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# Cocoa butter and cocoa solids

Hans has a very thought provoking article in Cocoa Content called "Why cocoa content matters". In it he shows a very insightful way to determine the amount of cocoa butter. Here's the essence of it:

Cocoa content only tells you how much of the bar’s weight is comprised of cocoa solids. Now, it’s important to understand that “cocoa solids” refers to the chocolate’s combined weight of cocoa butter and dry cocoa particles (i.e. cocoa powder). You can find the amount of cocoa butter from the amount of fat, though. Once you have that you can determine the percentage of the rest of the solids.
Follow these steps from the nutrition label:
1. Note the serving size, since it varies.
2. Note the Total Fat The Fat is from cocoa butter
3. Divide the Total Fat by the Serving size (Fat/Size), then multiply by 100 to get the percentage of fat
4. Subtract the percentage of fat from the cacao percentage and the difference will tell you what percentage of the bar consists of dry cocoa solids. Cocoa butter percentage + cocoa solids percentage = Total cacao percentage.
For example, consider a bar of Lindt Excellence 70%. The Nutrition Facts show the serving size as 42g, with 17g of fat. Divide 17 by 42 and multiply the result by 100, and you’ll get 40. This means there’s 40% cocoa butter. Subtract that number from 70, which in this case is 30% dry cocoa solids . (40 + 30 = 70)
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What do you think of this?

Tags: butter, fat

Views: 3315

### Replies to This Discussion

My whole problem with the cacao butter and cocoa powder discussion is this:

If you want to make chocolate, why take out the butter at all?

One might destroy all kinds of properties of the original oils. And if you dont need cacao butter for something else..there is no problem.

We leave everything as is. Just mill the cacao with sugar.

Its fine
QUOTE: "The best tasting chocolate I have ever had has zero soya lecithin and a high fat content. "

Gwen,

What chocolate is that?
Steve DeVries was roasting organic cocoa beans prior to the existence of Theo, and still is, and to the best of my knowledge, Taza was roasting organic cocoa in the US when the comment above was written. Now several other small companies in the US also use organic cacao, which they roast, in some products.

As someone pointed out recently, if superlatives are to be used at all, then fact-checking is of the utmost importance.
QUOTE: "This is why I don't understand the suggestion that fat masks flavor."

I was certainly not implying that this is a general principle. The idea of fat masking flavor is probably only true in a few instances. Hans has said elsewhere that Hachez uses excessive cocoa butter to cover poor quality beans. That was what I was referring to, but it's the only incident that I'm aware of.

I was also not implying that a high fat content is necessarily bad. It may be that a higher fat content makes a chocolate better. I'm just wondering if there is any relationship at all. I suspect that there's a minimum amount of cocoa butter needed for a proper mouthfeel.

Anyway, with the chocolate I'm tasting I've started to track the fat/ cocoa butter content when the information is available. I'm curious to see how the cocoa butter content correlates with my preferences.
I just read this by Alan McClure of Patric and thought it was relevant to this discussion...
"Sometimes if the cocoa beans have too low an amount of cocoa butter—as in the case of low quality cacao—cocoa butter must be added,". (Read it on the Patric blog.)
Another one from Alan McClure on the same blog...

"In fact, it is possible, for example, to have a 74% bar that has less cacao--due to added cocoa butter--and is therefore less robust in flavor, than a 71% bar with no cocoa butter added."

I know that for many of you this is nothing new, but I'm posting this for the sake of those like myself who are newer to this chocolate world and still have lots to learn.
Gwen, you're assuming cacao particle content remains constant when it doesn't. Normally fat does carry flavor but in the case of chocolate, when you add cocoa butter to a recipe, you need to remove cacao solids or sugar to compensate. So, you decrease the cacao solids as a result, which reduces the overall intensity of the chocolate's flavor. Hope that clarifies things a bit :)
Gwen, I think you misunderstood me. I wasn't implying that the weight of certain types of sugars is important but rather how much of the bar's weight is comprised of sugar, especially in relation to cocoa butter and cacao particles (which, again, is irrespective of type of sugar; a ton of feathers is the same weight as a ton of bricks).
I think that sugar is the perfect medium to increase WEIGHT without increasing volume.

When you make sugar syrup and add sugar to the water, the water level hardly rises. With meringues you are gaining volume by beating in air.
Gwen, unless you're suggesting that you can compress a given amount of sugar and incorporate the mass into chocolate liquor so as to make more room for cocoa solids (butter and particles), then what you really get is more chocolate to be packaged and sold. You get heavier mass, in other words, and I'm not certain how the sugar would interact with the cocoa solids but from what I've seen, chocolate makers don't make a big science out of it. They just add sugar and incorporate.

A Cluizel bar containing 60% cocoa butter? That seems unlikely; not even Hachez has that much. I have a bar of Cluizel's Tamarina 70% here and it includes a nutrition label printed (not adhered) on the box. The bar, according to my calculations, is 42.5% fat (17g of fat per 40g of chocolate), so combined with the 30% sugar, we get a remaining ~30% in cocoa particles.

I'm not sure I understand what you mean by increasing the volume of a chocolate bar. Is this similar to increasing volume in a meringue? Are you implying you make the chocolate mass fluffier, more airy?
No, I meant sugar by itself doesn't add volume.

Try it for yourself: Fill a measuring cup 3/4 full of water and start dumping sugar in. You can put more sugar than the amount of water in. No heat required, no evaporation loss. I can beat butter with a whisk and gain incredible amounts of volume without adding anything, (a'la "light" or "Diet" butter...) same for eggwhites--as in hot savoury souffles. (although I need sugar for stability in meringues and cold applications) Cotton candy is spun through a tiny orifice at high speeds, it's the gaps and spaces inbetween the tiny spun threads that account for the volume. (this principle is used for fiberglass insulation--it's the air trapped between the spun glass that provide the r-value or insulation, not the spun glass)

Sugar by itself doesn't add volume.

What percentage of sugar does Cluizel use in his products? I must confess, I've never tried his stuff yet, there are enough places to buy it around here though.

Sugar is cheaper than chocolate, which is why the "cheaper" mnfctrs dump the stuff, up to 60% of sugar, in the cheap chocolate. The "good" mnfctrs only add enough to tame the flavour.

Heck, old Hershey himself had a sugar plantation in Cuba just to support his factory, even had a little minature train to transport the sugar to port. Apparantly the train still exists and runs daily....
No, I don't think sugar is key to combining and maintaining the quality of cocoa butter and solids. I have sampled some very fine couvetures with 70%, 80% and 90% cocoa content, and while very intense and powerfull, the mouthfeel/texture is smooooth. IMHO the texture and suaveness of couveture is from the skill in conching, not from sugar.

"Displacement" theory or not, if I make a sugar syrup starting with one liter of water and two kgs of sugar, boil it all I want, I'll still end up with one liter of syrup. No volume is ever gained.

I don't know of any sugar confection that gains volume once the "molecules and crystalline structure starts to mutate". Could you please furnish some examples?

I, too, love my job, and make caramel on a weekly basis, but it's never gained volume on me....

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