What is the difference between semisweet, dark and bittersweet chocolate? Typically, semisweet chocolate has a lower cacao content and is sweeter than bittersweet or dark chocolate. Cacao is the defining ingredient in all chocolate and chocolate products. The term refers to the tree and its fruit, and the seeds (or cocoa beans) inside the fruit, which are then processed to make chocolate. Bittersweet and semisweet chocolate are usually interchangeable in most recipes, and range from 50 to 60 percent cacao. However, there are no official guidelines about what can be called bittersweet and what can be called semisweet. The only FDA requirement is that something called dark, bittersweet or semisweet chocolate contain at least 35 percent cacao and less than 12 percent milk solids (more milk solids, and it’s required to be called milk chocolate). Beyond that, labeling is entirely up to the manufacturer. At its most basic, chocolate is made up of cocoa butter and cocoa powder — which together are called cacao liquor and determine cacao content — along with sugar. (Flavorings and stabilizing chemicals can also be added.) As cacao percentage goes up, sugar content goes down, but this does not necessarily mean more bitterness. It all… Read full this story
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