Couverture and Compound Chocolate: What's the Difference?
Very often for beginners in baking, we can get very overwhelmed with the various baking ingredients out there. To be a good baker you need to know the fundamentals such as the difference between margarine and butter or the difference between baking soda and baking powder. Today however, let’s talk about the differences in chocolates – there are 2 types: Couverture Chocolates and Compound Chocolates. You’ve probably come across them, and probably have zero idea on how they are different. And if you were just like me, you probably walked away with the cheaper alternative, am I right? So here’s a short article about how they are different, and I will try to make it as simple for you to understand.
Let’s talk about their main ingredients. Couverture is made out of cocoa butter & cocoa mass whereas Compound is made out of cocoa powder & vegetable fats. What does that mean? It just means Couverture Chocolate is the real deal – in its purest form. Hence Couverture Chocolate is a healthier option between these two chocolates. Cocoa butter helps to combat kidney problems and prevent cardiac diseases, aids in anti-aging and improves skin health. A few examples of good Couverture Chocolate products are PATISSIER Artisan Dark Couverture 61% Cocoa Buttons and Felcor 52% Rondo Dark Couverture Coins. Compound chocolate is made out of vegetable fats, hence they contain trans fatty acids which can be bad for health. Examples of Compound Chocolates are Beryl’s Gourmet Dark Compound Coin and Van Houten Professional Intense Dark Compound Coins.
Couverture is ideal for dipping and coating and this is where it really shines. Use it in any candy recipe where you want a coating with a deep chocolate flavor, a beautiful gloss, and a healthy “snap” when you bite into the candy. However, Couverture requires slightly more work than Compound – “tempering”. [Tempering is a process of heating chocolate, and then cooling it to bring to a temperature at which it exhibits the best texture, flavour and finish]. If not tempered, couverture baking chocolate may ‘bloom’. Compound is easier to work with, no tempering is required – just melt and it’s ready to use! However, with that convenience, it just means Compound Chocolate lacks the glossiness and there is no “snap” when you break a piece of Compound Chocolate.
Hopefully, this article has been useful in helping you understand the difference between Couverture Chocolates and Compound Chocolates. On a side note, if you’re interested in purchasing baking ingredients online, feel free to browse through our large variety of affordable yet high quality baking and cooking supplies at Essentials MY.