Baking food – Know your chocolates

The type of chocolate you use can affect baking results. So it’s best to stick with what the recipe calls for, but here are some tasty tricks.

Unsweetened chocolate has 100 percent cacao content. Adds a little cocoa or instant espresso powder to recipes for a richer flavor.

Semisweet or bittersweet chocolate is unsweetened chocolate with sugar. Also look for milk- and white-chocolate baking squares or chips. For homemade chocolate chips, Epstein breaks up candy bars, mixing different types for extra flavor.

Dark or sweet chocolate has a lower cacao content. Use a gourmet bar with 60 to 65 percent cacao for richer flavor.

Cocoa can be substituted for baking chocolate. One square equals 3 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa plus 1 tablespoon of melted butter.

Store it Right Keep chocolate in a cool, dry place. Even if it has a grayish hue, it’s still good.

Try something new Look for single-ingredient flours that are gluten-free, such as almond, buckwheat, coconut, and millet, which will give baked goods like cookies slightly different flavors. Their chemical properties and textures are different from those of regular flour, so be sure to sue the recipes on the packages or the makers’ websites.

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