Mmm, chocolate. Just a mention of the stuff makes us drool. We know what we love when it comes to chocolate, so what else really matters?
As it’s World Chocolate Day we’re diving in to discover more about this tantalising treat. We’re explaining percentages, decoding chocolate language and getting a sweet fix from some of our favourite recipes. It’s a hard job, but someone’s gotta do it…
What’s the deal with percentages?
Percentages are plastered over chocolate bars, particularly those with more expensive price tags. But should we care? Well, they’re there to tell you how much of the bar comes from the cacao bean, which gives an idea of how intense the chocolate flavour will be. A high percentage (70% +) packs quite a chocolate punch, while around the 35% mark, not so much.
Don’t get too hung up on percentages though. The rest of the ingredients play a big part in how the chocolate tastes, and – great news! – the best way to know if it’s the bar for you is to try it.
Welcome to the dark side
There are rules when it comes to chocolate and the dark variety must be made with:
• Cocoa solids (the centre of the bean minus the cocoa butter)
• Cocoa butter (the bean’s natural fat)
This might come as a surprise but, far from always being a super-rich chocolate experience, some dark chocolate can contain as little as 35% cocoa solids.
At the top end of the scale you’ll find 100% chocolate. With no added sugar, this stuff is intensely bitter. Like a Scotch Bonnet to a chilli addict, pure chocolate is for die-hard fans. And cooking.
Make mine milk
As the name suggests, milk is a must-have ingredient in milk chocolate (obvs). This gives it a more mild, creamy flavour than dark choc. It also has no set percentage of cocoa solids but must have more than 25%.
The white stuff
Here’s another chocolate newsflash – white chocolate isn’t really chocolate. Wait, what? White choc contains no cocoa solids or liquor (the yummy stuff that makes chocolate brown). It technically classifies as chocolate because of the small amount of cocoa butter in its ingredients. So while it can be called chocolate, it’s not the real deal (queue lengthy debate between white choc fans and chocolate purists).
Cooking up a treat
Now that we’re all craving a good chocolate hit, here are a few of our favourite recipes to indulge in.
These Easy Truffles taste divine and look like something you’d pay good money for from a fancy chocolate shop.
With donuts, waffles, pancakes, turnovers and more to be made and slathered in oozing chocolate, our Snack Collection is a chocoholic’s must-have kitchen gadget.
Feeling adventurous? Try adding chocolate to something savoury. Chilli and chocolate is a flavour power couple so these Beef nachos with dark chocolate chilli will really knock your chocs off!