is ideally raising and lowering the temperature whilst stirring continuously. Choco fudge uses the couverture and thus is ideal for dipping, coating and garnishing.
6. Gianduja Chocolate:
Gianduja chocolate is a rich, smooth confection that is made by blending hazelnuts into a paste. It is mixed with cocoa, sugar and cocoa butter. Gianduja chocolate comes in a semi-solid cream-like texture and can be cut easily into shapes you like. It is mostly used as a spread (jam-like substitute) on bread. Don’t we all know Nutella? More like it, but Nutella is only a brand name for the chocolate-hazelnut paste. Gianduja can also be made from almonds.
7. Candy Coating Chocolate:
The candy coating that you see in the chocolate is one made from dark, milk or white chocolate. The main difference is cocoa butter. The candy-coating chocolate may contain oils like palm oil. Like their name, they are used for coating and giving the right dose of chocolate for the candy.
8. Semi-Sweet Chocolate:
These are the standard ones that you will see in a baker’s kitchen. They are used for making choco chip cookies. It is dark chocolate made with cocoa solids, sugar and other emulsifiers. The sweetness, however, will differ with the brands. Make sure to check the ingredients before you buy one.
9. Bittersweet Chocolate:
Bittersweet chocolate is typically chocolate liquor. It contains sugar (very less), more cocoa butter, vanilla extract and lecithin. Bittersweet chocolate is, therefore, less sweet because of less than a third of the sugar. It is also used for baking and can be exchanged in place of semi-sweet chocolate.
So, the next time you start baking, ask yourself if you are using the right chocolate. You don’t also have to feel guilty about eating them often. Many of them have been proven beneficial for the body. Thus, keep a tab on the type of chocolate and how much you eat. That’s all you need to be worried and concerned about!