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.

Bittersweet Chocolate –  Contains uunsweetened chocolate in varying percentages (at least 35%)  sugar, vanilla and Lecithin.  The higher the % of cacao, the lower the % of sugar.  

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.

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About bakingway

Baker/Pastry Chef for over 25 years.

Posted on July 5, 2011, in Chocolate, Question of the Week. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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