Have you ever wondered what those little chocolate discs are? They look like big, failed chocolate chips, but they aren’t. They are called callets (pronounced KAL-ets). They’re chocolate morsels designed specifically for melting rather than baking.
A callet looks like an oversized or mutant chocolate chip. It has a larger diameter and is shaped more like a button or wafer. Callets contain 5.6 grams of fat per 15-gram serving, while chocolate chips have just 4.5 grams of fat for the same size serving (if you recall our blog post about chocolate chips, you may remember that chocolate chips are specifically designed with higher cocoa solids so they don’t melt when baked). You may also recall that by adding chocolate with more fat to cookie dough that it makes the chocolate melt into the cookies, changing their texture. Chocolate chip cookies baked with callets will bake differently and spread more. A little less fat in the chocolate will help the chocolate chips maintain their shape and they will not melt as much, so the chocolate chip doesn’t impact the texture and structure of the cookie.
Chocolate callets origins
The creator of callets is a Belgian chocolate maker called Barry Callebaut (pronounced Kull-about), founded in 1911. They made their first products in the small Belgian town of Wiez. Today, Barry Callebaut is one of the biggest chocolate makers in the world and sells a variety of chocolate and chocolate-related products to chocolatiers, restaurants and bakeries.
In 1988, Barry Callebaut introduced the world’s first callets: flat drops of their couverture (pronounced koo-vehr-TYOOR) chocolate. Couverture chocolate is a chocolate that contains a higher percentage of cocoa butter than traditional baking or eating chocolate. These large chocolate drops allowed chefs to dose, melt and temper the chocolate more easily. If you have ever tried to melt chocolate, you know that starting with a giant block of chocolate can be a challenge. First, melting a large hunk is very slow and time-consuming. If you decide to chop your block of chocolate into smaller pieces, this can be both messy and dangerous. By creating smaller wafers of chocolate with greater surface area, callets improve the workability of the chocolate and support chefs in obtaining great results with their chocolate creations. Callets can be used to make molded or enrobed chocolates, or they can be melted and mixed with other ingredients to be baked into cakes and pastries.
Chocolate callets types
Barry Callebaut Couverture offers many different types of chocolate callets, but the most popular are:
- Dark chocolate callets: Made from one of Barry Callebaut’s original recipes and has grown into one of their iconic recipe worldwide (use them to make chocolate mousse and you won’t be disappointed). The recipe uses only its signature Wieze blend. They prefer the whole bean roasting to provide full-bodied taste, solid cocoa flavor, and fine, fruity notes. This chocolate is made to pair with a wide variety of ingredients and works in applications ranging from confectionery to biscuits, sauces and drinks.
- Milk chocolate callets: Milk chocolate callets have a deep, smooth cocoa body with sweet, milk notes. They pair well with a wide range of spicy, fruity, dairy or liqueur-like flavors.
- White chocolate callets: White chocolate callets, with their milky, creamy and vanilla notes, are well-suited for mixing and flavoring mousses, crèmes, and ganaches. They can be paired with a wide range of ingredients.
- Gold chocolate callets: Gold Callets (similar to Valrhona’s blonde chocolate) are made with caramelized sugar and caramelized milk. They have a rich toffee flavor, buttery notes, creamy overtones and a touch of salt.
- Ruby chocolate callets
Ruby callets are made from a specially processed cocoa bean. Ruby chocolate is Barry Callebaut’s latest chocolate creation, which offers a unique taste and color. With its bright, fruity flavor, ruby chocolate can be used for enrobing, molding and in confectionery, pastries and desserts.
Valrhona Couverture Chocolate Feves
Valrhona also makes its own type of chocolate drops called “feves” which means “beans”. These are available in dark, milk, white and blond couvertures. They feature a unique oval shape with an indented center. These chocolate feves come in several different chocolate varieties. Each one has a unique cocoa content level and is made from cocoa beans from different exotic origins.
We hope that you found this article helpful and that it will be a great starting point for you as you venture into the wonderful world of callets. Have fun creating recipes with your callets and don’t forget to tag us on social media when you do.