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What’s the Difference? Compound vs. Couverture Chocolate

“I just purchased some chocolate and am not sure if I have to temper it. I want something that is quick and easy to melt down. What do I use?”

-Michelle

Michelle,

There are two types of chocolate. There’s Compound Chocolate and Couverture Chocolate.

If you want chocolate that will be easiest to melt down for dipping, you should use a compound chocolate. Couverture chocolates require tempering.

What’s the difference?

Compound Chocolate: Compound chocolate substitutes the two main ingredients found in real chocolate. Instead of chocolate liquor, it has cocoa powder, and replaces cocoa butter with an oil. This means, for candy making, this chocolate can be melted down and dipped and will set up fine. It tastes a little different. Most people can’t tell, but when tasted next to a couverture chocolate, then the difference can be seen.

(Gygi’s Compound Chocolates: Callebaut Snaps, Guittard Apeels)

Couverture Chocolate: (Real Chocolate) As stated above, real chocolate has cocoa butter and chocolate liquor as main ingredients. This means that it requires more attention and preparation when being melted down. Unlike the compound coating, it cannot just be melted down. It has to be tempered. If it’s not, then the chocolate will bloom, or may not even set up properly. When it is tempered correctly, it sets up with a glossy shine, has a snap and melts in your mouth.

(Gygi’s Couverture Chocolates: Callebaut Callets, Peter’s Chocolate Bars & a whole lot  more!)

Short Answer: Use compound chocolate for less stress, and couverture chocolate to impress.

We hope this helps!

-The Orson H. Gygi Team

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40 Comments

  • Reply
    Chocolate 101: Bloom
    February 16, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    […] compound coatings and couverture chocolate will bloom if you haven’t taken the steps to prevent […]

  • Reply
    Terrie Fisher
    March 3, 2012 at 5:21 pm

    I have a question about the couventure chocolate. I’m going to make a wedding cake that has white chocolate curls all over it. Will this couventure chocolate work for that? I wouldn’t have to melt it down, just slide the slicer over it and it will form the curls. And it would hold up better than the white chocolate chips right?
    Let me know what you recommend.
    Thanks,
    Terrie

    • Reply
      Cait
      March 5, 2012 at 11:15 am

      Terrie,
      Yes, you should be able to use a couverture chocolate for that. If you buy the bar of chocolate, then you just have to let it sit underneath a lamp for a while until you can slide the chocolate curler over it. I have never used chocolate chips to make chocolate curls, so I’m going to say using the couverture bar is your best bet. Good luck!

  • Reply
    Wednes Yuda
    May 11, 2012 at 11:53 pm

    Hi,
    I have a question for Couverture & Compound chocolate for making praline. As I know, compound chocolate is cheaper but it taste a little bit different than couverture. To achieve a better taste, could I mix compound chocolate with couverture (50% compound + 50% couverture for example)? And does it still need to be tempered?
    thanks.

    • Reply
      Cait
      May 14, 2012 at 10:19 am

      Wednes,
      You can mix couverture chocolate and compound coatings, but the chocolate would still need to be tempered. If you are wanting a better taste, I’m not sure that this method affects the flavor that much. Are you dipping or drizzling? If you are just drizzling, I’d just stick with a compound coating. It’s a lot less stress. Are you wanting milk, dark or white? White chocolate in a compound coating is usually pretty tasty. I hope this answers your question. Let me know if you have anything else you need help with!
      -Cait

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    August 14, 2012 at 7:04 am

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    Featured Product: All About Mercken’s Buttons
    September 27, 2012 at 7:01 am

    […] are a compound coating. In other words, they aren’t a true chocolate. True chocolate requires there to be cocoa […]

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    October 11, 2012 at 7:01 am

    […] are a compound coating. In other words, they aren’t a true chocolate. True chocolate requires there to be cocoa […]

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    Featured Product: All About Guittard A’Peels
    October 17, 2012 at 7:01 am

    […] are a compound coating. In other words, they aren’t a true chocolate. True chocolate requires there to be cocoa […]

