Semi sweet chocolate morsels or chocolate chips are often less expensive than baking squares so you may be tempted to substitute them in recipes. Before you do, though, consider the item you are preparing. Semi sweet morsels have less cocoa butter than baking squares and thus melt differently, which can make a difference in certain recipes.
Semi sweet chocolate chips have an intense, but sweet, chocolate taste and are most often added directly to cookie or brownie batters. Their small size ensures that they melt evenly without burning. Semi sweet baking chocolate comes in small, wrapped squares and is usually melted before use. It is used in sauces, ganache, cakes and candy.
Semi sweet morsels and semi sweet baking squares have a similar taste, but may have slightly different textures. Semi sweet morsels are made to melt slightly, while retaining their form, in cookies. They may contain stabilizers or even wax, depending on the product. Semi sweet baking squares are made to melt smoothly and completely.
When substituting semi sweet morsels for baking squares, you probably won't notice a difference in baked goods, such as brownies or cakes. You may notice a slight difference in sauces, such as ganache or hot fudge sauce, and will most likely notice a greater difference in candy or truffles. Experiment with small batches of inexpensive desserts to gain experience.
Buy the best quality chocolate you can afford and melt it slowly over a double boiler, stirring frequently. All forms of chocolate burn easily. Use a pan that is completely dry and avoid getting water in the chocolate, which causes it to "seize," or develop hard, bitter crystals. Work with chocolate on cool, dry days. In warm, humid weather, it melts too quickly and is more difficult to work with.
- "Fine Cooking"; Semisweet Chocolate Chips
- "The Martha Stewart Cookbook"; Martha Stewart; 1995