Chocolate is a common ingredient that is used in many baking recipes. Many bakers have a fondness for using this particular sweet in the various desserts they whip up. If you’re just new to baking and you want to use chocolates in your recipes, it’s important that you know the right types of chocolate to use. Before you go and order wholesale chocolate jars for your baking needs, here’s a short but concise backgrounder on the different types of chocolates that are used in baking.

A Quick Backgrounder on Chocolate

Chocolate is made from the seeds and nibs of the cacao tree. To make chocolate liquor, these seeds are roasted. This liquid can be separated into cocoa butter and cocoa powder. You can make different types of chocolate by altering the proportions of sugar, cocoa butter and cocoa powder. To ensure that everything is legal, the FDA has established industry standards for labeling chocolate.

Identifying the Best Chocolate for Your Recipe

  • Bittersweet chocolate – This is the darkest chocolate, and it contains the most intense flavor and at least 35% chocolate liquor. Premium brands may contain more cocoa butter, or 70%. Use it for baking, cooking, or eating
  • Baking chocolate – This is also known as unsweetened or bitter chocolate. This solid chocolate liquor is made from 50–58% cocoa butter. It contains no sugar, which makes it perfect for baking.
  • Semisweet – This has more sugar than the usual kind of bittersweet chocolate. It contains a minimum of 35% chocolate liquor, and its common uses are for baking, cooking, or eating.
  • Sweet chocolate – At least 15% of the chocolate liquor is contained in this product. It is great for baking, cooking, or eating.
  • Milk chocolate – This type contains a minimum of 10% cocoa liquor and a maximum of 12% milk solids. This gives it a sweet, creamy taste. While it can be used for baking, it is the best when eaten.
  • White chocolate – This is not true chocolate as it contains no chocolate solids, containing only a minimum of 20% cocoa butter. Here’s an interesting foodie fact: it is impossible to label white chocolate. You can replace the cocoa butter with lower-cost fats. You can find it under the names “confectioners coating” or “almond bark.” It can be used for baking, cooking, or eating.
  • Cocoa powder – You can choose from sweet or bitter. This is obtained by drying and grinding chocolate liquor. It must contain between 10 percent and 22 percent cocoa butter. Dutch-process, or “Dutched,” cocoa is darkened using an alkalizing agent. This makes it less bitter and allows for more liquid absorption. It is useful for baking and drinking.
  • Couverture – It is a favorite among candy-makers. It has at least 32% cocoa butter. It is shiny, which makes it more fluid once it has melted. You can buy them in bars or coins (called pistoles), and they are the perfect choice for baking and melting.
  • Cocoa nibs – These are made by roasting and separating cocoa beans. It gives cookies and dessert garnishes a crunchy texture. They are great ingredients for baking.

Now you are ready to tackle the most difficult chocolate choices, as now you have the information you need to make the best chocolate selections in your baking activities.