Why Compound Chocolate is a Reliable Friend on a budget?
It is hard to use pure chocolate if we have a limited budget on hand. In times like this, compound chocolates can become an unsung hero.
Chocolates are like a magic potion in our lives. The added flavor of chocolates can make almost any dessert taste better. The taste of delicious chocolate can easily make our day better. But while making bakery or confectionery items,
What Is Compound chocolate?
The word compound might strike an unpleasant chord in a lot of our heads, as it is associated with the much-dreaded subject in our academic lives, Chemistry! But rest assured, it is nothing to be so afraid of.
Rather, compound chocolates are an amazing type of chocolates. In fact, It is widely used in the baking industry. Much like real chocolates, the main ingredient of it is cocoa beans.
But the main difference between compound chocolate and real chocolate is that instead of using cocoa butter, compound chocolate uses vegetable fats, such as coconut oil, soy, or palm kernel oil.
The main reason for substituting cocoa butter with vegetable fats is budget efficiency, as vegetable fats are significantly less expensive than cocoa butter. Also, compound chocolates are used highly as coating material as they are easy to use.
Dark chocolate compounds
Dark chocolate compounds are not much different from regular dark chocolate. As many of you already know, dark chocolates are a type of chocolate rich in cocoa that contains no added milk solids, giving it a flavor closer to the bitter spectrum.
As dark chocolates require no extra milk solids, it makes it easier to substitute the required cocoa butter with vegetable fats and make dark compound chocolates. Just like dark chocolates, dark compound chocolates can be consumed without extra preparation. But it is preferred more as an ingredient in bakeries and desserts or as a coating material on different confectionery items.
White chocolate compounds
Those who know about white chocolates know about this almost for sure that the main ingredient of white chocolate is cocoa butter instead of cocoa beans. Now, this raises a serious question.
If the main ingredient of white chocolate is cocoa butter, can we substitute it with vegetable fats and make white compound chocolates? The answer is an absolute yes! As a matter of fact, white compound chocolates are widely used in baking and confectionery items.
White chocolate compounds have a slightly higher melting point than regular white chocolates, making you miss out on the “melt in mouth” experience of regular white chocolates.
But when this experience is not required, it is almost hard to distinguish white chocolate compounds from regular white chocolates. Due to its wide range of use, white chocolate compounds are also known as, coating chocolate, compound chocolate coating, decorator’s chocolate, confectioner’s chocolate, or confectionery coating.
And as the name suggests, it is one of the main ingredients of all the chocolate coatings we come across in our day-to-day life.
Do We Need to temper compound chocolate?
Many amateur food enthusiasts are lost between the term Chocolate melting and chocolate tempering. To clarify at the beginning, chocolate tempering is undoubtedly a type of melting. But when you simply melt the chocolate, the molecular bond between the chocolate atoms disintegrates. As the chocolate molecules get separated, the glossy, shiny, and crispy look of the chocolate go away.
On the contrary, chocolate tempering is a process where the molecules are rebonded after the melting process and set at room temperature. With the chocolate molecules back together, we get the shiny, glossy, and crispy look of the chocolate back.
But as we know already, they do not contain cocoa butter-like real chocolates. So there are no glossy, shiny, and crispy looks to worry about. With that out of the way, they require no extra tempering.
Way to meld White Compound Chocolate
As clarified before, compound chocolates do not require any difficult tempering process. The most common way of melting white compound chocolate is the double boiler method and the microwave method.
The double boiler method is a very reliable method of melting chocolates that have been in use for many years. This method requires a double-boiler, a special pan made with a saucepan to hold the water, and a bowl to go on top of it.
If you do not have one, you can easily make your own with a saucepan and any heat-proof metal bowl. First, you need to cut the white compound chocolate into many tiny bits and put them on the metal bowl of the double-boiler.
Then you need to fill the saucepan with water while being careful that the water is not on a level high enough to touch the metal bowl. Then you only need to heat it gently but continuously keep stirring it until only a few lumps of chocolate remain. Then stop the heating and stir it until it becomes even. And with that, you get your melted compound chocolates.
This method is not the most preferred method of melting white compound chocolate. But it can be an effective method if you are being cautious and careful enough. First, it needs to be cut into many small pieces, preferably in even sizes.
