The Chocolate Life

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Hi to everyone!

I'm chocolatier turned lately chocolate maker.

Making chocolate is an amazing experience: so many variable, so many options and so many things to learn and discover.

my Question:

Listening to other chocolate maker i have noticed the practice of adding cocoa powder to increase the percentage of the chocolate. (Eg: 70% chocolate= 50% beans+10% Cocoa Butter + 10% cocoa powder--- just saying, is NOT my recipe)

Now, in theory it should be ok as percentage is given by cocoamass and cocoa butter; but in practice is this right?

Is this something common in chocolate making process?

I have tasted some of those cocoa powder "enriched" chocolates and the first thing i noticed is the rubber mouth-feel. 

I guess that is due the fact that cocoa powder is already very finely ground and if added in the beginning of conching will reduce even more the micron size >15 micron.   

Adding it just  at the end part of coching, would be ok?

I hope it all make sense and there is an answer out there (or 2 or more..) 







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I've worked very little with cocoa powder, but based on my research, understand it to be literally the "bottom of the barrel" in the chocolate industry.  I also know that some companies will add it  at the end of the refining process to increase the intensity of their chocolate, without increasing the cost (cocoa powder is cheap).


Yes,  you can probably use it at the beginning of the conche process to reduce the particle size, but in my opinion, if you are working with cocoa beans to make your own chocolate, you should avoid the use of cocoa powder and celebrate the flavour of the beans themselves, without trying to muddy the flavour with cocoa powder.  One option would be to increase the bean percentage, decrease the cocoa butter percentage, and then substitute a small amount of Anhydrous Milk Fat for some of the sugar.  The AMF will give the chocolate more fluidity and creaminess.


Try this recipe for, say, a 90% bar:

80% cocoa beans

10% cocoa butter

5% AMF

5% Sugar


the AMF will help with softness, fluidity, and mouthfeel, and the lower sugar content will not sweeten it as much.


The 80% we make in our shop uses no lecithin and molds with the same viscosity of milk chocolate.  It's recipe is:

70% beans

10% cocoa butter

19.5% sugar

0.5% vanilla bean


Hope this helps.




Hi  Brad,

thanks for your suggestions, like you i'm a purist when it comes to make something.

I live in South Africa (after been all over the world as Pastry Chef) where a chocolate revolution is happening.

Till now the only chocolate available has been the "cheap" stuff, lately a lot is happening and we are also trying to educate people what chocolate really is.

Unfortunately with the "revolution" comes as well the one that make something without knowledge and tell "stories" just to make money..


I was somehow aware that the use of cocoa powder is not ideal, but i was looking for some form of confirmation to my theory...

We use only organic products and in less than 3 months from opening we have already developed 

 6 different chocolates.


Thanks for your recipes!!! i will try them as soon as i can!




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