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Alkalinization: In the early 19th century the Dutchman Coenraad Johannes van Houten discovered that the acid taste of cocoa was neutralized if he added alkali-potash to the nibs before they were roasted. Ever since the end of the 19th century all industrial chocolate makers have practiced this alkalization process to modify the flavor and the color of the final product. Another technical term for alkalization still used today is the ‘Dutch process' or ‘Dutching'.

Alkalized Cocoa Powder:  Dutch process powders which have been treated with alkali. They range from very light reddish-brown to dark reddish-brown in color, and mild cocoa flavor to strong cocoa flavor.

Allergens: Products may contain traces of nuts and/or milk proteins

All-Natural: When chocolates are all-natural; there are no preservatives, no additives, and no extenders.

Amenolado:   Amenolado cocoa is the only variety of forastero cacao that is delicate and mild-flavored.  Most forastero cacao is harsh and bitter.  It's derived from the Arriba bean.

American Cocoa Powder:   Also known as regular, produces a more acidic chocolate flavor that the mellower Dutch cocoa powder.  American or regular cocoa has far less fat and fewer calories than baking and eating chocolate because the cocoa butter has been removed.

Arriba:   The name for a variety of forastero cacao beans cultivated in Ecuador which produce a delicate, mild-flavored cocoa, considered to be one of the world's best.


Bahia :   A province in eastern Brazil that gives its name to a hybrid of the forastero cacao bean. Bahia forestareo beans have a strong flavor and are usually blended with other cacao beans.

Bain Marie:   The French term for water bath. A bain marie is the equivalent to a double boiler. It melts chocolate gently over warm water so it will not burn.

Baking Bitter:   Non-alcoholic unsweetened chocolate liquor in solid form used as a baking ingredient.

Baking Chocolate: A solid chocolate made from pure chocolate liquor, no sugar added. Baking chocolate is pure, unsweetened, sometimes bitter chocolate liquor, pressed from the cacao bean. Baking chocolate usually has lecithin added, which acts as an emulsifier, and vanilla, for flavoring.

Baking Chocolates :  Milk, bittersweet, semi-sweet, and white chocolate sold in one-pound blocks for baking.

Balao Malacha:  A hybrid of the forastero cacaco bean cultivated in Ecuador . Balao malacha beans are always blended with other beans.  Their flavor is not desirable when unblended.

Ballotin:   The French word for a small, elegant box of chocolates designed to prevent the chocolates from damaging each other. In 1912 Louise Agostini, wife of the grandson of the founder of Neuhaus Chocolates created the ballotin.

Bitter-Unsweetened Chocolate : Chocolate liquid cooled and molded into blocks

Bittersweet and Semisweet Chocolate:   These are the darkest eating chocolates and have at least 35% chocolate liquor.

Bittersweet Chocolate:   First chocolate liquor is pressed from the cacao bean during processing, then cocoa butter, a small amount of sugar, vanilla, and usually lecithin are added.  Bittersweet chocolate has a deep, strong, tangy and slightly sweet flavor. It is used for making all types of desserts, pastries, and confections. Some like to eat it as is. Bittersweet chocolate is also made as couverture (coating) chocolate. Because it has more cocoa butter than regular chocolate, and is used by professionals to produce thin outer coatings on cakes, truffles.and other confections. Couverture chocolate must be tempered to stabilize the cocoa butter.

Bittersweet:  Bittersweet chocolate, not to be confused with unsweetened or semisweet chocolate, is primarily used for baking. A slightly sweetened dark chocolate, it has many uses such as making shiny chocolate curls as garnishes or rich, dense chocolate cakes. Both it and semisweet chocolate are required by the U.S. FDA to contain at least 35% chocolate liquor.

Bloom:   A whitish-gray discoloration due to a temperature or humidity change.  Bloom appears as a dull, white appearance on the surface of chocolate and is caused by fat migration. This happens when it has been on the shelf too long, in the sun, or exposed to heat.  When the cacao butter in chocolate separates out from the other ingredients, floats to the top, and crystallizes, it appears as white dots and streaks, or as a dull, gray film on the chocolate. This is only a cosmetic effect and does not mean that the chocolate is spoiled.  The cacao butter will blend in when the chocolate is melted. This condition is also called fat bloom.

Breakfast Cocoa : This is cocoa powder composed of at least twenty-two percent cocoa butter.

Brut (Bitter):   In the United States the FDA describes brut chocolate, as chocolate that does not contain any sugar, though it may contain natural or artificial flavoring.  This pure chocolate is intended for cooking as it is a very bitter chocolate substance with a solid cocoa content in excess of 85%.

Buttercream :  A flavored mixture of butter, sugar, and eggs


Cacahuatl:   The Aztec's word for cacao bean.  The word chocolate is a derivative of cacahuatl. 

