Welcome to Mike’s Chocolate Glossary!
Here you will find a comprehensive list of words related to chocolate, from its history and production process to the many varieties available today. Whether you are an experienced chocolatier or just someone who loves indulging in delicious treats, this glossary will definitely cover just about any word that is cocoa-related.
Aerated Chocolate: A type of chocolate made with air bubbles to create a light and fluffy texture.
Agave Nectar/Syrup: A liquid sweetener made from agave plants which are native to Mexico and Central America. It has a milder taste than regular white cane sugar but contains more calories per teaspoon than other sugars due to its high fructose content.
Almond Bark: a confectionery coating made from melted white or milk chocolate mixed with almonds
Alkalized Cocoa Powder: cocoa powder that has been treated with alkali to reduce the acidity levels in the product
Amelonado: a type of cocoa bean used to make dark, rich chocolate
Aroma: the smell of chocolate, which can range from sweet and nutty to earthy and smoky
Artisan Chocolatier: someone who specializes in making handmade chocolates using unique recipes and techniques
Aztec Hot Chocolate: a traditional Mexican hot drink made with dark chocolate, chili peppers and spices
Baking Chocolate (Unsweetened): A type of baking chocolate that does not contain any sugar but still contains cocoa solids and cocoa butter
Bean-to-Bar Chocolate: A type of chocolate made from cocoa beans that are roasted, ground, and conched into a smooth paste before being tempered and molded into bars.
Bittersweet Chocolate: A type of dark chocolate made with a higher percentage (60-70%)of cocoa solids than regular dark chocolate (50%).
Blended Chocolate: A combination of different types of chocolates, such as milk and dark, to create a unique flavor profile.
Blond Chocolate: Also known as “white” or “ivory” chocolate, this is made from sugar, cocoa butter, milk solids, and flavorings but does not contain any cocoa solids.
Blondie: A dessert similar to a brownie but made with white chocolate instead of dark chocolate.
Bonbon: A small piece of candy filled with ganache, cream, jelly, or other sweet filling.
Bonbonniere: An ornamental box containing small chocolates, often given as gifts at weddings or other special occasions.
Brittle: A crunchy confection made from sugar and butter that is often flavored with nuts or other ingredients such as dried fruit.
Brown Sugar: A type of refined white sugar that’s been mixed with molasses to give it its characteristic brown color and slightly sweet taste.
Brownie: A dense cake-like bar made with melted chocolate and often nuts or other ingredients such as marshmallows or caramel.
Buttercream: A creamy frosting made from butter, sugar, and flavoring agents such as vanilla extract or liqueur.
Buttermilk Chocolate: A type of chocolate made with buttermilk powder instead of regular milk powder for a richer flavor.
Cacao: The dried and partially fermented fatty seeds of the cacao tree, from which chocolate is made. This is the raw, unrefined form of chocolate derived from the cocoa bean.
Cane Sugar/Sucrose: The most common type of granulated white sugar derived from either sugar beets or sugarcane plants; sucrose is composed of one glucose molecule linked to one fructose molecule making it sweeter than other sugars like maltose or lactose.
Caramelization: A process used to make chocolate, which involves heating the chocolate to a specific temperature to bring out its flavor.
Chocolate Chip: A type of chocolate confection made with small pieces of chocolate, which is often used to top cakes and other desserts.
Chocolate Syrup: A type of syrup made with cocoa solids, sugar, and water or milk, which is often used as a topping for ice cream or other desserts.
Cocoa Butter: The natural fat extracted from the cocoa bean used as an ingredient in chocolate.
Cocoa Butter Substitute: A type of vegetable fat used to replace cocoa butter in some types of chocolate.
Cocoa Liquor: The combination of cocoa solids and cocoa butter, which is used to make chocolate, but contains no sugar.
Chocolate Liqueur: An alcoholic beverage made with spirits infused with chocolate flavors.
Cocoa Mass: The combination of cocoa solids and cocoa butter, which is used to make chocolate.
Cocoa Nibs: The crushed bits of cocoa beans, which are used to make chocolate or as a topping for desserts.
Cocoa Powder: The powdery form of the cocoa bean with cocoa solids, but no cocoa butter, that is used to make chocolate.
Cocoa Powder Substitute: A type of vegetable fat used to replace cocoa powder in some types of baking recipes.
Cocoa Solids: The non-fat portion of cocoa beans, which is used to make chocolate.
Coconut Sugar: Also known as coconut palm sugar, this is made from sap collected from cut flower buds on the coconut tree and has a caramel flavor with hints of molasses and brown sugar notes.
Compound Chocolate: A type of chocolate made with vegetable fats instead of cocoa butter.
Conching: A process used to refine chocolate, which involves kneading and heating the chocolate to reduce its acidity and improve its flavor.
