Aside from Belgian chocolates, there are other high-quality chocolates out there you can choose from. Couverture chocolate is a great option if you want another variety of good quality treats.
When you want to get out of the usual milk chocolate, dark chocolate, and white chocolate, couverture chocolate is an excellent and unique option to mix with your other treats.
Here, you will know more about this particular type of chocolate and maybe after this, you will consider buying one for yourself.
What is Couverture Chocolate?
Couverture was derived from a French word that means to cover or coat.
This type of chocolate is just one of the several very high-quality chocolate options. Oftentimes this type is used in making candies, utilized in the pastry and baking industry for dipping, coating, and molding.
A bar of couverture chocolate contains a high amount of additional cocoa butter making this type incredibly fluid and easy to work with. The cocoa butter also gives the chocolate a wonderful sheen and a firmer “snap” when broken.
This type of chocolate is sometimes referred to as 'real' or true chocolate. It is considered real and high-quality because it consists of two main ingredients: cocoa butter, & chocolate liquor.
In case you do not know, professional chocolatiers usually do not categorize the types of chocolates based on their general terms such as bittersweet or semi-sweet.
Because they know more about chocolates, professionals need to look for the specifics and look at the percentage of ingredients on the package.
Chocolatiers take into consideration: 1) cocoa mass; 2) sugar content, and 3) total fat content.
How to Spot a Good Quality Couverture Chocolate?
There are several factors to look for so you can guarantee that you get the best couverture chocolate in the market.
You will know that the bar chocolate you have is really couverture if it contains a minimum of 31% cocoa butter. Having a high percentage of cocoa butter gives you an exceptionally smooth texture while the quality of the cocoa beans brings out the true and deep flavour of the chocolate.
Another good thing about cocoa butter is the fact that it melts at body temperature meaning you get that luscious melt-in-your-mouth texture when you enjoy a dessert made out of couverture chocolate.
In America, chocolatiers have precise standards for their couverture chocolate. It is stated that a bar of couverture chocolate must contain at least 35% cocoa solids while the cocoa butter is at least 31%. However, some couverture chocolates contain up to 39% of cocoa butter.
As mentioned earlier, the more cocoa butter the chocolate contains, the more fluid it is when melted. This is one of the reasons why couverture chocolate is a great choice for tempering.
On the other hand, sugar will make up the remaining percentage, and about a percent or less is the recommended measurement of lecithin and/or pure vanilla.
Chocolate lovers and those who appreciate extremely good quality chocolates, know that with couverture chocolate is deliciously-smooth to eat without any further processing needed.
When to Use Couverture Chocolate?
You can maximize the true potential of couverture chocolate if you use it for tempering and dipping.
It is recommended for any candy recipe where you want a coating with a deep chocolate flavor. Your candy will also have a beautiful shine, and a healthy "snap" when you bite into it.
You can also use couverture chocolate to make chocolate bars, cover truffles, or make clusters or barks.
If you are thinking of baking, you might want to think twice if you want to use couverture chocolate. Since it contains a greater percentage of cocoa butter, it might behave differently in recipes that call for melted chocolate, like cakes or brownies.
The different proportions of fat to sugar and cocoa solids might also be a problem especially if you have a variety of recipes.
However, if you still want to make things extra special it is best to bake with chocolate intended for baking and save the couverture for dipping.
Benefits of Using High-quality Chocolate
Aside from the taste and the food experience couverture chocolate can give you. There are also health benefits from using this high-quality chocolate. Here are a few of those:
The lower melting point caused by the cocoa butter used in couverture increases ‘friendly cholesterol’ to balance.
Moreover, cocoa butter helps in combating kidney problems and also prevents cardiac diseases.
An organic compound called phenethylamine present in ingredients to make chocolate helps in boosting a person’s mood instantaneously.
Theobromine present in couverture chocolate hardens tooth enamel and cures cough.
Lastly, flavonoids present in cocoa can help one in getting glowing and healthier skin.
Compound vs Couverture
Compound chocolate has often been used as a substitute to couverture. Here are just a few things that make the two apart from each other.
This is the cheaper or 'lower quality' version of the couverture chocolate. This is used as a substitute for the two main ingredients. Compound chocolates contain cocoa powder and vegetable fats, such as coconut oil & palm oil.
These fats have a higher melting point, resulting in a lack of the 'mouth feel' that is essential for chocolate connoisseurs.
As expected compound chocolate tastes a little different from most quality chocolates. However, normal chocolate eaters, can’t tell the difference but when tasted next to couverture chocolate, the real difference can be easily distinguished.
This is the real chocolate that has cocoa butter and chocolate liquor.
The higher the quality, the more you need to be careful when using it. Couverture chocolate requires more attention and preparation when being melted down.
Unlike the compound coating, you cannot melt this type easily. It has to be tempered properly. If you missed on being careful, your chocolate will bloom, or may not even set up properly.
However, if you tempered couverture chocolate correctly, you will get a glossy shine, “snappy”, and melts in your mouth chocolate bar.
Using couverture chocolate gives you a long list of chocolate dessert recipes, chocolate bars, and chocolate treats. If you are interested in using or tasting couverture chocolates, several online chocolate shops sell this type of high-quality chocolate.
However, dedicate some time to verifying if these stores because you might end up buying compound-made chocolate for the price of couverture.