Confused whether or not bittersweet chocolate can be used instead of dark?
To be honest, your concern is understandable. Because one might easily think the two have a similar taste.
But is bittersweet chocolate the same as dark chocolate?
The answer is no. They aren’t the same. Bittersweet has more sugar content than dark chocolate. Thus, dark chocolate has a more bitter taste. Sometimes, the price for dark chocolate is slightly higher. Lastly, dark chocolate is better for health than bittersweet chocolate.
Now, are you already cleared up? Have you got the answer you were looking for?
To be honest, this much info isn’t enough. You should know more to properly pick and use one type of chocolate.
So, let’s start learning more, shall we?
Are Dark Chocolate and Bittersweet Chocolate the Same?
Now, we have already discussed in short why the two chocolate types aren’t the same. But aren’t you curious to know why they are called dark and bittersweet chocolates?
Well, if you’re, we’re here to help! So, let’s discuss-
Firstly, what is dark chocolate?
Well, dark chocolate is often divided into 2 categories. Those are- semi-sweet and bittersweet chocolate. Yup, bittersweet chocolate is a type of dark chocolate.
Nonetheless, the cacao content of dark chocolate can range from 35-80 percent. To be specific, dark chocolate can either be considered light-dark, medium-dark, or very dark.
To understand which is which, here’s a table-
|Dark Chocolate Type||Cacao Content|
Hopefully, now you know why it’s called dark chocolate.
Now, what is bittersweet chocolate?
Well, bittersweet chocolate is a term used in the U.S. It basically indicates the excess sugar content in dark chocolate.
Simply put, bittersweet is the slightly sweet version of dark chocolate. The cocoa/cacao content of bittersweet chocolate is 35% or more. Hence, you can call it light dark chocolate if you want.
Dark Chocolate vs Bittersweet Chocolate: Overall Comparison
So, you have a basic idea about the chocolates now. Thus, it’s time to learn the difference in details. Why?
Well, not having detailed knowledge can lead you to ruin the taste of your dessert.
Therefore, we tried discussing the differences in short first-
|Aspects||Dark Chocolate||Bittersweet Chocolate|
|Taste||Can range from semi-sweet to super bitter||Doesn’t taste as bitter as dark chocolate|
|Price||Cheap to expensive||Cheaper|
|Use||Baking purposes||Baking purposes|
|Nutrition Facts||Fewer calories, sugar, fat, and more cacao content||More calories, sugar, fat, and less cacao content|
|Shelf Life||2-5 years||2 years|
Now that you are aware of the differences, let’s move to the detailed version-
Firstly, while choosing a type of chocolate, you might think of the taste. How does it taste? Is the taste too strong or too mild?
Well, for dark chocolate, the taste can range from mildly bitter to super bitter. What taste you’ll get solely depends on the cacao percentage. To be extra sure about which taste you want-
You can see the table we mentioned on different types of dark chocolates.
For bittersweet chocolate, the taste will always be less overpowering than dark chocolate. Because the cacao percentage of bittersweet chocolate isn’t that high.
Now, the cost of an item is another concern when trying to find a substitute. So, how much does dark chocolate cost?
Well, the price of dark chocolate ranges from $3 to $50 or more. On the other hand, bittersweet chocolate is slightly cheaper. The cost for this type of chocolate starts from $2.32 to $50.
In both cases-
The variation in price is mainly because of different brands, sizes, types, etc.
Ways to Use
It’s essential to know how you can use different types of chocolates. Not every recipe needs the same chocolate. This is because the chocolates differ in taste.
Now, let’s focus on the use of these two types of chocolates-
Firstly, bakers use 65-70% cacao-based dark chocolate to make a rich chocolate ganache. Then dark chocolate can also be used to make chocolate chip cookies.
You only have to chop a dark chocolate bar for this. However, if you don’t want to waste time, you can just use dark chocolate chips.
Now, to ease your pain, we have mentioned few options regarding dark chocolate chips-
Lily’s Dark Chocolate Chips
ChocZero’s Dark Chocolate Chips
So, get yourself the chips to enjoy delicious choco chip cookies!
Now, you can use bittersweet chocolate in different ways as well. For example, you can add this as an ingredient for any sort of icing or glazing.
You can also make bittersweet chocolate brownies and pound cakes with it too. Lastly, chocolate cookies are a classic recipe that also requires bittersweet chocolate.
As you can create lots of desserts with bittersweet chocolate. So, we wanted to recommend some best bittersweet chocolate for baking-
Guittard, Bar Chocolate Baking Bittersweet
Elite BitterSweet Chocolate Kosher
Now, do use these bittersweet chocolates to make delicious desserts!
Now, it’s that both chocolates have lots of differences. Hence, the nutrition facts of the two chocolates aren’t the same. So, what are the nutrition facts of both chocolates?
Well, let’s go one by one!
Nutrition Facts of 101g of 7o-85% Cacao Dark Chocolate
First, let’s check out the nutrition facts of dark chocolate-
So, it’s clear that dark chocolate has less sugar, fat, and calories. Because it has more cocoa content.
By the way-
This nutritional information is according to the United States Department of Agriculture. Thus, the info is totally valid!
Nutrition Facts of 100g of 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate
Now, it’s time to focus on the nutritional information of bittersweet chocolate. So, these are nutrition facts of bittersweet chocolate-
As you can see, bittersweet has more calories and sugar in it than dark chocolate. So, if we want to be healthy, which is a better choice?
Now, both dark and bittersweet chocolate is good for your health. However, as you know dark chocolate contains less sugar. Therefore, it’s healthier for you.
