Chocolate is one of the most delicious food items, loved by people all over the world. It is made of cocoa butter, cocoa beans, fine sugar and vegetable oils. The numerous chocolate flavours available are due to the different proportion of these ingredients in a chocolate.
Different flavours and forms of chocolate are due to its ingredients. Also, the temperature and time taken in roasting cocoa beans provides a unique flavour. The many flavours of chocolates are: Dark chocolate, bitter sweet, couverture, cocoa compound, semi sweet, Hershey, unsweetened, orange, coconut, honeycomb, coffee, toffee, Turkish delight and caramel.
Chocolate flavour is used in hundreds of preparations like cakes, puddings and ice cream. Flavours like Nougat, caramel, chocolate orange, Macadamia nut, Almond, Coconut, pea nut and strawberry are also popular.
But, basically, there are three types of chocolate: Dark, Milk and White.
It is made by adding sugar and fat to cocoa. It is also called as Black chocolate or Plain chocolate. It is a flavour containing little or no milk. There are different specifications of dark chocolate in different countries. But the common factor is that dark chocolate contains the highest amount of cocoa among all chocolates. It amounts to sometimes 85% to 90%. Dark chocolate has a rich chocolate taste, as well as a bitter aftertaste. It is highly nutritious and helps fight depression. It is of three types:
- Semisweet: Used mostly for cooking purposes, it contains half as much sugar as cocoa.
- Bitter sweet: It is chocolate liquor in which a third of sugar, cocoa butter, lecithin and Vanilla are added. It has less sugar and more liquor than semi sweet chocolate.
- Couverture: It is rich in cocoa butter. There are many famous brands like Guittard, Lindt, etc. It has around 85% cocoa content and 30-405 of fat.
Invented by Henry Nestle, it is a solid chocolate made of condensed milk, milk solids and milk powder. It is made of less cocoa than dark chocolate. It is sweet tasting with a sour after taste. Many milk chocolates like Hershey’s are lipolyzed creating Butyric acid, which prevents further fermentation of milk.
It is made of sugar, fats (cocoa butter or vegetable oil) and milk without cocoa solids as in other chocolates. It is often debated whether white chocolate can even be classified as chocolate as it does not contain cocoa solids. The USFDA standards specify a minimum of 20% Cocoa Butter, 14% of total milk solids, 3.5% milk fat and a maximum of 55% of carbohydrate sweeteners. This type of Chocolate has a creamy vanilla taste.
Cocoa powder: Unsweetened chocolate used for purposes of baking. It is made by pulverizing slightly defatted chocolate liquor, getting rid of most of cocoa butter.
Compound chocolate: It is a mix of cocoa solids and vegetable oil. Used mainly for coatings of candy bar, the vegetable fats substitute for cocoa butter.
Turkish delight: Has very low cocoa content. It is made of sugar, starch and gel. Premium version contains chopped hazel nuts, walnuts and Pistachios.
These are the common flavours of chocolates. Choose among these for chocolates to send in a gourmet gift basket to your loved one.