“Chemically speaking, chocolate really is the world’s perfect food.”
Michael Levine, Nutritional researcher as quoted in
The Emperor of Chocolate: Inside the Secret
World of Hershey and Mars

– rolling out gianduja with a rolling pin (French term)

Academie Francaise du Chocolate et de la Confiserie – An organization of chocolatiers and confectioners in France, whose aims are to train others, set standards of quality, provide news and information on related products and discuss issues related to their professions.

Alkalization (Dutch Processing) – The process was developed in 1828 by C.J. Van Houten in the Netherlands, whereby cocoa powder’s acidity is neutralized (from a pH 0f around 5.5 to 7- 8) and the color of the cocoa is darkened. The reasons for alkalization are reduction of bitterness, color characteristic improvement, and water solubility, which means the cocoa powder can be incorporated into milk or water. Dutch processed cocoa powder does not react with baking soda, which is also neutral and, therefore, leavening will not occur unless some acidic ingredient is added. There will be no problem if baking powder is used as it is acidic.

Bain-Marie – A French term for a double boiler. This is a method used for gently heating food by placing it in a pot that sits atop of another pot, which is filled about a third full with water. The heat from the simmering water warms up the food in the other pot. Chocolate is melted this way in order to prevent it from burning or melting too quickly.

Ballotin – The ballotin was invented in Belgium in 1912 by Jean Neuhaus, who was a grandson of the founder of Neuhaus Chocolates, and his wife Louise Agostini.

Bicerin – is a traditional hot drink in Turin, Italy, made of equal portions of espresso, chocolate and milk served in a small rounded glass. (“Bicerin” is Piedmontese for “small glass”). The three components are carefully layered in the glass rather than being mixed.

Bloom – There are two sorts of bloom that appearon the surface of the chocolate. Both are related to the following: incorrect tempering of the chocolate and/or incorrect storage (temperature fluctuations and humidity). The bloom can either be fat bloom or sugar bloom. In fat bloom, the cocoa butter particles have separated from the chocolate and just as oil rises to the surface in a cup of water, the cocoa butter rises to the surface of the chocolate and can be seen as a white-ish or grayish layer. Sugar bloom occurs when moisture is absorbed by the sugar crystals, which form a syrup. Once the liquid in the syrup evaporates, the now larger sugar crystals are left on the surface of the chocolate and can also be seen as white streaks or marks. If the chocolate is solid, with no fillings, it can simply be remelted (in order to melt out the crystals) and tempered correctly. If eaten with bloom, texture changes can be expected.

Cacahuatl (kah-kwa-tel) – The Aztec word for cacao bean as well as the cacao drink served by the Aztecs.

Cacao – The essential ingredient in chocolate. The cocoa tree is called Theobroma Cacao, named by Linnaes, and the beans are called cacao, which are embedded within the white pulp of the cacao pod. While ‘Cacao’ and ‘Cocoa’ are interchangeable, the chocolate industry prefers to use the former to describe the raw ingredient. There are three main varieties of cacao:

1. Criollo (pronounced “Kree-o-yo”) – meaning native as it originally was distributed from southern Mexico to South America, north and west of the Andes. Fruits are oblong to ovoid in shape, tapering to a point, and have five or ten longitudinal ridges and the seeds have yellow-white cotyledons. Today the Criollo can be mostly found in South America, mainly in Venezuela. This variety is rare and accounts for only 10% of the cacao trees. It is considered to be the prince among the cacao varieties and is not only very fragile but also produces small harvests. While there are several types of Criollo, all share common characteristics such as cotyledons, the round bean shape and the complex , mellow flavor.

2. Forastero – meaning foreign as this variety was introduced to Mesoamerica from the Amazon basin. The fruits are ellipsoid to round and lack a pointed tip, may be furrowed but otherwise have a smooth exterior surface The cotyledons are violet. This variety is strong, more disease resistant, easy to produce and has large yields. It is found maily in Africa. ‘Amelonado’ is the major West African cultivar, and the predominant type grown world-wide. Other varieties are blended with it to enhance the final product. It has a strong aroma and accounts for at least 70% of all cocoa mixtures. The Arriba or Nacional bean is a unique Forastero and is found only in Ecuador. The several types can be recognized by common characterstics such as dark purple cotyledons and flat-shaped beans.

3. Trinitario – This is a cross of Criollo and Forestero. It has characteristics of the other two varieties. These hybrids originated in Trinidad are often classified as a subgroup of the forastero variety.

