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What's the difference between baking chocolate and regular chocolate? (1 Viewer)

Knowing the difference between baking chocolate and regular chocolate.

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The difference is that baking chocolate is usually bitter in taste and does not have any additional sweeteners in it whereas regular/normal chocolate does.
 
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retired pastrychef

Active Member
Knowing the difference between baking chocolate and regular chocolate.

View attachment 4777


The difference is that baking chocolate is usually bitter in taste and does not have any additional sweeteners in it whereas regular/normal chocolate does.

I steered away from chocolate for years because its finicky .
but then I became friends with a chief engineer for Cadbury (through a non food related hobby) .
He pestered me to get more into chocolate work, I learned lot from him but hands on skill took longer to acquire.
In the trade we call unsweetened baking type chocolate Liquor.
He persuaded me to get callebaut semi sweet, and to check ingredient labels, if the first item is sugar its not very useful.
The factory he designed for Premier Biscuits is in Wirral, I visited and got a late night tour, interesting attention to detail such as air curtains, if you stand in one spot the temp and humidity is at one level, move 3 feet over and the temp/humidity is different.

I learned I can buy callebaut 811 and add 10% cocoa butter to make my own couverture which is just a fancy word for free flowing, for a thinner coating on truffles.
Same with adding some choc liquor to the 811 , it will boost the depth of taste.
When I first switched over from fake to real chocolate I had occasional bloom problems, any open window can cause a draft which will ruin a batch. Fixed that by getting a small tempering machine, which I still have sitting in the middle of my kitchen at home. there are small table top home versions that seem very good, not too expensive.
For me the difference was immediate. I could mold using almost anything for a mold due to the precise shrink with machine tempered choc. Hand tempering is a bit of hit or miss, choc might not bloom but it may not shrink enough to free itself from a mold.
 

A Guy

Well-Known Member
One of my first jobs was at a candy factory. I ended up cooking candy for a guy who hired the company to produce his product. While cooking a big kettle full, just before I was to add the baking chocolate, I tossed a small piece in my mouth...OMG! I couldn't go get any water to wash my mouth out or anything because I was doing timed ingredient adding, and stirring. THAT's the difference between regular and baking chocolate...the OMG!

A Guy
 

Angie

Administrator
Staff member
I steered away from chocolate for years because its finicky .
but then I became friends with a chief engineer for Cadbury (through a non-food related hobby).
He pestered me to get more into chocolate work, I learned a lot from him, but hands-on skill took longer to acquire.
In the trade, we call unsweetened baking type chocolate Liquor.
He persuaded me to get Callebaut semi-sweet, and to check ingredient labels if the first item is sugar its not very useful.
The factory he designed for Premier Biscuits is in Wirral, I visited and got a late night tour, interesting attention to detail such as air curtains, if you stand in one spot the temp and humidity is at one level, move 3 feet over and the temp/humidity is different.

I learned I can buy callebaut 811 and add 10% cocoa butter to make my own couverture which is just a fancy word for free flowing, for a thinner coating on truffles.
Same with adding some choc liquor to the 811 , it will boost the depth of taste.
When I first switched over from fake to real chocolate I had occasional bloom problems, any open window can cause a draft which will ruin a batch. Fixed that by getting a small tempering machine, which I still have sitting in the middle of my kitchen at home. there are small table top home versions that seem very good, not too expensive.
For me, the difference was immediate. I could mold using almost anything for a mold due to the precise shrink with machine tempered choc. Hand tempering is a bit of hit or miss, choc might not bloom, but it may not shrink enough to free itself from a mold.

I must admit I'm the same, it's the faff of tempering and getting the consistency right and then the glossiness and then for it to dry and set right and then it melts the list goes on. Then like you say having the added factor of humidity etc. It's a minefield!

However, on the other hand, it does intrigue me, and I want to have a go at playing about with it. I've seen many vids of experts pouring the chocolate out onto a slab of marble and then making the most beautiful ruffles with it. But I know it's a skill that will take time to learn.

