This may seem like a dumb question but what is the difference between semi-sweet, unsweetened, bitter-sweet etc etc when it comes to chocolate??
I'm in Australia and our chocolate isn't labeled that way. We of course have white, milk and dark as well as compound (cooking) or couverture and dark is available in different cocoa percentages.
There are some fantastic American recipes I'm dying to try but I don't know what I should use - some recipes call for two different types of chocolate.
Could someone please explain the differences for me? Or perhaps a fellow Aussie could point me toward our equivalents? You'd think a chocoholic like myself would already know the answer to this!!
Unsweetened chocolate is pure cocoa beans, roasted and ground into a paste - sometimes with a little vanilla added. It does not contain any sugar. This is much like grinding peanuts to make peanut butter. There is no equivalent commonly available in Australia that I have been able to find. The closest thing is the 99% chocolate liquor bars from Lindt. And even those are only available in specialty stores here in Sydney.
Semi-sweet and bittersweet chocolates contain anywhere from 35-70% chocolate liquor and have more or less sugar according to the percentage.
I am generally a fan of the 70% dark chocolate for most of my cake needs.
Hope that helps.
Yup, it's all about the cocoa content. I can't get unsweetened chocolate either, but you can substitute cocoa powder and butter instead. I have the extact amounts somewhere. Let me go & look and I'll BRB!
OK - found it!
For each ounce of unsweetened chocolate in a recipe, you can sub 3 tablespoons cocoa plus 1 tablespoon butter/marg. I've used this and it makes no difference to the outcome.
bonjovibabe thankyou so much for the unsweetened chocolate substitute! The recipe I'm looking at trying has equal amounts of both unsweetened and semi-sweet, I'm a bit more confident giving it a try now.
lekoli thankyou for clearing that up for me, I suspected it might have something to do with the cocoa percentage. Would I be right in guessing that the higher % is bittersweet and the lower is % semi-sweet?