Knowing the difference between your chocolate is very important before you start working with chocolate. Understanding whether you should use compound or couverture chocolate can make all the difference with your candy making, chocoalte dipping, and chocolatiering. There are two different types of chocolate, compound chocolate and couverture chocolate. The differences between them are very important to know when cooking, baking, and especially melting chocolate.
Couverture chocolate, sometimes called, real chocolate, is made up of cocoa butter and chocolate liquor for the two main ingredients. This translates into a higher quality of chocolate that requires tempering when melting it down. Tempering is the process of slowly melting, then cooling the chocolate so it keeps a shiny texture. Without tempering couverture chocolate the chocolate will bloom, which is when your chocolate turns white.
Unlike couverture chocolate, compound chocolate uses cocoa powder, instead of chocolate liquor and oil, instead of cocoa butter. This means compound chocolate can be melted down without tempering and will still set up just fine. Compound chocolate is definitely easier and quicker to work with, however, doesn’t have the pretty, shiny look of the tempered couverture chocolate.
What about taste?
Most people can’t taste the difference between compound and couverture chocolate. However, when tasted next to each other the taste is evident. Because couverture chocolate is made with cocoa butter, it is a higher quality of chocolate, thus tasting richer and better than compound chocolate.