Although nearly all of us love chocolate, the best option for this dessert differs from person to person. While some of us crave the exquisite sweetness of milk chocolate, others find solace in the bold and bitter flavours of dark chocolate. And that doesn’t even cover chocolate for baking! Get ready to indulge your taste buds and expand your palate as we explore the many different and decadent types of chocolate.
The Main Options
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the plethora of choices when you begin shopping for chocolate. The good news is that we can simplify things by focusing on the main categories: white, milk, and dark chocolate, and we'll touch on Ruby chocolate.
White chocolate is a velvety and luscious indulgence. This type of chocolate contains cocoa butter, sugar, and milk powder, and sometimes vanilla and lecithin. The legal definition is not less than 20% by weight of cocoa fat, not less than 3.5% by weight of milk fat, not less than 14% by weight of total milk solids, and not more than 55% by weight of sugar. Many individuals who love white chocolate enjoy its smooth and creamy texture and sweet milky flavours. White chocolate’s characteristic pale ivory colour is because it is made using only the cocoa butter (the fat from the cocoa bean) but none of the brown-coloured cocoa mass from the cocoa bean.
Milk chocolate contains cocoa mass, sugar, and milk powder, and sometimes vanilla and lecithin. This type of chocolate is the world’s most popular type of chocolate and probably the one most of us recognize with ease. Milk chocolate contains not less than 10% by weight of chocolate mass, not less than 3.39% by weight of milk fat, not less than 12% by weight of total milk solids and the remaining percent by weight of sugar. Milk chocolates are delightful to snack on or add to your ingredient blend for cookies or milk chocolate ice cream.
At the opposite end of the spectrum from white chocolate is dark chocolate. This option contains higher levels of cocoa mass and less sugar than its white or milk counterparts. Depending on the percentage of cocoa solids, dark chocolate can be rather bitter and is not as creamy.
There are two types of dark chocolate: semisweet and bittersweet. The difference between the two is the amount of cocoa mass and the amount of sugar they contain.
Semisweet chocolate is the type of chocolate most often use for baking. It has a moderate amount of sugar and a higher percentage of cocoa mass (ranging from 15% to 34%) than milk chocolate. It's interesting to note that to be legally considered semisweet chocolate, this chocolate only has to contain 15% cocoa mass, which isn't that much.
Bittersweet chocolate is like semisweet chocolate but has a higher cocoa content and less sugar and because of that it can have a more bitter taste. The legal definition of bittersweet is between 34% and 84% cocoa mass, plus cocoa butter, sugar, and sometimes vanilla and lecithin. There is a big difference in the flavour and sweetness between chocolate with 35% cocoa mass and chocolate with 84% cocoa mass. The higher the cocoa mass content, the less the percentage of sugar.
Developed in 2017, Ruby couverture is the new fourth kind of chocolate and is pinkish/purplish in colour.
Very different in taste from white, milk, or dark chocolate, Ruby has a creamy berry flavour with sweet and tart notes, an intense taste, and a characteristic pinkish colour, both of which are naturally present in (and derived entirely from) the cocoa bean. It's all natural (no added colours), and it really is chocolate (33% cocoa butter). Delicious on its own, tart and creamy pink Ruby couverture also offers interesting pairing opportunities if combined with other foods — sweet, salty, or tart. Learn more about Ruby in our blog Great Pairings with Ruby Couverture.
Chocolate for Baking
Bakers’ chocolate is mainly used for cooking purposes and is known as unsweetened chocolate because it contains very little to no added sugar. It has a cocoa mass component of more than 85% for sweetened versions and up to 99% for unsweetened versions. It is pure chocolate mass made from ground cocoa beans, making it perfect for adding intense chocolate flavour to baked goods but horrible for snacking or eating as a treat.
Cocoa powder is another baking staple. It is unsweetened ground cocoa mass that has had the cocoa butter removed. Often, bakers use this ingredient alongside other ingredients like sugar to create an array of delectable baked treats or hot cocoa. It adds a robust chocolate flavour without the added fats found in solid chocolates.
Couverture is the best quality when it comes to the many different and decadent types of chocolate. Couverture chocolate is a type of high-quality chocolate that contains a higher percentage of cocoa butter compared to regular chocolate. It is often used by professional chocolatiers and pastry chefs for its smooth texture and excellent melting properties.
You can use couverture chocolate to create anything from glossy ganache to fudgy brownies. It’s available in white, milk, and dark chocolate varieties, each offering a unique taste experience. Learn more about couverture.
Shop at Cococo
The world of chocolate is as diverse as it is delicious. There’s a type of chocolate for everyone, whether you prefer the sweet simplicity of white chocolate or the intense richness of bittersweet chocolate.
Cococo is a chocolate shop and confectioner that sells couverture chocolate in various forms and flavours. You can also check out our recipe blog for inspiration on what to bake with our products. Satisfy your chocolate cravings with our delicious and award-winning chocolates!