Baking chocolate, also referred to as bitter chocolate, cooking chocolate and unsweetened chocolate, is a type of chocolate that is prepared or manufactured for baking. It is used as an ingredient in desserts and in baked goods. It is typically prepared in unsweetened, bitter-sweet semi-sweet and sweet varieties. It may be prepared with chocolate liquor or cocoa solids. Recipes that include unsweetened baking chocolate typically use a significant amount of sugar. Bittersweet baking chocolate "must contain 35 percent chocolate liquor or higher." Most baking chocolates have at least a 50% cocoa content, with the remaining content usually being "almost all sugar." Sweet varieties may be referred to as "sweet baking chocolate" or "sweet chocolate." Sweet baking chocolate contains more sugar than bittersweet and semi-sweet varieties, and semi-sweet varieties contain more sugar than bittersweet varieties. Sweet and semi-sweet baking chocolate is prepared with a chocolate liquor content between 15 and 35 percent.
Modern manufactured baking chocolate is typically formed from chocolate liquor into bars and chocolate chips. Manufacturers may process the chocolate and then form it into bulk-sized ten-pound bars, which are then sold to confectioners and bakers. Baking chocolate may be of a lower quality compared to other types of chocolate, and may have part of the cocoa butter replaced with other fats that do not require tempering. This type of baking chocolate may be easier to handle compared to those that have not had their cocoa butter content lowered. Lower quality baking chocolate may not be as flavorful compared to higher-quality chocolate, and may have a different mouthfeel.
The table below denotes the four primary varieties of baking chocolate.
|Unsweetened||Contains no sugar, and contains 99% chocolate liquor or cocoa solids|||
|Bittersweet||Usually has less sugar and more chocolate liquor compared to semi-sweet varieties.|||
|Semi-sweet||Has less sugar than sweet varieties. In Europe, a regulation exists stating that semi-sweet varieties must contain more sugar and less chocolate liquor compared to bittersweet varieties. No such regulation exists in the United States, and due to this, semi-sweet and bittersweet varieties can vary in sweetness and chocolate liquor content. In the U.S., bittersweet varieties are even sometimes sweeter than semi-sweet varieties.|||
|Sweet||Has the most sugar|||
Baker's Chocolate is an American brand of baking chocolate that was first named Walter Baker & Company. It is considered to be the oldest chocolate manufacturer in the United States. The company was established in 1765 in Dorchester, Massachusetts, when a physician named Dr. James Baker met John Hannon. The original brand name was "Hannon’s Best Chocolate," which was "manufactured for almost fifteen years" and was sold with a money-back guarantee if the consumer was unsatisfied with the product. The name was changed in 1780 after Hannon's wife, Elizabeth Gore Hannon, sold the company to Baker in 1780, after Hannon never returned from a 1779 sailing trip to the West Indies to purchase cocoa beans. At the time, it was rumored that Hannon intended to leave his wife, and thus deserted her. Original versions of the brand were not prepared for baking, and before 1865, the company purveyed three grades of drinking chocolate, which were "Best Chocolate", "Common Chocolate" and "Inferior Chocolate". The inferior grade was mostly sold to West Indian and American slaves. Around the mid 1800s, the company began to significantly expand, and later significantly increased its advertising in American newspapers. In 1896, Baker's Chocolate was advertising in around 8,000 newspapers in the United States. The company also advertised using signage and cards in grocery stores, in novels, in street cars and using billboards. Around the late 1800s, the company began promoting the notion of using chocolate as an ingredient in desserts and for baking.
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