Cacao:   Refers to the cacao trees, the unprocessed pods of the cacao tree, and the unprocessed beans or seeds found in the cacao pods.  The British sometime use the term cocoa to refer to the plant and its seeds, in the U.S. cocoa usually refers only to the processed product.

Cacao ( Cocoa ) Butter:  The natural, cream-colored vegetable fat extracted from cocoa beans during the process of making chocolate and cocoa powder.  It is obtained by pressing chocolate nibs.  Cocoa butter, when re-added to the refined chocolate adds smoothness and flavor.

Cacao Beans:  Also called cacao seeds, are the source of all chocolate. Cacao beans are found in the pods of the cacao tree, Theobroma cacao, a tropical evergreen tree typically grown within 600 miles of the equator.  The cacao beans are dried and partially fermented before being processed to make chocolate, cocoa powder, and cocoa butter.

Cacao Dance:   See Cocoa Dance.

Cacao Mothers:   These are all trees grown on plantations next to cacao trees, and which shade the cacao trees from the sun.  Cacao mothers can be banana, rubber, or coconut palms depending on the location of the plantation.

Cacao Pods:    Between the blossoms of the permanently flowering cocoa tree are fruit at various stages of development. The football or egg-shaped cocoa pods measure between 6 and 12 inches, and hang from the trunk of the cacao tree, and the largest branches of the cacao tree.  Each fruit or pod contains between 30 and 40 almond sized beans, about 1/2 inch in length.

Cacao Seed:  Same as cacao bean.

Cacao Walks:   Large groves or orchards of cacao trees.

Caramel :  Cream, butter, sugar, and vanilla, slow cooked in copper kettles until it's thick and creamy

Caraque:   A name given by the Spanish to the criollo variety of cacao bean when it was first brought to Europe .

Carraque:   Solid milk or dark chocolate pieces, which are sometimes topped with raisins, almonds, walnuts and hazelnuts.

Chocolate:   The word chocolate probably domes from chocolatl, a Spanish combination of the Maya word for “hot water” and the Aztec word for “bitter water.”  Chocolate also refers to any small candy with a center (as a fondant) and a chocolate coating.

Chocolate Liquid/Liquor:  T he basic raw material of all chocolate products, it comes from ground nibs (nibs are the "meat" of the cocoa bean); also known as cocoa mass.  Chocolate liquor refers to the nibs ground to a smooth, thick, liquid or paste. Despite the name, it contains no alcohol – just the fat (cocoa butter) and solids (cocoa) of the cacao seed, in roughly equal proportions.

Chocolate Liquor:  Chocolate liquor is made up of the finely ground nib of the cocoa bean. This is technically not yet chocolate. This type of chocolate is also known as unsweetened chocolate and is also referred to cocoa mass or cocoa liquor.  The nib, or the center of the bean, is heated and ground into a smooth liquid state. It is then cooled and formed into blocks, and from this, all chocolate is made. Chocolate liquor is simply the term for the pure, processed product of the cocoa bean. In other words: roughly 50% cocoa solids and 50% cocoa butter. Unsweetened chocolate (which you can buy in the grocery store) is basically chocolate liquor. There is no alcohol; the term "liquor" means "essence."   Chocolate liquor is pulverized to make cocoa powder.

Chocolate Lover:   A person who appreciates the unique qualities of a truly fine piece of chocolate and feels that life would not be the same without gourmet chocolate.

Chocolate Modeling Paste:  Chocolate modeling paste can be made with dark chocolate, milk chocolate, or white chocolate by mixing it with corn syrup. It's pliable and has a malleable texture. Ribbons, ruffles, flowers, leaves, and stems can be cut and fashioned from thinly rolled out chocolate modeling paste to decorate desserts, pastries, and other confections.

Chocolate Thermometer:   A specially designed thermometer is a critical tool when you are tempering chocolate since extreme accuracy is necessary. The slim, glass mercury thermometer has distinct markings and reads in 1-degree graduations in the range of 40 degrees Fahrenheit to 130 degrees Fahrenheit.

Chocolatier:  A French term used to describe several different chocolate related functions. (1) A person who makes chocolates by hand in small batches is called a Chocolatier. (2) A person employed to evaluate beans and/or supervise the blending and roasting is called a Chocolatier.  (3) A person who adjusts blends, roasting times and other factors to create a final chocolaty product for a company is called a Chocolatier.

Chocovic:  Located in Barcelona , Spain , Chocovic makes a line of three dark couverture varieties, that are unusual since they are each made from single origin fine grade cacao beans, labeled “Origen Unico.” This means that the beans are all one variety, not blended, and that they are all grown in the same area.

Chuao:   Is the name of an isolated plantation located in Venezuela which dates back to the seventeenth century. They grow one of the world's most highly prized, flavorful varieties of the criollo cacao bean. These beans are rare and are usually blended with other beans before they are shipped to the market.

Cocoa :   The powdery solid that's left after most of the cocoa butter is extracted from chocolate liquor.  Cocoa is the residue of fibrous and other solid materials containing the flavoring and coloring components of chocolate liquor after some or most of the fat has been removed with a hydraulic press. 

