Different Types Of Chocolate & Cooking Chocolate Brands
Want to know more about chocolates? This article discusses how are chocolates made, different types of chocolate and cooking chocolate brands.
Chocolate cake, chocolate mousse, chocolate custard, chocolate waffles. Sounds like heaven, doesn’t it? Chocolate is one of the most love sweet treats in the world. Not only can you eat chocolates as it it, they are widely used to make desserts as well. There are numerous cooking chocolate brands available in the market which you can choose from. There are various types of chocolate like white chocolate, dark chocolate, and milk chocolate.
Let us discuss more about the different types of chocolate and some popular cooking chocolate brands.
What Are Chocolates And How Are They Made?
Chocolates come from the fruit of a tree named Theobroma cacao. The name means ‘food of the Gods’. The fruits of this tree look like papayas and contain almost 50 seeds. Chocolates come from cacao seeds. They are roasted and ground cacao seeds, which can be in block, paste, or liquid form. The cacao seeds have a bitter taste.
The making process of chocolate is discussed below step by step:
- When the fruits are ripe, the seeds are collected and fermented.
- After the fermentation, the seeds’ strong bitterness goes away, and they get the chocolaty aroma and flavor.
- Then they are dried naturally under the sun.
- Next, they are taken to the factory for cleaning.
- After cleaning, the seeds are roasted. When the seeds are roasted, the hulls are removed as the beans crack in the heat.
- The remaining part of the seed is called the nib. Chocolates are made from this nib.
- Nibs are then ground down to form a cocoa mass. This is the rough chocolate form.
- Later, the mass is heated, and chocolate liquor is formed.
- This liquor is later cooled, and cocoa solids and cocoa butter are made.
- All types of chocolates are primarily made of cocoa solids and cocoa butter.
Did you know it takes 400 cocoa beans to make one pound (roughly 450 grams) of chocolate?
Health Benefits Of Chocolates
Chocolates make for a great treat. We eat chocolates on almost every happy occasion, be it a birthday or a ceremony. But, not only are chocolates tasty, and a popular gift as well, they have numerous health benefits as well. Let’s discuss!
- Keeps our hearts healthy – Different Flavonoids that are present in chocolate are great for our hearts. They help our arteries and veins to stay supple. The dark chocolates reduce the chances of heart attack and stroke.
- Improves memory and improves brain activity – Chocolates that are full of flavanols which help in improving our cognitive activities, make our brain work faster and improves our memory. Do note that when chocolates are processed, the number of raw cocoa flavanols reduces remarkably.
- Prevents sunburn – The people who consume chocolate, develop a stronger resistant power from the UV rays.
- Chocolates makes us happy (Literally) – You must have heard; if you are sad, try eating chocolates. Yes, chocolates release endorphins, which are commonly known as ‘happy hormones’. The flavanols present in chocolate also produce endorphin hormones. These hormones uplift our mood, and we feel happy. It also works as an antidepressant agent.
- Heals Alzheimer – The extract from cocoa heals the nerve damages done by Alzheimer’s.
- Provides energy – All the flavanols present in chocolate are great energy boosters.
- Highly nutritious – Chocolates have almost all the necessary nutrients like copper, manganese, magnesium, iron, zinc, potassium, and fibre. All of them are very good for one’s health.
- Reduces blood pressure – Dark chocolates have various flavanols. One of them is Nitric Oxide. This relaxes our arteries and takes all the pressures off them which helps reduce our blood pressure.
- Helps in pregnancy – Preeclampsia is one of the complications that occur during pregnancy. Theobromine, present in dark chocolates, simulates our hearts and helps our arteries dilate. Thus, consuming a higher amount of chocolate can help lessen complications at the time delivery.
- Enhances body metabolism – All the flavonoids of dark chocolate help in digestion and metabolism.
- Reduces food cravings – Some of us feel food cravings now and then. All the fibre present in chocolate makes us feel full for a long time. So, when you crave for food and want a quick snack, have some chocolate.
- Reduces fatigue – Some of us have chronic fatigue syndrome. Chocolates give us an instant energy boost and activate our cells. We feel more energetic instantly.
So, these are all the health benefits of chocolates.
What Are The Different Types Of Chocolate?
There are various types of chocolate, depending on the amount of cocoa used in it. All the major types of chocolate that are available are mentioned below. The different forms of chocolate you can buy in the market are –
Brown color, sweet taste, and creamy texture. Milk chocolates are among the most popular chocolates that are made with milk, sugar, and chocolate liquor. Powder, condensed, or liquid milk is used here. Milk chocolates have balanced sweetness because they are sweeter than dark chocolates but not as sweet as white chocolates. Cadbury, one of the leading chocolate brands, is an example of milk chocolate.
Dark chocolates are bitter and are available commercially in different bitterness/cocoa percentages. Higher the cocoa content, the bitter will the chocolate be. Dark chocolates can be eaten as it is, and also we can use it for cooking as well.
