Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Tasty Tuesday - Chocolate 101
Mmm, we all know that rich, melt-in-the-mouth quality of good chocolate. That taste sensation comes from chocolate with a high percentage of cocoa butter. Chocolate can vary in quality, of course. Lower-quality chocolate includes other fats, which raise the product's melting point, and offer a less distinct flavor.
Use the highest-quality chocolate and cocoa you can buy. Good chocolate has a glossy sheen and a smooth taste. Here's a quick primer on different varieties and their uses:
•Unsweetened (chocolate liquor): Made with about 50 percent cocoa butter, this is pure, unadulterated chocolate. Use it in cooking and baking, but don't bother eating it straight.
•Bittersweet: Made by adding cocoa butter, sugar, and vanilla to chocolate liquor, bittersweet chocolate has a dark, rich taste. Use it in baking.
•Semisweet: This variety is made the same way as bittersweet, but with more sugar. A classic for chocolate chip cookies.
•Milk chocolate: Sweet and creamy, this chocolate is made with milk solids, which give it its light color. For some people, milk chocolate is a clear winner over dark.
•White chocolate: Because it's made with cocoa butter and not chocolate liquor, white chocolate isn't strictly chocolate. Use it in baking, but don't expect a chocolatey taste--it's sweet and mild.