Chocolate Candy Making Basics Part 1
Types of Chocolate
Chocolate Candy Making Basics
Types of Chocolate
Unsweetened chocolate : this is pure chocolate with no sugar or added flavorings. Unsweetened chocolate is basically used only in baking but i used this type for my sugar-free candy recipes. This type of chocolate is also known as bitter or baking chocolate.
Bittersweet Chocolate: Bittersweet chocolate also called as dark chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate is pure chocolate that contains high chocolate liquor and added sugar or sweeteners.
Semisweet Chocolate: Semisweet chocolate is pure chocolate with an added combination of sugar and extra cocoa butter. Semisweet chocolate contains at least thirty five percent chocolate liquor (a liquid paste extracted from the coca bean), additional coca butter (a vegetable fat obtained from the cocoa bean), and sugar.
Milk Chocolate: Milk chocolate is pure chocolate with added sugar, extra cocoa butter and milk solids. Milk chocolate contains at least 10 percent chocolate liquor, twelve percent whole milk solids and additional cocoa butter.
White Chocolate: White chocolate is also known as confectioner's coating, almond bark, summer coating or compound chocolate and is not considered real chocolate since most or all of the cocoa butter has been removed or replaced by another vegetable fat. White chocolate is most preferred for dipping instead of chocolate because t doesn't have to be tempered.
Unsweetened Cocoa: Unsweetened cocoa is formed by extracting most of the cocoa butter from pure chocolate and grinding the remaining chocolate solids into a powder. Unsweetened cocoa contains no additives. Natural cocoa powder range from mild to strong flavor while dutch processed cocoa powder has a milder flavor and is darker in color than natural cocoa powder.
Chocolate can be molded, sculpted, melted, piped and chilled. There are some basic rules to follow to guarantee success when working with chocolate. It takes some practice to master the skill of tempering chocolate for enrobing, coating/dipping and molding.
The basic steps to take in working with chocolate are chopping, melting and tempering.
Tempering is the process of melting the chocolate and bringing the chocolate to certain temperature so that the cocoa butter reaches its most stable form and cooling the chocolate to the correct dipping temperature. Tempering is done to achieve a nicely textured, glossy chocolate that enable it to break with a signature snap. Tempering also extends the shelf life of the chocolate product.
Enrobing is the process of using tempered chocolate to coat a candy, dried and fresh fruit, nuts or slices of cakes that are to be eaten as confections.
Coating is the process of using tempered chocolate by dipping fruits like strawberries, pretzels, cookies and other confections by immediately dipping and removing them in the tempered chocolate and then cooled.
Molding is the process of pouring tempered chocolate into molds to form into, fun, elegant or fancy shaped chocolate candies.
Useful Tools In Chocolate Candy Making:
- Chocolate Thermometer- The ideal kind should be able to measure the chocolate temperature in 1-degree increments and the temperature range should reach only 55°C or 130°F to be able to get an accurate temperature reading.
- Weighing scale - used for weighing the chocolate to be used for melting, as well as to weigh other ingredients to be added into the chocolate.
- Silicone or rubber spatula for mixing chocolate to evenly distribute heat and to allow you to melt the rest of the chocolate. (Do not use wooden utensils as it might contain water and may cause the chocolate to seize.) A Silicone spatula is very practical to use because it can withstand intense heat and can also be used on top of a stove.
- Heavy bottomed metal sauce pan fitted with a heat-proof glass bowl or a double boiler. An unlined copper container though is the more ideal to use if available because it conducts the heat quickly and evenly.
- Chocolate dipping tools
- A large sharp serrated knife
- Cutting board
Did you know? . . . .
Experts who make chocolates are known as 'chocolatiers' and chocolate lovers are called 'chocoholics'.