Bitter sweet and semi sweet chocolate – Bittersweet chocolate lies somewhere between dark chocolate and milk chocolates, leaning more towards the dark side. For a chocolate slab to qualify as a bittersweet chocolate, the cocoa percentage should be atleast 35%. Bittersweet chocolates generally contains less sugar than semisweet chocolate and used in recipes where you would like to have an intense, almost dark chocolate like aroma and flavor. Semisweet Chocolate on the other hand has more sugar content than bittersweet chocolate.
Couverture chocolates – These are high-quality chocolates. They have a high and rich quality of cocoa solids and cocoa butter compared to any other chocolates. Couverture chocolates are mainly used for coating, garnishing, dipping desserts. Only reputed cooking chocolate brands make these types of chocolate.
This chocolate contains milk, sugar, vanilla, and cocoa butter, and all these ingredients give it a sweet vanilla-like aroma. It is the creamy ivory color that makes it different from other chocolates. It does not have any cocoa solids. Cocoa solid makes chocolate dark brown and gives the authentic chocolaty taste. White chocolates lack many ingredients that can be found in dark or milk chocolates. These remain solid, even at room temperature, and a good quality white chocolate has a soft, rich, and creamy texture. They are also great for cooking.
It is made of ruby cocoa beans and has an authentic red color. Ruby chocolates taste different than other chocolates. It has a mixed sweet and sour fruity flavor.
Chocolates are also found in the market in the following forms –
- Raw chocolate – This is fresh chocolate and does not undergo any heating or mixing process. Raw chocolate is only sold in chocolate growing countries. It is believed to be the healthiest form of chocolate.
- Compound chocolate – This type of chocolate contains cocoa and vegetable fats. Hydrogenated fats or tropical fats are used here instead of cocoa butter. Compound chocolate is mainly used for chocolate coatings.
- Cocoa powder – Cocoa powder is the remaining part of cocoa when all the cocoa butter is extracted from it. It adds a chocolaty flavor to the food. There are two types of cocoa powder, one is natural cocoa, and the other is Dutch cocoa. Natural cocoa powder has a strong chocolaty flavor and is light brown, whereas Dutch cocoa powder has a mild flavor and a warm brown color. Both of them are primarily used to make chocolate drinks.
- Chocolate chips – These are used mainly for decorating and to use in modern day recipes like choco chip cookies and choco chip muffins.
So, these are the popular types of chocolates. All the best cooking chocolate brands produce them, so we can easily get them from the store and make tasty desserts.
The Most Popular Cooking Chocolate Brands In India
Chocolates are one of our favorite snacks and desserts. We can now buy cooking chocolate online. Some of the most popular cooking chocolate brands are mentioned below:
- Cadbury – Cadbury is a British chocolate company. In the Indian market, it is the leading chocolate brand. Chocolate and Cadbury are almost synonymous in India. Cadbury silk and dairy milk are one of the most popular chocolates in India.
- Nestle – It is one of the biggest competitors of Cadbury in India. This company is originally from Switzerland. Nestle is a brand famous for its food and drinks. It has been one of the top chocolate brands in India for a long time now. Chocolates by Nestle include Munch, Kit-kat, Milky bar and bar-one.
- Amul – Amul is one of the most famous cooking chocolate brands, and is an Indian company. Amul cooking chocolate has gained significant popularity over the past years as these have the perfect mixture of cocoa and milk cream.
- Ferrero – It is an Italian chocolate manufacturing company. Ferrero is also the second-largest chocolate company in the world.
- Hershey – It is not only one of the biggest chocolate brands in India; it is also one of the world’s largest chocolate manufacturing companies. Their chocolates are very smooth in texture and melt in the mouth.
So, these are some of the best cooking chocolate brands in India.
Where Can We Use Chocolates?
We use chocolates primarily to make tasty desserts. One can make different types of desserts with chocolate. Some of them are mentioned below:
- Cake – Who doesn’t love a good, decadent chocolate cake? Cakes are a popular dessert. We can make dark chocolate cakes, chocolate lava cakes, or just simple multi-layered chocolate cakes.
- Milkshakes – Cool chocolate shakes can rejuvenate our energy and uplift our mood. Cocoa powder is used to make different chocolate shakes. One can also add cream and vanilla essence to make it tastier.
- Sauce and syrup – When we add chocolate sauce or syrup on food, it tastes better. Chocolate syrups are made from liquid chocolates, or you can melt chocolate bars to make the syrup. They add a rich, smooth, chocolaty flavor to your food.
- Brownies – Yummy, nutty brownies! They can be cakey or fudgy in texture; it all depends on their density.
- Cookies – Sweet, rich and chocolaty cookies are the perfect mid-day pick-me-up snack.
- Pudding – A custardy, chocolate pudding with oodles of flavor. Yum!
- Mousse – Velvety chocolate mousse that is the perfect dessert.
- Pies and tarts – A crumbly, buttery base filled with a gooey, chocolaty filling.
Thus, you can say that chocolate is an excellent treat for all of us, especially for kids. We can make various tasty dishes with cooking chocolates as there are numerous cooking chocolate brands available. Chocolates also have many health benefits. So, grab one and start making mouth-watering desserts for yourself and your family.