52 to 62% cacao (cacao = cocoa solids + cocoa butter)
Semisweet chocolate is entry level for those who are new to bitter and darker, more pronounced chocolate flavor. This chocolate has a slightly sweet flavour and a dark brown colour. With its accessible flavour and creamy consistency, semisweet chocolate is a dream to work with. It melts easily, combines well with other flavors, and is fantastic for dipping.
63 to 72% cacao (cacao = cocoa solids + cocoa butter)
Darker and more pronounced in flavour than a semisweet, bittersweets are the favourites of many chefs. However, their highter cacao content can make them trickier to work with.
36 to 46% cacao (cacao = cocoa solids + cocoa butter)
As the name suggests, it contains milk solids and has a creamy, mild and sweet flavour. It is light brown in colour and usually not recommended for cooking.
since it does not contain cacao solids, white chocolate is technically not a chocolate. Whether or not you’re a fan of this bar of cocoa butter, sugar, vanilla, and milk, there are times when it is just right. White chocolate is very sensitive to heat, so be careful when melting it.
Unsweetened chocolate, as the name implies, is 100 percent cacao with no sugar added. One taste will tell you that it is not meant to be eaten alone. I like to use it in combination with semi or bittersweet to add depth of flavour. You can also improvise bitter sweet by substituting about 20 percent unsweetened chocolate and 80 percent semisweet for the quanity of bittersweet specified in the recipe.
Cocoa is the pure chocolate mass which is left when the cocoa butter has been removed from the chocolate liquor. It is then ground and sifted. Cocoa lends desserts and baked goods, a wonderful depth of flavour.