Bittersweet And Semisweet Chocolate

Bittersweet chocolates are usually a sweetened form of dark chocolate that doesn’t have any type of milk whether in its liquid or powdered form.  It is fundamentally a combination of chocolate liquor, sugar, butter that is made out of cocoa and for the most part – vanilla. Typically, a substance known as lecithin is added which acts as an emulsifier. Cocoa produced through grinding its beans into a liquid form is usually called chocolate liquor, which ironically has no alcohol and what not. Unsweetened baking chocolate is the outcome of cocoa liquor that has been solidified.

In the North America, a standard is being set by the FDA or Food and Drug Administration that such bittersweet chocolates must be required to contain at least 35% of chocolate liquor. Whereas in the United Kingdom, the figure can be as high as 43%. It is readily understandable that the more chocolate liquor the chocolate has, the more intense the flavor can be. Even some high quality chocolates have chocolate liquor as high as 65 to 70%.

Terms like bittersweet and semisweet are oftentimes mistaken for each other in conversations and printed materials, but there are specific traits that separate and define the two. Bittersweet chocolate consists of more chocolate liquor and less amount of sugar as compared to the semisweet one. On the other hand, semisweet chocolates only have 35% of liquor, making the two types of chocolates pretty similar to each other. This is the main reason why the terms semisweet and bittersweet are always used interchangeably in cooking and baking processes which typically produce good results.

Recent studies in the previous years have shown that the regular consumption and intake of minor quantities of bittersweet chocolates have specific health benefits. These health benefits lessen heart diseases caused by the high flavonoid contents of this dark chocolates. Flavonoids such as epicathecin and gallic acid are actually abundant in these types of dark chocolates. Blood pressure lowering is also an attribute which are linked to these bittersweet chocolates. These chocolates are available in different forms like chips and bars that definitely cater to a vast market.

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