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Baking chocolate facts for kids

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Cooking chocolate, broken bar
A 200-gram (7.1 oz) bar of dark baking chocolate, with a minimum cocoa content of 40%
Chocolate chips
Semi-sweet chocolate chips

Baking chocolate, also referred to as bitter chocolate, cooking chocolate and unsweetened chocolate, is a type of dark chocolate that is prepared for use as an ingredient in baking.


Modern manufactured baking chocolate is typically formed from chocolate liquor formed into bars or chocolate chips. Baking chocolate may be of a lower quality compared to other types of chocolate, and may have part of the cocoa butter replaced with other fats that do not require tempering. This type of baking chocolate may be easier to handle compared to those that have not had their cocoa butter content lowered. Lower quality baking chocolate may not be as flavorful compared to higher-quality chocolate, and may have a different mouthfeel.


It is typically prepared in unsweetened, bittersweet semisweet and sweet varieties, depending on the amount of added sugar.

Recipes that include unsweetened baking chocolate typically use a significant amount of sugar. Bittersweet baking chocolate must contain 35 percent chocolate liquor or higher. Most baking chocolates have at least a 50% cocoa content, with the remaining content usually being mostly sugar.

Sweet varieties may be referred to as "sweet baking chocolate" or "sweet chocolate". Sweet baking chocolate contains more sugar than bittersweet and semisweet varieties, and semisweet varieties contain more sugar than bittersweet varieties. Sweet and semisweet baking chocolate is prepared with a chocolate liquor content between 15 and 35 percent.

The table below denotes the four primary varieties of baking chocolate.

Type Content Sources
Unsweetened Contains no sugar, and contains 99% chocolate liquor or cocoa solids.
Bittersweet Usually has less sugar and more chocolate liquor compared to semi-sweet varieties.
Semisweet Has less sugar than sweet varieties. In Europe, a regulation exists stating that semisweet varieties must contain more sugar and less chocolate liquor compared to bittersweet varieties. No such regulation exists in the United States, and due to this, semisweet and bittersweet varieties can vary in sweetness and chocolate liquor content. In the U.S., bittersweet varieties are even sometimes sweeter than semi-sweet varieties.
Sweet Has the most sugar.


Manufacturers of baking chocolate include Baker's Chocolate, Callebaut, Ghirardelli, Guittard, The Hershey Company, Lindt, Menier, and Valrhona.

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