I have seen vids of people tempering and even been on a course for it many years ago. The last vid I saw was of a girl melting two-thirds of her choc and then adding the final third in its natural form; she said that the formed choc in its natural state would temper the melted choc and temper it.

I did try making a drip cake with regular choc, but the choc wasn't tempered properly so no beautiful glossy finish, the choc was also too warm, and my cake/fondant slightly bowed under it. I then bought some choc pouring glaze, but that didn't give me the finish I wanted either.

I have seen the chocolate that they drip onto transfer paper then wrap around the sides of the cake and the beautiful decorations they make by dropping melted choc into ice water. That I fancy having a go at.

I have managed to make chocolate lollies and chocolate moustaches so not bad.

So would you recommend a tempering machine then? Do you grease you moulds or don't you?
 
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retired pastrychef

Active Member
I must admit I'm the same, it's the faff of tempering and getting the consistency right and then the glossiness and then for it to dry and set right and then it melts the list goes on. Then like you say having the added factor of humidity etc. It's a minefield!

However, on the other hand, it does intrigue me, and I want to have a go at playing about with it. I've seen many vids of experts pouring the chocolate out onto a slab of marble and then making the most beautiful ruffles with it. But I know it's a skill that will take time to learn.

I have seen vids of people tempering and even been on a course for it many years ago. The last vid I saw was of a girl melting two-thirds of her choc and then adding the final third in its natural form; she said that the formed choc in its natural state would temper the melted choc and temper it.

I did try making a drip cake with regular choc, but the choc wasn't tempered properly so no beautiful glossy finish, the choc was also too warm, and my cake/fondant slightly bowed under it. I then bought some choc pouring glaze, but that didn't give me the finish I wanted either.

I have seen the chocolate that they drip onto transfer paper then wrap around the sides of the cake and the beautiful decorations they make by dropping melted choc into ice water. That I fancy having a go at.

I have managed to make chocolate lollies and chocolate moustaches so not bad.

So would you recommend a tempering machine then? Do you grease you moulds or don't you?

No never grease molds, just polish them. Real chocolate shrinks a couple percent when tempered and the parts drop out of the mold when tipped over.
Tabliering is fast but very messy.

seeding is quick and easy.
i often melted the choc in the microwave...carefully.
set timer 1 minute and stir it after 30 seconds, then stir again every 15 seconds.
It has to be stirred very often to prevent hot spots which will scorch and ruin the batch.
After a few cycles it begins to feel sticky , reduce the periods down to 10 seconds, keep feeling the bottom of the bowl, no warmer than 110F. Once melted add a handfull of virgin choc and stir, if it melts quickly its still too warm , keep adding fresh chips (not cookie chips) until the chips barely melt, its ready.
Problem is, once its ready it needs to be constantly slowly agitated to even the temp, the machine does that very easily.

Making ribbons and curls is easier without marble, the marble requires you to work very quickly whilst the choc is still in its plastic stage. It really makes it almost impossible to get more than a few peices. I found pouring it onto a stainless table was a lot better, the back of a clean sheetpan or even a formica counter.
If you have a big slab of chocolate its possible to just pull curls right off the block with a cheese slicer or drag peeler, the choc has to be quite warm but not over 100F . This woman makes big curls . We did it this way for years, it works.
 

Angie

Administrator
Staff member
It's unbelievable how quick and effective it is once you have the right consistency and tools.

No never grease molds, just polish them. Real chocolate shrinks a couple percent when tempered and the parts drop out of the mold when tipped over.
Tabliering is fast but very messy.

seeding is quick and easy.
i often melted the choc in the microwave...carefully.
set timer 1 minute and stir it after 30 seconds, then stir again every 15 seconds.
It has to be stirred very often to prevent hot spots which will scorch and ruin the batch.
After a few cycles, it begins to feel sticky, reduce the periods down to 10 seconds, keep feeling the bottom of the bowl, no warmer than 110F. Once melted add a handfull of virgin choc and stir, if it melts quickly its still too warm , keep adding fresh chips (not cookie chips) until the chips barely melt, it's ready.
Problem is, once it's ready it needs to be constantly slowly agitated to even the temp, the machine does that very easily.

