This Guide will help you understand basic terms, opening up a whole new world of options for the next time you buy or make your own chocolate!
If you love chocolate and are keen to start making your own chocolates at home, we thought it could be helpful for us to give you a little guide to help you better understand the commonly used terms or phrases & the meaning of words from the world of the chocolate.
COCOA NIBS are the result of whole roasted cocoa bean after roasting and winnowing (the technical name for separating the nibs from the cocoa bean shell).
TIP: Use our cocoa nibs to add depth of flavour and texture to your brownies, chocolates, smoothies, granola, and cakes
COCOA MASS also known as cocoa liquor or cocoa paste, is the mass remaining after the cocoa nibs have been ground.
COCOA BUTTER is extracted from the cocoa mass and is what gives chocolate it’s silky mouthfeel and characteristic snap.
COCOA POWDER is made after most of the cocoa butter is pressed from the cocoa mass and produces what is known as a presscake. Cocoa powder can be alkalised (Dutched) or natural and are rich in cocoa flavour and antioxidants. Some cocoa powder is ‘Dutched’ or alkalised.
COCOA SOLIDS indicates the amount of cocoa (derived from the cocoa bean) in the chocolate and are expressed as a percentage. Cocoa solid percentages vary throughout dark, milk and white chocolates.
TIP: The cocoa solid content can impact the flavour of chocolate as well as the origin, terrain and processing method.
COUVERTURE Is the legal name given to chocolate with a higher cocoa solids content. Chocolate has less than couverture and no vegetable fats and milk chocolate for example can be determined by a mix of cocoa products, sugars and milk.
TIP: Couverture is generally regarded as higher quality chocolate.
ENROBING is a process by which individual chocolates, biscuits, dried fruit are given an outer chocolate coating by being passed through a waterfall of melted chocolate. This can be done my machine or by hand.
GANACHE (ga-NASH) Ganache is made by mixing chocolate and cream together. More chocolate than cream yields a firm ganache, whereas more cream than chocolate makes a softer more velvety mixture. Ganache has many uses as centres for truffles, fillings for cakes and tarts, and in its liquid state can be poured over cakes and pastries for a glaze. Ganache can be flavoured with liqueurs and extracts, or combined with soft, beaten butter to create ganache beurre.
GIANDUJA (jan-DOO-ya) A blend of chocolate and ground hazelnuts resulting in a silky-smooth texture. Once tasted, Gianduja is impossible to forget and interestingly it was created by a Chocolatier in Turin in 1806 to make his chocolate go further when cocoa supplies were low.
TIP: Use it to flavour a wide variety of desserts, pastries, and confections, including ice cream.
NEAPOLITANS are small pieces of chocolate generally square or rectangular in shape and are individually wrapped. First produced by Terry’s of York in 1899 they are now served in hotels, restaurants and coffee shops. At an average of 5g each, the Neapolitan is perfect for that little hit of chocolate!
SLABS are solid pieces of chocolate in various shapes and sizes with the addition of inclusions such as nuts, marshmallows, biscuit pieces, died fruit etc.
PRALINÉ (PRAH-lee-neigh) A paste made by grinding nuts with sugar. Hazelnut, pecan, almond and pistachio nuts are particularly popular to make a praliné.
PRALINES is the name given to small, shiny, moulded chocolates generally filled with soft centres.
NUT PASTES are made by grinding 100% nuts to a smooth, spreadable paste.
PLANTATION CHOCOLATES are made from cocoa grown on a single plantation or estate. The distinctive flavour profiles can be influenced by the land, climate, surrounding crops and processing methods. Plantation chocolates are so unique that the taste of the chocolate can vary from harvest to harvest.
SINGLE ORIGIN CHOCOLATES come from cocoa grown in a single region or country and not only do they have a story of their own and can be traced back to the country of origin, each has a unique flavour profile accentuating the notes created from the origin, cocoa bean and even the processing method.
TEMPERING involves slowing melting and cooling chocolate in a particular way to obtain the right crystallisation to give chocolate it is characteristic shine and snap. TIP: Most chocolate you buy will always be pre-tempered when you get it. If you warm it carefully, it is quite easy to melt it without ever letting it go ‘off temper’, saving you the need to re-temper it.
TRUFFLES are traditionally chocolates with a soft ganache centre. They are often hand rolled and dusted in cocoa powder and other coatings.