Choosing the Right Type of Baking Chocolate
Your supermarket is a complex field bursting with chocolate varieties and a wider range of questions that can be summarized in one: how do you choose the right baking chocolate?
First off, you must only pick baking chocolate that you would straight out. At the same time, it has to be delectable enough to have as a snack alone. Going back to your supermarket, there are five main types of baking chocolate you will find on those aisles.
Bars have got to be the most popular and versatile type of Baking Chocolate. How easy it is to chop them to bits before melting or folding them into chocolate chip dough.
Though the typical baker probably may not need more than a kilo of dark chocolate, they're perfect for those large projects. Since they're harder to chop than bars, you can shave off shards from the edges using a serrated knife. You can then melted these shards or dump them in a food processor a tiny-ing.
Chocolate wafers don't contain stabilizers, which means they're a much better option than chips. They're also handy for those emergency chocolate needs, being constantly available in different varieties, like bittersweet, semisweet, milk, etc.
Cocoa powder has to be unsweetened, or it's simply hot chocolate mix. It should have a flour-like texture to perform well in brownies and other cake-y treats. You can use it as well in place of flour for coating pans just before you add batter. When buying cocoa powder, you can go for natural or Dutched, which is alkaline-treated cocoa powder whose acidity level has been drastically reduced.
Less acidity means it will react with other ingredients differently than natural cocoa powder. Think hard-to-set puddings or chalky cookies or crumbly cakes. If you plan to use the cocoa powder as a garnish and you don't have to bake it, either basic or Dutched will work.
Finally, picture an ultra fresh batch of cookie made with soft, shimmering yet still perfectly formed chips. No miracle in that, just the right stabilizers and preservatives. While it's fine to eat them, stabilizers tend to affect the chocolate's flavor and even make it waxy. If you want to get chips, go for the big brands that come with a lot less ingredients. Of course, if you want quality, you should expect it to come at a premium.