Am I using real chocolate?

Have you ever wondered if the chocolate you are using is real chocolate or not? This is a common question that we hear a lot. 

There are two different types of chocolate: Couverture Chocolate (aka real chocolate) & Compound Chocolate (better known as candy melts or chocolate coating).

If you are a treat maker or home baker, you’re probably using Compound Chocolate! Whether you’re buying candy melts at your local craft store or compound coatings from us (such as Sweet Shoppe, Eleven o’one Deluxe, Merckens, or Callebaut Classic Coatings) they all fall under the compound chocolate category. Compound Coatings are mostly used to dip treats in or for chocolate decorations. 

If you are a chocolatier or a baker, you probably are used to working with Couverture Chocolate! Due to the makeup of couverture chocolate, it needs to be properly tempered (a process in which you have to melt at specific temperatures to get optimal results). Couverture chocolate is mainly used for chocolate bonbons, truffles & molded chocolate but it can also be mixed into baking. Some popular brands of couverture chocolate are our very own Eleven o’one, Callebaut, Van Leer, Merckens, &  Peter’s.

So what’s the main difference between compound & couverture chocolate? The ingredients that they are made of, specifically being the oils & fats. 


Compound Chocolate is made with vegetable fats such as palm kernel oil, sunflower oil, coconut oil, etc. These types of oils do not need to go through a tempering process in order to set, they simply need to be melted & cooled. Even though compound coatings do not need to be tempered, they can still get overheated which may affect the quality of your treats. We recommend keeping an eye on the temperature to ensure your compound stays below 90°F. 

Check out this blog post with more tips on how to melt compound coatings. 

Couverture chocolate is made with cocoa butter, the natural fat found in real chocolate. The cocoa butter is the reason that couverture chocolate needs to be tempered. If you do not temper properly, your chocolate will not set properly. 

(New to tempering? Check out this blog post on what it is & how to do it). 

One misconception on chocolate types is that it is determined by the brand. This is not true. Many of your favorite brands, including our own, offer BOTH types of chocolate under the same line. For example, our Eleven o’one line offers both Deluxe Compounds & rich couvertures

Some consumers believe they are using real chocolate because they purchased it in bulk or are purchasing their products straight from a distributor. This is not the case. Just because you are buying a higher quality product, doesn’t mean it is real chocolate. 

So, are you using real chocolate? Does your chocolate have cocoa butter in it? If so, then yes you are!

If you’re not, that’s ok too! Compound coatings are a big hit with home bakers. Just make sure you are not mislabeling your products to your customers. 


Want to try a compound chocolate that tastes like real chocolate? Try our Eleven o’one Deluxe line! This is a high quality European Compound Chocolate, with all of the European flavor & none of the tempering required. You get the ease of melting from a compound, with the rich taste of a couverture chocolate! 

If you have any questions about the products you are using, or about products you would like to try, please reach out to our customer support team at or at (724) 274-6314.



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