Cocoa Beans :   Same as cacao bean.

Cocoa Butter :  Cocoa butter is the fat contained in the cacao seed or bean.  Cocoa butter is a complex, hard fat made up mostly of triglycerides, it remains firm at room temperature, then it contracts as it cools and solidifies. It is ideal for molding.   Cocoa butter is a yellowish-white or cream-colored vegetable fat, and is extracted from cocoa beans during the process of making chocolate and cocoa powder.  It is obtained by pressing chocolate nibs under high pressure. When re-added to refined chocolate, cocoa butter adds smoothness and flavor.

Cocoa Cake:  Also called press cake, cocoa cake is a fairly dry, solid cake, which is what is left over after hydraulic presses extract the cacao butter from chocolate liquor. Cocoa cakes are crushed, ground, and sifted to produce cocoa powder.

Cocoa Dance:  In Trinidad and some regions of South America the cacao workers shuffle through the cacao beans when they are spread out to dry, which causes the beans to be turned.  By continually turning the cacao beans, this ritual ensures they will dry evenly, remove extra particles, and also polish them.  The cocoa dance is performed twice a year after the cacao beans are harvested.

Cocoa Mass:  Same as Chocolate Liquor.

Cocoa Pods:  Same as cacao pods.

Cocoa Powder:   A term for the portion of chocolate liquor that remains after most of the cocoa butter has been extracted.  The result of extracting cocoa butter from cocoa paste. Cocoa powder is used to prepare chocolate drinks or to sprinkle truffles and chocolate tarts.  May be Natural or Dutch processed. Once cocoa beans are fermented, dried, roasted and cracked, the nibs (center of the cocoa bean) are ground to extract about half the cocoa butter, leaving a dark brown paste called chocolate liquor. After drying again, the hardened mass (press cake) is ground into the powder known as unsweetened cocoa which may be natural or Dutch processed. It's available in different fat levels and a range of tastes include, mild to strong, and unsweetened, and it's used for baking, reduced fat and calorie recipes, and ice cream flavoring.  Once cocoa beans are fermented, dried, roasted and cracked, the nibs (center of the cocoa bean) are ground to extract about half the cocoa butter, leaving a dark brown paste called chocolate liquor. After drying again, the hardened mass (press cake) is ground into the powder known as unsweetened cocoa, available in different fat levels. May be natural or Dutch processed.

Compound (confectioners) coating:  A blend of cocoa powder, sugar and vegetable oil. By substituting the vegetable oil for the cocoa butter, melting is easier (no tempering required) but the results are not as high in quality.  A coating material similar to chocolate, but formulated with domestic or imported fats rather than cocoa butter.  In chocolate flavored coatings and compounds, part of the cocoa butter may be replaced by vegetable fat. Also a whole range of whey powders, whey derivatives and dairy blends are permitted where milk powder is prescribed in milk chocolate. However, there is hardly any difference between the production processes of ‘genuine' chocolate on the one hand and ‘chocolate flavored' coatings and compounds on the other. Some ingredients not used in chocolate may require adjustments of the production processes. For chocolate flavored products containing sorbitol or xylitol the mixing, refining and conching temperature settings need to be adjusted.

Conching:  The processing step called ‘conching' reduces the moistness of the cocoa mass and removes the volatile acids. At the same time, this step allows for specific aromas and smoothness to be associated with chocolate. Conching is the process where the chocolate is "plowed" back and forth through the liquid chocolate which smoothes the chocolate and rounds out the flavor, essential for the flavor, the texture and the overall quality of the chocolate.  The conching machines knead the chocolate paste during controlled temperatures.  This process develops flavors and changes the texture. It's the last and most important refining process, which allows the separate flavors of the individual ingredients to combine. Conches [the paddles of the early machines resembled conch shells] are equipped with heavy rollers that plow back and forth through the chocolate paste, anywhere from a few hours to several days. Contemporary technologies can grind the chocolate particles extremely fine, which can reduce conching times. The finer brands are conched more than the lesser ones and are more tolerance to going over temperature zones when tempering. Swiss and Belgian chocolates, are conched as much as 96 hours. Some chocolates are not conched at all, or for only 4 to 12 hours.  

Couverture (pronounced koo-vehr-TYOOR):  A glossy, coating chocolate.  Couverture is a term used to describe professional-quality coating chocolate with a high percentage of cocoa butter, at least 32%, and as high as 39% for good quality couverture. The extra cocoa butter allows the chocolate to form a thinner coating shell than non-couverture chocolate.  Couverture is usually only found in specialty candy making shops. You often find it as the chocolate that surrounds chocolate covered fruits, or as the shell of fancy filled chocolates.

