It can be frustrating to try a new recipe and not understand how much of an ingredient to purchase at the store. Sometimes they give you a quantity of chocolate in volume (1 cup), sometimes as a weight (4 ounces) and still others the chocolate is given as a description (1/2 pound block of milk chocolate). But what are they really talking about? How much chocolate in a pound? In order to help make cooking easier we did some experiments to help tell you exactly how much chocolate you need to buy.
Since chocolate blocks are sold by the pound, we selected 1/4 pound as our test sample to answer How much chocolate in a cup or in a pound.
When you break a 1/4 pound chocolate block into small chipped pieces you end up with 2/3 to 3/4 cup depending on the size of the chocolate bits. A full pound of chipped chocolate measures to 2.7 to 3 cups. One cup of these small chipped pieces weighed 5.9 ounces (167 grams).
A 1/4 pound block of chocolate yields 1/2 cup if melted. You would need a full pound of chocolate to get 2 cups. When grated into small pieces, a 1/4 pound block of chocolate yields 1 cup. If you weigh 1 ounce, you have about 1/4 cup of grated chocolate. To grate chocolate use a microplane grater, handheld grater, or the smallest holes on a box grater. You can use a cheese slicer or vegetable peeler to make fancy chocolate curls.
Grocery stores carry numerous brands of packaged chocolate chips in a variety of shapes, sizes (1/8 to 1/2 inch) and chocolate type (milk, semi-sweet, white, etc.). Chocolate chips are primarily used in baking and contain less cocoa butter than other chocolates. They are made to withstand moderate oven heat so they retain their texture and shape in cookies and other baked desserts. This makes determining a "normal" weight difficult. One cup of either Hershey's and Nestles' regular size chocolate chips is equal to about 6 ounces; 1 pound contains about 2.67 cups.
Did you know that It takes approximately 400 cacao beans to make one pound (450 gr.) of chocolate. Dark chocolate can be stored for around five years because it contains natural preservatives. Milk chocolate and white chocolate contain milk solids and should be used within a year. By the strictest definition white chocolate isn't technically chocolate because it doesn't contain cocoa solids or cocoa liquor. However it does contain cocoa butter from the cocoa bean.
So now whether you need melted, grated or chipped chocolate you'll be able to easily figure out how much is in a 1/4 pound block of chocolate. You can also use our conversion tool below for any custom how many cups in a... measurements you need. If you use a lot of chocolate you should consider getting a good box grater, and microplane. I use the smallest holes on a box grater for basic chocolate grating. There are several inexpensive models that do the trick OXO Good Grips and the iCooker Stainless Steel Cheese & Chocolate Grater are 2 good examples to consider. In addition to zesting, a microplane makes quick work of producing very fine grated chocolate, an especially nice decorative topping on desserts. For many years I have used the Microplane Classic Zester/Grater at home.
Be careful when substituting one chocolate for another in a recipe; they all have different cocoa butter (fat) and sugar amounts.
When chocolate is stored at too high a temperature the cocoa butter separates, comes to the surface and crystallizes; however, the chocolate looks different but is not ruined.
Chocolate should be stored in a slightly cool, dry, dark place; the perfect environment would be 60 to 70°F (15.6 to 21.1°C) with a less than 50 percent humidity. Store chocolate in its original wrapping or an airtight container. Milk and white chocolates will keep for 8 to 10 months; darker varieties will keep for several years. Since neither bittersweet and semisweet chocolate contain any milk solids, they can be stored for several years.
To freeze chocolate, place it in an airtight container, and do not remove it from its container until it has been brought up to room temperature, to prevent condensation from forming on the chocolate.
There are many different varieties of chocolate, such as; unsweetened, dark, bittersweet, semi-sweet, sweet dark, milk, white, couverture (expensive, used by professionals), gianduja (European style), "candy coating" (cheaper candy products) and unsweetened cocoa powder.
One of the biggest hassles when cooking and working in the kitchen is when a recipe calls for "the juice of 1 lime" or a similar measurement. Often times when cooking people use bottled juices, pre-sliced vegetables and other convenient cooking time savers. Produce Converter will help you convert the "juice of 1 lime" and other similar recipe instructions into tablespoons, cups and other concrete measurements.
Produce Converter can also be used to figure out how many vegetables to buy when you need, for instance, "A cup of diced onion." You can use our easy conversion tool to figure out exactly how many onions you need to buy at the store in order to end up with the amount you need for your cooking.
We hope you enjoy Produce Converter and if you have any suggestions for how we can improve it and make your cooking easier please let us know.