Couverture chocolate
Couverture chocolate is a very high quality chocolate
Chocolate is a raw or processed food produced from the seed of the tropical Theobroma cacao tree. Cacao has been cultivated for at least three millennia in Mexico, Central and South America. Its earliest documented use is around 1100 BC...

 that contains extra cocoa butter
Cocoa butter
Cocoa butter, also called theobroma oil, is a pale-yellow, pure edible vegetable fat extracted from the cocoa bean. It is used to make chocolate, biscuits, and baked goods, as well as some pharmaceuticals, ointments, and toiletries...

 (32-39%). The higher percentage of cocoa butter, combined with proper tempering, gives the chocolate more sheen, firmer "snap" when broken, and a creamy mellow flavor.

The total "percentage" cited on many brands of chocolate is base on some combination of cocoa butter in relation to cocoa solids
Cocoa solids
Cocoa solids are the low-fat component of chocolate. When sold as an end product, it may also be called cocoa powder, cocoa, and cacao....

 (cacao). In order to be properly labeled as "couverture", the percentage of cocoa butter must be between 32% and 39%, and the total percentage of the combined cocoa butter plus cocoa solids must be at least 54%. Sugar
Sugar is a class of edible crystalline carbohydrates, mainly sucrose, lactose, and fructose, characterized by a sweet flavor.Sucrose in its refined form primarily comes from sugar cane and sugar beet...

 makes up the remainder, and up to 1% may be made up of vanilla
Vanilla is a flavoring derived from orchids of the genus Vanilla, primarily from the Mexican species, Flat-leaved Vanilla . The word vanilla derives from the Spanish word "", little pod...

, and sometimes soy lecithin.

Couverture is used by professionals for dipping, coating, molding and garnishing.

The term "couverture chocolate" should not be confused with "confectionery chocolate", "compound chocolate" or "summer coating": these products have a lower percentage of solids, and they may also contain vegetable oil, hydrogenated fats ("trans fat
Trans fat
Trans fat is the common name for unsaturated fat with trans-isomer fatty acid. Because the term refers to the configuration of a double carbon-carbon bond, trans fats are sometimes monounsaturated or polyunsaturated, but never saturated....

s"), coconut
Coconut oil
Coconut oil is an edible oil extracted from the kernel or meat of matured coconuts harvested from the coconut palm . Throughout the tropical world, it has provided the primary source of fat in the diets of millions of people for generations. It has various applications in food, medicine, and industry...

 and/or palm oil
Palm oil
Palm oil, coconut oil and palm kernel oil are edible plant oils derived from the fruits of palm trees. Palm oil is extracted from the pulp of the fruit of the oil palm Elaeis guineensis; palm kernel oil is derived from the kernel of the oil palm and coconut oil is derived from the kernel of the...

, and sometimes artificial chocolate flavoring.

Some brands of couverture chocolate are packaged tempered, and others are packaged untempered. Subsequent tempering may or may not be required, depending on the usage and the desired characteristics of the final product.

Couverture chocolate should not be substituted when semi-sweet, bittersweet, or unsweetened chocolate is called for in a recipe, as the increased cocoa butter content and the sugar content may alter the finished product.

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.