The Essential Guide To Chocolate

Raspberry-Chocolate Mousse Tartlets By Rebecca Gordon Editor In Chief Buttermilk Lipstick Culinary Entertaining Techniques. Southern Hostess Cooking Baking Tutorials Modern Southern Socials Game Day Entertaining RebeccaGordon Pastry Chef TV Cooking Personality Birmingham Alabama How To Make Chocolate Mousse TartsCooking & Baking Essentials

The Profile

The Essential Guide To Chocolate 

Chocolate is available in many forms & varieties. Quality is determined by the ingredients that may be found in each bar so it’s important to know what to look for, items that should be avoided & a few additional key points to consider when purchasing chocolate to use in recipes. The Essential Guide To Chocolate is designed to assist in navigating through all of the information in an effort to aide in helping you make quality choices when cooking & baking simple or more complex recipe formulas. Learn the basic fundamentals of chocolate with this indispensable resource.

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How To Navigate Chocolate

Most everything lovely that comes out of your kitchen begins with planning & logistics. In order to make the very best chocolate desserts, it’s important to know what to look for on packaging so delicious cakes, cookies & pastries may be their finest. Learn the basic fundamentals of chocolate & get ready to make your most desirable repertoire of recipes to date that are ideal to serve for a number upcoming celebrations.

Southern Entertaining Recipes Types Of Chocolate By Rebecca Gordon Editor In Chief Buttermilk Lipstick Culinary Entertaining Techniques. Classic French Dessert Cooking Baking Tutorials Modern Southern Socials Parties RebeccaGordon Southern Entertaining Southern Hostess Pastry Chef TV Cooking Personality Birmingham Alabama

rebecca gordon buttermilk lipstick Southern Recipes & How To's Easy Tailgate Recipes RebeccaGordon ButtermilkLipstickThe Essential Guide To Chocolate 

Chocolate is made from fermented cocoa beans, also referred to as nibs, that have been dried & ground into a mass known as chocolate liquor. It may be solid in form or found in a partially solid state. Chocolate liquor is comprised of close to 50% cocoa butter, one of the most important ingredients found in quality chocolate. Once the chocolate mass has been established, general chocolate may be prepared into various products. Sometimes more cocoa butter is added, along with sugar, milk fat, vanilla & an emulsifier such as soy lecithin. This combination of ingredients is what comprises a basic chocolate bar. What distinguishes good chocolate from that which is of a lesser quality is how these simple components are altered. Selecting the best choice to use for different applications comes down to reading the ingredients listed on the packaging. Steer clear of formulas that do not contain cocoa butter. Many times this ingredient will be substituted with coconut or palm oil. 

Cooking Classics. Chocolate Truffles By Rebecca Gordon Editor-In-Chief Buttermilk Lipstick Culinary & Entertaining Brand How To Make Authentic Bittersweet Chocolate Truffles By Rebecca Gordon Pastry Chef Writer Digital Culinary Photo Journalist Editorial Director Buttermilk Lipstick Cooking & Baking Tutorials For Everyday Cooks Food Stylist TV Cooking Personality Modern Southern Socials Game Day EntertainingNo. 1

The Types Of Chocolate & The Ingredients

Cocoa Powder

Once the cocoa butter has been removed from the chocolate liquor, the dry solids that remain are cocoa powder. This should be the only ingredient listed on the packaging.


Unsweetened chocolate does not contain sugar. 


Depending on the manufacturer, a percentage of milk fat or solids are added to the chocolate. Milk chocolate is generally more mellow in flavor & a bit sweeter in taste. The texture can be described as smooth & luxurious. 


 Semi-sweet chocolate contains less cocoa than that of bittersweet varieties. It is most commonly used in chocolate chip cookies.


Bittersweet chocolate may be comprised of a number of varieties that are based on the percentage of cocoa. Generally, bars labeled as 60% to 86% & a few in-between offer either more or less sugar & cocoa butter respectively.  

