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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Question and Answer about Chocolate


What is “seed” chocolate?
“Seed” chocolate is any pure tempered chocolate that is used to begin the crystallization process during tempering. The chocolate (white, milk or dark) that you are using to melt, will also be used to temper. Simply reserve a small portion of this chocolate and set it aside. When you are ready to temper, use this portion as your “seed.”

What is “pure” chocolate?
“Pure” chocolate is any chocolate where cocoa butter is the main ingredient.

What is compound chocolate and what is it used for?
Compound chocolate is chocolate that does not contain cocoa butter and does not require tempering. It is recommended that you melt compound chocolate and use it to coat candies or decorate molds.

How do I store chocolate?
Chocolate should be stored in an air tight container in a cool, dry and dark place. If stored properly, dark chocolate will last for years and milk and white chocolate will last up to 1 year.

What is couverture chocolate?
This type of chocolate has a higher cocoa butter percentage (33%-38%) than regular chocolate. It is commonly used to coat confections such as truffles.

What is the difference between “fat” bloom and “sugar” bloom?
Fat bloom occurs when the cocoa butter separates from the cocoa solids and rises to the surface forming a whitish, powdery appearance. When chocolate is exposed to warm conditions, this happens. Sugar bloom occurs when chocolate has been exposed to damp or wet conditions and condensation forms on the surface. The chocolate will have a grainy texture and feel rough. The chocolate is edible, but not recommended for use in making confections.