There are around seven different types of chocolate available for eating and cooking with, from baking and bittersweet to couverture chocolate.
So working out what’s best to use for what purpose can be a little mind-boggling, to say the least!
“Is baking chocolate the same as couverture chocolate?”Can I use normal milk chocolate in baking?”
This post will look at chocolate couverture in detail so you know what it is and what it is used for.
Click here to buy Easymelt Couverture Chocolate Shards from our online shop.
What is Couverture Chocolate?
Couverture chocolate is the name given to high-quality chocolate. It is often used for baking and cooking.
It’s chocolate that contains a higher percentage of cocoa butter (32 – 39%) than baking or eating chocolate.
Unlike regular chocolate, couverture is ground to a finer texture during production to give it a beautiful shine, a deeper flavour, and a healthy ‘snap’ when you break or bite into it.
(You might also like to read this post asking: What is Blonde Chocolate?)
What is the Best Type of Couverture Chocolate?
It depends on the recipe you are using, but, as a rule, you need to use the highest quality couverture product possible.
A product that contains a high percentage of cocoa solids and cocoa butter.
It’s no surprise that most professional chefs’ preferred choice of couverture chocolate is dark chocolate with a minimum of 55% cocoa solids.
Here at Whitakers Chocolates, we have created a unique product specifically for this market called Easymelt.
Using our signature 55% dark chocolate instead of callets, we have opted for mini shards, which offer a faster melting point due to the profile of the chocolate pieces.
(You might also like to take a read of this post asking: What is Ruby Chocolate?)
What Are the Main Ingredients of Couverture Chocolate?
- Cocoa solids.
- Cocoa butter.
- Milk Powder (if it’s milk chocolate couverture).
- Emulsifier (Lecithin).
What is Couverture Chocolate Used For?
Due to its rich taste and glossy texture, couverture chocolate is often used for coating, decorating or dipping.
It is also used to create high-quality chocolate cakes, pastries, truffles and desserts.
Due to the format that couverture chocolate is available to buy in (i.e. shards or callets), it is rarely consumed as standard eating chocolate.
(Before we go on, you may also like to read this post looking at: is hot chocolate healthy?)
Is Couverture Chocolate Dark, or Does it Come in Different Types?
Couverture chocolate is available in various types, including dark, milk, and white chocolate.
The term “couverture” refers to the chocolate’s high-quality and high cocoa butter content rather than its cocoa content or type.
Each type of couverture chocolate has its own distinct flavour:
- Dark couverture: This type contains a higher percentage of cocoa solids and less sugar than milk or white chocolate, resulting in a more intense and less sweet chocolate flavour. It usually has a cocoa content of around 50-85% or higher.
- Milk couverture: This type contains added milk powder or condensed milk, giving it a creamier texture and milder, sweeter flavour compared to dark chocolate. The cocoa content in milk couverture chocolate is generally lower, ranging from 30-50%.
- White couverture: Made primarily from cocoa butter, sugar, and milk solids, white couverture lacks the cocoa solids found in dark and milk chocolate. As a result, it has a creamy, sweet flavour with a subtle cocoa butter taste.
When selecting couverture chocolate, it’s essential to choose a high-quality product, as the higher cocoa butter content contributes to the chocolate’s smooth texture, glossy appearance, and satisfying snap when properly tempered.
(You might also like to read this post about how to fix seized chocolate).
What is the Difference Between Chocolate Couverture, Shards and Callets?
They are all the same product with hards and callets referring to the different shapes.
There is an argument to suggest shards have a faster melting time due to the profile & thinness of the chocolate itself.
Why is Couverture Chocolate More Expensive?
Couverture chocolate made from good quality cocoa beans is pricier.
High-quality cocoa beans are higher in cost but have remarkably unique and delicious flavour profiles, and their fragrant cocoa solids will noticeably stand out.
Compound chocolate is often lower in cost because of its low cocoa content.
(You might also want to read this blog post looking at the question: how chocolate is made step-by-step?)
What Are Some Good Ways to Use Couverture Chocolate?
Couverture chocolate is rarely eaten as a snack and is much more often used in cooking and baking.
- Moulding (i.e. chocolate bars).
- As an ingredient in making cakes, pastries, chocolate truffles and desserts.
(You might also be interested in reading this post asking: What is Compound Chocolate?)
What Can I Substitute for Couverture Chocolate?
If you’re unable to find couverture chocolate, there are a few alternatives you can consider using as a substitute.
Keep in mind that the results may not be identical, as couverture has a higher cocoa butter content, which gives it a smoother texture and better shine when tempered.
Here are some options:
Dark chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate: Choose a good-quality dark or semi-sweet chocolate with a high cocoa content (around 60-70%).
Although it may not have the same high cocoa butter content, it can work as a decent substitute in most recipes.
Compound chocolate: Compound chocolate is made with a combination of cocoa, sweeteners, and vegetable fats instead of cocoa butter.
It is more affordable and easier to work with than couverture, as it doesn’t require tempering.
However, the taste and texture may not be as premium as couverture chocolate.
Chocolate chips: In a pinch, you can use chocolate chips as a substitute.
Keep in mind that chocolate chips often contain less cocoa butter, so they may not melt and temper as smoothly as couverture.
Additionally, the quality of chocolate chips can vary, so opt for higher-quality chips if possible.
When substituting with any of these options, be aware that the final result might not have the same shine, snap, or smoothness as it would with couverture.
The taste may also be slightly different, but these alternatives should work in most recipes where couverture chocolate is called for.
Final Notes on Understanding Couverture Chocolate
In summary, couverture chocolate should be your preferred choice when making chocolates, dipping strawberries or used as a finishing touch to your baking masterpieces.
The higher percentage of cocoa solids and cocoa butter means the melting time is vastly reduced and, in most cases, makes it easier to work with in recipes.
We’d love to see your chocolate creations, so please tag us in #whitakerschocolates if you share any photos anywhere on social media.