Then we need to put it in a microwave-friendly bowl and put that bowl inside the microwave. After that, you need to start the microwave. But be careful not to set the power at full or hundred percent. You should set the power as medium or fifty percent.
In that way, you overcome the chances of scorching your compound chocolate. After 30 seconds, take out the bowl and stir the chocolate. But this will not be enough to melt it.
So you need to continue this process of heating it for 30 seconds and then stirring it for as long as it is required to melt evenly. And that is how you melt white compound chocolate in the microwave process.
Pure chocolate vs Compound chocolates
As mentioned earlier, the real difference between pure chocolates and compound chocolates is the use of cocoa butter. Pure chocolates contain cocoa butter, which melts at 37℃, which is body temperature. So it gives a “melt in mouth” experience when consumed without preparation of any sort. But they contain vegetable fats instead of cocoa butter which melts at approximately 45℃, meaning it requires a little more effort in chewing than pure chocolates. But with a higher melting point, compound chocolates are easier to carry around as they have a lower chance of melting than pure chocolates.
In terms of taste, cocoa butter is definitely on a higher level than vegetable fats. Cocoa butter gives off a smooth texture and enhances the flavor and aroma of confectioneries. Compound chocolates tend to contain more added sugar than pure chocolates. This definitely makes it sweeter but takes away the depth of the chocolatey flavor.
compound chocolates VS couverture chocolates
Couverture chocolates are made from mainly chocolate liquor, a rich smooth paste that can be obtained by grinding sun-dried and roasted cocoa beans. It contains both cocoa solids and cocoa butter. And as mentioned before, compound chocolates contain cocoa beans and vegetable fats instead of cocoa butter.
As couverture chocolates contain chocolate liquor, it is definitely a lot more expensive than compound chocolates. Couverture chocolates are chocolate in their purest form, meaning you can get the experience of chocolate in its most premium state. On the other hand, compound chocolates contain substitutes that take away from the rich experience.
Compound Chocolates- brands to explore
When it comes to compound chocolates, there are many sorts of brands. Callebaut Snaps, Guittard A’peels, Merckens, and Peter’s Icecaps are some of the higher-end sophisticated brands. But they fall into the slightly more expensive than usual and hard to avail category.
The easier to avail but not compromising with taste compound chocolates are Toren, Venhouten, Bluebell, Cacao Ivory, etc. These brands offer both white and dark chocolate compounds and are available almost all over the world.
All of the mentioned brands are almost equally good in quality, leaving the rest up to your personal preference.
When it comes to compound chocolate vs. real chocolates, real chocolates are always the best option to go for. But when there is just not enough budget, compound chocolate can become a reliable friend to count on. When consumed raw, compound chocolates might not taste as good as pure chocolates. But when used in bakeries or as coating materials, it is hard to notice the difference!
How can you tell if a compound is a chocolate?
some common indicators that a compound may be chocolate include its appearance (e.g. brown or black color), smell (e.g. cocoa scent), and taste (e.g. sweet or bitter flavor). Additionally, compounds that are used in the manufacturing of chocolate are often labeled as such, so checking the ingredient list on a product can also be helpful in determining if a compound is a chocolate.
Is compound chocolate healthy?
The melting point of compound chocolate is 45 degrees, which means that it will never melt in your body. This makes it harder to digest and can raise your cholesterol.
Second, the better it is, the more chocolate it has, the better. There are percentages of dark couverture that range from 54% to 80% and sometimes even higher.
Is chocolate compound good for weight loss?
According to some research, dark chocolate may help you lose weight by curbing your appetite and increasing your sense of satiety after eating it. For example, research involving 12 women found that the ‘hunger hormone’ ghrelin was suppressed when the ladies smelled and ate dark chocolate.
Is compound chocolate fake?
The FDA defines compound chocolate as “a product that is made from a combination of cocoa, vegetable fat, and sweeteners, and does not contain cocoa butter.” Compound chocolate is often used as a cheaper alternative to real chocolate because it does not require cocoa butter, which is the most expensive component of chocolate. While compound chocolate is not “fake” chocolate, it is not the same as real chocolate also.
What is compound chocolate good for?
Compound chocolate is good for making candy and other confections. Some people may like compound chocolate because it is cheaper than other types of chocolate, while others may find that it has a more intense flavor.