To really explore the aromas, and the chocolate itself, follow our guide to tasting with all five senses. You’ll notice how increasing the percentage doesn’t always mean the flavour becomes more intense or bitter. High levels of this natural fat mean the chocolate will melt faster and have a more creamy, buttery finish. Many of us feel lucky if we have time to eat breakfast at all. Lindt’s 78% bar is interesting because although it has more cacao, it’s actually creamier than the 70%, and has notes of toasted nuts like pecans and walnuts. Part of the profits from their sales go to protect endangered rainforest species, like this chocolate bar’s namesake, the panther. The problem comes in when chocolate makers pack their chocolate with sugar, soy lecithin, dairy and other ingredients that not only have negative health effects, but also negatively impact the positive benefits of the 100 percent cacao. At first glance, it may seem logical that as the percentage goes up, so does the bitterness and intensity of flavour—but this isn’t always the case. This contains cocoa butter and cocoa solids. We particularly like the addition of whole vanilla beans to the cacao considering the fact that vanilla beans are high in oleic fatty acids: monounsaturated fats that can help reduce appetite and promote weight loss. Because of this, a bar like Lindt Excellence 85% will keep its shape when used as an intense dark chocolate chip. Luckily, you can start with a dark chocolate with as little as 55% cacao (less cacao means more sugar and thus more sweetness). Share your story with us. It usually has a cocoa percentage of between 60% and 100%. The Harvard T.H. Some people spend September clinging to the last bit of summer, eschewing pumpkin spice lattes and fall boots in favor of one last stroll in flipflops. Add to that the fact that there are no extra flavorings or additives and you’ve got a winner. Still, standard dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa is a good source of beneficial antioxidants and minerals. Ready for the major leagues? My preferred way to get the health benefits chocolate has to offer is enjoying an ounce or two of dark chocolate that’s 70 percent cocoa several times a week. Semisweet chocolate has at least 35 percent cacao, but usually around 55 percent, with added sugar, but no dairy. We can't stomach it, but some people love it! What does 70%cocoa actually mean? In short, dark chocolate (the darker the better!) We sought the expertise of Lindt Maître Chocolatier Thomas Schnetzler to help explain the differences between some of Lindt’s most popular percentage bars: 70%, 78%, 85% and 90%. This also explains why the healthiest dark chocolate is probably the one with the highest percentage of cacao and the least milk, sugar, and other added ingredients.1, Though more research on the health benefits of chocolate is definitely needed, numerous studies over the years have found chocolate to have a variety of positive effects on the body. Their quinoa chocolate bar may be a bit higher in sugar than we'd like, but it does contain 10% more iron than a similar-sized serving of Ghirardelli, probably because quinoa is a good source of iron!7. That brings us to the topic of this post: dark chocolate. The United States Food and Drug Administration only mandates that dark, bittersweet, or semisweet chocolate have at least 35 percent cacao; beyond that, manufacturers are free to tweak processes, recipes, and nomenclature. Since dark chocolate contains more cocoa than milk chocolate, it is thought to contain more health-promoting flavanols too. (More cocoa equals more flavonoids.) Because of this, a bar like Lindt Excellence 85% will keep its shape when used as an intense dark chocolate chip. The healthiest dark chocolate contains a cocoa percentage of 70% or higher, which provides more antioxidants and health benefits. If you're interested in learning more about how chocolate might be good for your health, as well as its history and social impact, we recommend this "deliciously informative" book. They advertise their chocolate as allergen free, and it's certainly the most allergen free chocolate we've heard of! But the resultant chocolate is still considered 100% dark chocolate, because the reference of “100%” is towards the lack of sugar more so than the purity of a single ingredient. Chocolate tastings are a great activity to enjoy with friends, because taste is such an individual thing and it can be fun to compare notes. Although this type of chocolate is required by the FDA to only have 35% cocoa beans to be categorized as bittersweet, it usually has a dark chocolate cocoa percentage anywhere from a 65-80%. Chocolate is incredibly complex and made up of hundreds of flavour components. Lindt chocolate is commonly available and its dark chocolate bars range from 60% up to 99%. But this chocolate isn’t just good for the rainforest—the 88% cocoa content makes it super high in antioxidants