Milk chocolate is the ultimate treat that almost everyone loves. Just thinking about its smooth, creamy, sweet taste probably makes your mouth water! Eating milk chocolate can brighten up your mood and make you feel better. And the best thing about it is that milk chocolate is just as delicious as it is versatile.
Why choose dark chocolate when you can enjoy delicious milk chocolate bars or try some white chocolate treats? The smooth texture and sweet flavor of milk chocolate are the highlights of every dessert. Besides chocolate bars, you can use it for baking (chocolate cakes, cupcakes, or chocolate chip cookies, anyone?), tempering, fruit dipping, decoration, the amazing milk chocolate fountains, and more. However, many different types of milk chocolate mean there are just as many flavors. Which one is the best?
In this article, we'll take a closer look at four different types of milk chocolate, share some tips and recipes, and let you in on a secret about why our milk chocolate tastes so amazing. Grab your favorite milk chocolate bar and read on!
The Process of Making Milk Chocolate
Making milk chocolate is a piece of art since one needs to restructure the crystalline nature of the cocoa, fat, and sugar to get a smooth mixture quick to melt in your mouth with no grittiness. Santa Barbara Chocolate follows these methods to achieve the best-tasting milk chocolate products.
The first step is usually called 'refining.' Here, you mix cocoa mass, cocoa butter fat, and sugar and mill to a very small particle size so it is smooth and not gritty when eaten. After that you come to the critical step of chocolate production - 'conching.' It is a type of kneading of the chocolate mixture with cocoa butter at temperatures over 150 degrees F. The process lasts 24 to 96 hours to really homogenize the chocolate mixture. During the conching stage, residual moisture is removed, and the chocolate mixture develops the characteristic creamy texture.
The final step in the production process is 'tempering' - you can read more about it here. Since the liquid chocolate starts cooling and solidifying after conching, cocoa butter starts forming crystals not fully uniform in the mix. Therefore, in order to keep the chocolate looking pretty when you make it into bars or other shapes, one must temper the chocolate.
Tempering is the process of re-heating and cooling under controlled conditions. The cocoa butter becomes more stable and an even-grained texture will develop. Sometimes at this stage of production in the final tempering, some manufacturers add emulsifiers like soy lecithin which is derived from soybeans. Lecithin actually slows or prevents the process of blooming after the chocolate is fully tempered. Blooming is the forming of a white cocoa butter haze over chocolate.
All chocolate products distributed by Santa Barbara are produced in this way, and for that reason, they have the famous taste and wonderful texture.
The Importance of High-Quality Ingredients
The most significant ingredient in our milk chocolate products is the exotic cacao grown in South America. The cacao is hand-picked from the best and healthiest trees grown deep in the jungle. It makes it to market through a co-operative that audits all aspects of cacao growing. The cooperative ensures a fair market and sustainable local development for the family farmers growing this cocoa and invests back into the local area to ensure a long-term sustainable future.
This rare cacao is part of the reason why our chocolate is so addictive. During the process of chocolate production, it's mixed with the highest-quality milk and processed according to the years-long chocolate-making tradition.
Once you experience this extra special chocolate, you will be a hooked milk chocolate lover. Take yourself on this blissful and tasteful journey with every bite.
Brazilian Style Milk Compound Chocolate
The Santa Barbara Chocolate milk compound coating tastes like milk chocolate and has a natural light brown color. Made with Brazilian cocoa, the flavor is unsurpassed in quality among the "pre-tempered" style coatings. It's a professional milk confectionery coating for coating pastries, candy, ice cream, and dipping fruit - you'll find more tips on how to do that below!
Here are some key characteristics of our Brazilian style milk compound chocolate:
- Made without hydrogenated oils
- Artisan crafted in California USA
- No artificial flavors
- Ethical Trade Cocoa and RSPO Palm
- Great taste and amazing texture
Molding with Compound Coatings - Pro Tips
If you want to melt compound wafers in a microwave, set 50% power and microwave in 30-second intervals stirring in between each time setting until the coating is a liquid.