Making ribbons and curls is easier without marble, the marble requires you to work very quickly whilst the choc is still in its plastic stage. It really makes it almost impossible to get more than a few pieces. I found pouring it onto a stainless table was a lot better, the back of a clean sheetpan or even a formica counter.
If you have a big slab of chocolate its possible to just pull curls right off the block with a cheese slicer or drag peeler, the choc has to be quite warm but not over 100F . This woman makes big curls . We did it this way for years, it works.

I didn't think you had to grease the moulds as it usually drops straight out but thought I would check.

Do you use cotton pads to polish your moulds or kitchen towel to remove grease/moisture dirt etc.?

I only ever use the microwave to melt chocolate. I usually do it in 30-second bursts and then stir the chunks and place it back in; then when it gets to the last bits of large pieces, I stir until it's dissolved. I have burned chocolate once in the microwave and obviously had to bin it, but I steer well away from melting it over a bain-marie for steam water and seizing purposes.

I've seen some people use cookie chips for melted choc, would you advise against that? I usually use blocks and break them up.

I don't have a stainless steel top I have caesar stone, so it's probably on par with the marble.

I have seen people use potato peelers before on chocolate, but the choc has always been solid so it was just for a little sprinkling of chocolate or for decoration. I didn't realise how easy it would be to create curls by warming it slightly. I think when I get a second, I may have a go at the curls as they seem relatively easy to do and then if I get really clever I might invest in the tempering machine down the line. Would the lady in the vid have put her choc bar near something warm, because I'm assuming she didn't put the block in the microwave with the wrapper on? Dairy Milk works for me too. 😊

The easy methods are great, so thank you for that, I may even try the back of a sheet pan.
 

retired pastrychef

Active Member
It's unbelievable how quick and effective it is once you have the right consistency and tools.



I didn't think you had to grease the moulds as it usually drops straight out but thought I would check.

Do you use cotton pads to polish your moulds or kitchen towel to remove grease/moisture dirt etc.?

I only ever use the microwave to melt chocolate. I usually do it in 30-second bursts and then stir the chunks and place it back in; then when it gets to the last bits of large pieces, I stir until it's dissolved. I have burned chocolate once in the microwave and obviously had to bin it, but I steer well away from melting it over a bain-marie for steam water and seizing purposes.

I've seen some people use cookie chips for melted choc, would you advise against that? I usually use blocks and break them up.

I don't have a stainless steel top I have caesar stone, so it's probably on par with the marble.

I have seen people use potato peelers before on chocolate, but the choc has always been solid so it was just for a little sprinkling of chocolate or for decoration. I didn't realise how easy it would be to create curls by warming it slightly. I think when I get a second, I may have a go at the curls as they seem relatively easy to do and then if I get really clever I might invest in the tempering machine down the line. Would the lady in the vid have put her choc bar near something warm, because I'm assuming she didn't put the block in the microwave with the wrapper on? Dairy Milk works for me too. 😊

The easy methods are great, so thank you for that, I may even try the back of a sheet pan.

Callebaut sells callets that look like chips but they're not cheap chocolate, I pay $45 for 5lb.
Cadbury should be ok. I can't get those big blocks here , can't mail order from Amazon either, only callets.
Wish I could get choc blocks but I'm in the far northern woods.
The only problem with using a sheetpan is you have to hold in place with one hand, it takes 2 hands to make choc fans.
The melted choc has to be worked with the spatula to plasticize it, not merely to spread it thin, keep going until the surface turns from glossy to dull, thats an important step not often mentioned.

I don't know how she softened her block, maybe a linen cupboard that has a water heater or an elec blanket.
Either way it takes a long time to warm it slowly through the block with gentle warmth.
You have to find the goldilocks temperature, too warm or too cool doesn't work.
We used a flat cheese slicer rather than veg peeler.
 

Angie

Administrator
Staff member
The Cake Decorating Co and Amazon sell Callebaut brand but only the Callets which range between £11 - £13 a kilo.

I've never seen a bar as big as the lady had in the vid, but that's because I buy blocks from the supermarket rather than a chocolatier.

