Chocolate is ….. well chocolate, right? No, there is definite difference in quality between compound chocolate and couverture chocolate.
Nothing compares to the deeply satisfying and luxurious taste of the finest couverture chocolate.
Chocolate symbolizes, as does no other food, luxury, comfort, sensuality, gratification, and love.
What Separates Great Chocolate from Not So Good?
Chocolate is ….. well chocolate, right? No, there is definite difference in quality between:
- Has cocoa powder,
- Has oil instead of cocoa butter(usually vegetable oil/coconut oil/palm kernel oil),
- Does not require tempering,
- Has a higher melting point,
- Is a cheaper variety of chocolate and easier to produce.
Real Quality Chocolate
- Has cocoa solids/mass/chocolate liquor
- Has cocoa butter (more expensive and quirky to work with)
- Requires tempering (which provides the perfect gloss, hardness and crisp snap to the chocolate)
So What Makes Couverture Chocolate So Special?
It is the name given to a class of high-quality chocolate that:
- Is produced from the best cocoa beans and contains a high percentage of cocoa butter (there are precise standards, for example, in America, couverture chocolate must contain at least 31% cocoa butter and 35% cocoa solids).
- Is also ground to a much finer texture during the production process.
This makes it a professional quality chocolate with a superior flavour and a very smooth creamy texture.
How Do You Identify Quality Chocolate?
- Start by looking at the ingredients.
- Couverture chocolate will only consist of:
- Cocoa solids/mass (the actual chocolate)
- Cocoa butter
- May include small amounts of vanilla and lecithin (an ingredient that keeps the chocolate from separating, i.e. an emulsifier)
- Milk solids (in milk and white chocolate)
- Visually chocolate should be glossy.
- Hearing: it should have a crisp and firm break with a satisfying snap.
- Touch test: hold a piece of chocolate in your hand for 20 seconds Ð it should start melting.
- Taste test: melt in the mouth smooth and silky with a lingering after taste. (Tasting should be done on a clean palate).
- Smell: there should be the aroma of alluring chocolate.
Cocoa Percentage vs Quality
- The percentage cocoa only indicates the total amount of cocoa in the chocolate (from the cocoa solids/mass/cocoa powder and the cocoa butter)
- By itself, it does NOT indicate quality!!!
- For example, you may think that a 70% bar is a better quality than a 54% one, but it depends entirely on the ingredients and the production process (is it compound/good/couverture chocolate?)
What Does The Cocoa Percentage Mean?
- It indicates the total amount of cocoa in the chocolate and therefore does affect the taste of the chocolate.
- As the percentage cocoa increases:
- The intensity of the flavour increases,
- The darkness in colour increases,
- The sweetness decreases, as less sugar is added.
- In addition, the higher the percentage, the higher the flavonoids and potential health benefits.
How is Couverture Chocolate Made: The Production Process
The production process has so much to do with the final taste, texture and quality of the chocolate. Callebaut uses the following process:
Step 1: Selecting the finest quality beans
Step 2: Blending the right selection of beans to create the perfect flavour.
Step 3: Whole bean roasting to awaken the aromas and flavours
Step 4: Grinding the beans several times:
- Nibs into liquor
- Liquor is then further refined through multiple stages
Step 5: Mixing the best quality ingredients.
Step 6: Press and refine all the ingredients to create that sensational deliciously smooth taste.
Step 7: Conching – the art of kneading the chocolate to fully ripen the taste.
Why We Use Callebaut Chocolate
- In 2012, Callebaut started the Great Growing Chocolate program to source sustainably grown cocoa with a 3-prong approach:
- Growing cocoa quality
- Growing farmer income guaranteeing a fair price
- Growing quality of life for the farmers through education, health care and clean water.
- Dedicated expertise from bean to chocolate:
- in local selection and sourcing cacao beans,
- in blending and roasting the beans,
- and in refining and conching the chocolate.
Callebaut Bean to Chocolate
- It starts with growing healthy cacao trees which means education in soil management, crop quality and quantity and crop diversity.
- Proper fermentation of the cacao beans (actually the seeds of the cacao fruit) after harvesting.
- Drying the cacao beans properly to ensure good condition of beans during transportation and storage.
- In-house blending and Roasting: Callebaut uses the expertise of their own Master Blenders and Roasters.
- Expert grinding and conching: Each particle of chocolate is ground finer than the distance between the human taste buds.
Fine Hand Made Artisan Chocolates – A Decadent Chocolate Experience
If you are looking for a truly obsession-worthy chocolate experience….
- Starting with the finest Belgium chocolate, we temper and make our chocolates by hand, in small batches, each week, to ensure you experience a sumptuous memorable indulgence.
- Most of our chocolates are gluten-free.
So do yourself a favour and try our awesomely delicious handcrafted COUVERTURE delights….. very moreish!