to the general public
Dark Chocolate (70-85% Cacao): An Indulgent and Healthy Treat
Dark chocolate is fast becoming a favorite treat among foodies, health enthusiasts and confectionery lovers alike. Not only does dark chocolate have a luxurious, rich taste, but it also offers a host of health benefits as well. Dark chocolate contains a higher percentage of cacao than milk or white chocolate, making it a healthy alternative for those looking for a sweet indulgence.
So what exactly is dark chocolate (70-85% cacao) and why is it so good for you? Let’s dive into the details and explore this delicious treat.
What Is Dark Chocolate (70-85% Cacao)?
Dark chocolate is a type of chocolate that contains a higher percentage of cacao than its milk or white counterparts. Most of the dark chocolate produced today has a cocoa content of around 70-85%, giving it a distinct, rich flavor. Dark chocolate is made using the same process as other types of chocolate, with the main difference being the amount of cacao used. This higher percentage of cacao gives the dark chocolate its slightly bitter taste and the rich aroma associated with it.
The Benefits Of Dark Chocolate (70-85% Cacao)
Dark chocolate is renowned for its many health benefits, which make it a great choice when satisfying your sweet tooth. Dark chocolate with a higher percentage of cacao is packed full of flavonoids, which are antioxidants that help protect your body from disease and help keep your heart healthy. Studies have also shown that dark chocolate can lower blood pressure, reduce your risk of stroke and improve cognitive performance.
In addition to the health benefits, dark chocolate (70-85% cacao) is also low in calories and contains little to no added sugar. This means that it can be enjoyed in moderation as part of a balanced diet.
Dark Chocolate (70-85% Cacao) Recipes
Dark chocolate can be enjoyed in a variety of different ways, from baking and cooking, to melting down into sauces and drizzling over cakes and desserts. Here are a few of our favourite recipes that use dark chocolate (70-85% cacao):
– Classic Chocolate Brownies – These classic brownies are made using high quality dark chocolate (70-85% cacao) and are sure to be a hit amongst friends and family.
– Dark Chocolate Fondue – This indulgent dessert is guaranteed to impress. Simply melt down some high-quality dark chocolate (70-85% cacao) and dip your favourite fruits for an easy yet sophisticated treat.
– Chocolate Truffles – Who can resist a classic chocolate truffle? Melt down some dark chocolate (70-85% cacao) and mix with your favourite nuts, dried fruits and herbs to create a unique and flavourful combination.
Dark chocolate (70-85% cacao) is a delicious treat that not only satisfies your cravings but also offers a range of health benefits too. Its luxurious taste and health benefits make it a great choice for those looking for an indulgence that won’t negatively impact their diet. So the next time you’re looking for something sweet, why not give dark chocolate (70-85% cacao) a try? You won’t be disappointed.
Dark Chocolate - From Tree to Dinner Plate
Dark chocolate, a beloved indulgence, is often enjoyed as part of a special after-dinner treat. But what many may not realize, is the fascinating journey dark chocolate must take to reach their dinner plate. The production of dark chocolate is a complex process, that not only involves the cocoa tree, but a range of professionals, machines and processes to create a delicious form of chocolate. Here, we take a closer look at how a bar of dark chocolate weaves its way to our dinner plate.
Harvesting the Cocoa Beans
The production of dark chocolate begins long before it ever reaches the mouth of the consumer. It all starts with the cocoa tree, Theobroma cacao, from which cocoa beans can be harvested. In the wild, cocoa trees are usually found in the rainforest, where the environment is humid and the soil is slightly acidic.
The cocoa bean itself is found inside of a pod-like fruit, growing directly off the trunk or limbs of a cocoa tree. To pick the desired cocoa beans, farmers must first take a small, sharp machete and cut away the exterior of the cocoa pod.
Once opened, the cocoa farmer is then able to separate the white, fleshy cocoa beans from the sweet, but insipid white cottony substance that surrounds them. Cocoa beans are then scooped into a large sack and carried away to a nearby fermenting site.
Fermenting of the Cocoa Beans
At the fermenting site, the cocoa beans are divvied up amongst a variety of large wooden crates. Each crate is filled with cocoa beans, and then placed in a sheltered area so that the beans can begin to ferment. The aim of the fermentation process is to stop the growth of the cocoa beans, and also to break down the sugars and proteins in the beans which will reduce the cocoa’s natural bitterness.
The fermentation process is essential in the production of dark chocolate as it helps to develop the unique chocolate flavor that we all know and love. This process is always done at the fermentation site, near the location of the cocoa tree, as the ideal ambient temperature and humidity needed for this process cannot be replicated elsewhere.
