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Did you know that on June 6, 1944, Allied troops stormed the beach of Normandy with Hershey chocolate bars in their pockets? The troops needed something nutritious, high in calorie count, easy to transport and tasty. Chocolate fit the bill on all requirements and quickly became a food favorite. While cacao beans only grow in exotic places like Columbia, Africa and Indonesia, their regional productivity now tempts palates worldwide with distinct chocolate flavors and forms. Here are the five most delicious types of chocolate that you will find on the market today.
1. Dark Chocolate (Including Bitter and Semi-sweet)
Chocolatiers produce chocolate by combining cocoa butter, sugar and flavorings yet the cocoa concentration must be more than 65 percent to be considered a dark chocolate product. Bitter chocolate has between 15 percent and 50 percent cocoa while semi-sweet has 35 to 55%. No dark chocolate product contains milk which makes it an excellent option for baking or people with dietary needs like dairy-free or vegan. Dark chocolate is used in decadent sweets like ganaches, glazes or premium-made products like Chuao Chocolatier bars. Semi-sweet chocolate is most often used to make cookies, desserts and candy.
2. Milk Chocolate
Milk chocolate is an American favorite as many products are shelf-ready and made to eat directly from the wrapper. While it has a 10th of chocolate liquor, it contains about 20 percent of cocoa butter. It also contains milk and sugar that produce a rich, sweet taste. It also melts in your mouth, so it is an ideal choice when wanting a sugary treat. You can also use it when baking, but this chocolate type does not react well to higher temperatures. Milk chocolate is better formulated to eat as is or as a topping or icing.
3. Cocoa Powder
If you look on any baker’s shelf, you will most likely find cocoa powder as it is used in many products including puddings, cakes or chocolate cookies. Unlike the other chocolate types that contain cocoa butter, cocoa powder is made from the raw cacao bean solids. The process is a bit confusing for many consumers as pure cocoa has the cocoa butter removed. The two primary types are Dutch and regular. Some cocoa powder manufacturers add as much as 25 percent of the cocoa butter to diversify the taste.
4. Unsweetened Baker’s Chocolate
Baker’s chocolate contains less than 5 percent of cocoa butter, which makes it a favorite for dessert makers. Unsweetened chocolate is entirely made from the solidified chocolate liquor and does not contain the sugar content that other chocolate types have.
5. White Chocolate
White chocolate is made from at least 20 percent of cocoa butter as well as milk, vanilla, lecithin and sugar. It does not have any chocolate liquor, unlike the darker types which is what gives it the white, creamy appearance. It is perfect for baking, coatings or icings.
The next time you have a gathering, try a chocolate tasting party. Not only will you introduce your friends to its Mesoamerican beginnings, but friends will appreciate the tasting experience.
Originally seen here: Tastiest, Penang Food Blog
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