January 10 is Bittersweet Chocolate Day, not to be confused with Bittersweet Chocolate Almond Day on November 7.
I eat and review chocolate, the word bittersweet isn't really part of
my lexicon. I certainly have purchased bars that are labeled bittersweet
chocolate chips and bars, but usually I buy chocolate based on its
origins, fair-trade and amount of cacao. Bittersweet is just too vague a term
According to Wikipedia, Bittersweet chocolate
is chocolate liquor (unsweetened chocolate not liqueur) to which some
sugar (typically a third), more cocoa butter, vanilla and sometimes
lecithin has been added. It has less sugar and more liquor than
semisweet chocolate, but the two are interchangeable in baking.
Bittersweet and semisweet chocolates are sometimes referred to as
'couverture' (chocolate that contains at least 32 percent cocoa butter);
many brands (the ones I like)
print on the package the percentage of cocoa (as chocolate liquor and
added cocoa butter) contained. The rule is that the higher the
percentage of cocoa, the less sweet the chocolate will be. The American
FDA classifies chocolate as either "bittersweet" or "semisweet" that
contain at least 35% cacao (either cacao solids or butter from the cacao
So using this definition, almost any of my recipes will work since I use mostly very dark chocolate.
Here's a recipe for Bittersweet Chocolate Bundt Cake
adapted from Nestle Toll House's Chocolate Pound Cake recipe. It's easy
and delicious. If you use a Nestle Toll House Unsweetened Chocolate
Baking Bar be sure and add more sugar to the recipe.
I don't always use the glaze. Sometimes I sprinkle this cake with powdered sugar, as in the photo.
BITTERSWEET CHOCOLATE BUNDT CAKE
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons Instant Coffee Granules (something you'll only use for this)*
8 ounces dark chocolate (75%-90%), broken into pieces, divided (save 2 oz for glaze)
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup sweet butter, softened
1 teaspoon Madagascar vanilla
3 large eggs
3 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. PREHEAT oven to 325 degrees F. Grease 10-inch Bundt pan.
COMBINE flour, baking soda and baking powder in small bowl. Bring water
and coffee granules to a boil in small saucepan; remove from heat. Add 6
ounces chocolate; stir until smooth.
3. BEAT sugar, butter and
vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs; beat on high
speed for 5 minutes. Beat in flour mixture alternately with chocolate
mixture. Pour into prepared Bundt pan.
4. BAKE for 50 to 60 minutes
or until long wooden pick inserted in cake comes out clean. Cool in pan
on wire rack for 30 minutes. Invert onto wire rack to cool completely.
Place on plate.
Optional: Drizzle with Chocolate Glaze
** Sometimes I pour the glaze over the bundt cake while it's still a bit warm. The cake absorbs the glaze, and it's yummy!
FOR CHOCOLATE GLAZE:
Melt remaining 2 ounces of chocolate with butter in small, saucepan
over low heat, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat. Stir in powdered
sugar alternately with water. Stir in vanilla extract. Drizzle over