and fiber, and low in sugar. With the 78% bar, there’s a smoky finish, and the 85% bar has deeper, more intensely powerful cocoa notes with hints of vanilla and leather. Could be more, but it's more than most companies are doing! What makes up the other 30%? All of this affects how the flavours and aromas are expressed, and how the chocolate should best be enjoyed and used in baking. Equal Exchange Organic Dark Chocolate With Almonds, Ghirardelli Intense Dark Evening Dream 60% Cacao, sweetriot Pure 70% Dark Chocolate With Fabulous Flax, http://my.clevelandclinic.org/services/heart/prevention/nutrition/food-choices/benefits-of-chocolate, www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120814213359.htm, http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2014/07/02/327775106/how-dark-chocolate-not-milk-chocolate-may-help-blood-flow, www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140318154725.htm, http://news.nau.edu/eat-dark-chocolate-to-beat-the-midday-slump-nau-study-says/#.Valx9Pmqqko, http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/heart-disease/in-depth/nuts/art-20046635, http://www.fao.org/quinoa-2013/what-is-quinoa/nutritional-value/en/, The Best Hot Chocolate Mix for Cooler Weather, The Best and Healthiest Frozen Waffles: Our Picks, The Best and Healthiest Milk Alternatives For When You're Going Dairy Free, The Healthiest Breakfast Cereal to Start Your Day, The Healthiest Dark Chocolate: 55% to 100% Cacao, no added sugar (less than 1 gram per serving), contains inulin, a fiber supplement that can cause digestive issues in large quantities, 25% of your recommended daily iron intake per serving, 20 grams of sugar per serving, more than other 60% bars. The percentage of cocoa affects the flavour and bitterness. However, the true story of the percentages is much more complex. Dark chocolate doesn’t have a legal definition in the U.S. (it’s under the umbrella of semisweet or bittersweet chocolate). Ghirardelli dark chocolate is sold just about everywhere and goes up to 86% cacao. I personally like to use bittersweet and extra-bittersweet in my recipes. The presence of cocoa powder adds very robust cocoa notes­. I love dark chocolate and am wondering if there are any charts online that list the popular brands (Dove, Hershey, Ghiradelli, etc) and how much the percentage of cocoa in each brand and product contains. Lindt Excellence 70% and 78% melt at around the same rate, but Thomas says the 70% bar is a great all-rounder that lends itself to any baking projects—particularly mousses and cakes—while still delivering that unique Lindt taste. Luckily, you can start with a dark chocolate with as little as 55% cacao (less cacao means more sugar and thus more sweetness). If you prefer organic chocolate, Dagoba sells a certified organic 100% cacao chocolate bar, but it does contain soy lecithin and a tiny amount of milk. Intense Dark 86% cacao is luxurious chocolate with full bodied flavor, accompanied by hints of dark cherries and dried plums. Chan School of Public Health reports that dark chocolate contains 50 to 90 percent cocoa solids, cocoa butter and sugar. They reduce “bad” cholesterol and increase “good” cholesterol (source). Note: flavanol content, unfortunately, isn't on the label of most chocolate bars, and depending on how the chocolate is processed, some of the flavanols may have been destroyed.1 This is just another reason it's best to eat the darkest chocolate you still enjoy, a sort of flavanol insurance policy (since you'll start off with more flavanols before processing.). FDA does not have a standard of identity for dark chocolate as a type of chocolate. Recently they’ve even been recognized by popular Food Network chef Ina Garten as the choice for bakers. Welcome to Lindt Excellence. Written by Crystal Schlegelmilch on July 18th 2015. To further explore the flavours of high percentage cacao, try Lindt’s intense 99% chocolate and its new 95% bar. Pascha chocolate has a lot going for it. That percentage refers to the total amount of cocoa in the bar, including the cocoa solids and butter. Maybe after a couple 55% bars, you can move up to 60%, 70%, and so on. Dark chocolate, also known as "plain chocolate", is produced using a higher percentage of cocoa with all fat content coming from cocoa butter instead of milk, but there are also "dark milk" chocolates and many degrees of hybrids. White Chocolate (FDA 20+ percent cocoa butter) flavor ingredients: cocoa butter, sugar, milk or cream powder, and spices. For those of you gradually moving from milk chocolate to dark, this 70 percent bar by Scharffen Berger is a great choice. Taking in the fragrance of cacao is one way chocolate lovers can deepen their tasting experience. Not all dark chocolate bars are created equally – most commercial brands use low-quality cacao with high levels of sugar and sometimes other additives like vanilla to mask off-flavours. sweetriot is a NYC-based chocolate company