Couverture: A type of chocolate made with a higher percentage of cocoa butter, which is used for coating and dipping.
Dark Chocolate: A type of chocolate made with cocoa solids, cocoa butter, and sugar, but it has a high cocoa content, usually at least 70%.
Dairy-Free: Chocolates that are free from dairy ingredients such as milk solids, butterfat or whey powder to make them suitable for those who have allergies or dietary restrictions related to dairy products.
Date Syrup: Made from dates that boiled down until they form a thick syrup. Date syrup has a mild sweetness similar to honey but without floral notes.
Drinking Chocolate: Hot chocolate beverage made from melted dark or white chocolate mixed with hot water or milk for a creamy consistency and rich taste experience.
Dutch Processed Cocoa Powder: Cocoa powder that has been treated with an alkalizing agent to reduce its acidity and give it a milder flavor than natural cocoa powder.
Easter Eggs: Hollowed-out eggs that are usually decorated and then filled with candy, often including some type of chocolate treat inside the shell itself.
Eclair: an oblong pastry made from choux dough filled with cream and topped with chocolate icing
Edible Gold Leaf: thin sheets of gold used to decorate desserts and chocolates
Edible Ink: ink made from edible ingredients, used to print designs on chocolates and other desserts.
Enrobing: The process of coating food items in melted chocolate.
Florentines: Crispy cookies traditionally composed of almonds mixed with honey syrup then baked until golden brown before being dipped in melted dark chocolate.
Flourless Chocolate Cake: A type of cake that is made without flour but instead relies on the combination of cocoa powder, butter, eggs, and sugar for its structure.
Fondant: A creamy, sweet chocolate mixture used as a filling inside chocolates.
Fondue: A type of dessert made with melted chocolate, which is used for dipping fruit and other treats.
Fructose: A type of sugar found naturally in fruits and honey.
Fudge: A type of confection made with sugar, butter, and milk solids, which is often flavored with chocolate or nuts.
Ganache: A mixture of chocolate and cream, used as a filling or topping for cakes and other desserts.
German Chocolate Cake: A popular cake made with sweetened coconut flakes mixed into frosting which is then spread between layers of moist devil’s food cake before being topped off with more frosting on top.
Gianduja: A type of hazelnut-flavored chocolate made with roasted nuts and cocoa butter.
Glaze: a thin coating applied to the surface of chocolates for decoration or protection purposes.
Glucose: The most common form of sugar, also known as dextrose or blood sugar.
Grue de Cacao: an ingredient derived from cacao beans that is used as a flavoring agent in some types of chocolate products such as truffles and ganaches.
Guayaquil Chocolate: dark Ecuadorian chocolate with intense flavor notes including coffee, nuts, caramel and spices like cinnamon and nutmeg.
Handmade: Artisanal chocolates crafted from scratch using high-quality ingredients such as fresh cream, butter, nuts, fruits etc., for unique flavors and textures not found in mass-produced products.
Hazelnut: A small, round nut with a smooth, brown skin and sweet flavor that is often used in chocolate confections.
Honey: A thick golden syrup created when bees collect nectar from flowers then break down into simple sugars like fructose and glucose. It’s sweeter than granulated white refined sugars.
Honeycomb: An aerated candy consisting of sugar syrup cooked until it forms bubbles which are then cooled and hardened into crunchy pieces usually covered in chocolate.
Hot Chocolate: A beverage made with melted chocolate and hot milk or water.
Inclusions: Pieces of nuts, fruits, and other ingredients added to chocolate.
Infusion Method: a method of flavoring chocolates by steeping them in flavored liquids like coffee or tea before being added to the recipe mix.
Ingot Mold: a tool used to shape melted chocolate into bars for easy cutting and packaging later on in the production process.
Invertase: an enzyme commonly found in yeast cells that is used to break down sucrose molecules into glucose and fructose during food processing.
Jaffa Cake: An English cake made from sponge, topped with orange flavored jelly and coated in dark chocolate.
Jelly Filling – A type of chocolate confectionery that is filled with a jelly-like center.
Khoya: A type of Indian cheese used as an ingredient in some types of chocolate.
Kneading: The process of mixing and folding chocolate to create a smooth texture.
Knocking: A technique used in tempering chocolate where the melted mixture is tapped against a hard surface to remove air bubbles and ensure an even consistency.
Konfekt: German for “confection,” referring to small, bite-sized pieces of candy or chocolate typically made with nuts, dried fruits, spices, and other flavorings mixed into the base ingredients like sugar syrup or fondant.
Lactose: A sugar found naturally in dairy products, which is sometimes added to chocolates for sweetness.
Leafing Agent: An edible oil that is applied to the surface of some candies and chocolates to give them a glossy finish.
Lecithin: An emulsifier used in chocolate production to help keep the cocoa butter and other ingredients blended together.
