Ever since the end of the 19th century all industrial chocolate makers have practiced this alkalization process to neutralize the acid taste of cocoa, and enhance the flavor and the color of the final product. Also called “Dutching”.
Artisan or Artisanal chocolate or Chocolatier
Artisan chocolate, like any artisan product—jewelry, furniture, couture clothing—is handmade by a skilled artisan in small batches, using time-honored and honed skills. Modern artisans are also innovators in flavor and technique. No assembly line is used to make artisan products and they are never made in large quantity; you will find chocolatiers in the kitchen preparing and packing each batch.
In the U.S. the FDA describes this as chocolate that does not contain any sugar, though it may contain natural or artificial flavoring. This pure chocolate is intended for cooking as only real fanatics will enjoy this very bitter chocolate substance with a solid cocoa content in excess of 85%.
There are two kinds of bloom that form on the surface of chocolate: Both are temperature-related and both make the chocolate look suspect and unappetizing. This is due to improper storage, poorly tempering, lack of tempering, or changes in temperature. The bloom is the cocoa butter that has separated and risen to the surface. While bloom diminishes the appearance of the chocolate, it does not alter the taste and is not harmful.
Chocolate liquor is made up of the finely ground nib of the cocoa bean. This is technically not yet chocolate. This type of chocolate is also known as unsweetened chocolate and is also referred to cocoa mass or cocoa liquor.
One who appreciates the unique qualities of a truly fine piece of chocolate and feels that life would not be the same without gourmet chocolate.
In coatings and compounds, part of the cocoa butter may be replaced by vegetable fat.
The processing step called ‘conching’ reduces the moistness of the cocoa mass and removes the volatile acids. At the same time, this step allows for specific aromas and smoothness to be associated with chocolate. Conching is the process where the chocolate is “plowed” back and forth through the liquid chocolate which smoothes the chocolate and rounds out the flavor, essential for the flavor, the texture and the overall quality of the chocolate.
Couverture is a term used to describe professional-quality coating chocolate with a high percentage of cocoa butter, at least 32%, and as high as 39% for good quality couverture. The extra cocoa butter allows the chocolate to form a thinner coating shell than non-couverture chocolate.
The best quality cocoa bean, but rare and harder to grow than others, with a lower yield per tree.
Dark chocolate must contain a minimum of 43% cocoa to be called “dark” according to European norms. A “70% cocoa chocolate” is considered quite dark while 85% -88% cocoa dark chocolates are quite popular for dark chocolate lovers.
A chocolate flavored product that derives most of its flavor from cocoa butter rather than chocolate.
One of two chocolates-making techniques by taking the center of a certain chocolate or praline and covering it with a layer of outer chocolate by pouring liquid chocolate over it or by dipping the chocolate center by hand in liquid chocolate. Fondant is the French word for dark or “Pure” chocolate.
A Ganache is a rich, silky chocolate mixture made by combining chopped semisweet chocolate and boiling cream and stirring until smooth. (Sometimes butter can also be added) The proportions of chocolate to cream vary, depending on the use of the ganache and can be flavored with fruits spices and different liquors. Gianduja is a delicious mixture of emulsified hazelnuts and cocoa mass, cocoa butter and sugar.
A natural product extracted from the soy bean that is used as a thinner in chocolate. During the manufacturing of chocolate, lecithin controls flow properties through the reduction of viscosity.
Maltitol is a natural sugar-substitute based on a Malt-extract, which allows chocolate to keep a sweet taste without containing sugar.
Marzipan is a thick paste achieved by skillfully mixing melted sugar with finely chopped ground almonds. The outer shell of a marzipan is an envelope of milk, white or dark chocolate.
Another technique for making chocolate consists of placing chocolate in molds to obtain a molded chocolate “shell” that is then filled with one or several unique fillings before being seals with another layer of chocolate. The typical Belgian Praline is produced by pouring a hazelnut praline filling in molded shapes.
The kernels of coca beans are usually called ‘nibs’ and are the basic ingredient of which chocolate is made, Sometimes, the original dark and rich nibs are used to add texture to chocolate bars or chocolate desserts.
Nougatine is achieved by heating sugar until it caramelizes and mixing finely crushed roasted hazelnuts or almonds . Once this paste is achieved, it is put on a caramel roller and crushed into little pieces.
Praliné is composed of richly flavored chocolate to which caramelized sugar (hot caramel), well-roasted, finely-ground hazelnuts (or almonds) and vanilla have been added. The praliné flavor is typical in many Belgian chocolates or “pralines”.
Tempering is the process of bringing the chocolate to a certain temperature whereby the cocoa butter reaches its most stable crystal form that is most conducive to produce the final shine and quality.
The botanical description for cocoa. The name “Theobroma,” comes from the ancient Greek words for “god” (Theo) and “food” (Broma).
A confection made of chocolate (ganache), butter, sugar, and sometimes liqueur shaped into balls and often coated with cocoa. Truffles are made by heating a rich blend of butter, cream, chocolate, and often a flavoring, delicately shaping it, and enrobing it with chocolate couverture (milk, dark or white).
White chocolate is made of pure cocoa butter (at least 32 percent) but does not have any chocolate liquor.
Xocoatl is the original name the Aztecs, Toltecs, Mayas and Incas gave to a stimulating drink of cocoa, maize (Indian corn) and water.