- Melt milk coating completely so that it is flowing and smooth - do not exceed 105 F as this temperature will start the breakdown of the lactose in the milk which will cause the compound to become thick and gummy.
- Cool the milk coating to 87 F.
- Pour liquid milk compound coating into the chocolate molds. Gently tap the molds a few times to remove any possible air bubbles.
- Chill the molds in a refrigerator for 8 minutes. It will produce a glossy shine in the coating.
- After 8 minutes in a refrigerator, remove the molds and tap them flat, facing down - this will release the milk cocoa candy. If they don't fall out on the first try, chill the mold for 5 more minutes and then try again.
Chocolate Mold Pro Tips
- Use the compound when it is flowing and liquid.
- Pour it into chocolate molds, chill to set, and then cover the molds again to create multiple layers.
- Reheat the coating as needed while using - but only in short bursts so as not to burn the milk.
- Use flavorings with compounds that are oil-based. Water-based flavoring will cause both chocolate and compound to seize up and become a clump.
- Never mix in the same melted mass cocoa butter chocolate with compound coating. Cocoa butter will not mix with palm butter and the combination will create a grainy mixture.
Hand Dipping Chocolates in Milk Confectionery Coating - Pro Tips
- 62F is the ideal room working temperature when dipping chocolate truffles (truffle centers are best chilled to 65F for dipping to minimize cracking of the coating).
- Clusters and fresh fruit should not be pre-chilled when dipping (dip at room temperature).
- Cool the dipped candy on parchment or wax paper in the refrigerator
Belgian Milk Chocolate
Some people believe that Belgian chocolate is the best milk chocolate. That's because of the milky flavor blended with rich cocoa, which makes for a mildly sweet note and fudge-like milk chocolate that melts on your tongue. Our Belgian milk chocolate is imported fresh from an artisan chocolate factory. It's nothing like grocery store chocolate because all of our bulk couverture chocolate is made using pure prime pressed cocoa butter!
Here are some key characteristics of our Belgian milk chocolate.
- REAL COUVERTURE CHOCOLATE
- FARM FRESH TOP GRADE MILK FLAVOR
- RAINFOREST GROWN CACAO
- ETHICAL TRADE CACAO
- BELGIAN CHOCOLATE TRADITION CRAFTED USING ORIGINAL CHOCOLATE-MAKING METHODS
- 33% COCOA SOLIDS approximately
Belgian Chocolate Couverture Tips
Our Belgian milk chocolate made using a custom recipe is fluid and easy to temper. Melt the chocolate below 110F so as not to burn the whole milk powder we have selected for this special recipe. This milk chocolate is perfect for showcasing your recipes or eating on its own. Our local professional chefs tell us this chocolate is the perfect complement to most bakery recipes. We have found it to be outstanding in chocolate fountains (it has a smooth flavor and pairs nicely with all types of dipping items like fruit or cookies). Add it to your hot cocoa or coffee for that extra rich sweetness!
This is themilk chocolate we use as our primary ingredient in most of our milk chocolate truffles. It is very easy to use when molding, especially fine detailed molds because of the fluid viscosity and wide range of tempering time without becoming over-tempered. Try it straight from the box and see why it is the favorite milk chocolate with all of our customers. You can also use it to make milk chocolate bars or other delicious treats and enjoy its creamy sweetness!
Alpine Swiss Milk Chocolate
The first word that comes to our minds when we hear about Switzerland is undoubtedly 'chocolate.' Exactly! Chocolate is probably the best-known product of this small European country, which annually attracts thousands of visitors yearning to buy good quality and well-known domestic chocolate products. But, why is this chocolate among the most popular and best chocolates in the world?
First of all, it melts in your mouth with a clean lingering taste true to Swiss milk. Milk chocolate, which is the best known Swiss chocolate type, is characterized by a high percentage of cocoa butter. The cocoa butter is responsible for making the chocolate quick to melt at body temperature.
