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Chocolate Substitutions

Sometimes a recipe calls for chocolate to be added, and from time to time there might not be enough of what you need in your kitchen. During times like these it's a good idea to use chocolate substitutes. Here are a few chocolate substitute options:

Chocolate Substitutes in Baking

If a recipe calls for a square of unsweetened chocolate, you can always substitute that with three tablespoons of baking cocoa and a tablespoon of butter, margarine, or vegetable shortening. Vegans might also substitute with vegan chocolate, which is readily available at any health food store. Alternatively, you can also substitute with carob—it tastes very different from chocolate, but it substitutes well in any recipe using chocolate to give a very different kind of taste. In this case, three tablespoons of carob powder plus two tablespoons of water should do the trick.

Unconventional Baking Substitutions

Another equivalency you'll use often is for when the recipe calls for an ounce of semi-sweet baking or bittersweet chocolate. You can easily substitute an ounce of unsweetened baking chocolate and a tablespoon of sugar in such recipes. Somewhat less often you will need to use cocoa powder to substitute for semi-sweet chocolate chips. For every six ounces of semi-sweet chocolate chips, you'll need to put in nine tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder and seven tablespoons of sugar, as well as three tablespoons of shortening. Yet the most common substitution of all is when you only have baking chocolate and need semi-sweet chips. For this, you can replace a cup of semi-sweet chips with six ounces of semi-sweet baking chocolate, as long as you fully chop up the baking chocolate.

Simple Substitutions

Of course, other substitutions are also available. You can cut a sweet or milk chocolate bar into bits if you want to substitute for chocolate chips. Additionally, many health food stores sell non-dairy vegan chocolate chips, cocoa powder, and chocolate bars. Please keep in mind that some brands of vegan chocolate do not melt correctly when baking cookies.

Vegan Chocolate Substitutions

Chocolate substitutions always seem to come up whenever you first consider going vegan. In point of fact, chocolate is very vegan—it is, after all made of cocoa beans. However, lower quality chocolate such as what you commonly find in the United States has a large number of additives, from food starch to milk fat. These “chocolates” are not vegan, but neither are they pure chocolate. Most every store has vegan chocolate available, but if you're unsure about whether your chocolate is vegan or not, the rule of thumb is that nearly all dark chocolates are vegan, and pure cocoa powder is always vegan. Even if you're cooking in an unfamiliar kitchen, you can always make any chocolate recipe vegan by using the above cocoa powder substitutes.

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