What is it about real chocolate that I need to understand?
To understand the different types of chocolate its important to understand how chocolate is made and what it actually is.
Chocolate is made from the cocoa beans which are dried, roasted and ground. The grinding process produces a thick dark paste known as cocoa solids or cocoa mass. The cocoa solids are the basis for all chocolate and cocoa products. Further processing of the cocoa mass extracts a naturally occurring cocoa butter, which gives chocolate its high gloss appearance, smooth texture and melting properties.
There must be at least 20% of cocoa butter for products to be called REAL chocolate.
What causes chocolate to become thick when melted?
Chocolate does not like excessive heat or little drops of water. When melting chocolate great care must be taken. If chocolate is heated too high it begins to cook resulting in a dull thick paste. Around 30-35°C is ideal. Milk and white chocolate are even more vulnerable. If a drop of water mixes with the chocolate when melting it causes the chocolate to seize up, resulting in a solid grainy mass that cannot be remelted or used.
Can any liquid be added to chocolate?
Yes. Although just a drop of water will ruin chocolate, larger amounts are fine as long as the ratio is at least 1 tablespoon of liquid to 60g of chocolate. Melting chocolate in cream, milk, butter or even water is often called for. For best results, bring the liquid to the boil, remove from heat, then add the chocolate; stir until melted.
Why does melted chocolate added to whipped cream go ‘choc chippie’?
When mixing ingredients together try to keep them the same temperature. Allow the chocolate to cool a little and allow the cream to come to room temperature for 30 minutes. To help reduce the problem, melt the chocolate with some of the cream and only lightly whip the remaining cream.
What are the spots that sometimes appear on chocolate? Is it edible?
This is called chocolate bloom and is a result of chocolate being heated and cooled too quickly causing the fat to come to the surface. It does not affect the quality. It can occur when chocolate is brought home in a hot car and then placed in the refrigerator. Chocolate should not be stored in the refrigerator for this reason.
What is different between Cadbury Baking chocolate and Cadbury Cooking chocolate?
Baking and Cooking are interchangeable names used to describe chocolate. Both are made with real chocolate containing a minimum of 20% cocoa butter.
How can White Chocolate be called chocolate when it contains no cocoa?
White chocolate is made by substituting cocoa mass or powder with milk solids. It is still called chocolate because it uses a minimum of 20% cocoa butter.
Cocoa butter is naturally occurring within the cocoa bean and is extracted during the process of grinding the cocoa bean down. Cocoa butter gives chocolate its richness in flavor, smoothness of texture and high gloss appearance.
Are Cadbury Baking products suitable for vegetarians or vegans?
Yes, but the Milk Chocolate obviously contains milk and this may not be suitable to some.
Do any Cadbury Baking products contain gluten?
These products do not contain any ingredients that contain gluten. However, we have not undertaken any testing in order to validate that the products are entirely ‘gluten free’.
Why does some chocolate need to be refrigerated to set?
Real chocolate requires tempering for it to reset hard at room temperature. This is a process of gently heating and cooling chocolate to specific temperatures to stabilize the fats, a technique generally used by professionals. As it is difficult to do without the right equipment, refrigeration is necessary. However the chocolate may become soft again at room temperature. Compounded chocolate has the cocoa butter replaced with a vegetable shortening which then allows it to reset hard at room temperature. Compounded chocolate does not have the true flavour or smooth texture of real cooking chocolate.
What is the best way to store chocolate and for how long?
Chocolate should be wrapped in foil, placed in an air-tight container and kept in a cool, dry place away from strong flavours. Do not store in the refrigerator. If stored correctly, chocolate generally has a shelf life of 12 months, so check the use by date on the packet for freshness.
How do you make chocolate shavings or grate chocolate without it breaking?
If the chocolate is too cold it will shatter or break instead of curling. Allow the block of chocolate to be at a warm room temperature or remove from foil and warm in the microwave oven for approximately 15 seconds. The grater or peeler can be run under hot water to warm it slightly, but remember to dry it completely.