Things To Know When Baking With Chocolate

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Chocolate is one of the tastiest treats on the market. Knowing how to bake with this ingredient can take your desserts to the next level. However, working with this delectable ingredient requires knowledge and precision to achieve the best results. We’ve detailed the top things to know when baking with chocolate in this article.

Understand the Main Types of Chocolate

Chocolate comes in many forms, each serving a different baking purpose. Your main options include:

  • Cocoa powder
  • Chocolate bars
  • Chocolate chips
  • Chocolate wafers or disks 

Often, recipes call for chocolate bars and disks when you need to melt chocolate. They provide a rich, full-bodied chocolate flavor and a smooth texture. On the other hand, cocoa powder is best when you want to infuse your baked goods with a deep chocolate flavor. You can also dust cocoa powder over your baked goods; when making tiramisu, some bakers sift a bit of cocoa powder on it for hits of the bitter, chocolate flavor.

Another type to consider is baker’s chocolate. Unlike the candy bar you might pick up in the grocery store checkout line, this chocolate is unsweetened, making it ideal for recipes where you control the sweetness level.

Pick the Right Flavor of Chocolate

Another important thing to know when baking with chocolate is that every flavor impacts a recipe differently. White, milk, and dark chocolate have distinct flavors, with white being the sweetest and dark being the most bitter. Milk chocolate is a popular option because it’s sugary and has hints of the bitterness cocoa offers. 

While you can substitute one flavor for another in equal amounts—1 cup of white chocolate for 1 cup of dark chocolate—it will affect the taste of your baked goods. 

Know How To Melt Chocolate 

Melting chocolate may seem straightforward, but tempering requires careful attention. Chocolate burns easily and once seized, it can become grainy or clumpy. The key to melting chocolate is slowly tempering it, which means gradually raising its temperature to avoid overheating.

You can reduce the risk of wasted ingredients by understanding what to do when your tempered chocolate seizes. Adding natural fats, such as butter, to make it creamy again is one of the best ways to save your seized chocolate.

Enhance Chocolate Flavor With Coffee

Try adding a bit of espresso or coffee if you’re baking a chocolate cake or other pastry where you want the chocolate flavor to shine. The coffee enhances the chocolate flavor, making it richer and more intense.

Substitute some of the liquid in your ingredients list with brewed coffee or espresso when following your recipe. Start small, replacing about a quarter of the liquid, and adjust according to taste. Baking with chocolate can be a fun experience, and everything you make will taste incredible with the right tricks.