Chocolate chips are produced in “eating” or “cooking” varieties are is normally used by bartenders to garnish cream-covered drinks. If you don’t have chocolate chips on-hand, cocoa powder will do. Chocolate chips are small chunks of chocolate. They are often sold in a round, flat-bottomed teardrop shape. They are available in numerous sizes, from large to miniature, but are usually around 1 cm in diameter.
Chocolate chips are small rounds (1/8 to 1/2 inch) (.6 to 1.25 cm) of semi-sweet, milk or white chocolate that contain less cocoa butter than other chocolates. They are made to withstand moderate oven heat so they retain their texture and shape in cookies, muffins, and other baked desserts without appearing to melt (even though the cocoa butter has melted). It is not a good idea to use chocolate chips in recipes than call for melted chocolate as the chocolate chips when melted become chocolate that is thick, muddy and grainy that is very difficult to use. This is because of the smaller amount of cocoa butter (25-30%) in the chocolate chips. Some brands use vegetable fat as an ingredient. Primarily used in the making of cookies and brownies.
Note: It is often asked “Why do chocolate chips not melt in the oven?”. The answer is that they do, in fact, melt. It is just that chocolate chips retain their shape when melted. If you break apart a hot chocolate chip cookie, you will see that the chocolate chip has melted.
Originally, chocolate chips were made of semi-sweet chocolate, but today there are many flavors. These include bittersweet chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, butterscotch chips, mint chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, dark chocolate chips, milk chocolate chips, and white and dark swirled chocolate chips
Chocolate chips can be used in cookies, pancakes, waffles, cakes, pudding, muffins, crepes, pies, hot chocolate, and various types of pastry. They are also found in many other retail food products such as granola bars, ice cream, and trail mix.
Chocolate chips can also be melted and used in sauces and other recipes. The chips melt best at temperatures between 104 and 113 °F (40 and 45 °C). The melting process starts at around 90 °F when the cocoa butter in the chips starts to heat. The cooking temperature must never exceed 115 °F (for milk and white) or 120 °F (for dark) or the chocolate will burn. Although convenient, melted chocolate chips are not always recommended as a substitute for melted baking chocolate. Because most chocolate chips are designed to retain their shape when baking, they contain less cocoa butter than baking chocolate. This can make them more difficult to work with in melted form.
Popular brands of chocolate chips: Baker’s, Ghirardelli, Guittard, Hershey’s, and Nestl’s Toll House.
The best way to choose what brand of chocolate chips to use in a recipe is by taste as the flavor of the chocolate does not change after baking. A good quality chocolate has a nice chocolate smell and a smooth and glossy unblemished appearance. The taste should have no hint of chemicals and should be smooth and velvety, not grainy or overly greasy on the palate.