Word of the Week - 70%
Do you know what the percentage means on a chocolate bar? To be able to explain this we're going to have to look at some chocolate terminology.
Cacao Mass - is used to describe all products coming from the cacao pod. This includes cocoa butter and cocoa solids.
Cocoa Butter - is the fat content of the cacao pod.
Cocoa Solids - is the dry content of the cacao pod.
When we talk about 70% chocolate it means the total percentage of ingredients by weight that come from the cacao bean (cacao mass). The other 30% is generally made up of sugar, but also sometimes other flavouring ingredients, such as vanilla. The 70% is made up of a mixture of cocoa butter and cocoa solids. Now if you're eating a square of 70% chocolate as part of a healthy diet then it is the cocoa solids that you want. This contains the antioxidants and health properties that researchers talk about when they say chocolate is good for you (to be discussed - this deserves a separate post all together!)
The problem is you won’t find a breakdown of solids versus butter on your packaging. This varying ratio contributes to the difference in flavours when comparing two 70% chocolate bars, but more importantly so does the origin and how the chocolate is processed from bean to bar. So it's not always true that chocolate with a high percentage has to be bitter. Generally a higher percentage correlates with higher quality chocolate, simply because there is less ‘other ingredients’ there to mask the flavour of any low quality beans. There should really only be cacao mass and sugar in a 70% chocolate.
If someone says they don't like dark chocolate we challenge them to try our 70%, because we know it’s not like any other. We use 70% chocolate in all our bars and bonbons because it tastes so damn good! We can also tell you that it contains 61% cocoa solids compared to 9% of cocoa butter. Good for you and delicious?! Oh go on then…