White vs. Dark, Bittersweet vs. Semisweet and Other Chocolate Questions Answered
Got chocolate questions? We’ve got answers. If you’ve ever wondered about the difference between white and dark, bittersweet and semisweet, Dutch cocoa powder and other varieties of chocolate, here are some tips and notes when shopping for these ingredients.
SEE ALSO: The Best Chocolate Dessert Recipes
White chocolate: Make sure you’re selecting white chocolate that contains cocoa butter for the best taste and quality. Even though this variety isn’t really chocolate because it contains no chocolate liquor, it does contain cocoa butter. “White-like” chocolate, also known as white confectionary coating, does not contain any cocoa butter whatsoever. Related Recipe: White Chocolate Popcorn Crunch
Dark chocolate: Darker chocolates – which encompass both semisweet (aka dark) and bittersweet (aka extra dark) – contain more “flavanols” – powerful antioxidants that help prevent premature aging and cell damage. Flavanols also help promote a healthier heart and vascular system. Related Recipe: Chocolate Pots de Creme
Bittersweet and semisweet: Typically, bittersweet chocolate tastes less sweet than semisweet, which contains more sugar and less cocoa solids. If you have to substitute semisweet for bittersweet, use ¾ semisweet and ¼ unsweetened chocolate to compensate. Related Recipe: Black Bottom Pecan Pie
Cocoa powder: Cocoa powder is also extremely rich in those antioxidant-rich flavanols. Choose unsweetened cocoa powder rather than Dutch cocoa powder unless the recipe specifies this ingredient. The richer, darker Dutch cocoa has been treated with alkali, which helps neutralize cocoa’s natural acidity. Either way, you can store your cocoa powder tightly covered in a cool, dark place for up to two years. Related Recipe: Chocolate Fried Pies
Which type of chocolate is your favorite? Let us know in the comments, and feel free to add links to your favorite chocolate recipes.