Chocolate is one of the best desserts ever created and the best part about it is that it is considered healthy, especially dark chocolate. It is a known stress reliever and every woman knows that at certain times it is the best thing to improve your mood. So let’s break it down into different types of cooking chocolate and how you will use it.
Bittersweet & Semisweet: Normally, you find that bittersweet and semisweet can be interchanged in recipes without altering the outcome. The flavors of each individual chocolate, however, can be quite different, so taste each one before baking with it. If the chocolate is flat and bland, a chocolate mousse made with it is likely to be bland as well.
Although bittersweet lends an intense chocolate flavor, it often lacks the consistency that works well in chocolate mousse or truffles. It’s a good choice for recipes such as Bundt cakes or souffle, where the chocolate flavor needs to stand up to many other ingredients. It is also good as the basis for brownies or chocolate cakes.
You will find that semisweet chocolate often will have consist, smoother qualities that work well in mousses, truffles and any recipe where the outcome depends heavily on the inherent flavor of the chocolate. It also works well in cookies where you don’t want the chocolate to be too sweet and overwhelm the sweetness of the cookie.
Unsweetened: Unsweetened chocolate which is chocolate in its rawest tasting form is unpalatable and therefore hard to taste on its own. This is a case where the appearance (dull or shiny) and the aroma may be your best clues as to its quality, intensity and flavor. Unsweetened chocolate is almost always used in recipes like brownies, where the addition of granulated sugar contributes to the texture of the finished baked good. Unsweetened chocolate can also be used in many other recipes besides desserts. It works well in chili recipes and if you want to add a slightly spicy sauce to your dish, then you can add a chili pepper chocolate sauce. It will smooth out the spiciness of the pepper without taking away from the flavor.
Chips & Chunks: Chocolate chips or chunks are best used only as add-ins to recipes; they shouldn’t be used for melting or in the place of chopped bittersweet or semisweet chocolate. They can be used as shaved chocolate but the semisweet or bittersweet works better. These chocolates have a different level of cocoa butter content, as they’re designed to hold their shape when baked. As a result, they have a different texture in baked goods from melted baking chocolate.
Milk & White: Milk and white chocolates are less useful in baking. It should also be noted that milk and white chocolate do not carry the health benefits of dark chocolates. As another side note, white chocolate is actually a candy and not considered real chocolate.
Best of all enjoy your chocolate, savor it and you will be glad you did. People always say don’t sweat the small stuff, but instead savor the sweet stuff especially chocolate.