What is Baking Chocolate? Types, Uses, and How to Choose

What is Baking Chocolate? Types, Uses, and How to Choose

Written by: Dennis Reinhardt

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Time to read 3 min

When you bake, chocolate is an important part of many well-known recipes. There are, however, so many kinds of baking chocolate out there that it can be hard to choose.

What is Baking Chocolate?

Baking chocolate, which is also called raw or bitter chocolate, is a type of chocolate that is made to be used in cooking and baking. Baking chocolate, on the other hand, is made from processed cocoa beans and pure chocolate liquor, not chocolate bars. There is no added sugar. This makes it very bitter and unpleasant to taste by itself, but it's an important part of many baked goods because you can add your own sugar to make them sweeter or less sweet.

Types of Baking Chocolate

Unsweetened (Bitter) Chocolate: The purest form of baking chocolate is unsweetened chocolate, which is made from 100% cacao and has no extra sugar. This kind of baking chocolate is the bitterest, but it's often used in brownies, cakes, and cookies. You can make them less bitter by adding your own sweets. You can also buy unsweetened chocolate as cocoa powder, which is great for recipes that need a smooth, lump-free structure.

Bittersweet Chocolate: Bittersweet chocolate has at least 35% cacao. The rest of the chocolate is made up of sugar, vanilla, and sometimes a binder like lecithin. It usually has about 70% cacao and is used in a lot of different baked goods, like cookies, brownies, cakes, and chocolate sauces. Bittersweet chocolate has a strong chocolate taste without being too sweet.

Semisweet Chocolate: Semisweet chocolate also contains at least 35% cacao but has a slightly higher sugar content and a lower cacao percentage (around 60%) compared to bittersweet. Bittersweet and semisweet chocolate are often used in place of each other in recipes because they taste pretty much the same. You can use semisweet chocolate to make brownies, cookies, muffins, sauces, cakes, and more.

Sweet and Milk Chocolate: Milk and sweet chocolate Milk and sweet chocolate have less than 60% cacao and more sugar than dark chocolate. Milk chocolate also has milk solids in it, which can make baked goods feel smooth and creamy. If the recipe already has a lot of sugar, it's best not to use these kinds of chocolate because the end result might be too sweet. But they can be used in recipes that call for a sweeter, milder chocolate taste.

How to Pick the Best Baking Chocolate

When choosing baking chocolate for your recipes, think about these things:

Instructions for the Recipe: Pay close attention to the type of chocolate that the recipe calls for. Whether it says raw, bittersweet, or semisweet, it's best to stick with that type for the best results.

Your Personal Taste Preferences: If a recipe lets you choose which chocolate to use, think about what you like. Bittersweet or unsweetened chocolate is better if you want a stronger chocolate taste. Semisweet or milk chocolate might be better for you if you like a sweeter, softer taste.

Cacao Percentage: In terms of cacao percentage, remember that the stronger the chocolate taste will be, the higher the percentage. To figure out what kind of chocolate to use, look at the package and see what amount of cacao it has.

Baking Chocolate vs. Snacking Chocolate

Even though baking chocolate and eating chocolate look the same, they are used for different things. Baking chocolate is made to melt easily and work well with other ingredients, while snacking chocolate is meant to be eaten by itself. Snacking chocolate usually has more sugar and might have extra ingredients like nuts or caramel that can change the way your baked goods feel and taste. If you want the best results, only use baking chocolate when a recipe calls for it.

Elevating Your Baking Game with the Right Chocolate

To make tasty treats and desserts, you need to know about the different kinds of baking chocolate and how to use them. You can make your baking skills better and wow your family and friends with delicious chocolate treats by choosing the right kind for your recipe and personal taste. Try out different kinds of baking chocolate to find new ways to combine flavors and tastes that will make your baking better.

Chocolate used in baking is a flexible ingredient that can make normal recipes stand out. It is important to have the right kind of baking chocolate on hand when you want to make rich chocolate cake, decadent cookies, or a smooth chocolate sauce. You now have the knowledge to confidently choose and use the various types of baking chocolate, ensuring that your baked goods are always a hit.

Don't be scared off by all the different kinds of baking chocolate the next time you're in the baking area. Instead, be open to the options and let your chocolate creations show how creative you are. Have fun baking!