Types of chocolate are determined by the amount of chocolate liquor, cocoa butter, sugar and other flavorings that go into each product. Because manufacturers vary these amounts to create their signature or proprietary blends, there can be a wide variety of color and sweetness within even one category.
Unsweetened Chocolate--also known as baking, cooking or bitter chocolate. It contains no sugar and has a deep, full-bodied flavor.
Bittersweet Chocolate--slightly sweetened chocolate. The amount of sugar added depends on the manufacturer. This category gives the most intense chocolate taste. Bittersweet chocolate can be used interchangeably with semisweet varieties.
Semisweet Chocolate--sometimes referred to as sweet chocolate. This is an all-purpose chocolate that can be used interchangeably with bittersweet.
Sweet Cooking Chocolate--similar to semisweet chocolate, but a special blend most often used for German chocolate cake.
Milk Chocolate--contains sugar, chocolate liquor, cocoa butter, flavors and fresh or dried milk. Milk chocolate has a mild flavor, but varies in sweetness depending on the manufacturer.
White Chocolate--not technically chocolate because it contains no chocolate liquor, only cocoa butter, sugar, flavorings and fresh or dried milk. White chocolate is difficult to melt because it softens very slowly and is apt to become grainy.