It is hard to find someone who doesn’t like chocolates. Many know that chocolate is refined product obtained from cocoa beans but have you ever given a thought to how many chocolate types are there? You will be surprised to know that there are a number of enticing types of chocolates.
Cocoa powder is unsweetened powder of cocoa beans slightly defatted. The powder renders an intense chocolate taste. This is available in two varieties; one is Dutch processed which is alkalized and other is natural variety. The powder is light brown and has a pronounced flavor. The alkalized variety is milder, less acidic, and darker in color.
Unsweetened chocolate is called as ‘bitter’ and is pure chocolate liquor obtained from ground cocoa beans. This has quite a bitter taste and is usually used for cooking purposes. Since cocoa is rich in cocoa solids and cocoa butter this unsweetened chocolate gives a deep flavor to baked goods. This is used as the base ingredient to prepare all other forms of chocolate except the white chocolate.
Dark chocolate contains sugar, vanilla, cocoa butter, lecithin which is an emulsifier along with chocolate liquor. No milk solids are ever added in the dark chocolate. The darkness of dark chocolate depends upon the cocoa percentage in it which may vary from 30% to 70%.
Bittersweet chocolates and semi sweet chocolates belong to the category of dark chocolates. As defined by the Food and Drug Administration department, bittersweet chocolate should contain at least 35% of cocoa solids. Most of the bittersweet bars contain 50% chocolate liquor. These types of chocolates have a bitter flavor than sweet dark and semi sweet chocolates. Since the amount of sugar is not regulated by FDA the sweetness may vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. Semi sweet chocolates also contain at least 35% of cocoa solids but are sweeter than the bitter sweet chocolates.
Sweet dark chocolate is dark in the sense that it does not contain milk solids. This chocolate contains a high percentage of sugar which gives it a much sweeter taste than other types of chocolates. Many available brands of sweet dark chocolates contain 20 to 40 percent of cocoa solids.
One of the most popular chocolate types is milk chocolate that contains condensed milk or dry milk solids along with the chocolate liquor. These milk solids may constitute up to 12 percent of chocolate. These are typically much sweeter with light color and a mild chocolate taste.