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What types of chocolate should I put in a chocolate cake?

Different types of cooking chocolate

When you are cooking with chocolate, one of the first decisions you have to make is to decide what kind of chocolate you will use. For cakes, a larger percentage of people use baking chocolate or semi-chocolate chips. The former will need an addition of sugar and it has a very dense texture and is easy to work with. If chocolate is the only ingredient; dark chocolate will be favoured over other varieties. But there are a number of other types of chocolate to choose from such as:

Types of Cooking Chocolate

Unsweetened Chocolate:

This is made out of chocolate liquor and has no other additives. It can’t really be eaten by itself, but is great for cakes, has a satin smooth texture, is rich in cocoa butter & is best for baking.

Semi-Sweet Chocolate:

This is very much like unsweetened chocolate, but has a pinch of sugar, some vanilla and cocoa butter which gives it a very sweet rich taste.

Bittersweet Chocolate:

This contains added cocoa butter & sugar as well as chocolate liquor. However, it has a more noticeable European chocolate flavour.

Sweetened Chocolate:

This is very rich & creamy and has much more butter, sugar and cocoa and is not really preferred as an ingredient for cakes- though some recipes use it.

White Chocolate:

This is made of cocoa butter, sugar and milks but does not contain any cocoa solids. This is what makes it mild, sweet and gives it a creamy texture. It is used as a decorative coating or icing in some cakes.

Couverture Chocolate

This is probably one of the most favoured chocolates used by bakers. This is very high-quality chocolate and is made from pure cacao butter, straight from the bean. The taste of this particular chocolate can range from sweet to very bitter. It has a minimum of 32% (and can go up to 60%), of pure cocoa butter which gives it the melt-in-the-mouth quotient and it has:

  • Rich and intense chocolate flavour
  • Brittle texture ( has a distinct snap)
  • High sheen & a smooth, glossy finish
  • Creamy texture
  • Low melting point

Couverture is also available in different varieties and this is generally based on the amount of cocoa it has:

Dark Couverture:

This is a dark & broody chocolate and the choice of connoisseurs. It has no milk additive and is more of cocoa solids that has a bit of cocoa butter, a little sugar, lecithin and vanilla added to it. Its rich, intense and earthy and a dream for any chocolate cake.

Milk Couverture:

This is a much creamier, sweeter and paler variant that has a much less-intense chocolate flavour as it has more sugar and milk solids.

White Couverture:

This is a sinfully sweet and woozily wicked version that has 32% cocoa butter, milk, sugar and vanilla with no milk solids whatsoever. Its utterly creamy and succulently sweet.

Enjoy your Chocolate Cake!

Keep in mind that in any recipe, one chocolate should never be substituted for the other. For the best flavour and texture, always use what a particular recipe suggests and enjoy every moment of your delicious chocolate cake.

Happy baking!
Didier Sockeel
(02) 9967 2882