Cocoa Butter – The vegetable naturally found in the cacao bean (beans contain approximately 52% cocoa butter by weight). Cacao butter is a yellowish-white fat and is solid at room temperature. It has a mild flavor and if non- deodorized it has a lovely mild aroma. Although it is called cacao butter, it is not a dairy product. It has no cholesterol, but does contain saturated fats. However these are stearic and oleic acid, which according to many studies conducted, do not have an impact on blood cholesterol.

Cacao Content – This is the percentage of cacao in a chocolate bar or couverture. The cacao percentage includes all parts of the cacao bean, the solids (also known as chocolate liquor and Cacao mass) as well as the cocoa butter. The higher the percentage of cocoa solids (cacao and cacao butter), the lower the sugar content will be. The percentage does not give information on the amount of cocoa butter in the amount of cocoa solids. In dark chocolate the nutrition label should give the fat percentage. In a quality chocolate bar using only cocoa butter and not any other type of fat, this information actually is the amount of cocoa butter. In general, the higher the cocoa butter percentage, the more expensive the chocolate.

Cacao Nib – Cacao Nibs are perfectly roasted cocoa beans separated from their husks and often broken into small bits. They are the essence of chocolate. When raw, this part of the cacao bean is referred to as the cotyledons. They can be used in ganache, in cookies, muffins or bars, as they add crunch, texture and flavor.

Caffeine in chocolate




Type amount Amount of caffeine

Dark chocolate 28.3g 5-10 mg

Milk chocolate 28.3g 5g

White chocolate 28.3 0g

cocoa 160g

(1 cup) 10mg

cola 1 can 50mg

tea 1 prepared cup 35mg

coffee 1 prepared cup 100-150mg


Chocolate – The final product produced after roasting, hulling, grinding and processing the cacao bean and then mixing it with cocoa butter, vanilla and more often than not, a minute amount of lecithin. The origin of the word chocolate is a combination of two words: the Maya word chocol, meaning “hot,” and the Aztec atl, meaning “water,” to produce the word the Spaniards used: chocolatl. The correct way to pronounce “tl” is “teh”, so the word is therefore pronounced “chocolateh” .

Three are three main types of chocolate:

1. Dark Chocolate – according to European rules dark chocolate must contain a minimum of 35% chocolate liquor (cocoa mass). There is dark chocolate of varying percentages up to 100% cocoa. %. The U.S. cacao standards require Semisweet or bittersweet chocolate to contain at least 35% chocolate liquor.

2. Milk chocolate – according to European rules milk chocolate must contain a minimum of 15% cocoa mass. There is milk chocolate of varying percentages such as Jivara of Valrhona (40%) and a Bonnat one of 65%. The U.S. cacao standards require a milk chocolate to contain at least 10% chocolate liquor (cacao mass).

3. White chocolate – According to the official definitions of chocolate, white chocolate is actually not considered to be chocolate as it contains no cocoa solids, only cocoa butter. Quality white chocolate consists of sugar, milk, cocoa butter, lecithin and vanilla. El Rey has a great bar that uses non – deodorized cocoa butter, which gives a great aroma to the bar. This bar is considered to be one of the very best.

Chocolatier – A person who specializes in the creation of artisan chocolates, as well as the professionals who oversee the roasting, conching, and blending of cacao beans. These chocolatiers provide the recipes for the manufacturers’ production of the various chocolates.

Chuao – (Pronounced “Chew – wow”) A single origin growing region in the Venezuelan state of Aragua, which is on the northern coastal range. Chuao produces some of the finest beans in the world, mostly of the Criollo variety. The village is surrounded by mountains, dense rainforests and by the Caribbean Sea. There is no road access and visitors must come by boat from the town of Puerto Colombia along the coast, or by foot.

Cocoa Powder – The powder that remains after the cocoa butter has been mechanically pressed or extracted under tremendous force from the chocolate liquor or cocoa mass. Some cocoa butter always remains after pressing and so cocoa powder can range from 10% to 24% fat from the cocoa butter. The higher the cocoa butter percentage, the better the quality of the cocoa powder. The lower percentage cocoa powders are usually the supermarket brands. Both the Dutch processed cocoa powder and the non –alkalized kind are available to the consumer.

Conching – This is the final step in chocolate flavor development. Once the beans have been roasted and ground (chocolate liquor or cacao mass) the mass is rolled, churned and kneaded. The technique was invented in 1879 in Switzerland by Rodolphe Lindt. All added particles, such as sugar crystals, powdered milk, or added cacao butter are blended in according to each chocolatier’s recipe. Different lengths of time and temperatures may be used in conching, and therefore, innumerable flavor characteristics may be achieved. High quality chocolate is conched for anywhere from one day to a few days.