producing organic and Fair Trade chocolate. Note: their 60% bar does contain milk fat, so it is not suitable for vegans. Ghirardelli Intense Dark Chocolate Bar - 92% Cacao – Dark chocolate with fruit-forward and earthy notes – 12 bars 4.5 out of 5 stars 367 $28.44 $ 28 . A look into cacao percentage and its impact on dark chocolate’s taste, aroma and usage. So, again, if you want to reap these potential health benefits with some dark chocolate, aim for a bar with the highest percentage of cacao that still tastes good to you. Their dark chocolate bars are available in 55% or 70% versions, all of which are non-GMO and gluten free. Thomas describes it as the quintessential gourmet chocolate: dark, intense, balanced, rich and decadent. Their chocolate bars range from 55-80% and include flavors like hazelnut, lemon ginger, orange, and caramel. Their 55% bar is plain dark chocolate with a simple ingredient list: Equal Exchange is a Fair Trade company selling organic coffee, tea, bananas, and of course, chocolate. Maybe after a couple 55% bars, you can move up to 60%, 70%, and so on. So Lindt’s 70% and 78% bars melt quicker than the 85% or 90% bars. With Lindt’s 70% bar, you’ll notice balanced cocoa aromas and notes of red fruit and vanilla. Dark chocolate containing 70 to 85 percent cocoa solids contains 23 milligrams of caffeine per ounce. Dark chocolate contains 50-90% cocoa solids, cocoa butter, and sugar, whereas milk chocolate contains anywhere from 10-50% cocoa solids, cocoa butter, milk in some form, and sugar. It's also organic, Fair Trade, and non-GMO. The cocoa percentage is nice, but what really helps you are the flavonoids in the chocolate. Unless it's the weekend, you probably don't spend that much time making breakfast. Shop Intense Dark Bars Therefore, choose the cacao-rich products that best fit … Look for dark chocolate made with beans from countries near the equator, like Ghana, Ecuador, and the Ivory Coast. Dark Chocolate. In contrast, the higher percentage 85% bar is more assertive on the palate. 88 ($0.71/Ounce) To get more bang in your bar, reach for dark chocolate with a cocoa percentage of 70% or higher. The company’s tag line is “get back to human,” which involves clean eating, natural ingredients, and a healthy lifestyle. Interestingly, it also has less of a cocoa taste compared to the 85%. The best way to learn is to sample all the varieties with your own palate. These people are usually just craving the deep-fried Oreo taunting them at the county fair, momentarily forgetting summer's delicious and healthy offerings like refreshing watermelon and grilled corn on the cob. ConsumerLab.com found that Hershey's Special Dark chocolate bar actually had the lowest concentration of cocoa flavanols among 16 popular dark chocolates it tested. They have ideal climates for … We've selected some bars to help you work up to 90%, some of which with additional healthy ingredients to keep things interesting. Perfectly Dark. All the percentage varieties behave slightly differently when used in recipes, though. Dark Milk Chocolate you’ll find some manufacturers are now producing milk chocolate with a higher cocoa percentage. Get recipes, easy entertaining ideas and everyday inspiration delivered straight to your inbox. Our Intense Dark 72% cacao is a velvety chocolate with hints of mocha, blackberry, and dark cherry that create a rich chocolate intensity. In fact, these might be the only options you find at your local supermarket. #lindtexcellence. The higher the cacao percentage, the less the amount of sugar and the more intense the chocolate flavor will be. Ghirardelli Intense Dark Chocolate Bar - 92% Cacao – Dark chocolate with fruit-forward and earthy notes – 12 bars 4.5 out of 5 stars 336 $26.88 $ 26 . I've heard people ask "Why does everything that tastes so good have to be so bad for you?" Maybe after a couple 55% bars, you can move up to 60%, 70%, and so on. If you want to try totally unsweetened chocolate, you might consider purchasing a chocolate baking bar. is great for you and milk and white chocolates are just candy. Hershey's, Baker's, and Ghirardelli all sell 100% cacao baking chocolate with 0 grams of sugar. In fact, some of Lindt’s high percentage bars, like 78% and 90%, are extraordinarily smooth and creamy. Check price at AmazonEndangered Species Chocolate has a social mission as well as a commercial one. It’s usually at least 55 percent, but most dark chocolate lovers enjoy 70 … Dark chocolate should consist of only cocoa beans, cocoa butter and sometimes sugar. Chocolate, and especially dark chocolate, may be good for you because cocoa beans contain flavanols, whose antioxidant properties seem to protect the body's cells from damage and prevent disease. Milk chocolate only has to have 10 … The cocoa content of commercial dark chocolate bars can range from 30 percent for sweet dark chocolate to 80 percent (or higher) for extremely dark, bitter bars. Alter Eco's