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Natural Chocolate sauce original recipe with decent shelf life ????

Hello everybody,

I plan to produce some chocolate sauces with  the most natural ingredients like the robins chocolate sauces.(organic and fair trade)

I refuse to use any sorbitol, glucose or inverted sugar (I replace it by honey in general in my ganaches...)


Anyone would have a good recipe with decent shelf life and which keeps taste and  texture even refrigerated ? to have such a result is it compulsory to use cocoa liquor or lecithin ?

 Here I put the typical ingredients from Robins original sauce :


Ingredients Cane sugar*, fresh cream, dark chocolate* (cane sugar*, cocoa liquor*, cocoa butter*, lecithin, vanilla*), butter, cocoa liquor*, vanilla*, lecithin*, salt.

* Certified Organic Ingredients.
† Fair Trade Certified™ Ingredients.


Thanks a lot in advance



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"In confectionery it reduces viscosity, replaces more expensive ingredients, controls sugar crystallization and the flow properties of chocolate, helps in the homogeneous mixing of ingredients, improves shelf life for some products, and can be used as a coating. In emulsions and fat spreads it stabilizes emulsions, reduces spattering during frying, improves texture of spreads and flavour release."


"For example, lecithin is the emulsifier that keeps cocoa and cocoa butter in a candy bar from separating."


From what I have read elsewhere it helps the flow properties of chocolate through and in manufacturing machinery. For dark chocolate without lecithin the there is a marked viscosity increase at 90 deg C. For milk chocolate without lecithin this viscosity increase occurs at 60 degrees C.


Apparently the claims regarding bloom are more controversial and whilst it definitely has an effect on tempering and seeding correctly tempered chocolate without lecithin will not bloom under normal conditions.


In my experience anything using fresh cream in largish quantities will have a quite short shelf life unless frozen.

Actually, in reference to lecithin being an emuslifier in chocolate, you are incorrect, and if Wikipedia says so, it's incorrect too.


Chocolate is essentially tiny pieces of cocoa solids (beans or powder), sugar, and vanilla bean all suspended in a fat (cocoa butter).  The fat behaves in a very specific way - crystalizing in various forms at various temperatures.  When it crystalizes, it suspends the solid particles in amongst the crystals.


An emulsifier is essentially a compound which "glues" two opposing compounds with similar properties, such as is the case with Mayonnaise, where oil and water are emulsified to form that condiment.


Cocoa solids, and cocoa butter do not have similar properties.  One is always solid, and the other one is a crystalized liquid.


In the manufacturing of chocolate, lecithin is used as a lubricant, to make the chocolate more fluid.  This is the case in most milk chocolates, where a significant portion of the fluid fat (cocoa butter) is reduced due to the increase of solid suspended fat in the powdered cream used.  In some cases, manufacturers will use powdered skim milk and anhydrous milk fat instead of powdered cream.   Either way, the reduction in crystalizing fat warrants lecithin.


In the case of high percentage dark chocolate, lecithin is also used to increase fluidity.  Cocoa butter is considered the most expensive ingredient in processing chocolate, so any time a large manufacturer can mitigate it's use, they will.  Lecithin allows them to use less cocoa butter in high percentage chocolate, so that the chocolate will flow through their molding machines.


In the case of our 80% bars, I would LOVE to use 80% cocoa beans, but it's so thick it's like tar.  When coming up with the recipe I faced a crossroad.  Do I use lecithin, or do I add cocoa butter.  I chose the latter, reduced my cocoa bean content by 10% (to 70%) and increased my cocoa butter content by 10% - just enough so that we could mold it.


Either way, lecithin, when used in chocolate increases it's fluidity by gluing itself to all of the minute solid particles, and creating a slippery surface that the fat can't grab on to.


It's just unfortunate that our regulatory bodies allow it to be referred to as an emuslifier rather than a lubricant, on packaging.  I guess "lubricant" doesn't sound as good.












I forgot to mention in my earlier post that lecithin can also thicken chocolate too, if used in large enough quantities.  I've been told that the magic number is about 0.5% by weight, but it's taken me as much as 0.8% to get my chocolate to thicken in my tests.

I know that most lecithin is manufactured from soy, but that it is found all over the place.  I recall seeing a reference to palm lecithin.


What I am wondering: does anyone make _cocoa_ lecithin.  You could have your lubrication and keep it pure cocoa mass :)



Interesting thought. Since it apparently occurs in every living cell you would imagine cacao pods should contain some for example.


Personally the extraction of lecithin by hexane is enough to put me off.

I (as well as others) focused on your question about Lecithin...but you also asked about cocoa liquor.  I was wondering if you knew what 'cocoa liquor' was?


Cocoa liquor is simply ground cocoa mass, generally at the stage prior to pressing to separate the cocoa powder and the cocoa butter.  Sometimes this is called unsweetened chocolate, although unsweetened chocolate might also refer to the same stuff after it has been further refined to reduce particle size.


In any case, if you want a decent shelf life in a sauce, you are going to need to control water activity.  Since you likely want to keep the water content high in order to get the right texture for a sauce, you need ingredients that will 'bind' this water yet keep things fluid...and these 'humectants' are commonly the compounds that you say you don't want to use.  


I'd suggest looking more closely at the whole range of humectants, learn and understand their properties, and then look for acceptable humectants that share these properties.  You already know that honey is very similar to inverted sugar; honey is arguably a better humectant than inverted sucrose, more like the dreaded high fructose corn syrup :)  So perhaps a naturally sourced honey is acceptable where a chemically similar HFCS or inverted sugar is not.


Sorbitol is found in many fruits; perhaps a fruit concentrate is acceptable.


Finally, plain ordinary sugar will lower water activity.


Good luck!



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