Crystallization:  Sugar crystals are formed during the process of cooking sugar when the particles stick together because the liquid they are mixed with is saturated to its fullest point and cannot absorb any more sugar.  Whether fudge has a grainy or smooth texture is determined by controlling the sugar crystallization. If the mixture is stirred while warm, large crystals form and produce a grainy texture. If it is stirred when cool, small crystals form, resulting in a smooth texture.  Sugar crystallization also occurs when moisture accumulates on the surface of chocolate and the sugar is drawn up. This condition is called sugar bloom, which is visible as white streaks and dots and grainy texture. It is not the same as chocolate bloom.

Cupuacu:   Its Latin name is Theobroma grandiflorum. and it is related to cacao.  Cupuacu is native to the Amazon rain forest of Brazil , and forms a pod about the size and shape of a football, with skin like a kiwi fruit. The seeds are buried in the moist pulp of the fruit inside the pods. The seeds are dried, then processed like cacao beans to producer a light-colored chocolate that has a mellow, mild bittersweet flavor with fruity undertones. Cocoa butter is present in cupuacu as it is in chocolate. Cupuacu is processed into both powder and bars and is used in the same way as cocoa powder and chocolate.

Cuvee:  A blend of different types of cacao beans.


Dark Chocolate :   Dark chocolate is made by combining chocolate liquid, cocoa butter, and sweetener.  Dark chocolate must contain a minimum of 43% cocoa to be called "dark" according to European norms. A "70% cocoa chocolate" is considered quite dark while 85% and even 88% cocoa dark chocolates have become quite popular for dark chocolate lovers.

Depositing:   A term which refers to the automatic way of either filling moulds with chocolate or centers, or of forming centers prior to enrobing.  A wide range of depositors are available, each being suitable for a different range of applications.

Devil's Food: Any chocolate flavored product that derives most of its flavor from the cocoa butter rather than the chocolate.

Drinking Chocolate:   A mixture of cocoa and sugar, mixed with warm milk, or hot water to form a drink.

Dutch Process Cocoa :  Cocoa powder which has been treated with alkali to neutralize the natural acids; darker in color and slightly different in flavor from natural cocoa.

Dutch processed: An alkaline treatment of the cacao bean nib prior to grinding, or the liquor prior to pressing. This process darkens the resultant chocolate liquor or cocoa and modifies the chocolate flavor, helping to neutralize cocoa's natural acidity. Dutched or “Dutch” chocolate is made from chocolate liquor or cocoa powder that has been treated with alkaline salts to give it a darker color and a milder flavor. The process – which came to be known as “Dutching” – was invented in Holland by the chemist Coenraad Van Houten.  In the early 19th century the Dutchman Coenraad Johannes van Houten discovered that the acid taste of cocoa was neutralized if he added alkali-potash to the nibs before they were roasted. Ever since the end of the 19th century all industrial chocolate makers have practiced this alkalization process to modify the flavor and the color of the final product. Another technical term for alkalization still used today is the 'Dutch process' or 'Dutching'.

Dutched Cocoa :  Same as Dutch Process Cocoa .


Emulsifiers:   The emulsifiers used in chocolate are Lecithins and polyglycerolpolyricinoleate (PGPR). Chocolate is a dispersion of very fine solid particles in a fat phase. The degree of flow of chocolate (viscosity) is greatly dependent upon the ease with which the solid particles are able to move over one another within the liquid phase. Emulsifiers coat the solid particles so that they move more easily in the fat phase of chocolate. 

Enrobe:  The process of coating candies and confections with chocolate in a specially designed machine.

Enrober:   A machine, which receives lines of assorted centers (nuts, nougats, fruit or whatever desired filling) and showers them with a waterfall of liquid chocolate. Other confectionery machines create a hallow-molded shell of chocolate, which is then filled with a soft or liquid center before the bottom is sealed with chocolate.

Enrobing:  One of two chocolates-making techniques by taking the center of a certain chocolate or praline and covering it with a layer of outer chocolate by pouring liquid chocolate over it or by dipping the chocolate center by hand in liquid chocolate. (Contrasts with "molded" chocolates)


Fat Migration:  This is caused by heating and cooling solid chocolate. 

Feuilletine :   A delicate, light, European cookie crunch

Fondant:  The French word for dark or "Pure" chocolate. (Contrasts with milk chocolate or "Lait")

Fondant Chocolate:  Fondant chocolate has become the standard for modern, high-quality chocolate because it is extremely smooth and palatable. The invention of the conching machine by Rodolphe Lindt in 1879 and his experiments of adding cocoa butter to chocolate liquor created chocolate with a velvety smooth, fluid texture that has no trace of bitterness.

Forastero:  One of the three main types of cacao beans used to make chocolate, forastero beans originated in the upper Amazon. Forastero cacao is hearty and produces high yields, which account for approximately 90 percent of the world's crop. Forastero cacao is widely grown in Africa , the West Indies , and Central and South America . Because its flavor is strong and bitter it is most often blended with other beans. As with the other two main types of cacao beans, forastero beans have several hybrids and varieties, many of which are named by their places of origin.