The Note

White chocolate does not contain any chocolate liquor & in many cases no cocoa butter. Technically, white chocolate isn’t chocolate at all as it’s comprised generally of sugar, fat & flavoring.

No. 2

The General Cooking & Baking Logistics


Melting chocolate may be achieved quickly in the microwave with small bursts of power or on the stove top over a bain marie. Let individual recipes guide you in choosing the best method for the application in which it is to be used.


 Tempering chocolate is a procedure whereby cocoa butter is crystalized at the correct temperature along with consistent stirring so that the chocolate has a professional, uniform appearance when it sets. If you have ever opened a chocolate bar & noticed a splotchy look over the surface more the likely the chocolate became too warm during transit & when it solidified again, the cocoa butter bloomed over the surface. It will taste the same & can still be consumed but when you are interested in handcrafting a few dozen Bittersweet Chocolate Truffles, you’ll want to be certain to learn the correct method for melting chocolate that is already tempered while maintaining a delicate balance to ensure a lovely appearance. Always have a thermometer available during this process. 

Baking Tutorials. Chocolate Ganache By Rebecca Gordon Editor-In-Chief Buttermilk Lipstick Culinary & Entertaining Brand Practical Culinary Techniques For Everyday Cooks Digital Culinary Photo Journalist Editorial Director Pastry Chef Writer Food Stylist TV Cooking Personality Modern Southern Socials Game Day EntertainingNo. 3

The Applications


Chocolate ganache can be prepared a variety of ways & used in many applications in the bake shop. When you learn how to use the ratios, many fine confections, glazes, fillings & garnishes can be handcrafted in your very own kitchen. 

 General Fillings

Cake fillings may range from chocolate & pastry cream bases with nuts added. Let individual formulas guide you in choosing the best chocolate to use.

Buttercream, Frosting & Icing 

A soft, spreadable combination of butter & sugar with flavorings used to fill & finish cake layers is always more decadent when a little melted chocolate is added. As a rule of thumb, choose bittersweet chocolate with a higher percentage to balance the sugar in the recipe for good, solid chocolate flavor.

 Bar Cookies

Brownies are some of the most simple yet beloved confections & it’s important to balance recipes so they are not too sweet. A brownie is all about big chocolate flavor. Unsweetened chocolate generally delivers the best flavor.

Cake Layers

When creating cake formulas, some of the flour may be replaced with cocoa powder to provide good chocolate flavor, however if a deep taste is desired, a bit of 60% or higher bittersweet chocolate should be melted & added to recipes.


 Chocolate cookies may be comprised of cocoa powder or melted chocolate for a decadent profile. Semi-sweet, bittersweet & milk chocolate may also be added to a variety of drop cookie base formulas to deliver interesting flavor. 

Truffles, Candies & Confections

When shortcuts are used in place of properly tempered chocolate such as adding a little shortening to thin the mixture & placing them in the refrigerator to set so that when it solidifies again so the chocolate has a uniform appearance, what you loose is the texture & flavor of a quality truffle— the undeniable snap of the outer chocolate shell followed by the decadent, creamy filling bite after bite. If you melt good tempered chocolate for coating the truffles very slowly & keep a constant monitor on the temperature, it can be used to dip a few dozen morsels properly.

Pastry Dough

Chocolate Pâte Sablée is a French pastry or pie dough prepared with confectioners sugar & cocoa powder. This particular dough yields a rich taste & crumbly texture much like a well made chocolate shortbread cookie. It’s ideal to use in a variety of recipe applications from pies & tarts to freeform galettes.

Filigree & Garnishes

Beautiful adornments handcrafted from properly tempered chocolate give desserts a more professional appearance. The melted chocolate may be piped from simple pastry bags created from small triangles of parchment paper. Snip the corner & craft scrolls, grids or even monograms that once dry may be added to a number of desserts. Read further to learn the technique for tempering. 