To be specific, according to observational studies, consuming dark chocolate regularly can help you avoid heart problems. In a report of Clinical Nutrition, people who consume dark chocolate 5 times every week can reduce the risk of heart attack by 57%. Interesting, right?
Furthermore, according to some studies, the rate of stroke reduces if one eats dark chocolate. Plus dark chocolate can boost your energy, mood, and prevent memory loss.
Lastly, dark chocolate is one of those foods that increase your immunity system. Thus, dark chocolate can help covid patients to fight the virus.
So, clearly, dark chocolate has lots of health benefits! But there’s a catch-
Eating dark chocolate regularly can increase your weight. Also, consuming dark chocolate every day can make you sick.
Now, what health benefits does bittersweet chocolate have?
Well, to be honest-
Bittersweet chocolate can help the same way dark chocolate does. But the sugar content has to be less than 35% to get good results.
Otherwise, consuming bittersweet chocolate daily will create a negative impact on your health. For example, you’ll gain weight, your cholesterol level will rise, etc.
Every food item has a specific shelf life. For example, coconut cream can’t last long. Just like that, dark or bittersweet chocolates can’t last forever.
So, what’s the shelf life of these chocolates?
Well, bittersweet chocolate can only last about 2 years. But in the case of dark chocolate, it can last for a long time. Because it doesn’t contain too much milk or sugar.
To give you an idea, here’s a table regarding dark and bittersweet chocolate shelf life-
|Types of Chocolate||Cacao Content||Room Temperature (60-65 Degrees Fahrenheit)||Fridge (Below 40 Degrees Fahrenheit)|
|Light/mild dark/semi-sweet||35-50%||1.5 years||2 years|
|Medium-dark /bittersweet||51-79%||2 years||2 years|
|Very dark||80-100%||5 years||5 years|
So, this is basically the estimated shelf life of both dark and bittersweet chocolate.
Can I Substitute Bittersweet Chocolate for Dark Chocolate?
Now, bittersweet chocolate can be a good substitute for dark chocolate. But only if your recipe needs dark chocolate that contains 35-60% cocoa/cacao. Above that range, you can’t use bittersweet chocolate.
However, there are some 70% cacao-based bittersweet chocolates. But they are a bit rare to find.
Now, if you want to learn more about the substitutes of both chocolates, keep reading!
Bittersweet Chocolate Substitute
Firstly, let’s check out the alternatives for bittersweet chocolate. Like we said-
To substitute this type of chocolate, the cacao content should be between 35-60%. Hence, we’ve mentioned some chocolate alternatives. We’ve also discussed how to convert them into bittersweet.
Don’t worry! The process isn’t as hard as removing nicks from your knife blade. So, take a chill pill and continue reading-
Turning semi-sweet chocolate into bittersweet isn’t really that hard. Because sometimes the sweet version of bittersweet is actually known as semi-sweet chocolate.
All you have to do is-
Take the same amount of semi-sweet baking chocolate as the bittersweet chocolate. Then add 3 tablespoons of semi-sweet chocolate chips.
And that’s it!
Now, another good substitute is unsweetened chocolate. To convert this into bittersweet-
You have to take 1 ounce of unsweetened chocolate. Then add two teaspoons of sugar to it. This should easily substitute 1 ounce of bittersweet chocolate.
Who doesn’t have cocoa powder in their pantry while baking?
Well, it’s time to use the powder to make a good replacement for bittersweet chocolate. So, take 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder. Then mix 2 tablespoons of sugar with it. Lastly, add 1 tablespoon of butter.
You’ll surely get the correct taste and texture of bittersweet chocolate by following this!
Substitute for Dark Chocolate
Now, dark chocolate doesn’t have many alternatives. There are only two accurate and easy alternatives-
To replace 1 ounce of 35-59% dark chocolate-
You can follow the instructions mentioned for bittersweet chocolate. If the sweetness isn’t enough, you can always add more sugar.
Then for 60-70% dark chocolate-
Take 2-3 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder. Mix 1 tablespoon of butter to finish making a substitute for dark chocolate.
Next, to make 80-100% dark chocolate, there’s no need to use sugar. You’ll only need unsweetened cocoa powder and butter.
Now, to replace 1 ounce of dark chocolate-
Melt 1 ounce of unsweetened chocolate and 1 teaspoon of sugar. This should do the trick! If you want more sweetness, increase the amount of sugar. But it’s best to start with 1 teaspoon of sugar!
That’s basically all the alternatives! Now, you can substitute both chocolates properly!
Question: Is 70 percent dark chocolate the same as bittersweet?
Answer: Not really! The cocoa or cacao level in bittersweet chocolate starts from 35% and stops at 60%. Therefore, 70% dark chocolate isn’t the same as bittersweet chocolate. Dark chocolate should be 35-60% for it to be the same as bittersweet chocolate.
Question: Is bittersweet chocolate the same as unsweetened chocolate?
Answer: Nope, they aren’t the same. Unsweetened chocolate has no sugar in it. Hence, it tastes super bitter. In reverse, bittersweet chocolates have at least 40-50% sugar level in them. This makes the chocolate have a balanced sweet and butter taste.
Question: Which is sweeter, bittersweet, or semi-sweet?
Answer: Semi-sweet is sweeter than bittersweet chocolate. Because the amount of sugar in semi-sweet is more than bittersweet. For example, semi-sweet typically has 35-40% cacao content.
Well, it’s time to wrap up! We went all out regarding- is bittersweet chocolate the same as dark chocolate.
By the way, there’s one more thing! If you don’t want to substitute bittersweet with chocolate, use carob powder. Mixing 3 tablespoons of the powder with one tablespoon of oil should be enough.
Now, it’s time to say goodbye! We hope you can make wonderful desserts with the chocolate you pick! Good luck!