Fudge:   a confection. A combination of chocolate, cream, butter and sugar are cooked together to form a smooth confection. Nuts are often added.


Ganache (pronounced gahn-Ahsh):   A Ganache is a rich, silky chocolate mixture made by combining chopped semisweet chocolate and boiling cream and stirring until smooth. (Sometimes butter can also be added, and or corn syrup) The proportions of chocolate to cream vary, depending on the use of the ganache and can be flavored with fruits spices and different liquors.  Ganache is made with varying proportions of chocolate and cream; more chocolate than cream yields a firm ganache, whereas more cream than chocolate makes a softer more velvety mixture. Ganache has many uses: centers for truffles, fillings for cakes and tarts, and in its liquid state it is poured over cakes and pastries for a glaze. Ganache can be flavored with liqueurs and extracts, or combined with soft, beaten butter to create ganache beurre. It is considered the essence of a truffle.

Ganache Beurre:  Also called ganache soufflé, is made by adding butter to ganache and beating until light and fluffy. It is used to fill and frost cakes, and as a filling for tarts and other pastries.

Gianduia (pronunciation zhahn-DOO-yuh): Gianduia was originally created in Turin , Italy .  It is a commercially blended mixture of roasted hazelnuts, chocolate, and/or almonds, and has a velvety smooth texture. Although milk chocolate is most commonly used, it was originally made with cocoa powder, and  is also made with dark chocolate. Gianduia is used to flavor a wide variety of desserts, pastries, and confections, including ice cream. The name Gianduia is given to a group of candies and confections made with a combination of hazelnuts and chocolate. Nutella is a popular brand of a gianduja spread. 

Gianduja (pronounced john-doo-yah):  Same as Gianduia.

Glazes: Glazes are used to give desserts a smooth and/or shiny finish. Cake glazes can be water icing, melted chocolate in combination with cream, butter and/or sugar syrup, or fondant.

Gluten :  A protein found in wheat

Guayaquil :  Guayaquil beans are a variety of the trinitario cacao beans grown in western Ecuador .


Ibarra Chocolate:  A brand of Mexican chocolate.


Kosher :   Jewish dietary laws pertaining to the preparation and handling of food products; most Lake Champlain Chocolates are Kosher


Lecithin:  A natural product extracted from the soy bean that is used as a thinner in chocolate.  Lecithin emulsifies or coats the chocolate particles, which allows the particles to slide past one another more easily, and helps prevent clumping of the particles.  During the manufacturing of chocolate, lecithin controls flow properties through the reduction of viscocity.  This thinning of the chocolate slightly reduces the amount of cocoa butter required to produce the correct texture in the manufacturing process

Liquid Chocolate:  It is made with vegetable oil rather than cocoa butter, however,  it doesn't deliver either the same texture or flavor as regular unsweetened chocolate.  It was developed for baking, is unsweetened, comes in individual 1 ounce packages and requires no melting.

Low-Fat Cocoa : Cocoa powder composed of less than ten percent cocoa butter. 


Magra:   A hand tool used by inspectors on plantations in Africa to open cacao pods lengthwise so the cacao beans can be classified into various grades by their appearance. The magra has a blade that is suspended in a frame, which drops swiftly to open the pods.

Malitol:  A natural sugar substitute based on a malt extract. Malitol allows chocolate to keep a sweet taste without containing sugar.  Maltitol has become a popular sugar substitute in many chocolate couvertures, especially Belgian chocolate sugar-free products.

Maragnan:  A variety of the forastero cacao bean, have a strong flavor that is favored for blending with other beans. Maragnan are grown in Brazil .

Marzipan:  A thick paste achieved by skillfully mixing melted sugar with finely chopped ground almonds. The outer shell of a marzipan is an envelope of milk, white or dark chocolate. The Lubecker method (known to be the world's best Marzipan) means that only pure almond and sugar are used, thereby delivering the fullest almond taste.

Maya:  The pre-Columbian people who planted and cultivated the first cacao plantations in the Yucatan region of Mexico about 600 A.D. These plantations made them wealthy and established them as significant traders.

Medium Fat Cocoa :  Cocoa powder containing between ten and twenty-two percent cocoa butter.

Metate:  The concave curved stone slab used by the Aztecs to grind shelled cacao beans to paste. The same method was used in Europe until the late nineteenth century.

Mexican Chocolate:   Mexican sweet chocolate is used primarily for making hot chocolate. Ibarra Mexican chocolate is sold in the form of large 3-inch round tablets that are packaged in octagon-shaped, cylindrical, bright yellow and red cardboard boxes.  Mexican chocolate is available in some specialty Latin markets or at gourmet stores. Mexican chocolate is flavored with sugar and cinnamon, and used to make hot chocolate and mole sauce. 

