Chocolate and Other Cocoa Products
Compound chocolate is the most commonly used chocolate in the baking industry today. It is also referred to in the trade as coating chocolate, confectionary coating, non-temper coatings, or baker’s chocolate. Note: It should not be confused with the Baker’s brand chocolate, easily obtained in supermarkets, which is generally pure chocolate.
A typical chocolate coating contains approximately 35% to 40% fat, which is a type of hard fat (usually hydrogenated palm kernel oil), 8% to 18% cocoa, approximately 2% milk solids, and a small amount of lecithin and flavour; the remainder is pulverized sugar. Since there is no cocoa butter (generally) present in compound chocolate, it offers a cost savings, and it eliminates the time spent needed in tempering.
Because of the replacement of cocoa butter, compound chocolates are not appropriate to use in moulding applications. With the other oils and fats in compound chocolate, it will not set as firmly as a cocoa butter chocolate, making it difficult if not impossible to remove from a mould. Another factor to consider is that properly tempered cocoa butter chocolate will shrink slightly, and this aids in the removal from moulds.
Compound chocolate melts at approximately 35°C to 37°C (95°F to 99°F) and is best for coating at approximately 40°C (104°F). If any liquefying agent is needed, palm kernel oil can be used. Most compound chocolate is thin enough for coating.
The shelf life of fresh bakery goods enrobed with compound coating does not present any problems with bloom because hard fat is used to adjust the melting point and carries enough seed to make tempering unnecessary. While temperature control is not as critical as when using true chocolate, heating coating to 50°C (122°F) and higher could destroy seed crystals and reduce the coating’s viscosity.
Coatings that are well adapted to freezing are produced. Here, ability to withstand the freeze/thaw cycle without brittleness and cracking is important. In any case, products going into the freezer should be tightly enclosed in plastic wrap. The wrap should not be removed until the product is defrosted.