Baking chocolate

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A 200-gram (7.1 oz) bar of dark baking chocolate, with a minimum cocoa content of 40%
Semi-sweet chocolate chips

Baking chocolate, also referred to as bitter chocolate,[1] cooking chocolate[2] and unsweetened chocolate,[3] is a type of chocolate that is prepared or manufactured for baking.[1] It is used as an ingredient in desserts and in baked goods. It is typically prepared in unsweetened,[1] bitter-sweet[2] semi-sweet[4] and sweet varieties.[5] It may be prepared with chocolate liquor or cocoa solids. Recipes that include unsweetened baking chocolate typically use a significant amount of sugar.[5] Bittersweet baking chocolate "must contain 35 percent chocolate liquor or higher."[5] Most baking chocolates have at least a 50% cocoa content, with the remaining content usually being "almost all sugar."[1] Sweet varieties may be referred to as "sweet baking chocolate" or "sweet chocolate."[6] Sweet baking chocolate contains more sugar than bittersweet[5] and semi-sweet varieties, and semi-sweet varieties contain more sugar than bittersweet varieties.[6] Sweet and semi-sweet baking chocolate is prepared with a chocolate liquor content between 15 and 35 percent.[5]

Modern manufactured baking chocolate is typically formed from chocolate liquor into bars[1] 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.[2] 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.[7] This type of baking chocolate may be easier to handle compared to those that have not had their cocoa butter content lowered.[7] Lower quality baking chocolate may not be as flavorful compared to higher-quality chocolate, and may have a different mouthfeel.[7]


The table below denotes the four primary varieties of baking chocolate.

Type Content Sources
Unsweetened Contains no sugar, and contains 99% chocolate liquor or cocoa solids [1][5][8]
Bittersweet Usually has less sugar and more chocolate liquor compared to semi-sweet varieties. [1][6][8][9]
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. [1]
Sweet Has the most sugar [5]


Manufacturers of baking chocolate include Baker's Chocolate,[10] Callebaut, Ghirardelli, Guittard, Lindt, Menier, Scharffen Berger and Valrhona,[2] among others.

Baker's Chocolate

A 1919 advertisement for Baker's Cocoa

Baker's Chocolate is an American brand of baking chocolate[10] that was first named Walter Baker & Company. It is considered to be the oldest chocolate manufacturer in the United States.[11] The company was established in 1765 in Dorchester, Massachusetts,[10][12] 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.[12] 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.[12] At the time, it was rumored that Hannon intended to leave his wife, and thus deserted her.[12] 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".[10] The inferior grade was mostly sold to West Indian and American slaves.[10] Around the mid 1800s, the company began to significantly expand, and later significantly increased its advertising in American newspapers.[10] In 1896, Baker's Chocolate was advertising in around 8,000 newspapers in the United States.[10] The company also advertised using signage and cards in grocery stores, in novels, in street cars and using billboards.[10] Around the late 1800s, the company began promoting the notion of using chocolate as an ingredient in desserts and for baking.[10]

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 Mushet, C.; Table, Sur La; Caruso, M. (2008). The Art and Soul of Baking. Andrews McMeel Publishing. pp. 39–40. ISBN 978-0-7407-7334-1.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Risley, M.S. (2009). The Tante Marie's Cooking School Cookbook: More Than 250 Recipes for the Passionate Home Cook. Simon & Schuster. p. 370. ISBN 978-1-4391-4221-9.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Patrick-Goudreau, C. (2007). The Joy of Vegan Baking: The Compassionate Cooks' Traditional Treats and Sinful Sweets. Fair Winds Press. p. 241. ISBN 978-1-61673-850-1.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Gonzalez, E. (1998). The Art of Chocolate: Techniques and Recipes for Simply Spectacular Desserts and Confec Tions. Chronicle Books. p. 2. ISBN 978-0-8118-1811-7.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 Gardens, B.H. (2013). Better Homes and Gardens Baking: More than 350 Recipes Plus Tips and Techniques. Better Homes and Gardens Cooking. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. p. 18. ISBN 978-0-544-17781-9.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Phillips, S. (2008). Baking 9-1-1: Rescue from Recipe Disasters; Answers to Your Most Frequently Asked Baking Questions; 40 Recipes for Every Baker. Touchstone. p. 162. ISBN 978-0-7432-5374-1.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Gisslen, W. (2012). Professional Baking. Wiley. p. 88. ISBN 978-1-118-08374-1.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. 8.0 8.1 Holmberg, M.; Cooking, Editors of Fine; Magazine, Fine Cooking (2009). Absolutely Chocolate: Irresistible Excuses to Indulge. Taunton Press. p. 4. ISBN 978-1-60085-133-9. <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. Marcus, J.B. (2013). Culinary Nutrition: The Science and Practice of Healthy Cooking. Elsevier Science. p. 367. ISBN 978-0-12-391883-3.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 10.6 10.7 10.8 Goldstein, D.; Mintz, S.; Krondl, M.; Rath, E.; Mason, L.; Quinzio, G.; Heinzelmann, U. (2015). The Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets. Oxford University Press. p. 45. ISBN 978-0-19-931361-7.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. Sammarco 2011, p. 58.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 Sammarco 2011, pp. 9–11.