Compound vs Couverture Chocolate
Here at Royal Wholesale Chocolate, one question we hear very often is "What's the difference between compound and couverture chocolate?" It's important to know the difference between these two types of chocolate products to ensure that you're purchasing and using the correct chocolate for your confectionery needs. Although each of these products has its place in confectionery, using the wrong one can make producing your treats more laborious and your final product not nearly as tasty as it could be. So let's dive right in and learn more about the difference between compound and couverture chocolate.

Couverture Chocolate

Couverture chocolate is a higher quality chocolate that contains a higher percentage of cocoa butter than other chocolate in relation to the other ingredients. It also contains chocolate liquor. In order to be labeled couverture, chocolate must contain a minimum of 35% cocoa solids and 31% cocoa butter. Couverture chocolate is also ground to a finer texture during the production process to create a smoother finished product. These marks of higher quality are why couverture chocolate is often referred to as "real chocolate". Although its a higher quality chocolate, it will require tempering before use to prevent bloom from occurring. Tempering may add a little extra work to your process, but it will give your finished chocolate products a beautiful shine and textural snap.

When To Use Couverture Chocolate

We say any time is a good time to use couverture chocolate because it's superior to all other chocolate, but due to its higher quality, it's is typically more expensive. You will certainly be getting more bang for your buck though as the taste and texture of couverture chocolate is well worth the extra cash. If you're concerned about cost, we recommend reserving the use of couverture chocolate for chocolate barks, truffles or chocolate bars, when the taste and texture of your finished confection will be most critical. Any confection that requires tempering or dipping is a great use of couverture chocolate.

Compound Chocolate

Where couverture chocolate is made up of cocoa butter and chocolate liquor, compound chocolate is comprised of cocoa powder and oil (usually cottonseed, palm kernel or soybean). While these ingredients make for a more inferior chocolate, they also make the chocolate a lot easier to work with. Compound chocolate doesn't require tempering to use and will still set just fine after having been melted. It will lack the the crisp texture and nice shine of couverture chocolate. Due to being made from less expensive ingredients, compound chocolate comes with a much more affordable price tag.

When To Use Compound Chocolate

Compound chocolate is great for making molded chocolates as it sets up well without the extra effort of tempering. It's also more stable in warmer conditions is this is something you're going to be up against. Compound chocolate is pretty resilient, except when it comes to adding liquids to it. Even the smallest amount of cold liquid will seize up your compound chocolate into a gloppy mess.

Taste Test

Luckily for chocolatiers, most people can't taste the difference between compound and couverture chocolate. We think it's similar to wine, as most people can't tell the difference between a good wine and a bad wine, They simply drink what they like and what each individual likes will always be different. Unless tasted side by side, it's very difficult to discern any kind of taste difference between the two chocolate types.

Which Should You Use?

There really is no right or wrong answer here. You simply need to determine how important cost, taste, appearance, and ease of use are to you.