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What’s the Difference Between Couverture and Compound Chocolate?

All of Theobroma’s chocolate cakes and desserts are made from couverture chocolate and not compound chocolate. It’s one of the reasons why our chocolate goodies taste so great. With every bite, you get to enjoy the rich taste of chocolate and this holds true no matter the dessert you’re eating. Be it our chocolate cupcake, chocolate mousse or tart, or any of our chocolate cakes, it’s couverture chocolate that lends these baked delights their rich taste and aroma. So, what is couverture chocolate and why do we insist on only using this type of chocolate in our desserts? For one, couverture chocolate is pure chocolate or real chocolate, while compound chocolate is not. And we strongly believe that cuisine is like couture – there’s no room for fakes. Another difference between couverture and compound chocolate is price. And there’s good reason for that. Let’s take a look at what these two types of chocolate are and why, for the love of chocolate, you must always pick couverture chocolate desserts over those made of compound chocolate.

Couverture vs Compound Chocolate

Ingredients

Both forms of chocolate have a common source - the cocoa plant (also known as Theobroma Cacao). Couverture chocolate is made from chocolate liquor or cocoa mass, the rich smooth paste obtained by grinding sundried and roasted cocoa beans. Chocolate liquor contains both cocoa solids and cocoa butter.
Compound chocolate, on the other hand, is made using cocoa powder, which is made from the remnant cocoa solids after cocoa butter has been separated from chocolate liquor. In place of cocoa butter, compound chocolate contains vegetable fats like cottonseed, soybean or palm kernel oil.

Tempering

Tempering chocolate is the process of heating and then cooling chocolate to give it the appropriate texture and consistency for casting into chocolate candies and treats. When looking at the benefits of couverture chocolate vs compound chocolate, tempering is an important factor to consider. The former cannot be used without tempering, whereas the latter only needs to be melted to be used.

The snap

Couverture chocolate has a crisp texture and glossy finish. When you break a bar of couverture chocolate, you’ll hear a snapping sound. Compound chocolate, on the other hand, is more pliable and so you won’t hear that ‘snap’ when you break a bar of chocolate.

Mouthfeel

Couverture chocolate melts in your mouth and leaves behind a silky aftertaste. Compound chocolate leaves behind a mild greasy aftertaste since it contains vegetable fats instead of cocoa butter.

Effects on health

Couverture chocolate contains cocoa butter, which has been shown to maintain cholesterol levels in the body, combat kidney problems and improve heart health. Compound chocolate contains hydrogenated vegetable fats, which counteract the health benefits of cocoa. These fats can damage the arteries and cause cardiovascular problems in the long run.

Price

This is probably the biggest difference between couverture and compound chocolate. The former is inevitably costlier since it contains chocolate liquor in its purest form. Whereas, the latter is a lot cheaper.

Usage

Because of its rich taste and glossy texture, couverture chocolate is often used for coating, decorating or dipping. It is also used in good-quality chocolate cakes and desserts. You’ll find compound chocolate being used in imitation chocolates or in chocolate desserts that are of a lower quality.

If you want your chocolate dessert to pack a punch using couverture chocolate is ideal because it imparts your dessert with a rich chocolate taste and great mouthfeel. At Theobroma, you can enjoy the taste of couverture chocolate in all our chocolate desserts, including our hot chocolate. Try out the Theos Dutch Truffle cake, which is layered with a rich chocolate truffle ganache or our almond rocks, made of pure dark chocolate and toasted almonds. There’s lots more of such chocolatey delights at Theobroma, so take your pick now!