LET ME INTRODUCE YOU INTO THE CHOCOLATE WORLD! THIS VERY FIRST POST IN MY BLOG IS ABOUT THE CHOCOLATE COMPOSITION.
Chocolate has such an hold history, it has been prepared as a drink since 1900 B.C.
Nowadays it’s become one of the most popular food types and flavours in the world, and as for everything else, it is important to know what we’re talking about in order to chose properly amongst the vastness of chocolate brands in the food market. To fully do that, we need to start from the very beginning, but don’t worry, I have very good summarising skills and I’ll explain it to you in the easiest way possible.
THE 3 CHOCOLATE COMPOSITIONS
Despite the latest discoveries, the types of chocolate are 3 and they are classified based on their ingredient composition.
WHAT IS CHOCOLATE ?
Chocolate is Cocoa mass with at least 1% of sugar added to it, which means that a 100% pure chocolate doesn’t really exist, it’s only possible to reach the 99% (and in this case it would be a dark chocolate).
That makes chocolate a semi – finished product, and not a raw material.
WHAT IS COCOA MASS?
The pure soul of your chocolate!
Cocoa mass, also called chocolate liquor (when melted into its liquid form), comes from cocoa beans and contains cocoa solids and cocoa butter in equal proportion. Cocoa beans are the prime raw material we were talking about above, nothing but seeds encased in a cocoa pod, the fruit from the cocoa tree!
WHAT IS COCOA BUTTER ?
Cocoa butter is what we called the fat part contained in the cocoa beans, present in the 50%.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE 3 CHOCOLATES ?
Of course their chocolate composition, which is regulated by law :
DARK Chocolate = Cocoa Mass – Sugar
MILK Chocolate = Cocoa mass – Sugar – Milk powder – Lecithin (not mandatory) – Natural flavouring (optional)
WHITE Chocolate : Cocoa butter – Sugar – Milk powder – Lecithin – Natural vanilla flavouring (optional)
What is lecithin?
it is a multipurpose ingredient, used in this case as a natural emulsifier.
It is used to mix substances (like oils, water, sugars…) and keep them together when they otherwise would not, and it helps stabilising them, avoiding the ingredients from separating afterwards. It is in other words a natural food additive.
A good chocolate should show on the label only the ingredients mentioned above (except from fillings), and shouldn’t contain any other fat apart from cocoa butter.
When on a label other fats which are not cocoa butter are listed, and they exceed the 5%, then that’s not chocolate anymore but surrogate.
Surrogate is a poor version/copy of chocolate it does look and taste similar but it’s not. It contains different fats other than cocoa butter in spite of Cocoa mass, which makes it more fluid, more manageable (it doesn’t need to be tempered) and most importantly : Cheaper.
Now that you know how chocolate is made of, will you pay attention to the ingredient list when buying your chocolate ?