I have loved chocolate since I was a little girl. Growing up in a household where we only received sweets on Halloween and other special holidays, I jumped at any opportunity to get my hands on candy. When it comes to chocolates, there are so many options you can choose from. From milk chocolate to dark and white chocolate, there is something for everyone.
One chocolate is arguably the fairest of them all— couverture chocolate. Most chocolates contain the same basic ingredients: sugar, cocoa butter, and dry cocoa solids. Some chocolates, especially the less expensive kinds, contain additives like vanilla and milk powder, to enhance the flavor of the chocolate and give it a creamier texture.
However, couverture is made of higher quality ingredients, such as cocoa butter, and does not usually contain as many additives. The steps taken to create couverture chocolate gives it a naturally smooth and milky texture.
How It Is Made
Couverture chocolate is made up of a finer texture, created during the production process. In comparison to low-priced chocolate, couverture contains a much greater percentage of cocoa butter. Due to the fact that cocoa butter makes up more than 50% of the weight of cocoa beans, it leaves chocolate with greater melting properties.
Because couverture chocolate has a large amount of cocoa butter, it is best used for melting and covering truffles, etc. To chocolate experts, couverture provides a superior bite and finishes in comparison to other chocolates.
What It Is Used For
Couverture chocolate is generally used for very special reasons. Most average bakers will not want to add it to their brownies or chocolate chip cookie recipe, as the higher amount of cocoa butter that is in couverture chocolate could ruin certain concoctions. Couverture chocolate is generally used to make barks, truffles, chocolate bars, fruits, and more!
Brands of Couverture Chocolate
Most well-known fine chocolate makers produce couverture chocolate. Brands such as Lindt, Valrhona, and Callebaut have various types of couverture you can buy. You can usually buy couverture chocolate directly from the website of the brand you like. However, various chocolate distributors also carry specific types of chocolate.
Distributors such as Amazon and World Wide Chocolate are great options when you are looking for a wide range of chocolates. Although most couverture chocolates are made the same, each has a very different taste.
Lindt Piccoli Couverture Surfin
Source: Lindt Chocolate Canada
Callebaut Dark Couverture Chocolate
Source: World Wide Chocolate
Valrhona Guanaja Dark Couverture Chocolate
Source: World Wide Chocolate
How To Tell Regular Chocolate From Couverture
Couverture comes from the french word couvrir, meaning “to cover.” That is why it makes sense that couverture chocolate is used to coat and dip various candies and pastries. In America, there are specific standards that chocolate has to meet in order to be considered couverture. In terms of percentages, couverture chocolate has to contain a minimum of 35 percent cocoa solids and 31 percent cocoa butter.
Although 31 percent is the minimum amount of cocoa butter, some couverture contains nearly 40 percent. The high amount of cocoa butter is the reason couverture is so perfect for melting. Couverture chocolate can also be easily detected by their shine and firm “snap” when broken.
Is Couverture Tempered?
Most chocolates containing cocoa butter, especially in large quantities, must be tempered. For anyone who is not familiar with what tempering is, it is basically a fancy word for heating and cooling an item. Tempering chocolate is a process of heating and cooling to stabilize it for candies and other chocolate-covered treats. Tempering chocolate gives it a smooth and glossy finish, perfect for dipping and molding.
Couverture chocolate, which contains a fairly large percentage of cocoa butter, is almost always tempered. The tempering process is what gives this specific type of chocolate it’s a smooth and glossy finish. It is also what allows the chocolate to become firm and creates the “snap” that you get when breaking couverture.
Is Couverture Allergy Friendly?
Source: AUI Fine Foods
Most couverture chocolates are not very allergy-friendly as they occasionally contain milk products, peanuts, or gluten… However, some brands, such as Felchlin specifically advertise vegan chocolate that contains cocoa, vanilla, and rice milk powder. While most couverture’s are made with soy, Felchin created one specifically for people with a soy allergy.
In most cases, couverture contains soy lecithin, also making the product vegan. Most chocolates, especially couverture, are naturally gluten-free, as cocoa beans do not contain gluten. Naturally derived vanilla and soy, which are both usually found in couverture, are also gluten-free.
The Taste Of Couverture Chocolate
Couverture is a chocoholic’s gold mine. This specific type of chocolate is what professionals use, therefore you know it is “the good stuff.” Due to the fact that couverture is used for candy molds and dipping, it has a sheen that allows it to look higher quality.
The taste of couverture varies, but it is very smooth chocolate with an amazing flavor. Although most people will not be able to tell the difference between regular and couverture, chocolate lovers easily can. Most expensive chocolate boxes are made with couverture and it is definitely worth the money!
What Is The Price of Couverture?
Because couverture is high-quality chocolate it tends to be on the pricier side. Like many other types of baking chocolate, you can buy couverture in several different forms including disks, chips, and blocks. Depending on the quantity and type of couverture you buy, prices may range anywhere from $20 per lb to $40 per lb. On average, couverture chocolate costs around $20 for one lb of chocolate disks.
Normal melting chocolate is generally half the price of couverture and can range anywhere from $10 per lb to $20 per lb. Although couverture is clearly the more expensive option, it is most definitely worth the money. If you are making candies, bark, or chocolate covered fruits, couverture should be your go-to. It is easy to work with, and you will notice the difference in the taste and look of your creation. Couverture is the most bang for your buck.