Chocolate Glossary

Artisan – Skilled worker of chocolate, innovators in flavour.

Ballotin of chocolates – A particular style and shape of chocolate box originally from Belgium.

Bittersweet chocolate – Usually sweetened dark chocolate with 70% or more Cacoa solids. This chocolate usually has intense Cacoa flavour.

Cacao – Seed pod from which Cocoa and chocolate are made from the tree of the Theobroma Cacao.

Cacoa Plantation – The place where the Theobroma Cacao trees grow.

Chocolate – A food made from roasted and ground cocoa seeds, usually sweetened.

Chocolates – Confections made from chocolate such as pralines and truffles.

Chocolatier – A person or company who makes confectionery from chocolate.

Cocoa – A powder made from crushed Cacoa seeds, often mixed with milk to make a hot drink.

Cocoa bean – Seeds from the pod, or fruit, of the Theobroma cacao tree.

Cocoa butter – A substance obtained from cocoa beans, used in confectionery but also can be used in cosmetics.

Cocoa content (or Cacao content) The percentage Cacoa in the finished chocolate. Usually the higher the Cacoa content the more intense the flavour.

Conching – When the cocoa bean has been broken down into chocolate liquor or paste the paste is then refined through uninterrupted stirring or conching.

Criollo – A species of Cocoa tree. Produces small harvests and is very fragile. The prince of Cacoa trees.

Dark Chocolate – Contains a higher % of Cacoa per chocolate bar, usually less sweet than other chocolate. The trend for dark chocolate has demanded that a good dark chocolate has a high cocoa solid content although coca solids above 70% may be unpalatable to many and be perceived as too bitter.

Enrobing – The process of covering a product with chocolate.

Fermentation – A natural process that occurs after harvest. The Cacoa beans are left to develop their flavour.

Fondant – A confection often used as a filling for chocolates. In Britain, this is often referred to as a cream such as peppermint creams.

Forastero – One of three species of the Cocoa tree. It is a stronger type of tree that is easier to cultivate and produces larger yields than Criollo. The cocoa pods have a thicker peel and a coarser, stronger aroma. This cocoa therefore forms the basic ingredient in most chocolates and can often account for 80% of the cocoa mixture.

Fudge – A confection which is usually very sweet and rich. Can be flavoured and enrobed in chocolate.

Ganache – Usually made with chocolate and cream, an ideal filling for a truffle.

GIANDUJA or GIANDUIA – Another name for hazelnut praliné

Marc de champagne – A spirit usually used to make premium champagne truffles.

Marzipan – A thick paste of finely ground almonds and sugar.

Milk chocolate – Made of chocolate liquor, cocoa butter, milk, sugar. A good quality milk chocolate will have at least 30% cocoa solids.

Moulding – The process of making the chocolate(s) into a particular shape such as an Easter Egg.

Praline– A chocolate filling made from nuts, usually hazelnuts or almonds.

Single estate – Made from Cacoa beans from a single named estate.

Single-origin – Made from Cacoa beans from a particular locale.

Tempering – Chocolate is tempered by the chocolatier. It is the processing of working the brown molten liquid correctly to ensure the finished product has the correct mouthfeel and glossy finish.

Trinitario – One of three species of the Cocoa tree. It is a cross of both types of trees and has characteristics of both Forastero and Criollo.

White chocolate – Contains more milk and sugar than other chocolate.