Lindt: Swiss-based premium chocolate brand known for its high quality dark and milk chocolates.
Liqueur Filling: Chocolate filled with a flavored liqueur or alcohol such as rum, cognac, or whiskey.
Lucuma: A type of South American fruit used to flavor some chocolates.
Macaroon: A small cookie made from ground almonds or coconut mixed with egg whites and sugar.
Malt: A cereal grain, usually barley, that has been allowed to germinate and then dried in a kiln. It is used as an ingredient in beer brewing and other food products such as malt vinegar and malted milk.
Maltose: A disaccharide composed of two glucose molecules linked together. It is produced during the breakdown of starch by enzymes called maltases.
Maple Syrup: A dark amber colored syrup tapped directly out of maple trees; it has an earthy sweetness with subtle smoky undertones making it perfect for chocolate desserts.
Marble Cake: A cake baked in two different colors to create a marbled effect when cut into slices. It is often decorated with swirls of white and dark chocolate frosting on top.
Marzipan: A type of confection made with ground almonds, sugar, and egg whites, which is often used to decorate cakes and other desserts.
Meltaways: A type of small, round chocolate with a creamy center.
Mendiants: French confections consisting of discs or circles of solid dark chocolate topped with dried fruits such as raisins, cranberries, hazelnuts etc., which are arranged around the edge like petals on a flower.
Meringue: A type of dessert made with egg whites and sugar, which is often used to top cakes and other desserts.
Milk Chocolate: A type of chocolate made with cocoa solids, cocoa butter, sugar, and milk solids.
Molasses: A thick dark syrup made from the by-product of sugar cane or beet processing. It has a strong flavor and is often used in baking recipes such as gingerbread, cookies, cakes, and pies.
Molded Chocolate: A type of chocolate confection made by pouring melted chocolate into a mold, then allowing it to cool and harden.
Mousse: A type of chocolate dessert made with a light and airy texture.
Mousse Cake: A cake made by combining mousse (a light, airy mixture) with layers of sponge cake or biscuit base, usually finished off with a layer of ganache or glaze.
Napolitains: Thin slices or squares of flavored solid milk or dark chocolate often served as part of a dessert platter at restaurants.
Neapolitan: An ice cream flavor consisting of three layers of different flavors (usually vanilla, strawberry and chocolate).
Nonpareils: Small round chocolate-covered candies with a crunchy outer shell.
Nougat: A confection made of sugar or honey, roasted nuts and egg whites.
Nutella: An Italian hazelnut-flavored spread made with cocoa and milk.
Oblong Bar: A bar of chocolate shaped like an elongated rectangle.
Origin Chocolate: Chocolate made from cocoa beans sourced from a single country or region.
Organic Chocolate: Chocolate produced without the use of chemical fertilizers or pesticides.
Outer Layer Coating : The outer layer coating on some types of chocolates which gives it its glossy appearance and protects it from moisture damage.
Palm Sugar: Made by boiling down sap collected from cut flower buds on palm trees then cooling into solid blocks. Has an earthy caramel flavor with hints of molasses and brown sugar notes.
Parfait: An ice cream dessert that is layered with whipped cream, syrup and pieces of chocolate. Panache: Chocolate mixed with other ingredients such as dried fruit, nuts or spices to create an interesting flavor combination
Pastilles: Small round discs of solidified milk or dark chocolate which are usually used to decorate desserts and pastries.
Patisserie: French term for a pastry shop where pastries are sold in bulk or individually wrapped.
Petit fours: Small bite-sized cakes topped with icing and decorated with edible decorations like sprinkles or glazed fruits.
Plaque: A flat piece of solidified chocolate with a design or message on it.
Pot de crème: A rich custard-like dessert made from eggs, heavy cream, sugar and melted dark chocolate poured into individual ramekins before baking them until set.
Praline: A type of chocolate confection made with a crunchy center and coated in melted chocolate.
Praline paste: Ground hazelnuts blended together with melted dark chocolate to form a thick paste used for making pralines and truffles.
Quality Control Testing – Tests conducted by manufacturers to ensure their products meet certain standards before they are released into the marketplace; this includes testing for taste, texture, appearance, etc., when it comes to making sure consumers receive quality chocolates every time they purchase them.
Quinoa Crunch: A type of chocolate bar made with quinoa and other ingredients.
Quick Tempering – The process of quickly heating and cooling melted chocolate to form the correct crystalline structure for use as a coating or decoration on confections such as truffles and bonbons.
Red Velvet Cake: A moist chocolate cake typically made from cocoa powder, buttermilk, vinegar, baking soda and red food coloring; it is then topped with a cream cheese frosting.
Remembrances: Chocolate bonbons filled with liqueur centers that are often given as gifts during special occasions such as weddings or anniversaries.
Roasting: A process used to prepare cocoa beans for chocolate-making, which involves heating the beans to bring out their flavor.
