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Chocolate 101

From pod to the perfect temper, here's everything you need to be a master chocolatier in your own home.

 

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Select a topic to learn more

 



% Cacao

This is the percentage in a chocolate which comes from the cocoa plant, including any cocoa butter.

Added Cocoa Butter

Chocolate may have additional cocoa butter added, which will be included in the % of cacao.

Bittersweet or Semisweet

Chocolate containing at least 35% cocoa solids, with a total cocoa content of 62% or more.

Blending

To achieve a consistent quality, or to enhance certain attributes, chocolatiers may combine cocoa beans from various countries, regions, crops, and type of bean. After roasting, blending of the cocoa occurs to incorporate other ingredients such as vanilla and soy lethicin.

Bloom

When chocolate is heated and not properly cooled, or kept in a moist environment, blooming may occur as cocoa butter particles rises to the surface of the chocolate, creating a white, chalky finish. Bloom can affect the texture and enjoyment of the chocolate. To prevent bloom, make sure chocolate is properly tempered [see Tempering], and store your chocolates in a cool [temp range] dry place.

Cacao

This name refers to both the tree native to South America, and the unprocessed bean, which is one of the main ingredients in chocolate, derived from the cacao plant. Like coffee, cacao is divided into three main varieties: Creollo, Trinitario, and Forastaro.
 

Cacao Mass or Chocolate Liquor

The pure ground cocoa bean, excluding any added cocoa butter. Chocolate Liquor is the technical term with legal standards of 50-60% of cocoa butter and 46-48% cocoa solids. After roasting and winnowing [see winnowing] cocoa nibs are crushed until liquefied, and then either tempered and molded, or pressed to separate the cocoa butter from the cocoa powder.

Cacao NIBS

The term for the roasted cotyledon of the cacao plant which is ground into cacao mass or chocolate liquor.

Cacao Pod

The fruit of the cacao plant, containing sweet white pulp protecting 30-50 cacao beans, incased in a thick rind.

Chocolate

Generally used to describe the product we know and love, containing cacao solids, sugar, cocoa butter, soya/sunflower lecithin and vanilla.

COCOA POWDER

The component left after cocoa butter has been extracted from the cocoa mass.
 

CONCHING

The churning and cooking of the chocolate with special machinery to grind and smooth the chocolate while developing flavour. Each kind of chocolate is conched in different ways to best highlight its flavour profile.
 

COTYLEDONS

The scientific term for the raw form of the cacao nib, the park of the cacao bean used to create chocolate.
 

COUVERTURE

Professional quality chocolate with additional cocoa butter added to create a shiny, polished finish for confections. This chocolate must contain over 32% cocoa butter. Chocolates made with couverture tend to have a thinner, crisper shells and have a better mouth feel.
 

Melting

The process of heating chocolate to bring it from a solid to a liquid state. When adding chocolate to a batter, dough, or sauce, heating your chocolate enough to melt it may be sufficient, but for confections like homemade truffles, tempering your chocolate will provide a much better finish. See our prefect temper instructions below.
 

MILK CHOCOLATE

Milk chocolate is chocolate with at least 12% cream or whole milk and 10% chocolate liquor. The added milk makes the chocolate creamier and often sweeter.
 

ROASTING

Before winnowing, the beans must be roasted to specific standards based on the type of bean and its origin. Proper roasting helps develop flavour and texture.
 

STONE GRINDING

After winnowing, the cocoa beans are ground down into smaller particles, called nibs, by the use of stone grinding.
 

SUGAR BLOOM

Sugar bloom occurs when chocolate is exposed to moisture, causing the sugar inside to melt and rise to the surface, where it reforms in a larger, visible sugar crystal. This gives the chocolate a white, powdery texture, but can be corrected by properly retempering the chocolate.
 

TEMPERING

Tempering may appear to be a complex, professional step in creating confections, but with practice these techniques can be mastered, allowing you to produce a higher quality of chocolate treats. The tempering step is key to ensuring fat crystals develop properly, improving the over all texture of your chocolate. Proper tempering produces an even colour, glossy finish, and crisp snap when broken or bitten.

The Perfect Stovetop Temper:

Note: all equipment should be completely clean and dry.

Add your Rogers' Chocolate Fondue and Baking Wafers to the top of a double boiler with water simmering below. Be sure the water below is not in contact with the top pan. Using a rubber spatula, stir the chocolate constantly, allowing it to heat to approximately 95ºF [35ºC], or until 2/3 of the chocolate has melted.

Remove the chocolate from heat and continue to stir until the remaining 1/3 of chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth and has cooled to 89ºF [32ºC]. Your chocolate should now be tempered.

The Perfect Microwave Temper:

Note: all equipment should be completely clean and dry.

Place your Rogers' Chocolates Fondue and Baking Wafers in a microwave safe bowl. At 50% power, heat chocolate in 30 second intervals. Between intervals stir the chocolate with a rubber spatula. Allow the chocolate to heat to approximately 100ºF [38ºC], or until 2/3 of the chocolate has melted.

Remove the chocolate from heat and continue to stir until the remaining 1/3 of chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth and has cooled to 89ºF [32ºC]. Your chocolate should now be tempered.
 

UNSWEETENED CHOCOLATE

Cocoa mass with no added sugar. This chocolate may or may not have added vanilla and soya lecithin.
 

WINNOWING

The step which cracks and removes the hull of the cocoa bean, and crushes the bean into nibs.
 



Questions?

Our customer service team is here to support your confectionary endeavours.

 

 

 
 
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