Archive for the ‘chocolate gifts UK’ Category

How To Select The Best Chocolate?

May 26th, 2020

Selecting the right chocolate can be a challenge. There is a lot of chocolates out there vying for eating/ baking/ cooking dollars. With so much to choose from, it’s good to know the varieties and how to pick the chocolate that best suits your needs.

What Is Chocolate?

This product comes from the seeds or nibs of the cacao tree. The latter are roasted and ground to create a paste or a liquid, called chocolate liquor. This liquor can be separated into cocoa powder and cocoa butter. By tweaking the ratios of cocoa powder, cocoa butter, sugar and other ingredients, different kinds of chocolates in the market can be produced. Many types of chocolates can be used for sending chocolate gifts UK.

Kinds of Chocolate

There are various kinds of chocolate and you can select them as per your needs:

  • Baking chocolate

This is a bitter chocolate without sugar. This contains 50 to 58% cocoa butter and is ideal for baking and cooking.

  • Bittersweet chocolate

Darkest and with strongest chocolate flavour, this item contains at least 35% chocolate liquor. Some of premium versions contain 70% or more cocoa solids and cocoa butter. Ideal for eating, cooking and baking.

  • Semi sweet

It is used often in place of bittersweet but has more added sugar. Contains 35% chocolate liquor. Ideal for eating, cooking and baking.

  • Sweet chocolate

Has more sugar than semi-sweet and 15% chocolate liquor. Also, it has minimum 12% milk solids to provide a creamy and sweet taste. Ideal for eating.

  • White chocolate

Not really chocolate as it doesn’t contain chocolate solids but has 20% cocoa butter. Ideal for eating, cooking and baking.

  • Cocoa powder

Can be bitter or sweet. Made by drying and grinding chocolate liquor and removing most of cocoa butter but retaining at least 10 to 20% of latter. Ideal for drinking and baking.

  • Couverture

Loved by makers of candy. It contains around 32% cocoa butter that renders it glossy and free to flow when tempered or melted. Ideal for baking and melting.

  • Cocoa nibs

Created by roasting and breaking up cocoa beans. Contributes crunchiness to dessert garnishes and cookies. Ideal for baking.

Choosing Chocolate

Selecting chocolates must be a sensory experience. Before you send chocolates UK, consider how it appeals to your five senses.

Firstly, it should look good to your sight. The chocolate must have a glossy finish and free from blemishes. In case surface is grey, cloudy or scarred, it may indicate that the chocolate is old and damaged.

Secondly, try to break the chocolate into pieces. You will want a chocolate making the sound of a clean and hard snap. In case it crumbles or bends, the chocolate may be old or of low quality.

Next you must smell the chocolate. Good chocolate will have a strong and typical aroma. Rub your fingers against the chocolate and smell the bar. If it does not have typical chocolate aroma but smells of vanilla or other ingredients, it is not a good chocolate. It is natural for chocolate to pick up smells from its surroundings, so take care lest your chocolate smell of tea, coffee or other aromatic food stuffs.

Finally, you must actually taste the chocolate.  Take note of how it melts in your mouth- is it dense, unpleasantly chewy or waxy? Does it leave a slightly slippery texture? Is it sandy or smooth? The best chocolate will have a smooth and velvety feel.

These are all some facts about selecting chocolates.