What Is Couverture Chocolate?
Love to make candy at home? Here's why you should be using couverture chocolate.
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If you’re a candy maker, odds are you rely on your favorite brand of chocolate chips or bar of baking chocolate to make these goodies. But did you know there’s a special kind of chocolate just for making candy? Couverture chocolate is the ingredient that will take these homemade sweets to the next level.
What Is Couverture Chocolate?
“Couverture is basically a fancy way to say ‘professional chocolate’ or ‘coating chocolate,'” says Rashanda Cobbins, food editor here at Taste of Home.
This type of chocolate contains the same ingredients as your standard bar but has a higher percentage of fat from cocoa butter. In the U.S., this means couverture must contain at least 31% cocoa butter. To compare, your average milk chocolate has about 15% cocoa butter and dark chocolate around 18%.
Why is this level of fat important? The increased amount of cocoa butter makes this chocolate extra glossy and the right texture for dipping and coating. Its smooth texture and shiny finish make chocolate-covered candies look like something from a professional confectionary.
When and How to Use Couverture Chocolate
Use couverture when making chocolate-covered strawberries and other dipped fruits. You can also use it when making holiday candies. (For the best shine and snap, learn how to temper chocolate.)
You’ll find that couverture chocolate is very easy to work with, but the same chocolate best practices apply, according to Rashanda. “Be sure to monitor the heat levels and work slowly when melting chocolate,” she says. “Avoid contact with moisture and store it in a cool, dry place.”
While couverture is the preferred type of chocolate for confections, there’s no need to shell out for this specialty chocolate for baking. This candy’s special qualities will be lost when stirring up a batch of chocolate chip cookies or pan of brownies.
Where to Buy Couverture Chocolate
You can find couverture chocolate at specialty baking stores and online. Rashanda recommends going for brands like Callebaut, Guittard and Valrhona. These brands are well known for high-quality chocolate products, including cocoa powder.
Because this type of chocolate is harder to find, you may be asking yourself, what can I substitute for couverture chocolate? The good news is, it’s easy to make a couverture swap. For most home bakers and candy makers, your go-to chocolate will work just fine.
However, if you’re really looking to get the crispness of couverture, you can replicate it by adding a touch of edible cocoa butter to your chocolate. This will increase the level of fat in the chocolate to make it ideal for dipping.
You can also incorporate a bit of white chocolate, which has a naturally higher level of cocoa butter than its darker counterparts. Use about 90% chocolate and 10% white chocolate to get the right balance.