Chocolate-Raspberry Tarts By Rebecca Gordon Editor In Chief Buttermilk Lipstick Culinary Entertaining Techniques. Southern Entertaining RebeccaGordon Publisher Birmingham Alabama Pastry Chef TV Cooking Personality Cooking Baking Tutorials Modern Southern Socials Game Day Entertaining How To Make Chocolate-Raspberry TartletsNo. 4

The Collection Of Classic French Chocolate Desserts

Chocolate-Raspberry Tartlets

Chocolate-Raspberry Tartlets use several classic components that result in one decadent creation. Chocolate Pâte Sablée serves as the base while a rich ganache is poured into the baked shells for a simple filling.

Miniature Raspberry-Chocolate Mousse Tarts

Miniature Raspberry-Chocolate Mousse Tarts are made using a Chocolate Pâte Sablée crust then they are filled with a light, airy mousse & finished with Raspberry Coulis. The filling may be piped into them a few hours before serving & chilled when entertaining is in order.

Pots de Crème

Pots de Crème is a custard based dessert that utilizes a water bath which ensures that it maintains a moderate temperature during baking. The classic French dessert may be identified by a soft, silken pudding-like texture & consistency.

Chocolate-Almond Sablés 

Chocolate-Almond Sablés are French butter cookies with a bit of cocoa powder added to the formula. They may be identified by their unbelievable short & crumbly sandy texture as they are made with both granulated & powdered sugar.

 Opera Cake

Gâteau opéra is a French cake cut into small rectangular servings traditionally prepared by layering almond joconde, coffee syrup & coffee buttercream. A thin layer of chocolate glaze finishes the cake with the word “opera” piped over the surface. Although exact origins are unknown, the cake became popular by the French patisserie, Dalloyau in the 20th century.

Queen Of Sheba

Queen Of Sheba Cake often referred to as Gateau Reine De Saba is a classic French dessert prepared with almonds & butter. It relies on beaten egg whites to provide a bit of lift when baked. The decadent confection is named for Sheba known biblically to have brought gold, precious stones, spices & other opulent items to Jerusalem & has such a rich taste & texture, it doesn’t need to be split & filled. The cake is often finished with a simple chocolate glaze or a dusting of powdered sugar & more often times than not, it is prepared in a springform pan.

Chocolate Petit Gâteau

The Petit Gâteau is one of the most iconic French classic desserts. It’s a simple cake the may be blended quickly resulting in a rich, truffle taste & texture.


Miniature Napoleons offer a smaller version to a classic consisting of stacked puff pastry filled with Creme Patisserie that is transformed into a Creme Mousseline, the quintessential filling for these irresistible bakeshop specialties. Just a small amount of cocoa powder in used in preparing the garnish over the surface however without it, the Napoleon just wouldn’t be the same.

Chocolate Éclairs

Once a recipe of  has been prepared, Miniature Chocolate Éclairs are made from Pâte à Choux pastry shells that are filled with Creme Mousseline & finished with a garnish of Bittersweet Chocolate Ganache Glaze.

Chocolate Truffles

Authentic truffles are dipped in tempered chocolate first before they are rolled in toppings or sometimes not at all. The Assortment Of Chocolate Truffles is a lovely combination of flavors, textures & tastes.

The Tune
“Did I Remember” Billie Holiday

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About Rebecca Gordon

* Southern Born * Southern Bred * Tailgate Queen * Football Fanatic * Buttermilk Lipstick Culinary & Entertaining Techniques Instructor * Cooking & Baking Tutorials * Media Personality * Baking & Pastry Artist * Gardener * Runner * Retainer of Useless Pop Culture One Liners * Terrible Dancer * Even Worse Singer * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Rebecca Gordon shares over 20 years of cooking knowledge in the instructional filled original editorial content on Buttermilk Lipstick as well as the cooking class format videos that can be found on her YouTube channel through regular collaboration with numerous media outlets. Gordon draws from an extensive background in corporate publishing spanning over 13 years on both the business and editorial side focusing on women’s southern lifestyle. She is a classically trained pastry chef and draws from fine dining restaurant experience from a James Beard award winning chef as well as her southern roots upbringing to share cooking, entertaining & style content relevant to today’s modern woman.


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