What is chocolate?
Chocolate is a sweet that is thousands of years old, which today is made of the mass of cocoa beans and cocoa butter obtained by processing roasted cocoa beans and powdered sugar, in the case of milk chocolate, milk raw material is added to the ingredients.
NB! Chocolate is only such sweet, which is made of cocoa butter and contains maximum 5% of other vegetable fat (and its qualities also have to be identical to cocoa butter).
Initially, chocolate was a cold sugar-free beverage mixed of roasted, ground and foamed cocoa mass, due to which its original inventors, South American Aztecs, called it “xocolatl” (bitter water).
Europeans became acquainted with chocolate through the trips of Columbus for his discoveries of America and from the days when the Spaniard Cortez conquered Mexico at the beginning of the 16th century. The solid chocolate that we know today was first produced as bars in the middle of 19th century in England by Joseph Fry from Fry & Sons. In 1875 Swiss man Daniel Peter added condensed milk to the chocolate and milk chocolate was born.
In Estonia, one of the first known chocolate manufacturers was the predecessor of the Kalev chocolate factory, the Georg Stude company in Tallinn during the second half of the 19th century.
Main types of chocolate
Nowadays, the shops offer many different varieties of chocolates, the differences of which start already from the countries of origin of the cocoa beans and also depend on the method of manufacturing and the recipe.
The cocoa content of dark chocolate may even exceed 90%. This type of chocolate is the healthiest and this is mainly due to its cocoa content!
Dark chocolate consists mainly of cocoa bean mass, cocoa butter, sugar, lecithin and vanillin used for highlighting the flavour. The depth of the colour and bitterness of the flavour of the chocolate depend on the ratio between the beans mass and sugar. Semi-sweet dark chocolate with the cocoa content of up to 50% is usually used in baking.
In the case of milk chocolate, a part of the dry components of the cocoa are substituted with milk components, which give the chocolate a sweeter flavour, lighter colour and also softer structure. Due to the fact that the milk chocolate is extremely sensitive to heat, using it for desserts that require heat is much more complicated. At the same time, it is very suitable for decorating, offering variation to the dark chocolate in terms of smell, flavour as well as colour.
Making and raw materials of the white chocolate are similar to those of the regular chocolate, except one important difference: no cocoa beans mass or powder is used in it. Thus, the only cocoa product used in it is the cocoa butter. Thanks to that the white chocolate is sweeter than others and is very suitable for making desserts. As compared to the regular chocolate, it also contains much more milk. However, melting white chocolate requires special care. As a result of too fast heating, it may become grainy or burn.