Couverture – Pronounced “koo-ver-tyoor”, French for covering or coating, from couvrir, “to cover”. Couverture is professional-quality coating chocolate. It is usually made with quality beans, ground to a very fine particle size and with high cocoa butter content, and not less than 32% cocoa butter. The term is defined for legal purposes only in France, although this French definition has become an accepted standard worldwide. These characteristics allow for a thin shell of chocolate in molded pralines, and for easier hand enrobing of other bonbons.

Cru (terroir) – as with wine, cru refers to the physical environment in which the cacao was grown. The names of the crus often are the names of the areas where the cacao is grown. Valrhona’s Guanaja (an island off Honduras) and Caraïbe (Caribbean) are two examples.

Croquant – (pronounced “kroh-kahn” ) Croquant is a French term for “crispy” or “crunchy.” It consists of roasted nuts or seeds mixed into a hard caramel, like nut brittle.

Cuvee – a blend of different kinds of cacao beans

Enrobing – covering a center, such as caramels, nuts, or ganaches, with a thin layer of tempered chocolate.

Estate Grown or Single Estate – (This is also known as Grande Cru.) Cacao beans from a single plantation (hacienda). The Grande Cru chocolate is usually a blend of beans that come from the same region, but can also be from a single variety bean.

Fair Trade – Fair Trade is an international monitoring and certification system that guarantees a minimum price under direct contracts, prohibits abusive child labor, and promotes environmental sustainability. The Fair Trade system guarantees that farmers receive a fair floor price for non-organic cocoa and organic cocoa. Producers receive more per metric ton above the world price if the world price rises above the Fair Trade floor price. This gives farmers the stable and sufficient income they need to support their families. Fair Trade prohibits forced and abusive labor as well as child labor. Farms are monitored once per year to ensure that all required conditions are met. From the site: global exchange. For exact figures and more information:


Feuilletine – (pronounced “Foy-yuh-teen”). This term is also known as Paillete. Feuilletine is derived from the French word “feuille” -meaning sheet (as in paper sheet). They are used in pastries and chocolates to give a crunch. The extremely thin crepes known as “gavottes” are crushed to create “feuilletine”. They are made from wheat flour, sugar, copra oil, inverted sugar syrup, skimmed milk powder, butter, salt, lecithin, vanilla, and barley malt extract.

Fondant – Fondant has a few different meanings. One type is a paste made from sugar syrup – by boiling sugar and water together, and then agitating the mixture by stirring, scraping, and kneading it as it cools. The resulting fondant can be formed into balls and dipped as a candy by itself, melted and used as a liquid cream center, or rolled thin and used to drape over cakes or other pastries. This type of fondant can be flavored with fruit concentrate, or flavored oils such as orange or lemon. Fondant can be used to roll out and cover a cake, or as a filling for a bonbon. Another type of fondant is a chocolate spread and a third type is simply dark chocolate, without milk.

Ganache – Ganache is a French term for a smooth, creamy and rich mixture of chocolate and fresh cream. Ganache is often infused with fresh herbs, spices, liqueur and different coffees and teas. Nuts, fruit, cacao nibs, or feuilletine are often added.

Garnissage – The French term for filling the shell of a moulded chocolate, usually with ganache or caramel by use of a pastry piping bag.

Gianduja – (Gianduia). A term for roasted and caramelized hazelnuts ground into a fine paste and mixed with chocolate. It can also be made of almond paste mixed with chocolate. Gianduja was invented in Turin, in the Piedmont region of Italy which is the major hazelnut-producing area of Italy and where hazelnut confectionary is common. It is usually made with dark chocolate but can also be made with milk or even white chocolate.

Java – Java is an island located in Indonesia and is a perfect location for growing quality cacao beans. These Java beans are known for their strong cacao flavor which can still comes through even when mixed with milk. This is the reason why they are used mostly in milk chocolate.

Kakaw – A hieroglyph meaning cacao from the Maya language of the seventh century. This is Ganache Chocolate’s logo, in appreciation of the rich history of chocolate.

Lecithin – The name is derived from the Greek word for egg yolk (lekithos). Today lecithin (phosphatidyl choline) is produced mainly from vegetable sources, although it may also come from animal sources. The majority of commercial lecithins sold in the market today mostly come from soybeans, but also from sunflower, and grape seed. Maurice Gobley, the French scientist discovered lecithin in egg yolk in 1850, and this was the sole source of lecithin used by the commercial food industry. However, by the 1930s, the time when soybean lecithin was discovered, egg yolk was no longer the major source of lecithin for commercial use. Today, it is not even a major source of lecithin in nutritional supplements. The reason may be that lecithins that come from plants are GRAS or generally regarded as safe.

