Belgian Chocolate

Written by Robert Mac
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Belgian chocolate distinguishes itself from other chocolates not by ingredients as much as style. The Belgian style of chocolate making is to fill chocolates with any number of creams, nuts, fruits, and other fillings. While the chocolate itself may be comparable to Swiss or German varieties, for example, those countries favor the style of the chocolate bar over the filled type. Since this style originated in Belgium, chocolates from that country tend to be the finest examples of these gourmet confections.

Types of Belgian Chocolates

Naturally, cordial cherries are a popular ingredient in filled chocolates, as well as caramels. Hazelnuts and nut liqueurs also figure prominently in many European recipes. Hazelnut cream, marzipan, praline, and wafer are some of the many hazelnut varieties of Belgian chocolates, which are available in many shapes and with dark, milk, and white chocolate coatings.

Ganache-filled chocolates are an entire different kind of chocolate. Ganache is a very rich filling that is also used sparingly in tarts and other desserts; it is so rich that it can only be served in small portions, making it an ideal filling for chocolate. Simply, ganache is a mixture of heavy cream, dark cocoa (the remainder of the cocoa bean after the cocoa butter fats have been removed), and sugar. Ganache is often flavored with coffee or liqueurs, too.

Some fillings of Belgian style chocolates are available in vegan and sugar free recipes also. Vegan chocolates contain no animal products--such as milk--and are sought after by lactose intolerant chocolate fans as well as vegans. Diabetics and low calorie or low carbohydrate dieters now have many sugar free Belgian chocolates to choose from, too.

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