Milk Chocolate :  Milk chocolate is a mixture of chocolate liquor, cocoa butter, milk, sugar, and flavorings.  All milk chocolate made in the U.S. contains at least 10% chocolate liquor and 12% whole milk.  Milk chocolate lends itself to good use for garnishes and candy coatings.  Milk chocolate is the best known kind of eating chocolate.

Mocha:   A chocolate-coffee flavor made by combining chocolate and coffee, and which is used extensively in desserts, pastries, and confections.

Mole Poblano:   A classic Mexican dish composed of turkey in a spicy, savory chocolate sauce. It is reputed to have been invented by the nuns of Puebla near Mexico City .

Molinillo:  Also called molinet, this wooden tool was developed by the Spanish in the sixteenth century. When the French created chocolate pots in the seventeenth century, their lids were made with a center hole to hold a molinillo to stir the chocolate. At one end it is fat and round with several deep carved grooves. To use a molinet you twist it in your hands in a back-and-forth motion to beat the chocolate drink and make it frothy.

Moulding:   The production of solid, filled or hollow items using pre-formed plastic moulds.  This technique for making chocolate consists of placing chocolate in molds to obtain a molded chocolate shell,  that is then filled with one or several fillings before being sealed with another layer of chocolate.  The typical Belgian Praline is produced by pouring a hazelnut praline filling in molded shapes.

Mush:   Produced when chocolate is seeded. 


Naccional:  This cacao bean is also called arriba, the name for a variety of forastero cacao bean cultivated in Ecuador . It produces a light, delicate, and flavorful cocoa, considered to be as good as the world's best.

Natural process:   Non-alkalized chocolate liquor or cocoa processed without an alkaline treatment.

Nibs :   The kernels or meat of coca beans are usually called ‘nibs' and are the basic ingredient of which chocolate is made, Sometimes, the original dark and rich nibs are used to add texture to chocolate bars or chocolate deserts.  The nib is the inner portion of the cacao bean.  The nibs are exposed after the outer shells of the cacao bean have been removed. Nibs are roasted, then ground to produce chocolate liquor, from which all chocolate products are made.

Non-alkalized cocoa powders:   These are natural process powders, which are manufactured without the use of alkali.  These cocoa powders are yellow-brown in color and have a fruity acidity.

Nougatine:  Nougatine is created by heating sugar until it caramelizes and mixing finely crushed roasted hazelnuts or almonds .  Nougatine paste is put on a caramel roller and crushed into little pieces. Nougatine pieces are used as filling in certain chocolates and chocolate bars.


Organic Chocolate:    The word "organic" refers to how the chocolate products are produced. Organic production is based on a system of farming that maintains and replenishes the fertility of the soil. Organic chocolate is produced without the use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers. Organic chocolates are processed without artificial ingredients, preservatives or irradiation. Organic chocolate contains a minimum of 95% naturally grown and certified raw materials.

Overtempered Chocolate:  Chocolate that has been overcooled producing large crystals.  The increased viscosity with large crystals means that at the coating stage the temperature of the chocolate must be raised to melt some of the crystals. The inconsistency of the melting leaves too few, and too large crystals for proper setting. The chocolate has a coarse grainy structure that gives a dull appearance, poor snap and makes it more susceptible to fat migration and bloom. 


Para :   A variety of forastero cacao bean cultivated in the Brazilian state of the same name.

Patisfrance:   A brand of premium quality chocolate and couverture used by professionals.

Pistoles :   Dark chocolate, milk chocolate, or white chocolate chips specially formulated for tempering

Pods:   Same as cacao pods.

Praline:    Composed of chocolate to which hot caramel, finely-ground hazelnuts, or almonds, and vanilla have been added. The praliné flavor is typical in many Belgian chocolates or pralines.

Pralines :   Same as Gianduia.

Press cake: Same as chocolate liquor.


Quetzalcoatl:   The mythical plumed serpent god worshiped by the Aztecs.  The Aztecs believed that Quetzalcoatl provided them with cacao, which they considered to be divine.  Quetzalcoatl was supposed to return to earth in the year “one reed,” and bring the treasures of paradise. When Cortes landed in the sixteenth century, in the year “one-reed,” he was mistakenly thought to be Quetzalcoatl, and warmly welcomed by Montezuma, the Aztec ruler. This ultimately led to the enslavement and destruction of the Aztec people by the Spanish.

Quick Tempering:   A method of stabilizing the cocoa butter in chocolate so the chocolate has a shiny, even appearance and smooth texture. Finely chop the chocolate to be tempered and melt two thirds of it in the top of a double boiler over low heat or bain marie.  Stir with a rubber spatula to ensure even melt.  When the chocolate is melted remove the top pan from the water and wipe very dry to keep water from coming into contact with the chocolate. Stir in the remaining third of  finely chopped chocolate in two or three stages until you achieve a smooth consistency.  To check for the right temperature, place a dab under your lower lip. It should be comfortable.


