So many kinds of chocolate…

 

What are the differences? Which one will suit my partner’s preference and personality? How can I know what to pick that matches their dietary needs without blowing a perfect date experience?

 

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If you or your Chocolate Date have dietary challenges with chocolate, you can find a wide assortment made to fit your needs. Treat yourself to sugar free, organic or kosher chocolates found in local stores (special diet aisle), organic specialty stores (where they carry fair trade chocolates) and local Chocolatiers (also available online for purchase).

 

“There are four basic food groups: milk chocolate, dark chocolate, white chocolate, and chocolate truffles.” – Anonymous

 

Let’s begin!

 

Chocolate Liquor or Cocoa Paste

The name ‘liquor’ can be deceiving, however there is no alcohol in ‘chocolate liquor’. This pure liquid form of chocolate is ground directly from the center of the cocoa bean, or the nib, and contains cocoa butter, a pale yellow edible natural fat, and cocoa solids, the nonfat component.

 

Cocoa Butter

Is the creamy, buttery, pale, yellow vegetable fat extracted from the chocolate liquor.

 

Cocoa Powder

Is the nonfat cocoa solids in the chocolate liquor once they are separated from the cocoa butter. This popular powdered form of unsweetened chocolate is usually used in hot chocolate and as an ingredient in low fat desserts like brownies and cookies.

 

Variety of Dark Chocolates:

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Unsweetened Chocolate

Solidified chocolate liquor with the highest cocoa content, also known as bitter or baking chocolate, is the base component that gives chocolate the deep flavor and dark brown color. With its bitter taste, it is best used in cooking and baking.

 

 

Bitter-sweet Chocolate

Unsweetened chocolate or chocolate liquor made from approximately 1/3 sugar and vanilla (used for flavoring). It contains anywhere from 35% – 80% chocolate liquor with a minimum of 32% cocoa solids. You will find this chocolate more bitter than semi-sweet as it has a higher content of chocolate liquor and less sugar.

 

Semi-sweet Chocolate

Normally found in chocolate chips or in baking squares for desserts, semisweet chocolate is a combination of unsweetened chocolate, sugar, cocoa butter and flavorings. It has a minimum of 35% chocolate liquor and is sweeter than bittersweet chocolate, but darker than sweet dark chocolate.

 

Dark Chocolate

Also known as ‘sweet dark chocolate’ contains chocolate liquor, sugar, cocoa butter, vanilla and an emulsifier. There are no milk solids in dark chocolate. With higher amounts of sugar and cocoa solids ranging from 30% to 80%, it is sweeter than other dark chocolates and is normally used for everyday consumption.

 

Chocolate with Milk products:

 

Milk Chocolates

Sweeter and creamier tasting than all the dark chocolates as it contains milk products (dry milk solids or condensed milk), higher sugar content, cocoa butter, chocolate liquor and flavorings (usually vanilla).

 

White Chocolate

The common debate as to whether or not white chocolate is considered chocolate is due to the cocoa butter content. White chocolate lacks the cocoa liquor and solids that give it the familiar flavor and brown color. This creamy treat contains extra milk products and some brands have a vanilla taste.

 

Health Alternatives:

 

Carob

Often used as a low-calorie health alternative to chocolate and containing similar nutrients such as calcium and phosphorus, this dark brown powder is made from the mashed fruit of a Mediterranean pine tree. It is often used for those with allergies to chocolate and can be found in solid form (chips) or powder at organic specialty stores.

 

 

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Divinity

The Chocolate Date Diva at The Chocolate Date
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