Tag Archive | "chocolate processing"

How Chocolate Is Made

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Is White Chocolate Actually Chocolate?

There are quite a few differences between white chocolate and other chocolates, the most noteworthy being that white chocolate contains no cocoa solids or chocolate liquor.  This actually removes it from the “chocolate” category by FDA standards, but it’s still considered chocolate by many because of its cocoa butter content.  For it to still be considered “white chocolate” by the FDA, at least 20% of its weight must be made up of cocoa butter.

More of a confection than anything else, white chocolate is made up of cocoa butter, sugar, and milk solids.  Lecithin and other flavourings, such as vanilla, may be present in white chocolate, but you won’t find any chocolate liquor.  It offers none of the nutritional benefits that come with eating dark chocolate, but in many opinions, the lack of cocoa solids makes it no less tasty!

Another huge difference between chocolate and white chocolate is its complete lack of chocolaty brown colour.  The more milk that is added to pure chocolate the lighter it gets, which is why milk chocolate shades can vary so much from dark chocolate.  However having no cocoa solids at all, a creamy looking ivory shade is achieved.

In the production of white chocolate the cocoa butter may be deodorized to remove the strong cocoa taste that may be cherished in the darker varieties.  Because no cocoa solids are present, the caffeine and theobromine contents are also greatly reduced.

While white chocolate may seem like an imitation of its cocoa solids containing cousin, imitations of white chocolate can also be found as white compound chocolate.  This is a confection that is made up of the same ingredients as white chocolate, but the cocoa butter is substituted for vegetables fats.  Because no cocoa butter is present, an actual “white” colour can be accomplished rather than the creamier off-white of real white chocolate.

Despite its potential health benefits, not everyone is a lover of the bitter, dark chocolate flavour as it’s more of an acquired taste.  Most people enjoy milk chocolate but not everyone’s an enthusiast.  However, if utterly sweet and sinful sounds like your type of treat you’re probably an avid indulger of white chocolate.

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Chocolate Processing – The Breakdown from Dark to White

What comes to mind when people think chocolate is usually the creamy, sweet, melts-in-your-mouth milk chocolate that you see coating most candy bars and other delicious chocolate treats.  Well, there’s cocoa in that too, but chocolate can come in many other forms as well.

Chocolate in its purest, least processed form is raw and that has the most nutritional value.  Powdered cocoa, cocoa nibs, and chocolate liquor are all forms of pure chocolate.  It’s chalked full of antioxidants and the purer you eat this stuff, the more nutrients you’ll get from it.

Unsweetened chocolate is a combination of cocoa solids and cocoa butter.  Still fairly pure, this is the least processed form of chocolate aside from raw cocoa.

The next level of chocolate processing is bittersweet chocolate.  Chocolate liquor with some sugar, a little more cocoa butter, and some vanilla are the basics to the bittersweet variety of chocolate.  Semisweet is a little sweeter, but both of these types would be used for mostly baking purpose as they’re very bitter and rarely eaten as is.

The dark chocolate you’d be more inclined to eat is still loaded with nutrients and antioxidants, but this type of chocolate will be a combination of chocolate liquor or cocoa solids and added fats and sugars.  The higher percentage of cocoa used, the more pure and bitter the chocolate will be.

Milk chocolate has the same components as dark chocolate but with varying levels of added milk products.  Powdered or condensed milk is often the milk ingredient used for milk chocolate manufacturing.  The milk greatly reduces the intensity of the chocolate flavour making it the much more popular choice in public consumption.

In some opinions of chocolate lovers around the world, white chocolate is not actually so much a form of chocolate as it is a confection.  It contains cocoa butter which is where its chocolaty name comes from, but no cocoa solids.  This type of chocolate offers the least nutrients and would be the least healthy of any form of chocolate.

Chocolate comes in all combinations of cocoa, milk, sugar, and fats.  Whether you love the bitter bite of the purest dark chocolate or the milky sweetness of white chocolate, there’s a perfect combination of ingredients out there for everyone.

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