Rehrucken Mold:  The specially designed tinned-steel or aluminum baking pan created to shape the classic Austrian “mock saddle of venison” cake.  It looks like a long loaf pan that is curved in a half-moon shape and has deep, evenly spaced grooves across the width.  Some versions of the pan also have a groove down the center to represent the bone of the saddle of venison. The cake is recognized by its classic curved, ridged shape, which it takes from the pan.  A typical Rehrucken Mold measures between 10 and 15 inches long, 4.5 inches wide, and 22.5 inches deep.


Schlag:   The German word for whipped cream, which is the traditional accompaniment to many chocolate pastries and desserts.

Seizing: Melted chocolate crystallizes and clumps when moisture touches it or when a cold liquid or solid is introduced to the chocolate.  The solid chocolate particles cannot be tempered after seizing has occurred and must be used for other purposes, such as cake filling.

Semisweet and Sweet Chocolate : Both are prepared by blending chocolate liquid with varying amounts of sweetening and added cocoa butter. Flavorings are often included.  After processing, the chocolate is cooled. Sweet chocolate is usually molded into bars. Semisweet chocolate is also available in bar form, but most popularly as pieces.  Different manufacturers use different names such as blocs, squares, bits, etc.  Chocolate is also granulated and known as "shot," used for decoration by candy makers and confectioners.  

Semi-Sweet or Bittersweet:   Chocolate liquor with sweeteners and cacao butter added.  The terms semi-sweet and bittersweet are synonymous, but should not be confused with unsweetened chocolate.  Semi-sweet and bittersweet chocolate is also known as dark chocolate.  United States standards say these chocolates must contain at least 35% chocolate liquor.  Fat content averages 27%.

Snap:   A technical term that describes one of the characteristics of well-tempered chocolate.  It should break cleanly and crisply, with a sharp snap and should not be crumbly or soft or it is not well tempered.

Sugar Bloom:  A white crust of sugar crystals that forms when moisture accumulates on the surface of chocolate and chocolate candies.  The moisture draws the sugar to the surface where it dissolves.  This is visible as white streaks and dots and causes a grainy texture.  Storing loosely wrapped chocolate and candies in the refrigerator where they are exposed to too much moisture causes sugar bloom.  Sugar bloom is not the same as chocolate bloom, which occurs when the cacao butter in the chocolate rises to the surface.

Sweet Dark Chocolate:  Contains more sweeteners than semi-sweet chocolate and at least 15% chocolate liquor. Sweet chocolate is used mostly for decorating and garnishing.  The fat content is similar to semi-sweet chocolate.


Temper:  The visible appearance of chocolate, which varies by cooking method.  Properly tempered chocolate will have a high gloss sheen and clean snap when broken.  The key to tempering is to control the temperature of the melted chocolate very precisely, first heating, then cooling, and finally reheating slightly.    Tempering sets cacao butter at its most stable point.  Cacao butter has four different types of crystals, and each has a different melting point. Tempering chocolate captures the beta crystal, the most stable of the four. Because chocolate has these different melting points it is unstable and causes the cocoa butter to easily rise to the surface of chocolate.  This creates a condition called chocolate bloom, which results in unsightly white and gray streaks and dots, a grainy texture, and makes removal of the chocolate from molds very difficult. When chocolate is tempered it has a shiny, even appearance and smooth texture. It breaks with a sharp snap, sets up rapidly, and releases 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 and molding. To temper chocolate, it is heated so it melts completely, stirred to cool to approximately 78 degrees Fahrenheit, then heated again to an exact temperature, depending on the type of chocolate it is, dark, milk, or white.  Tempering is accomplished through different methods and by machine.

Temperate Zone :  After tempering and when using, chocolate must be maintained in the temperate zone of 84 to 91 degrees F (dark) and 86 to 87 degrees F (white) and stirred every few minutes.  If the temperature goes lower and it is still liquid, it can be used. 

Theobroma Grandiflorum:   A species of the genus Theobroma, grown in the Amazon rain forest in Brazil , also called cupuacu.  The product of this fruit is a light colored chocolate that has delicate, mild bittersweet flavor, with fruity undertones.

Theobroma:   The botanical description for cocoa.  The name "Theobroma," comes from the ancient Greek words for "god" (Theo) and "food" (Broma).

Torrone:  An Italian confection made with honey, egg whites, toasted almonds, pistachios, and other nuts, such as hazelnuts.

Torta Barozzi:   A dense, moist, fuggy, flourless chocolate cake that is a specialty of the town of Vignola near Modena , Italy .  According to legend during the Renaissance, pastry chef, Eugenio Gollini invented Torta Barozzi in 1897 to celebrate the birthday of the architect Jacopo Barozzi.  A native of Vignola, Barozzi created the concept of a spiral staircase.  It is said that Gollini's descendants still make the cake today, but have taken the family vow to never disclose the recipe.  Although the ingredients are printed on the box, the proportions and the ways in which they are combined are not.  The cake contains peanuts, a very unusual ingredient for Italy , but the family offers no explanation for how they became part of the cake.

