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So I know that one should never substitute chocolate chips for chocolate in a recipe, but I'm new to the game and don't really know what the deal with these callets is. Are they essentially the same as chocolate chips, or can I buy a massive bag of them and use interchangeable with chocolate chips as well as bar chocolate?

Sorry if this is a rookie question.

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Low quality chocolate chips often have additives in them that help them keep shape and shelf life, that's why they're not recommended. Callebaut callets are pure 100% chocolate according to Callebaut. I'd use them anywhere for bar or chips with great results. They might not come out of the oven looking exactly like a traditional chocolate chip cookie (for example) but they should taste fantastic!

  • I use these all the time and can attest to the taste being identical to the block. They go great in cookies and muffins (although they are quite intense for those not used to dark chocolate). – Aaronut Feb 16 '12 at 14:33
  • Aaronut sealed the deal on this one -- just to be cleared: I wanted to know if the results I would get from using the callets would be indistinguishable from those had I chopped up a block. Thank you, rfusca and Aaruonut. – StevieP Feb 16 '12 at 22:56
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We use these for our homemade truffles, peppermint bark, and other candies. They are as good as any bar with a bonus-no chopping! IMO, that is their big advantage.

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I feel some of the answers here are too categorical. They fail to distinguish between the chocolate format and the blend. There is no one-to-one relationship between the format (e.g., chip/wafer/block) and the blend (ingredients, esp. the quantity and type of fat).

Couverture-quality chocolate, used for confections and ganaches, will typically only use cocoa butter as the fat. In particular, premium chocolate for coating ("couverture" = blanket, covering, coating) relies on cocoa butter for tempering. Such chocolate can be provided in any format, including chips.

Chocolate chips specifically intended for baking will have less cocoa butter than couverture, or even no cocoa butter, substituting other fats. This isn't necessarily a quality issue. Couverture-quality chips melt more easily and with greater fluidity than you may want for baking; the melting chocolate may spread out too much in the batter during baking. Chips specifically for baking use a different fat blend so that they keep their integrity better during baking. Of course, some manufacturers may use an inferior blend to keep costs low, sacrificing quality. But even premium manufacturers often use different blends for baking chips vs. chocolate intended for confections.

Speaking for myself, I often use some couverture-quality chips or wafers when I bake cookies or blondies. I don't care that they spread more in the batter; I kind of like that, in fact! That said, I do also keep baking chips in stock, and I tend to mix them and couverture chips and wafers when I bake. This is partly to control expense, but also there are some baking chips I do like a lot. I much prefer Ghirardelli and Guittard baking chips to the standard store brands (Tollhouse, Hershey, Bakers). Guittard in particular is a US chocolate manufacturer that is very well known for their couverture-quality chocolate for confections (sold in wafers and blocks); but they also produce chips specifically for baking.

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The idea of not substituting chocolate chips for chocolate is based on what the other answers say: that chocolate chips have different ingredients (usually a substituted fat in addition to or instead of cocoa butter) than regular eating chocolate.

That is true for many brands.

However, some brands of chocolate sell callets, drops, or chips which are exactly the same formula as their bar chocolate. One such brand available in grocery stores is Ghirardelli. Caullubet is another, although not a grocery store brand. The "disks" from many quality chocolate makers such as Del Rey are also their regular quality chocolate. The form factor is to facilitate melting.

If you know the chocolate is real chocolate, you can use it for any application suitable for real chocolate. Of course, its good to read the label, and know the cocoa percentage and so on for taste, but real chocolate is real chocolate.

Yum.

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Cooking chocolate has additives (such as vegetable fats) designed to make the chocolate more "chocolate" like AFTER baking

Regular chocolate tend to go dull, and stay soft and even sticky after baking, so may not be ideal depending on what you are making

Most people can't taste the difference once baked inside a product e.g. chocolate chip cookie

Save your good chocolate for eating straight!

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