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It seems that many chocolate producers add cocoa butter to their ingredients. 

Since cocoa beans are approx 50% fat (cocoa butter) why would you need to add extra?

If you are producing a single origin bar, shouldn't this cocoa butter also be from the same origin?

Why then are there NO single origin cocoa butters available?

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1) Not everyone does add add'l cocoa butter.  Because things like moisture and particle size make a difference to viscosity, and because there are very, very, very few people who understand how to conche properly - add'l cocoa butter is a very easy way to compensate for rheological challenges

2) i'd say so, yes - but there are no standards.

3) it's expensive, and there's little demand for it.  you'd also end up with a single origin cocoa powder, by the way - which there *may* be demand for if you can market it properly... but still very expensive.  Actually there are single origin cocoa butters - you can get single origin ivorian, single origin ghanaian, single origin indonesian - it' effectively what's already out there, for the most part.

Interesting Sebastian.  What do you mean when you say that very few people understand how to conche properly... when do you do you Masterclass? ;-)

Conching is treated either as an art by most, or as a quick passthrough step, and there are very few who understand even how to measure the progression of conching (ie is it doing what you want it to do, is it doing it most effectively, etc) - there's actually quite a lot of science behind it!  

Perhaps one day when i retire or semi-retire i'll start holding classes 8-)

The reason I asked, is that at the present moment I have no conch. So I am looking at working from couverture. However most of the major couverture producers, seem, to me, to over work/conch the chocolate.  That way it is super smooth, but the aromas and flavours that make a particular bean/origin special are almost gone.

For me that is so disappointing. And it will force me into conching my own chocolate much sooner than I would like.

Could be a function of conching, but remember that the bulk couverature that you're buying from large industrial manufacturer is likely made using predominately a blend of african or african and indonesian beans - which aren't sourced for their unique delicate flavor parameters - rather because they can be purchased in huge volumes and the 'rough spots' blended out in massive mixing tanks. 

There are exceptions, of course, but without the details of the specific mfr, i'm going to place my bets on the 99.75% of the product that's on the market 8-)

Well the companies concerned are Valrhona and Callebaut.  Both offer Single Origin. so it is not per se the beans. 

Callebaut, with the purchase of Petra, is now the worlds largest grinder - all of their beans can't be flavor grade 8-)   It's always either the beans, the process, or the storage 8-)

Askinosie presses their own cocoa butter and they use it in their chocolate.  I agree that to be strictly origin chocolate that the cocoa butter should come from the same origin as the cacao.  So for those who add cocoa butter, maybe only Askinosie is truly single origin.

One chocolate maker I know recently said that, in his opinion, to be truly single origin then even the sugar should come from the same source.  But that may be going too far.  If that were the case then then no company would be able to call themselves single origin.

Why not? Sugar cane grows in huge quantities in central america and the carribean; palm sugar in africa and asia, etc. I've seen cows on every continent except Antarctica, and soybeans are one of the most abundant crops on the planet (lecithin).  I bet you could even get an orchid to grow in la republica dominicana and harvest some vanilla, although i've never looked for one there 8)

That is perhaps going too far.  But I am not happy to buy a 75% Single Origin bar, if only 40% is actually cocoa mass from the land in question and 35% cocoa butter...unspecified.

I would like to see the actual percentages of cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter etc. And if the cocoa butter is not from the same origin, I would like to know.

Personally I cannot understand, yet, why extra cocoa butter would be added.

We add cocoa butter in small quantities to our chocolate because we feel it brings out more of the flavors we are seeking. In addition it makes tempering much easier.

This is an interesting thread, and I'd like to add my two bits...


There has been no mention yet of deodorized, or non-deodorized cocoa butter.  Sebastian would know better, but my understanding is that most of the cocoa butter used today in chocolate is deodorized, because most of it is made from cocoa beans that nobody would really want made into chocolate and by itself smells horrible. 


If in fact the cocoa butter IS deodorized, then origin is for the most part irrelevant as the cocoa butter is used solely for it's fluidity and crystalization properties.  It in essence then brings absolutely nothing to the chocolate in the way of flavour.


I read in here that Askinosie makes their own cocoa butter.  Interesting indeed.  Is it made in the US, or at origin?  I would certainly like to do some financial costing on THAT cocoa butter if it's made in the US!  Well.... No... Not really.  Paying a high price for, the beans and their import costs - all by weight - only to press out the fat and leaving 60% of the bean as waste doesn't seem viable to me unless they are doing it to make their own cocoa powder, which in that case would make sense.  Sometimes I wish I could make my own cocoa powder.


Anyway, given the typical uses for cocoa butter, and the source of the cocoa butter it does make sense that there is very little single origin cocoa butter around.





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