- Ron Feb 23, 2001 12:48 AM
Any difference between bitter or semi sweet chocolate when baking? Can't seem to find bitter-sweet chocolate but lots of semi. Recipe calls for bitter. Can I use semi and get same results?
Bitter Sweet chocolate has a higher cocoa/lower sugar content than does semi sweet. For baking, most people use Baker's BRand Semi Sweet chocolate. They do make a bitter sweet chocolate but it is hard to find. YOu can easily find Lindt Excellence or Surfin or if you really like bittersweet chocolate, try Lindt 70%. I think Ghirardelli may make a bitter sweet as well.
re: David Siegel
Semisweet chocolate will work fine; the flavor of your baked goods will differ in that it will be a bit sweeter and less deep/dark in chocolate flavor than with bittersweet; some people prefer that. I've noticed that some cookbooks and publications consider them interchangeable for baking (i.e., your choice to make based on flavor, but they'll behave the same for baking purposes), so that's a good sign for you. The Lindt bars mentioned above are not too hard to find in supermarket candy sections, where they usually run about $2-2.50 for 3.5 oz. I usually see the Ghirardelli bittersweet bars in the baking section. And if you want to lay in supplies for the future, you can certainly buy all kinds over the internet. Callebaut is good for baking and not outrageously priced.
I always thought that semi and bitter-sweet chocolate were interchangeable, but I read that bitter-sweet had less sugar. I now use bitter-sweet chocolate from Trader Joes--because it's much cheaper than buying it at a supermarket. Avoid Baker's chocolate, not only does it taste bad, but it has a gritty texture.