Do you know what the best baking chocolate is? Can you swap semi-sweet for bittersweet? Did you know white chocolate's not actually chocolate? Here’s a short and sweet list of different types of chocolate and what they’re good for. Find out about other swap-in ingredients in our handy substitution guide. For more chocolate info, check out our tips on baking with chocolate. And by all means make a few chocolate treats to nibble on while you learn! Coffee lovers: we've got mocha recipes that are the perfect combo of coffee and chocolate, too!
How Chocolate is Made
Each year, the best cocoa beans are selected out and many different varieties are carefully blended to achieve that deep, rich flavor that chocolate lovers prize. After roasting at high temperatures to develop the chocolate flavor, the cocoa beans are shelled and the remaining nibs are crushed into a thick liquid called chocolate liquor, containing only the chocolate solids and the rich, creamy cocoa butter.
The Chocolate Family
Made with solid chocolate liquor with nothing added. Too bitter to eat but lends a great chocolate flavor to brownies and cakes. It is made from a blend of fine cocoa beans that are roasted, crushed and ground between large heated rollers. Unsweetened is the purest form of chocolate. It is satin smooth, rich in cocoa butter and best for baking.
This is made using the same method as unsweetened chocolate, but with just a pinch of sugar, cocoa butter and vanilla to give it a rich, sweet taste. Semi-sweet is perfect for garnishes and fondues.
Contains chocolate liquor, additional cocoa butter and sugar but with a darker more pronounced European chocolate flavor, due to the higher chocolate liquor content.
Rich and creamy with a milder chocolate flavor and a larger amount of additional cocoa butter and sugar. Often used in commercial candies or bars.
Made from milk solids, cocoa butter and sugar, milk chocolate is most often eaten as a candy bar. The first milk chocolate bar was invented by Swiss candy-maker Daniel Peter in 1876 when he devised the process of adding condensed milk to chocolate.
Technically not even chocolate, it is made with cocoa butter, milk and sugar, but doesn't contain cocoa solids. As a result, it is creamy white in colour and mild and sweet in flavor. This is often used as a coating or decorative garnish.
Remember, never substitute one chocolate for another in a recipe as this will affect the flavor and may cause the dessert to fail. For best results do not substitute chocolate chips for squares either. Chips are formulated with less cocoa butter to enable them to hold their shape. Squares are specially formulated with quality ingredients to melt easier than chocolate chips.