In case you ever wonder about the types of chocolate you need for baking I put together this resource for you! You’ll learn all about the different kinds of chocolate you might come across when making a recipe so you will always have chocolate success!
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There are so many different kinds of chocolate you might encounter when making a recipe: baking bars, chocolate chips, melting chocolate. This post is going to talk about what they all are and what they’re good for.
The one chocolate we won’t talk about in this post is cocoa – read my entire post about cocoa here.
What are the types of chocolate?
Before we talk about the different kinds of chocolate, let’s go over the different flavors, so to speak.
Flavors of chocolate are all about percentage, that is, the percentage of cacoa vs sugar.
The most common flavors of chocolate you’ll see are:
Unsweetened Chocolate which is 100% cacao and no sugar. You don’t want to eat it plain!
Bittersweet Chocolate, which is around 70% cacao and 30% sugar (also called dark chocolate).
Semi-Sweet Chocolate has around 60% cacao and 40% sugar and is also called dark chocolate.
Milk Chocolate has under 40% cacao but also contains milk fats and sometimes vanilla.
White Chocolate has no cacao at all and often isn’t considered “real” chocolate!
Now that we know the flavors, let’s talk about the different TYPES of chocolate you’ll see in my recipes.
Type of Chocolate: Baking Bars
Also called baking squares, baking bars are just that: chocolate you use for baking. These aren’t usually bars you’d eat (i.e. a candy bar).
Baking bars are usually melted and added to brownies or other recipes.
You’ll find baking bars in the baking aisle of the grocery store, usually on the top shelf. They come in Unsweetened, Semi-Sweet, White and often German Chocolate (which I think of as close to milk chocolate).
The mainstream brands you’ll find in regular grocery stores are Bakers and Ghiradelli.
Baking bars are great for melting and adding to recipes or chopping and adding in place of chocolate chips. They’re also great for dipping: strawberries or shortbread, etc.
Recipes using baking bars:
Another type of chocolate – the most common one – are chocolate chips. These are sold in the baking aisle and come in lots of different flavors, and they often come as “chunks” instead of chips.
There are too many brands of chocolate chip to list, but I highly recommend buying one of four brands: Ghiradelli, Guittard, Nestle, or Trader Joe’s. I do not recommend store brand chocolate chips – especially if you’re going to melt them.
Chocolate Chips have a stabilizer in them to keep them from melting completely in the oven – that’s what makes them stay chips – and when they are melted they tend to be a bit cloudy, so they’re not recommended for dipping or bark or things like that.
When adding chocolate chips to recipes, most of the time the flavor doesn’t matter. As long as you’re not melting the chocolate chips into a recipe (i.e. ganache) you can use milk, semi-sweet, bittersweet and white chocolate chips interchangeably in recipes.
Chocolate Chip Recipes
Type of Chocolate: Melting Wafers
There are two different kinds of melting wafers: chocolate and colorful.
Chocolate Melting Wafers are small disk-like pieces of chocolate that are preferable for melting (over chocolate chips) because they have no stabilizers in them. These are great for dipping truffles and candy or whenever you need to melt chocolate for baking (you can use these in place of bars, if needed).
Mostly they come in semi-sweet and white chocolate flavor and are sold in the baking aisle of the grocery store where you find the baking bars.
The most common melting wafer you’ll find is Ghiradelli brand (or store brands, if you’re shopping at Walmart). They come in pouches or sometimes a contained cup you can melt in.
Do not confuse chocolate melting wafers with the “chocolate” melts you get in the craft aisle or at the craft store (i.e. Wilton brand). While those melts do have a chocolate “flavor” they aren’t chocolate in the sense of the kind you find in the baking aisle.
Chocolate melts are more often colorful and perfect for making candy or truffles when you want that colorful exterior – but the flavor isn’t deep and rich like true chocolate. If you’re making something chocolatey – stick to the kind in the baking aisle.
Use Chocolate Melting Wafers for:
Almond Bark or Candiquik
Also in the baking aisle are large blocks of chocolate that are engineered for melting and dipping, often referred to as almond bark.
Almond Bark isn’t a thing – it’s a brand. Same with Candiquik – these are brands of melting chocolate. These products are perfect for dipping truffles and pretzels, etc., because they melt smooth and without issue.
These blocks are on par with the melts described above, but just a different shape.
You’ll also see store brands of this as well. All of them live on that top shelf, alongside the melts and bars.
Of all the block melting chocolate like these, Candiquik is the best tasting, Almond Bark second. Don’t even bother with the store brand! IMO, these taste better than the melts you’ll find in the craft aisle as well. Candiquik also comes in a handy tray you can use for melting.
Moral of the story: Almond Bark (and candy melts described above) are for decorative or coating purposes. Don’t chop it up in your cookies; these chocolates are engineered for dipping.
Recipes using Candiquik:
Those are all the different kinds of chocolate you’ll see used in any of my recipes. The only one missing is cocoa – read all about cocoa here!
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Learn all about the different types of chocolate for baking! Chocolate Chips, baking bars, almond bark, melting wafers and all the different kinds of chocolate you’ll come across in any recipe.
All text and images © DOROTHY KERN for Crazy for Crust. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe. Disclaimer: Nutrition information shown is not guaranteed to be accurate.
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Published on: January 13, 2021