At the end of the fermentation process, the cocoa beans are then laid out to dry in the sun. It is important to note that while the cocoa beans are laid out to dry, they must be constantly turned and stirred to prevent any mold growth or decay.
Once the cocoa beans have been thoroughly dried, they are ready for the next part of their production journey.
Shipping the Dried Cocoa Beans
Once the cocoa beans are fully dry, they are ready to be transported to a cocoa processor, where they will be further processed into dark chocolate. During shipping, the dried cocoa beans are usually transported in large sacks, where they are loaded onto cargo ships or trucks, depending on the mode of transportation chosen by the cocoa processor. However, the cocoa beans must be carefully monitored during the duration of their transport to ensure that the beans do not spoil during the journey.
Processing the Dried Cocoa Beans
Once the dried cocoa beans reach the cocoa processor, they are put through several processing steps to produce the final bar of dark chocolate. The first step is to shell the beans, where the bean is being cracked into two parts – the nibs and the shell. The cocoa nibs are then pulverized into a paste, known as cocoa liquor, which is made up of cocoa solids, cocoa butter, and a variety of other components.
From here, the cocoa liquor is typically refined and conched in order to obtain a smoother, creamy texture. The process of refining and conching greatly reduces the harshness of flavor in the dark chocolate, and results in a more consistent overall flavor. It is during this process that other components of the dark chocolate, such as sugar, flavorings, and emulsifiers, may be added.
Finally, the cocoa liquor is then heated and cooled in order to form cocoa mass. Once formed, the mass is divided into small blocks and packaged into bars. As the cocoa mass cools, the cocoa butter solidifies, resulting in the rich, velvety texture of the dark chocolate bar.
Wrapping and Shipping
Once the dark chocolate bar is packaged, it is ready to be wrapped in order to be distributed and sold to consumers. The chocolate bar is typically wrapped in parchment paper or aluminum foil, and then placed in a box or other air-tight casing to ensure proper preservation of the product.
The box or wrapper is then affixed with a label which informs the consumer of the expiration date and nutritional information regarding the dark chocolate bar. Once packaged, the dark chocolate bar is then ready to be shipped and distributed to retailers, distributors, or any other seller.
Ready to Be Enjoyed
Once the dark chocolate bar finds its way to the consumer, they can then open the package and enjoy their delicious dark chocolate treat. Not only is dark chocolate a delicious way to end a meal, but consumers can feel good about enjoying a product that was created using fair-trade cocoa beans and had traveled around the world to reach their dinner plate.
Dark chocolate is one of the most pleasurable desserts. The production of dark chocolate takes dedication, science, and artistry that all come together to end up on the dinner plate. From the rainforest, to the cocoa processor, to the consumer's plate, dark chocolate has a long journey that is just as delectable as the product itself.
|Vitamin A||0.002 mg|
|Vitamin E||0.59 mg|
|Vitamin K||0.0073 mg|
|Vitamin B1||0.03 mg|
|Vitamin B2||0.08 mg|
|Vitamin B3||0.00105 grams|
|Vitamin B5||0.42 mg|
|Vitamin B6||0.04 mg|
|Vitamin B12||0.28 ug|
Daily Value 1.3 g
Daily Value 0.018 g
Daily Value 0.4 g
Daily Value 1.25 g
Daily Value 4.7 g
Daily Value 2.3 g
Daily Value 0.011 g
Daily Value 0.9 mg
Daily Value 0.0023 g
Daily Value 0.055 mg
|Total Sugars||24 grams||
|Caproic acid (6:0)||0.01 grams||
|Caprylic acid (8:0)||0.01 grams||
|Capric acid (10:0)||0.05 grams||
|Lauric acid (12:0)||0.02 grams||
|Myristic acid (14:0)||0.08 grams||
|Palmitic acid (16:0)||10.08 grams||
|Stearic acid (18:0)||13.63 grams||
|Arachidic acid (20:0)||0.41 grams||
|Behenic acid (22:0)||0.07 grams||
|Lignoceric acid (24:0)||0.04 grams||
|Butyric acid (4:0)||0.01 grams||
|Total Saturated fatty acids:||24.41 g|
|Oleic acid (18:1)||12.65 grams||
|Palmitoleic acid (16:1)||0.11 grams||
|Gadoleic acid (20:1)||0.02 grams||
|Total Monounsaturated fatty acids:||12.78 g|
|Omega-3 Alpha-linolenic acid (18:3)||0.03 grams||
|Linolenic acid (18:3)||0.03 grams||
|Linoleic acid (18:2)||1.22 grams||
|Total Polyunsaturated fatty acids:||1.28 g|
|Total Sterols:||0.13 g|
|Trans-monoenoic fatty acids||0.03 grams||
|Total Trans fat:||0.03 g|