Question of the Week: What’s the Difference between Unsweetened and Bittersweet Chocolate?
Chocolate is made from dried, ground cacao beans (actually a fruit!) which produce both a chocolate liquor & cocoa butter (fat).
Unsweetened Chocolate – Some refer to this as “bitter” chocolate, because it has no sugar added. It is a direct result of the dried cacao beans being ground (conched). In fact, unsweetened chocolate is not even considered edible in this “raw” state.
Unsweetened chocolate is the base for bittersweet chocolates. Bakers often use this type of chocolate for recipes which contain higher amounts of sugar and demand a high intensity of chocolate, i.e. Fudge Brownies.
Think of the cacao percentages as referring to intensity: I prefer unsweetened chocolate for intense brownies which have a high amount of sugar in them, 60% cacao for my chocolate flourless cake and 35% for chocolate chip cookies.