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Semi-Sweet Chocolate

Are you searching to find what semi-sweet chocolate is?

Look no further!

some folks want to know if there are distinct differences between semisweet vs bittersweet chocolate.

It gets somewhat confusing based on the guidelines set by the Food and Drug Administration and the labels from the manufacturers.

So, let's make things a little clearer for you.

Semi-Sweet Types

Semi-sweet baking chocolate is recognized by its sweet and bitter notes.

It blends well with most baking recipes, and can be used as candy making chocolate.

Like bittersweet chocolate, semi-sweet chocolate is also refered to as

  • sweet chocolate
  • sweet chocolate coating
  • semisweet chocolate
  • semisweet chocolate coating
  • bittersweet chocolate coating

What About Semisweet Chocolate Chips

Semisweet chocolate verses semisweet chocolate chips (like Nestle's chocolate morsels) are not the same.

Semi-sweet chocolate will be fluid when melted.

Chocolate chips on the other hand, are high viscosity by design.

What that means is that there is less cocoa butter in the chips and therefore are less fluid. 

So, when melted, chocolate chips retain their shape and they won't flatten out from high temperatures of the oven.

You can still use chocolate chips as a semi-sweet substitute.

However, depending on your recipe, you might have to thin them down with cocoa butter, or even coconut oil.

Just be aware that the additives may differ depending on the recipe and what you are trying to achieve.

What's The Difference Semisweet vs Bittersweet

You might not be aware that semi-sweet chocolate will have a lower content of cocoa solids (chocolate liquor), and typically more sugar than bittersweet chocolate.

Bittersweet and semisweet both are required to have a minimum of 35% cocoa and less than 12% milk solids (dry milk) according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

You'll find bittersweet chocolate with a higher content of chocolate liquor in upwards of 60-65% and higher, with less sugar than semisweet.

However, both semi-sweet and bittersweet chocolate could have the bitter bite (brand dependent).

It's a manufacturers preference that shines through from the selection of cocoa beans and ingredients.

You might know this semi-sweet by the popular brand Ghirardelli's Chocolate Baking Bars.

It comes in a 4-ounce bar with each section weighing 1/2 an ounce each for easy measuring.

The serving size per package is 3 half ounce squares, with about 210 calories in Ghirardelli's baking bars. That translates to about 70 calories for a 1/2 ounce section.

The minimum allowed is 35% cocoa content. Some might assume that Ghirardelli's has the minimum cocoa content.

I'm guessing their 8 ounce semi-sweet baking bar has around 40% to 45% cocoa due to the slightly sweeter, creamier taste and feel to the palate.

However, the nutrition data indicates that it's about the same as Baker's Semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate.

Baker's semi-sweet is another popular brand of Baking chocolate squares with 54% cacao and about 70 calories in a one half ounce square.

Each square weighs 1 ounce (can be broken into two 0.5 ounce pieces) for a total of 8 ounces in one box.

For their specific flavors, Baker's is noticeably richer in cocoa than the Ghirardelli semi-sweet baking chocolate.

It doesn't matter to me, they are both wonderful!

make some chocolate strawberries, or add it to caramel and oatmeal (or rice crispies), or both for some fantastic carmel bars!

Or, use chocolate candy molds to make your favorite solid chocolates!

Go ahead! Make up some chocolate candy recipes, add some flowers, and you've got yourself some beautifully sweet flowers and chocolate!

Most folks don't keep semisweet chocolate on hand or they simply run out before they're ready.

In that case you will need to know some simple steps to making a semi-sweet chocolate substitute.


Semi-Sweet Substitute

If you need a semi-sweet substitute for semi-sweet chocolate, use 1 ounce, unsweetened chocolate combined with 1-tblsp sugar will do just fine in your candy making recipes, chocolate strawberries, or whatever.

Are you really in a pinch? Then you'll most likely have some unsweetened baking cocoa (not cocoa mix) & sugar in the cabinet as well as butter in the fridge..., right? Great!

Combine 1-tblsp baking cocoa and 1-tblsp sugar with 1-tsp unsalted butter or vegetable oil. You won't have chocolate chips but you'll get the rich moist flavor you are craving!

Melt unsweetened chocolate-types by bringing the temperature of the chocolate to about 112-115 °F (44-46 °C). It's delicate so be mindful of the temperature to avoid seizing.


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