The traditional Pain au chocolat type of chocolate uses

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As any experienced baker knows, you can’t just break off a Hershey’s bar and stuff it into your croissant dough for pain au chocolat. There are tons of different types of baking chocolate out there, and they all have their own uses.

In the case of pain au chocolat, King Arthur cooking says the traditional chocolate used is a semi-sweet chocolate stick. Baking bites adds that there isn’t really a regulated definition for semi-sweet chocolate, but it generally means it’s a half-and-half blend of sweet and bitter flavors. Chocolates considered “sweet” usually have more than 50% sugar in their recipe, while semi-sweet chocolate tends to be below this threshold. It would also be unlike bitter chocolate which leans even darker and bitter. The use of semi-sweet chocolate guarantees some sweetness, but the depth offered by the bitter notes also compensates for the richness of the pain au chocolat.

Chocolate sticks, which are simply shaped so that they can be easily rolled in croissant dough, are available online at stores like Central Pastry Chef. However, New York Times Kitchen points out that you can also easily cut your favorite semi-sweet chocolate into thin sticks. It also allows you to more easily customize the amount of chocolate in each pastry.

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