Dreaming about a career in the dessert industry? Love everything chocolatey and can’t wait to create some masterpieces of your own? Sounds all things sweet and lovely, but before you start your adventures, it’s essential to understand the different chocolates available in the market that you can experiment with. All chocolates are broadly divided into two categories: couverture and compound.
How are they different?
Couverture chocolate is a higher quality of chocolate which bakers popularly also refer to as real chocolate. While the primary ingredients include cocoa butter and chocolate liquor, the quality of this chocolate is also dependent on milk, sugar, vanilla and other stabilisers.
This chocolate also undergoes tempering, a process through which you manipulate the temperature of it continuously to reach the desired texture. Tempering is used for making candies, truffles and other dipped items, but is not required while baking.
The next time you come across a chocolate, do a snap test- analyze the shiny texture, wait for the hard snap! sound and feel it quickly melt in your mouth. Yes, you just had couverture chocolate.
When we look at compound chocolate, the key distinguishing factor is that the chocolate liquor is substituted with cocoa powder and cocoa butter with vegetable oil. What this does is remove the need of tempering and allows the chocolate to be melted easily. Your compound chocolate may not have the shine and snap of the couverture chocolate, but its characteristics make it easier to work with.
Can you tell the difference from the taste?
While in most cases the difference in taste is not evident, but when kept together you can taste the distinction in both the chocolates. Couverture chocolate will always taste richer because it is enriched with cocoa butter.
What does it mean for a baker?
Home hobbyists and some professionals often use compound chocolate for making ganache because of its ease of use and price. So, when you’re making a dessert requiring a quick fix and want it to be easy on the pockets, find some compound chocolate.
Truth be told, there’s nothing that compares to the richness and thickness of the couverture chocolate. The cocoa butter gives it a fantastic smooth texture and taste that elevates even the most plain jane desserts.
Which is why for us at Whitecaps, couverture is the only way to go. We equip our students with not just the highest quality tools and equipment, but also take pride in providing them with one of the finest quality of chocolate to work with. This is sourced from the renowned global-brand Callebaut and is brought straight to the Whitecaps classrooms so that our students get to experiment and learn with only the best.
So, we’re saying…
Couverture chocolate is made to impress, while compound chocolate works without stress.
When chocolate is the hero, make sure to find out which kind fits best and the limitless possibilities that come with it. There’s no one formula that fits all, so keep experimenting with the varieties in front of you and who knows, one day you’ll create your own masterpiece when you least expect it!
CTA at the end: Still confused? Enroll for our Chocolatier Programme conducted by Chef Arvind and take a dip into the bittersweet world of chocolate!