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Aug 25, 2006 05:59 PM

chocolate and baking

When a recipe asks for unsweetened and semisweet chocolate, what are the percents used for this? i know that semisweet is going to be around 60-70%, but for unsweetened should i use 100%?

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  1. I think you may be confusing two issues. The % is usually the proportion of cocoa solids and has nothing to do with sweetener. Unsweetened can be 60 - 70% cocoa solids IIRC.

    1 Reply
    1. re: cheryl_h

      i dont think i'm that confused. i understand that % refers to the % of cocoa solids in the chocolate, but what i'm asking is if a recipes asks for both unsweetened and semisweet, what percentage is the unsweetended chocolate?

      Since semisweet is going to be usually around 60-70%, what is unsweetened chocolate going to be? 80,90,100?

    2. I rarely have unsweetened chocolate lying around the house, so when a recipe calls for unsweetened I usually just grab whatever's the highest percentage I have around. So far, it's worked out okay. Then again, I never compare so I don't know if I used unsweetened if I'd get even better results.

      Usually you can find chocolate labelled "unsweetened" in the baking aisle. Something like Baker's Chocolate.

      1. I own about 12 cookbooks on chocolate, so forgive me for not remembering which authority(authorities) said this, but most say that unsweetened choc has NO sugar, and that "dark," "bittersweet," and "semisweet" terms don't mean much: there is much variation between manufacturers, and no established standard percentages per label.

        That said, my friends and I like REALLY dark chocolate, so I usually use the least sweetened products I can find. BTW: I think it is Cooks Ill. that prefers Nestle's unsweetened over Baker's unsweeetened.

        1. I highly recommend Scharffen Berger unsweetened chocolate: it is way better than anything you can buy in most grocery stores! It is 99% cacao (their semi-sweet is 62%, bittersweet 70%).

          As far as I have ever been able to discover, Americans are the only people who use this product, so you're not going to find an imported unsweetened chocolate.

          1 Reply
          1. re: pikawicca

            I second the recommendation I keep all 3 on hand almost all of the time but at the moment am nibbling at some Green & Black's 70% bittersweet organic which is really good

          2. Do you get the G & B at the Sahara Mart?

            1 Reply
            1. re: pikawicca

              Today I picked up a bar at the Super Target just south of Greenwood, but Sahara has it too. I find substituting really rich dark chocolate for Darvocet the almost perfect solution. You know where i am coming from on that one. The friend I was with said " you never eat that stuff!" And I remarked that since this whole back thing started that really rich dark chocolate makes me feel better and relly gets the endorphins working. My MD agreed. She told me of a friend in her investment club whose husband just dropped dead at 50 told her what was getting her through al of it was beer and really dark rich chocolate. I have not had much beer but the chocolate is always on hand.