What's the difference between real and compound chocolate?

 

Real chocolate and compound coatings may look similar, they are different. Compound coatings, substitute chocolate liquor and cocoa butter with cocoa powder and vegetable oil. For candy making, this means that compound coating and real chocolate must be handled differently.

Real chocolate, due to the cocoa butter, requires more painstaking preparation. When chocolate is melted and then cooled, the cocoa butter may re-crystallize in two different forms, called alpha (Awful) and beta (Best). The alpha form is unstable and will rise to the surface of the chocolate, resulting in unattractive, grayish-white streaks (called "bloom"). To get the desired beta form requires careful melting and conditioning by the process called "tempering". Briefly, tempering is the development of the proper crystallization of the cocoa butter crystals. This development takes place when chocolate goes though a predetermined cycle of temperatures and agitation. Properly done, tempering will provide perfect gloss, hardness and snap to the chocolate.

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