  • Reply
    divya
    October 25, 2012 at 7:29 pm

    hi, please do help me out. i have a big order and my chocolate in this country tends to bloom very fast and ruin the appearance, is it possible to mix fifty percent compound dark with 50 percent couverture for my order and melt and pour so i can avoid the bloom.?? and yet give a pretty good taste?? i made lots of chocolates with 100 percent high couverture and even tempered it, yet they bloomed and were all returned back to me.
    thanking you, d

    • Reply
      Cait
      October 26, 2012 at 10:33 am

      Divya, bloom occurs on chocolate when the chocolate has seen a drastic change in temperatures. To better assist you, I will need to know the following:
      What type of chocolate are you using?
      How are you storing it?
      How are you melting it?
      What temperature are you taking it to? Are you using a candy thermometer?
      How are you letting it cool?
      What’s the temperature of your room when you are working with chocolate?
      Let me know and I can better assist you with bloom. You can also read these three articles about bloom: Chocolate 101: Bloom, Bloom & Taste, What is Bloom?
      As for mixing the two chocolates, we DO NOT recommend you mix them ever. Couverture chocolate is a true chocolate that contains cocoa butter. A compound coating does not contain cocoa butter, therefore it is not a true chocolate. It contains oil in place of cocoa butter. They aren’t made to be mixed. You can always email me at caitg@gygi.com. Good luck!

  • Reply
    Edward
    April 12, 2015 at 10:53 pm

    What is the difference the button chocolate to the compound and converteurs chocolate.?

    • Reply
      Kassi Whale
      April 13, 2015 at 4:25 pm

      The buttons are compound chocolate and don’t need to be tempered.

  • Reply
    shefali
    July 19, 2016 at 8:09 am

    hiii….
    i recently try to make chocolate decoration for my cake from cad bury chocolate , i tempered it and then freeze but when i take out from freezer after few minutes it starts melting.
    could you please suggests me the names of chocolate which will i used for making chocolates in different shapes. and also the right temperature of tempering and freezing.
    Thanks
    shefali

    • Reply
      Heather Smith
      October 19, 2016 at 10:34 pm

      we dont recommend freezing chocolate, it takes the chocolate to quickly to a cool temperature. We recommend any of our couverture chocolate brands- Callebaut, Guittard, Ghirardelli and Peters

  • Reply
    darlene
    January 8, 2017 at 10:21 pm

    using guittard compound and having trouble melting it with a crock pot. Coating does not come out with a shine and the melting is lumpy please help

    • Reply
      Heather Smith
      February 21, 2017 at 5:13 pm

      it sounds like your chocolate is getting too hot. We do not recommend melting your chocolate in a crock pot– try doing it in a double boiler or also a microwave.

  • Reply
    andrew ghaly
    March 15, 2017 at 6:01 am

    hello, i use compound chocolate for coating or to form an outer layer and the filling is real chocolate for a better taste, this is molded into squares for squared chocolates. also after pouring the compound chocolate in the mold i freeze it a bit to allow it to cool quickly so i can fill it with the real chocolate faster then cover the top with compound again, this is done due to high and fast production demands with large quantities. My problem is that the chocolate could be shiny from the edges but smudged a bit from the middle and from the bottom and after a few days after its is wrapped and in stores i open it and the shine is gone ? Can you please help cause i need compound chocolate coating for cost reasons as real chocolate in my country is extremely expensive

    • Reply
      Heather Smith
      April 4, 2017 at 11:48 am

      try keeping it out of the freezer, sometimes the quick change and storage in cooler temperatures will cause the bloom or other issues.

  • Reply
    Marcia
    April 6, 2017 at 8:33 am

    Hey guys, I have couverture chocolate for easter eggs, but it melst everytime!! what im doing wrong?

    • Reply
      Heather Smith
      May 4, 2017 at 12:15 pm

      it sounds like its not being tempered all the way. Once chocolate is correctly tempered it will harden with a nice snap and shine. Maybe check your temperatures as you are melting!

  • Reply
    Shailaja
    May 30, 2017 at 3:40 am

    I am making hand made chocolates those r quickly melting. Any tips or recepi is there to make a good plain chocolate.

