Whether you are glazing a cake or making chocolate truffles, chances are you’ve come across the term couverture in a recipe.
Not sure what it is? In this post we’ll explain what couverture chocolate really is, how it’s different to normal chocolate, and where to buy good quality couverture online.
What is couverture chocolate?
Couverture chocolate is a type of chocolate used to make pastries, bonbons, truffles, and other confections. The difference between normal chocolate and couverture is that couverture contains a higher content of cocoa butter.
The added cocoa butter allows for couverture chocolate to melt faster, making it easier to work with. Moreover, the extra cocoa butter also gives the final chocolate a glossier finish when it it is tempered.
What are the ingredients in couverture chocolate?
The main ingredients of couverture chocolate shouldn’t be any different to a chocolate bar. These ingredients include:
- Cocoa solids
- Cocoa butter
- Milk powder (if it’s milk chocolate couverture)
- Emulsifier (lecithin)
Good quality couverture shouldn’t contain any vegetable fats, such as palm oil. Small amounts of lecithin (usually from sunflower or soy) is added to improve the workability of the chocolate.
In Europe and the USA, coverture must contain over 35% cocoa solids, including a minimum of 31% cocoa butter.
Using couverture chocolate
Couverture comes from the french word “to cover” or “to blanket.” It’s used by professional chocolatiers and chefs to garnish, coat, dip and mold confections.
Before using your couverture, you’ll want to make sure that it’s properly tempered. Tempered chocolate has the distinctive glossy look and clear snap. Find our more on how to temper chocolate here.
Before using couverture chocolate, it’s important to try it to see if you enjoy the taste. Good quality coverture can make a huge difference in flavour for filled chocolates and bonbons.
Couverture can also be used for baking. However, since it contains a higher percentage of cocoa butter, and therefore fat, it might influence your bake. If a recipe requires melted chocolate, then it’s probably better to go for a normal chocolate bar.
How is Couverture Chocolate Made?
The manufacturing process of couverture chocolate is similar to that of other types of chocolate.
First, the cocoa beans are roasted and ground into a paste, which is then mixed with sugar, cocoa butter, and other ingredients, depending on the recipe.
The mixture is then conched, a process that involves grinding the chocolate to improve its texture and flavor.
Finally, the chocolate is tempered, a process that involves heating and cooling the chocolate to stabilize the cocoa butter crystals and give it a smooth, shiny appearance.
The History of Couverture Chocolate
The origins of couverture chocolate can be traced back to Europe, where chocolate-making became popular in the 17th century.
At that time, chocolatiers discovered that by adding extra cocoa butter to the chocolate, they could create a smoother, more refined product.
This eventually led to the development of couverture chocolate as we know it today.
Where to buy couverture chocolate
Dark chocolate couverture:
Milk chocolate couverture:
White chocolate couverture:
Other types of couverture chocolates:
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the difference between normal chocolate and couverture?
Couverture contains more cocoa butter than normal chocolate. Both are perfectly fine to eat, however, coverture might have a rich and buttery mouthfeel.
Can you eat couverture chocolate?
Yes, you can eat couverture chocolate. The ingredients of couverture chocolate are no different to normal chocolate. The only difference is that couverture usually contains more cocoa butter than normal chocolate.
What can I substitute for coverture chocolate?
You can use any normal chocolate as a substitute for coverture chocolate. However, it might be more difficult to work with. To improve the workability, try adding cocoa butter to the melted chocolate.