About Bittersweet chocolate


What is Bittersweet Chocolate?
Bittersweet chocolate is a sweetened form of dark chocolate which does not contain any form of milk in it. Basically, bittersweet chocolate is a mixture of chocolate liquor, sugar, cocoa butter, and sometimes with some vanilla or lecithin added. Chocolate liquor is not an alcohol – it is a form of cocoa produced by grinding cocoa beans down into liquid form. In solid formed blocks it is known as unsweetened baking chocolate. The more chocolate liquor the chocolate contains, the more intensive flavor will be.

According to Standards of Identity which are established by the Food and Drug Administration chocolate liquor should contain from 35% to 43% of chocolate liquor to be called bittersweet chocolate, high-quality bittersweet chocolate may contain 65% to 70% or even more.

How to make Bittersweet Chocolate?
The semisweet and bittersweet chocolates are occasionally labeled “couverture” which designation indicates that the chocolate contains not less than 32 percent cocoa butter. Couverture must be tempered (it is the process of manipulating the temperature of the chocolate). The couverture chocolates are smooth and fluid that is why they are favorite for dipping, coating, and molding. And, when it hardens, it has a lovely soft and a creamy texture.

Bittersweet chocolate is available in several different forms – bars, chips, and chunks of various sizes. It can be used in baking, cooking, and is eaten out of hand.

Talking about Bittersweet chocolate it is important to mention that this kind of chocolate is extremely sensitive to temperature and humidity. An ideal place to store chocolate is between 59 and 63 degrees F (15 and 17 degrees C) and a relative humidity at about 50 percent or less. Changes in the appearance or texture of the chocolate can be caused by the variety of temperature and cause a whitish “bloom” on the surface, but it is perfectly safe to eat because it is just the presence of fat and sugar crystals.

Benefits of Bittersweet Chocolate
Bittersweet chocolate because of its high cocoa content is a good source of flavanoids, which protects heart, antioxidant compounds which helps to lower blood pressure, theobromine which is called aphrodisiac, but also blamed for sleeplessness, anxiety, and polyuria. Theobromine is even poisonous to dogs and cats so all chocolate should be kept away from animals’ reach.

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