Couverture

Couverture (fine “covering” chocolate) is at once rare and pervasive. Home bakers seldom see chocolate that’s actually labeled “couverture” and so have trouble finding it when we want to glaze a torte or batch of truffles. On the other hand many of the more expensive chocolate bars in specialty shops are technically couvertures. Which means the stuff isn’t really very hard to get.

But what distinguishes a couverture from other types of chocolate? The biggest differentiator is its cocoa butter content. Couverture can be up to 40% cocoa butter, the highest percentage of all the chocolate types, which means it pours easier, goes on thinner and sets up firmer than any other. Properly tempered it has a delightful “snap” and glossy sheen.

Is that all there is to couverture chocolate? No not quite. I should add that couverture tends to be made with very high quality cocoa solids, solids which are generally ground to a finer consistency than those that go in to normal eating chocolates. So it’s finer in just about all senses of the word. No wonder so many people just like to eat it as it is.

6 thoughts on “Couverture”

    1. Hey Jey!

      Nice question. This is the chocolate people most commonly temper, yes. In fact if you don’t temper it you’re really wasting a whole lot of expensive chocolate. Pastry types, especially of the confectionery sort, do temper bittersweet, milk chocolate and so on, but couverture is really here the money is, in more senses than one!

      – Joe

  1. Hi Joe, If we use courveture for ganache should we temper it first. Or can we just melt the chocolate and then add warm cream to it?

    Since am not yet comfortable with tempering chocolate i have not used courveture for ganache. Also is courveture what is called as pure Chocolate?

    PS : I came across your site through a google search and I have been hooked since.

    Thanks,
    Ami

    1. Hey Ami!

      Very glad to have you here! My thanks.

      There’s no need to temper chocolate for anything but a pure chocolate finishing layer: for the outside of a truffle or a coating on a torte. The rest of the time you can just melt it. A ganache is a great example. It can’t be tempered because of the cream it contains, so you can just melt the chocolate and stir in the cream. Remember that the longer the ganache takes to cool, the better the consistency and the shine will be. So don’t rush it into the fridge after it’s done!

      As far as couverture being “pure chocolate”, I’m not sure. Most any chocolate product can be called “pure chocolate” provided it hasn’t been heavily adulterated with other artificial ingredients. Couverture is definitely a high-quality chocolate. As for being “pure” really can’t say.

      Thanks for the great questions — and the generous compliment!

      Cheers,

      Joe

  2. Hi Joe, Thank you for taking time to give a very well explained reply. I am sure it will help others as much as it helped me.

    Regards,
    Ami

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *