The chocolate production industry is one of the world’s most thriving industries, being estimated at roughly $100 billion per year. The treat, originally prepared as a drink in Mesoamerica, has inspired patisseries, restaurants, and entrepreneurs around the world. It has become a basis for desserts, savory sauces, and the creation of unusual flavors. It has been dissected scientifically and built up again to make the most of its crystal-forming abilities. Despite its widespread availability and antiquity, it shows no sign of wearing out its welcome. And as its antioxidant properties and mineral content continue to be unveiled to the public, the justifications for its consumption only increase. Though chocolate is so familiar and well-known to the United States population, many are not aware of the true differences and similarities between different types of chocolate, apart from their color and flavor.
Dark chocolate is typically made of cocoa, cocoa butter, and sugar. It is often the best chocolate to use in baking brownies, soufflés, and pies, due to its powerful, rich, bitter-sweet flavor. It can also be a great basis for ganache, truffles, and mole sauce. At times its cocoa content is indicated on the packaging, typically ranging from 70%-99%. The higher the cocoa content, the more flavorful the chocolate, with the dominant difference often being extra bitterness in “darker” chocolate when compared to chocolate with low cocoa content. The more cocoa in the chocolate, the healthier it is, since most of the healthful compounds in chocolate originate from the cocoa. Since dark chocolate contains a higher percentage of cocoa than milk and white chocolates, it is considered the healthiest type of chocolate. Dark chocolate is also known as semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, depending on the amount of sugar it contains. (…Read More…)