You’d need more than one hand to count all the ways to use chocolate in baking and other sweet treats. But so many chocolate choices on the grocer’s shelves can leave you feeling confused. Here are tips to make sense of the mystery.
Chocolate and Cocoa Basics
Chocolate and cocoa are made from ground, liquefied roasted shelled cocoa beans—also called cacao—that are processed in different ways.
Semi-sweet, dark and bittersweet chocolate are interchangeable in recipes
Dutch processed and unsweetened baking cocoa are interchangeable in recipes unless baking powder or baking soda are used. If they are, use as directed.
“Know How” with the New Baking Chocolate
The taste for darker, richer chocolate is a growing trend and chocolate makers want to satisfy these tastes.
The new baking chocolate and chocolate chips you’re seeing may be labeled with “premium” or give a percent cacao they contain; most are also called dark or bittersweet.
With a higher percent cacao, there’s more chocolate intensity but less sweetness.
Making Chocolate Choices Easier
Try using higher percent cacao chocolate chips when you bake chocolate chip cookies to see how your family likes the new taste.
Stir darker, richer chips into a brownie or peanut butter cookie mix and see if you like the chocolate flavor boost.
Like coffee with chocolate? Give bittersweet or a higher percent cacao brand a try in those recipes, as the flavors are perfect together.
Need chocolate to melt for dipping or drizzling? Melt some of several kinds, use them and take a taste test.