Torta Gianduia:  Three layers of rich gianduia cake, filled and frosted with a creamy gianduia ganache cream  The cake is decorated with ground and toasted hazelnuts.  An Italian delight renowned throughout the Piedmont region of Italy , where hazelnuts are grown.

Trembleuse:  A special cup for chocolate drinks created in the early eighteenth century to prevent the beverage from spilling.  At that time chocolate was so expensive, only the privileged could indulge.  The trebleuse is placed in a holder in the center of a saucer, keeping it erect and steady.

Trichocolate Terrine:  A cold molded dessert in three layers, each flavored separately with dark chocolate, milk chocolate, and white chocolate.  It can be made of a creamy, velvety mousse, ice cream, or custard, and is generally molded in a glass loaf pan. When it is unmolded, and sliced across the width, the three distinct chocolate layers show.  Trichocolate Terrine is usually served with a fruit or custard sauce.

Trinitario:  One of the three main types of cacao beans used to make chocolate, trinitario beans are a cross between criollo and forastero beans.  They are cultivated primarily in Central and South America and Indonesia .  Trinitario beans produce flavorful, high-fat cocoa.  Some are sweet some strongly flavored, while others have an acid edge.  The particular flavor characteristics are determined by the soil where the beans are grown.  As with the other two main types of cacao beans, trinitario beans have several hybrids and varieties, many of which are named by their places of origin.

Truffle:  A confection made of chocolate ganache, butter, sugar, and sometimes liqueur, it is shaped into balls and often coated with cocoa.  They are velvety-smooth, incredibly flavorful ganache centers enrobed in chocolate. Truffles are made by heating a rich blend of cream, and chocolate, and often with butter to add smoothness, and a flavoring.  The truffles are delicately shaped, and enrobed with dark chocolate, milk chocolate, or white chocolate couverture.  Different truffle textures can be created by rolling the center ganache in cocoa powder, powdered sugar, or finely chopped nuts.  Truffles, originally named after the exotic French mushroom because of its visual resemblance, are either hand-rolled chocolate or domed with a piped center.

Tumbadores:  The men who harvest the cacao pods.


Unsweetened/Bitter Chocolate:   Chocolate liquor cooled and molded into blocks


Vanilla Bean:  The most moist and flavorful beans come from the plants that are grown in tropical the climates of Tahiti and Madagascar . Vanilla beans have been used as a flavoring for hundreds of years.  Vanilla which is native to southern Mexico was originally used by the Aztecs to flavor chocolate.  To use the bean for flavoring, it is split open and steeped in liquid. The tiny black grains that fill the inside of the bean contain the potent Vanilla that is released during the steeping. Vanilla beans will dry out if exposed to air, so keep them wrapped in plastic in a tightly covered dark container and in a cool, dry place. Vanilla beans will stay plump and flexible for several months.

Vanilla Extract:  Produced by steeping vanilla beans in an alcohol and water solution, pure vanilla is concentrated and therefore, only a small amount is needed for flavoring.  Vanilla is an expensive flavoring to produce, which has led to the proliferation of synthetically produced vanilla.

Vanillin:  A substitute for natural vanilla produced synthetically as a byproduct of the paper industry and treated with chemicals.  Vanillin is used to flavor some chocolate and candies.  Vanillin is easily detected because it tastes different than true vanilla.

Vegan :  A term used to describe food that is free of any dairy or animal products.

Viscosity:  The texture or thickness of a product when in liquid form. Viscocity can be measured with a Baumeter.  Melted chocolate has varying degrees of viscosity depending on its type (dark, milk, or white) and whether or not it is couverture, which contains a higher percentage of cocoa butter than regular chocolate.


White Chocolate :   Made by combining sugar, cocoa butter, milk solids, lecithin, and vanilla.  White chocolate is not a true chocolate as it contains no chocolate liquor, however to be called white chocolate it must be contain at least 32% cocoa butter.

White's:   One of the famous early chocolate houses in London , established in the late seventeenth century.  These establishments were gathering places, similar to coffeehouses.  Many supporters and members of the Whig party, writers, and gamblers frequented White's.  In 1787 White's ceased to exist because it had become a gambling club and been forced to move many times.  Finally it had no location.

Wilbur Chocolate Company:  An American manufacturer of chocolate and compound coatings and cocoa powders for the candy manufacturing, bakery, and dairy industries, based in Pennsylvania .  Wilbur was founded in 1865 and has been through several mergers with other companies and company name changes throughout the years.

Winnowing:   The process of removing the outer husk of the cacao bean to release the inner nibs during the manufacturing of chocolate.


Xocoatl:  The original name the Aztecs, Toltecs, Mayas and Incas gave to a stimulating drink they brewed from cocoa beans. It was a mixture of cocoa, maize (Indian corn) and water.  Xocoatl is one of the words from which the word chocolate is derived.

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