Happy International Chocolate Day fellow cookie lovers! Come celebrate with us today as we take you through another post explaining on the components of this delectable treat and how it would affect on your baking!
WHAT’S IN CHOCOLATE?
image 1: showing the components of a Chocolate Bar
Regardless of where the chocolate is manufactured, all of them are more or less made from same basic ingredients:
Chocolate Liquor: Before you panic, there isn’t any actual liquor or any alcohol inside it. The “liquor” part actually refers to the liquid state when the chocolate is warm and is made from grounded cocoa beans. It’s composed of cocoa solids suspended in fats.
Cocoa Solids: This component is also a part of the Chocolate Liquor and it basically provides the flavour. The “solids” itself are partivles of fiber, protein and starch, which are then suspended in the fats.
Cocoa Butter: This is what we’re referring to when we mention the fats component inside the chocolate. The cocoa butter itself is actually also high in demand within the cosmetic industry as its commonly utilized to make body lotions and moisturizers. It doesn’t necessarily contribute to the flavour but it helps in providing the chocolate its texture, shape as well as its melting properties.
Sugar: Cacao’s are actually naturally bitter and acidic, hence sugar plays a very prevalent role in contributing to the chocolate’s signature sweet and dense taste! It is actually the second most important ingredient in dark chocolate and are even more important in milk and white chocolates! The sugar used is Crystalline Sucrose, which is your common table sugar where its reduced to very fine particles so it’ll allow for the chocolate to feel creamy and smooth when consumed.
Milk Solids: this is also referred to as “milk powder” which is basically manufactured dried milk. It basically helps avoid adding any unwanted moisture to the chocolate.
Flavorings: Apart from the Cocoa Solids and Sugar, there are actually additional flavorings added into Chocolate with the most common being Vanilla and Salt. Oddly enough, the Vanilla actually adds floral notes that wonderfully complements the chocolate’s natural bitterness. Apart from the 2 mentioned, spices, nuts and other flavors may sometimes be added.
Lecithin: Lecithin is an emulsifier extracted from soybeans but it actually isn’t meant to emulsify the chocolate. Rather, it’s supposed to reduce the viscosity of chocolate and in turn improves its flow when melted. This is great when you need to make a chocolate glaze or spread!
How Does It Help with Our Baking?
Well as with eggs which we discussed the other day, it provides structure despite its high fat content. In relation to that, the fats also adds great texture which is wonderful when you’re trying to make things like mousse, frosting, glaze and ganache!
Apart from that, chocolate but more specifically, Cocoa Powder can absorb the moisture, which helps in preparing a solid baked good. In fact, Cocoa Powder can soak up more liquid than flour, so you may reduce the latter when incorporating it into the baked good.
What kind of Chocolate Should We Use Then?
Here at The Skinny Bakers HQ, we use quite the variety of chocolates when baking our cookies, which include:
Image 2: Image shows a photo of a chocolate bar
Chocolate Bars: probably the most versatile amongst all the chocolate out there, chopped, melted, folded, you can basically manipulate it in so many ways before incorporating into the cookie dough!
Image 3: A pile of chocolate chips being poured into a metal bowl
Chocolate Chips: What’s a cookie without chocolate chips? Chocolate chips actually contain stabilizers and preservatives, which helps maintain their chip shape once it comes out of the oven.
Image 4: A gif of cocoa powder being sprinkled into more cocoa powder
Cocoa Powder: We don’t use this for all of our cookies, but it is a staple for our Double Chocolate selections such as our Double Chocolate Chip and Reese's Peanut Butter Chip cookies in order to get that super dense chocolatey taste!
So that’s the tea with chocolates! We definitely recommend you to give baking with chocolate a try and do reach out to us if you have any question! In the mean time, we’re having this super 7.7 Flash Sale where some of our most chocolatey cookies are 7% off!