Lecithin seems to have many health benefits including breaking up fats and cholesterol. It is excellent for a healthy heart. It is a rich source of gamma linoleic acid (GLA). It helps the body utilize vitamins A, D, E, and K and is excellent for memory, concentration, and recall. It cleanses the liver and kidneys and helps the body absorbs nutrients.

In chocolate, the role of lecithin is not fully understood, however, from what is known, lecithin functions as a dispersing agent, which provides the desired viscosity for the chocolate. It is an emulsifier, which means it helps keep an attachment between the cocoa butter and the sugar. It also works as a thinner by increasing the chocolate’s fluidity. Cocoa butter is also added for this purpose and therefore chocolate manufacturers can use lecithin to replace some of the more expensive cocoa butter. It also influences surface gloss on chocolate. When no lecithin is added, the chocolate is thick and can keep air trapped inside the bar, which can create air bubbles, not only inside the chocolate, but also on the surface. Some chocolatiers do not use lecithin to emulsify their chocolate, as they believe it interferes with taste in the cacao. It also influences surface gloss on chocolate.

Marzipan – High quality marzipan is made up of finely ground almonds and sugar. Any low quantity of almonds to sugar is looked down upon and not even considered marzipan by leading chefs the world over. Marzipan is a confection found in many pastries and baked goods. It can be rolled out to top a cake and thereby maintain the cake’s moisture and freshness. It also adds a delicate almond flavor. It can be coated in chocolate or used by itself to form figurines of animals, babies or people, or miniature fruits and vegetables. Coloring is often added to create realistic looking pieces.

Mendiants – Round circles of chocolate with pieces of nuts and dried fruits half embedded in the chocolate. When made in large pieces and not circles, and is then broken into irregular sized pieces, it is called “bark”.

Nib – The most interior part of the cacao bean. After the beans have been roasted and husked, the remaining part is the nib. Broken pieces of the nibs are often used in chocolate ganaches or bars to add crunch and flavor. Nibs contain minimum 50% cocoa butter.

Nougat – Nougat is a French word and torrone is the Italian word used for a chewy white confection made of whipped egg whites, sugar and honey to which nuts and dried fruits are mixed into. Nougat is often also used to refer to caramelized hazelnut paste, also known as praliné.

Palet d’Or – French for pillow, disk or puck of gold. This is usually a flat round truffle made of pure, high quality, dark chocolate ganache coated in a thin shell of dark chocolate and decorated with a flake of real gold. This is for the chocolate purist and is often seen as the best of the best a chocolatier has to offer, with no other tastes or aromas to interfere with that of the chocolate.

Praline – Praline has many different meanings. A praline can refer to a nut that is roasted and caramelized. A praline can also refer to any bonbon that is filled with ganache or any other filling. In the southern states of the U.S., a praline refers to a confection like fudge that is filled with pecans. Then, of course, there is praliné, which is usually caramelized hazelnut or almond paste. All have one common ingredient; nuts.

Tempering (Crystallization Process) – In general, the tempering of materials such as glass, iron or steel is actually the process of making that material harder by heating it and then cooling it. Chocolate is tempered (heated and cooled to specific temperatures) so that the cocoa butter will reach its most stable crystal form (the beta crystal). Time and agitation are crucial to this process along with temperature. When chocolate is tempered correctly it has a shiny appearance and smooth texture. It breaks with a sharp snap, sets up rapidly, and releases or contracts easily from molds. All chocolate comes from the manufacturer tempered, but when it is melted it loses the temper and must be tempered again for dipping, or moulding.

A good example in order to understand this process is that of coal (graphite) and diamonds. Both are made of carbon. They just have different crystal structures. The diamond has a different structure as a result of the heat and pressure applied to the carbon that makes up the diamond. Heat and pressure change coal into diamond. Coal is soft and not shiny, just like badly tempered chocolate. Diamonds are hard and shiny with tight pyramid – shaped crystal structures that fit one into the other. Chocolate works in a similar way in that when temperature, time and agitation are applied correctly; the most stable crystal form is formed making the chocolate shiny and hard.

Truffle (Truffe) – A rich chocolate confection made from cream and melted chocolate. Butter, liqueur, teas, coffees, herbs and spices can be added for flavor. The mixture is rolled into uneven balls, and is either coated in chocolate or rolled in cacao powder, nuts or other topping. These confections are named after the rare and expensive mushroom, called a truffle because of the similar shape.



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