Now that you have mentioned more quality ingredients, I may look to try that. You get what you pay for so the better the chocolate, the better the results are going to be.

As for the temp, I agree she must have placed it near a radiator or sat it on something warm; then it's back to trial and error. Ooh, the joys of chocolate. You have to have such respect for it, or otherwise, it won't play nice.

I've just searched the Callebaut Chocolate block on Amazon and found it to be £45 in the UK, it's also available in the US but for $85! Yikes, that's for an 11lb block.

I see the issue with the pan it would either be a two-person job or very messy for one. 😂

The cheese slicer looks good on size but would it still curl it because after watching the vid it's more of a slicer than a roller. Although I do think you'll get a better slide/cut with the slicer.

What chocolate decorations have you made?
 

retired pastrychef

Active Member
The Cake Decorating Co and Amazon sell Callebaut brand but only the Callets which range between £11 - £13 a kilo.

I've never seen a bar as big as the lady had in the vid, but that's because I buy blocks from the supermarket rather than a chocolatier.

Now that you have mentioned more quality ingredients, I may look to try that. You get what you pay for so the better the chocolate, the better the results are going to be.

As for the temp, I agree she must have placed it near a radiator or sat it on something warm; then it's back to trial and error. Ooh, the joys of chocolate. You have to have such respect for it, or otherwise, it won't play nice.

I've just searched the Callebaut Chocolate block on Amazon and found it to be £45 in the UK, it's also available in the US but for $85! Yikes, that's for an 11lb block.

I see the issue with the pan it would either be a two-person job or very messy for one. 😂

The cheese slicer looks good on size but would it still curl it because after watching the vid it's more of a slicer than a roller. Although I do think you'll get a better slide/cut with the slicer.

What chocolate decorations have you made?

Cadbury sells the 5 kilo slab retail to the public, I saw them when I was last in Manchester, at a big warehouse discount type place, like cosco or walmart. That was years ago but I see its still being sold.
I can get 11lb slabs of callebaut in Boston for around $40 wholesale, but I'm 550 miles north of there now.
We'll be taking a drive down to Boston in the spring, I can use the wholesale ID card from the cafe where I was working before I retired.

I steered away from time consuming decorations, anything I did would have to be replicated 100 times.
Dipping truffles was the main chore, I did mold a lot of choc cups for mousse too.
Chocolate mice always sold fast.
Barquettes , half diped in choc and half with ground almond.
Occasional cake decorations but it had to be quick.
The philosophy I followed was "make em fast, stack em high, sell em cheap".
I'll try to post a pic.

Banana cream pie with little choc cups filled with banana mousse.
Boothweddingcapecod.JPG


image16_0010 (2).jpg


Barquettes
 
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Angie

Administrator
Staff member
I'll have to do more research on the choc because I only buy it when I need it. I have previously purchased chocolate cigarillos for a cake I was doing.


But I think if I use it more often, then I'll have to look at wholesalers for it. I've not been in Costco for years, but I'm sure they still do stuff like that.

That's an excellent price on the Callebaut, but 550 miles is a bit of trek! Wow, you weren't kidding that you were out in the sticks. Do you stock up on ingredients and buy bulk because you have far to travel and then make your desserts and post them for your sister?

Thanks for the pics, I love the little chocolate cups they're so dainty. I've never heard of barquettes before, and I've never tasted a banana cream pie either.

I like your philosophy; at the end of the day, you want all your products leaving the shelves, value for money and customers wanting more.
 

retired pastrychef

Active Member
I'll have to do more research on the choc because I only buy it when I need it. I have previously purchased chocolate cigarillos for a cake I was doing.


But I think if I use it more often, then I'll have to look at wholesalers for it. I've not been in Costco for years, but I'm sure they still do stuff like that.

That's an excellent price on the Callebaut, but 550 miles is a bit of trek! Wow, you weren't kidding that you were out in the sticks. Do you stock up on ingredients and buy bulk because you have far to travel and then make your desserts and post them for your sister?