Alpine milk, produced by cows roaming the grassy mountain regions of the country is another key ingredient also. These cows are raised on an organic diet of grass at high altitudes in the Alps, which largely contributes to the quality of their milk. The cows produce a more dense, less aerated milk due to the fact they are at altitude and the milk they produce is officially known as Alpine milk.
These two main ingredients are a big part of the reason why Swiss chocolate is so famous.
Cooking with Swiss Milk Chocolate
Swiss milk chocolate is famous for its refined flavor, smooth texture, and low viscosity fluidity when melted. Because of this chocolate's delicate taste, it is especially suited for preparing milk chocolate frosting or mousse, and as large chunk inclusions in cookies. Whether you're cooking on a professional or amateur level, let the chocolate do the work - we guarantee you'll be more than pleased with the results!
If you want to try a quick and delicious recipe with Swiss milk chocolate, go for chocolate-dipped strawberries. They are a great way to express your love and bring smiles to everyone's face. Have an at-home date night with the whole family hand dipping fresh strawberries coated in delicious and creamy Swiss milk chocolate!
Melting chocolate with indirect heat at low temperatures is important (you can use a microwave if you opt for a low power setting and stir frequently). Milk chocolate is best melted at below 110 F and worked with at 87 F for dipping.
Milk Chocolate Couverture
Chocolate is a complex food with intricacies not normally seen in other types of confectionery. Milk chocolate is one of the most complex of all chocolate types to make because of the subtle nuances of the ingredient flavors that can be lost when combined. The Santa Barbara Chocolate brand of milk chocolate couverture is made using state-of-the-art technology to form very stable Beta Prime Crystals in the pure cocoa butter we use as a base. The Beta Prime Crystal technology combined with exotic cacao and premium milk results in the world's best milk chocolate.
The milk chocolate couverture needs the most advanced chocolate shape to exalt its unique nature. As a result, we have chosen the milk chocolate to be shaped as a Tab. This unique Tab shape is special because we have applied all the science of chocolate making to craft this never-before-seen milk chocolate recipe. It releases flavor through melting in a very particular way. Better than chocolate chips, Tabs enhance one's chocolate tasting experience. The cocoa bean varieties used in this couverture offer an exotic tasting journey from beginning to end with clearly defined points of flavor along the melting path. Tabs complement this tasting journey. They are also easy to grab and eat or to use as inclusions in trail mix, cookies, and ice cream. The special varietal cocoa butter used in this unique Santa Barbara Chocolate couverture offers a memorable tasting connection to the original raw cocoa seed itself; as a result, the flavor conjures up tropical rainforests and pristine trees in one's mind's eye.
The Santa Barbara brand is arguably the best milk chocolate couverture a chocolatier will use. The Beta Prime Crystal Technology makes it a perfect product for fast melting and tempering, and the sweetly rich chocolate flavor is something truly out of this world.
Tasting Profile: Bold milk experience, delicate caramel-like sweetness with exotic organic cocoa that is mildly acidic and floral, reminiscent of chamomile.
Passion Fruit Truffles Recipe
Here's an amazing recipe for classic passion fruit truffles dipped in milk chocolate couverture.
You'll need 3.5oz Butter, 3oz Honey, 16oz Milk Chocolate Couverture Tabs Tempered, 2oz Passion Fruit Concentrate (reduced from 4oz through medium heat boiling).
Mix butter and honey very thoroughly. Stream in tempered Santa Barbara Milk Chocolate at 86 F mixed well, stream in the passion fruit concentrate and continue mixing. Allow passion fruit ganache to set up and then either pipe into molds, cut from ganache into shapes, or roll into balls and dip in tempered milk chocolate.
There you have it! The four products we selected are serious contenders to the title of the best milk chocolate there is. Still, it's safe to say that it's all a matter of personal taste. That's why you should be the one to give the final verdict.
Feel free to give our cooking tips and recipes a go for the ultimate taste test. Get your hands on these four types of milk chocolate and bake your heart away! Which milk chocolate will reign supreme? It's up to you to decide!