Rocher: A French chocolate confection made of a hazelnut center surrounded by milk or dark chocolate and chopped nuts.
Rocky Road: A type of confection made with marshmallows, nuts, and chocolate. Typically found as ice cream, but can certainly be used in any dessert.
Saccharin: An artificial sweetener used to replace table sugar in many products.
Sachertorte: A type of chocolate cake made with a layer of apricot jam and a chocolate glaze.
Semisweet Chocolate: A type of chocolate made with a lower cocoa content than dark chocolate but higher than milk chocolate.
Shellac: An edible coating used to give chocolates a glossy finish.
Sorbitol: A polyalcohol (sugar alcohol) that occurs naturally in some fruits and vegetables but can be manufactured from glucose for use as a low-calorie sweetener in chocolates.
Sponge Candy: A type of candy made from sugar syrup boiled until it forms hard brittle pieces which are then coated in melted chocolate.
Stevia: A natural plant-based sweetener derived from the stevia rebaudiana plant native to South America. Used in many sugar free chocolates.
Sugar Bloom: A white, powdery coating that appears on chocolate when it has been exposed to moisture.
Swiss Chocolate: A type of chocolate made with a higher cocoa content than other types of chocolates and is known for its smooth texture.
Swiss Roll: A type of chocolate cake made with a light and airy texture, filled with a creamy center, and rolled into a log shape.
Tablette: French word for bar or tablet; usually refers to large blocks of solid chocolate with various flavors and ingredients mixed into them.
Tartufo: Italian term meaning truffle; small round balls filled with creamy centers such as ganache, nut pastes, jams etc., often dipped in tempered chocolate and decorated accordingly.
Tempering: A process used to stabilize chocolate by heating and cooling the chocolate to create the desired texture. Usually done to give the chocolate a perfectly smooth and glossy finish.
Tempermeter: An instrument used to measure the temperature of melted chocolate during tempering.
Toffee: A confection made of sugar, butter and cream that is heated until it reaches a hard-crack stage. It can be covered in chocolate for added flavor.
Topping: Any edible decoration placed on top of desserts like cakes or cupcakes; typically includes things like sprinkles, nuts, candies etc., but also includes items like shaved/grated dark/white chocolates too.
Torte: A type of cake filled with layers of mousse, ganache, creams etc., often topped off with tempered chocolate decorations such as shavings or curls.
Truffles: Small round balls filled with creamy centers such as ganache, nut pastes, jams etc., often dipped in tempered chocolate and decorated accordingly.
Truffle Shells : Chocolate shells shaped like cups which are filled up with different types of fillings (ganaches , fruit purees , custards ) before being sealed shut again using more melted chocolate.
Umber Cocoa Powder : Darker than Dutch processed cocoa powder but lighter than black cocoa powder; it is often used to make richly flavored desserts like cakes and brownies .
Uncoated Chocolate: Chocolate that has not been covered in any other coating such as sugar, nuts or sprinkles.
Undercoatings: Thin layers of tempered chocolate used to coat molds before filling them with ganache or truffles.
Unrefined Sugar : Natural sugars derived from plants like cane juice, coconut palm sap or date syrup instead of refined white sugar.
Unsweetened Chocolate: A type of chocolate made without any added sugar.
Valrhona: A type of French dark chocolate with a high cocoa content.
Vanilla: A flavoring made from the seed pods of an orchid-like plant, used to flavor chocolate.
Vegan Chocolate: Dark chocolates made without any animal products such as milk, cream, eggs, honey or gelatin.
Velvetize: The process of melting and mixing cocoa butter with other ingredients to create a smooth texture in chocolate.
Viscous Melting Point : Refers to how quickly liquid form melts at certain temperatures, this affects how well it can be tempered during production processes.
Wafer: A thin, crisp cookie made of flour and sugar. It is often used as a base for chocolate confections.
White Chocolate (Ivory): A type of chocolate made with cocoa butter, sugar, and milk solids, but no cocoa solids.
Wonka Bars: Bars of milk or dark chocolate inspired by the beloved Roald Dahl book “Charlie and The Chocolate Factory”.
Xanthan Gum: A food additive used to thicken and stabilize chocolate products.
Xanthine Oxidase: An enzyme that helps break down theobromine, a compound found in cocoa beans.
Xocopili: A type of Mexican chocolate made with almonds, hazelnuts, and spices.
Xocoatl: Aztec word for chocolate drink
Xylitol: A sugar alcohol often found in low-sugar or sugar-free chocolates.
Yule Logs: Traditional Christmas cakes shaped like logs and often covered in a layer of chocolate.
Yuzu Chocolate: A type of Japanese-style chocolate flavored with the citrus fruit yuzu.
Zabaglione Chocolate: An Italian-style chocolate flavored with white wine and egg yolks.