Thanks for the pics, I love the little chocolate cups they're so dainty. I've never heard of barquettes before, and I've never tasted a banana cream pie either.

I like your philosophy; at the end of the day, you want all your products leaving the shelves, value for money and customers wanting more.

I don't bother making a dedicated recipe for cream pie, I'll mix some pastry cream with whipped cream and chopped banana, thats as far as I go.
Barquettes are sweet dough in a boat shaped tart mold filled with frangipane, topped with hazelnut buttercream, its already a load of hand steps before it gets to the finishing stage. Its hardly worth it when people just want cupcakes.
Thats why I got out of retail pastry and into catering weddings.
I'd have to be insane to open a bakery today, unless it had sit down with coffee and sandwiches etc.

I've been sourcing mail order but prices are crazy, $58 for 1 lb of fresh cake yeast.
In boston it sells for less than $1 per lb. So that can wait.
 

Angie

Administrator
Staff member
Ah, you just make from scratch with your own proportions.

The barquettes are really pretty, but I think they belong more in a restaurant rather than a shop. I'd love to make things like that, but the time it takes to do so doesn't seem worth it unless you were selling them to the masses. It's good to expand your repertoire so it would be nice to make them for myself. I tend to stick with the cupcakes and decorating, the fun stuff as I call it.

Would you also make the Wedding Cake if you cater for weddings or would you stick with the food/desserts? Do you make lots of pastries for weddings too?

Lots of people have got caught up in the baking trend, so there are lots of people into it and wanting to learn more. They're also pushing boundaries, with flavours structures etc. but those guys are real cake artists. Some of the things I've seen done with cake is truly amazing. That's why I tend to stick more with the teaching/decorating side of it and wrote my book at least that way; I can teach people far and wide and help out where I can. It's one of the reasons I built the site.

You must have seen a total change in the years you have been doing it. Are there any trends that keep coming back around?
 

Joan

Well-Known Member
Did you see James Martins Saturday Kitchen today Angie, he had Rosie Drummer on who he called the best cake maker out there? The cakes she'd made for his 100th show were amazing, there was one of James, plus a couple of his dogs they were fantastic and so lifelike.
 
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Angie

Administrator
Staff member
No, I didn't see it. I love Rosie; I had a twitter interaction a few months ago with her about the programme 'The Circle'. I also went to one of her workshops when the Cake and Bake Show used to come to Manchester. She is a cake artist as I like to call them, she has made some serious masterpieces.

I'll see if I can find it on demand. I love seeing what people can make with cake. 😍
 

retired pastrychef

Active Member
Ah, you just make from scratch with your own proportions.

The barquettes are really pretty, but I think they belong more in a restaurant rather than a shop. I'd love to make things like that, but the time it takes to do so doesn't seem worth it unless you were selling them to the masses. It's good to expand your repertoire so it would be nice to make them for myself. I tend to stick with the cupcakes and decorating, the fun stuff as I call it.

Would you also make the Wedding Cake if you cater for weddings or would you stick with the food/desserts? Do you make lots of pastries for weddings too?

Lots of people have got caught up in the baking trend, so there are lots of people into it and wanting to learn more. They're also pushing boundaries, with flavours structures etc. but those guys are real cake artists. Some of the things I've seen done with cake is truly amazing. That's why I tend to stick more with the teaching/decorating side of it and wrote my book at least that way; I can teach people far and wide and help out where I can. It's one of the reasons I built the site.

You must have seen a total change in the years you have been doing it. Are there any trends that keep coming back around?

Bad ideas always revisit, the cronut fad in NYC is a good example. "its a new invention" says the NY Times.
I was deep frying croissant dough in 1970, same as they're doing now.
And someone did it before me....I'm sure. Its just as bad an idea today as when I tried it.
Putting all the labor into croissant dough, then deep frying all the butter out? its kinda funny.
I've come to accept the oldtimers didn't miss much way back when.
 

Angie

Administrator
Staff member
Lol! So not always the good then. 😁

Mmm croissants, I love the smell of those things, especially in the oven. Never had a cronut but I love both croissants and doughnuts so I'm sure I'd like them.
 
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