Swiss chocolate is known for its taste and texture, and is some of the finest in the world. There are regulations on what Swiss chocolate can be comprised of, and what ratios of certain ingredients it must have. Although made with the finest ingredients, the chocolate has its silky texture due to the process of conching--rolling the chocolate through granite blocks for 75 hours in order to smooth it.
There are many varieties of different cocoa beans, each with their own distinct flavor characteristics. They should be roasted and finely ground before being used to make Swiss chocolate.
Whole milk should be used in chocolate. Lesser fat milk will create an unstable chocolate that is not as smooth and creamy. Warm up the milk with the beans and sugar so they are thoroughly mixed together before tempering.
Although cocoa beans are ground to make cocoa powder, another form of the bean must also be used in Swiss chocolate: cocoa butter. This is a vegetable fat extracted from the cocoa bean. The butter will stabilize the chocolate, allowing it to become hard, and will also mildly add to the flavor and smell of the chocolate. In cheaper chocolates, edible wax or cheap cow butter are used as a substitute.
Sugar determines the sweetness of the chocolate. As the chocolate bean can be quite bitter, a large amount of sugar is used in relation to cocoa. Sugar also helps the ingredients gel together, in order to stabilize the chocolate. Plain white cane sugar is the kind generally used in Swiss chocolate.
Vanilla adds the final flavor that brings together the chocolate taste. Only a very small quantity is added, as vanilla has a tendency to overpower other flavors. Pure vanilla extract is used in Swiss chocolate, while in cheaper chocolates, it is replaced with artificial vanilla extract, which is not as flavorful.
- Photo Credit chocolate image by cherie from Fotolia.com
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