  • Reply
    Chris
    June 22, 2017 at 4:14 pm

    Hi there , can I use compound chocolate for making cake deco ? I tried many times but it snaps easily and does not come out in piece when remove from silicon mould . Thk you

    • Reply
      Heather Smith
      July 15, 2017 at 4:39 pm

      yes of course you can! Whatever is best for you!

  • Reply
    Susan Morrell
    November 7, 2017 at 8:45 pm

    So, my questions is this: What does it mean when they say the chocolate blooms? How do you temper chocolate?

    • Reply
      Heather Smith
      November 28, 2017 at 11:14 am

      when it turns white, speckled and dull. Usually from fat or sugar coming to the surface. And tempering chocolate is the proper way to melt and cool chocolate so that the crystals inside will set back up again!

  • Reply
    poornima gupta
    March 18, 2018 at 8:08 am

    Hellow, I am using MORDE Plain chocolate for chocolate making, i also following this tempering method, both some time seeding and some time tabling method. first time i was get very good result. But this time its get goopy(not getting hard). So i am very upset. What can i do with that goopy chocolate. They given instruction that melt properly with continous strring & use as per application. it means tempering is not needed? please help me out of this problem.

    Thanks,
    Poornima.

  • Reply
    ELZA
    April 22, 2018 at 11:01 am

    Please explain the difference between “cooking chocolate” which is sold in the UK and “compound chocolate” which I can buy in South Africa. Do I need to temper cooking chocolate. Is cooking chocolate and compound chocolate the same thing. I am looking at Barry Callebaut chocolate.

    • Reply
      candaceheward
      April 30, 2018 at 1:21 pm

      I am not familiar with Cooking Chocolate, but I am guessing it is couverture. If you have access to the ingredient list, you can decide what type of chocolate you are working with based on the type of fat used. Compound chocolates use vegetable oils. Couverture chocolate (which needs to be tempered) uses cocoa butter. Hopefully this helps!

  • Reply
    Sharon
    August 22, 2018 at 4:55 am

    Is it possible to make chocolate garnish for xake decorating using morde compound chocolate? Would it set and not melt at room temperature?

  • Reply
    James Fantone
    September 17, 2018 at 2:06 am

    I’m using compound chocolates to make chocolate bars. I learned from your article that compound chocolates don’t need tempering which makes it easier to prepare. I live here in the Philippines and it’s generally hot/warm. Is there something I can add to the compound chocolate after melting it and before pouring to the moulds to make it more solid or harder, so that it doesn’t easily melt when I transport them or when they are displayed in stores? Thank you!

    • Reply
      candaceheward
      December 10, 2018 at 3:14 pm

      If I’m understanding correctly, you want something that will keep the chocolate solid even in the heat and humidity?? Unfortunately there aren’t any additives to aid in this. The melting temp will remain the same! I would suggest transporting them in a refrigerated truck or in a cooler with ice to keep them solid.
      Hope this helps!

  • Reply
    Sneha
    September 17, 2018 at 2:21 am

    How to wrap Coverture chocolates

  • Reply
    David
    October 11, 2018 at 7:33 pm

    Can be make chocolate cigarette rolls with Compound chocolate ?

    • Reply
      candaceheward
      December 10, 2018 at 3:16 pm

      Yes, you can!

  • Reply
    Evangeline
    November 15, 2018 at 7:31 pm

    hello, what is the best temperature in tempering a couverture? thanks a lot

  • Reply
    Xysha
    November 22, 2018 at 3:50 am

    Good day! Yesterday I tried Beryl’s white chocolate coin and melt it using double broiler and not using thermometer because I don’t have one. not adding anything like oil and no drift of water. It’s so stressful because I need it in my cake, wanting to make it a chocolate shards but its almost 2hrs still soft. And I repeated it, still the same outcome my white chocolate becomes oily in my wax paper. We have a raining season today. I don’t know if our season affects my chocolate🙁

  • Reply
    Melow Minya
    February 8, 2019 at 8:26 pm

    Same here… I’m also using beryls dark chcocolate but still soft after 2 days in room temperature. I tried putting it in the fridge but getting it out in the fridge on room temp. melts…. 😥😥😥

  • Reply
    bblfoods7
    September 23, 2019 at 3:16 am

    I really appreciate thank you for sharing this post

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