Fair Trade and organic products, including quinoa, rice, and chocolate, live up to the company's mission to provide healthy, nourishing, and sustainable food. These Salty Dark Chocolate bars are 70 percent cacao and sprinkled with fleur de sel by hand, enhancing the flavor of the chocolate. You have no cause for concern about the fat in dark chocolate – it is stearic acid, a type of saturated fat that does not raise cholesterol levels. That's because dark chocolate has less sugar than milk chocolate, and if your taste buds haven't adjusted, it might take awhile before you enjoy the really dark stuff. I know that studies have shown that dark chocolate is good for your health (in moderation), but they seldom list more than one brand. Let me briefly summarize here. The percentage is the measurement of the chocolate bar’s weight that comes from cocoa liquor and cocoa butter which together are known as cocoa mass. “As a rule, higher percentage cacao bars set a ganache slightly firmer than regular supermarket baking chocolates,” says Thomas. In chocolate chips, once you account for the cacao, the rest is primarily sugar. Some will notice notes of dry cherry, vanilla and orange. In various dark chocolates you’ll find claims of 65% cocoa or 70% cocoa. Copyright © 2021 Chocoladefabriken Lindt & Sprüngli AG. The names semi-sweet and bittersweet are sometimes interchanged in recipes. And because the 78% bar is so creamy, it’s delicious enjoyed by itself or paired with a Rwandan coffee, which can be quite fruity and sweet. Still, having something substantial in the morning can... People choose to go dairy free for many reasons. Particularly the heart seems to benefit from a daily dose of chocolate's flavanols, as research has shown regular consumption of dark chocolate or cocoa powder to reduce blood pressure2, increase blood flow3, and reduce the risk of stroke after being fermented by gut microbes into anti-inflammatory compounds.4 Dark chocolate may also be a delicious alternative to a midday cup of coffee, as its stimulant effects have been shown to increase alertness and improve attention.5 Flavanols may even help keep your memory sharp as you age (though one study with positive findings had people consuming a high-flavanol drink that would equate to about 7 bars of dark chocolate—neither realistic nor recommendable.). 100 grams of … Lily's line of dark chocolate is sweetened with stevia and the sugar alcohol erythritol and thus contains no added sugar. Sweet, semisweet, dark – they’re all made with cacao, but it’s the percentage of cacao in chocolate that determines how sweet or bitter it tastes, and how best to use it in baking. During our factory tours people frequently ask about the percentage printed on chocolate bar labels. Lindt’s cacao percentage chocolates are delicious when consumed by themselves, or paired with coffee, wine or cheese. By continuing to use this website, you consent to our use of cookies. The cocoa butter gives the 90% bar a nice melt that reveals earthy notes of espresso. Lindt Excellence 90% has noticeably earthy aromas of fall leaves and firewood. When selecting a chocolate to enjoy, look on the package for a number. Avoid Alkalized or Dutched Dark Chocolate If you're thinking 85% is too dark for you, Pascha offers 55% and 70% cacao versions too. This number, a percentage, is usually listed on the front of a chocolate bar and it represents the percentage of cacao beans (or, ultimately, cocoa powder) in the chocolate. They range from 50 percent to 60 percent cocoa; the higher amount indicates more bitterness. Endangered Species Dark Chocolate comes in numerous percentages and flavors. It may seem counterintuitive, but it turns out you can’t judge a chocolate solely by its cacao-percentage number. Their line of 72% dark chocolates are available plain or with mint, raspberries, cacao nibs, and espresso beans. It cannot consist of more than 55 percent nutritive carbohydrate sweetener. “This is a bar for purists who enjoy a bold taste,” says Thomas. A bar of dark baking chocolate, with a minimum cocoa content of 40%. And while, Lindt’s 90% bar has more cacao, it’s still quite smooth and creamy, thanks to the presence of cocoa butter. Dark chocolate, because it contains more cocoa than other palatable chocolate products, has higher amounts of flavonoids and thus is more likely to exert a protective effect against heart disease. The aromas develop in different ways, Thomas says: “The notes in each of Lindt’s percentage bars are the result of interactions between the different cacao bean varieties and how each is treated during roasting, grinding and conching.”. Love chocolate as much as we do? Another experiment is to try the percentages in ascending order, and then in descending order, to really highlight the subtle differences between each bar. To be marketed as white chocolate, a product must contain at least 20 percent cocoa butter, at least 14 percent total milk solids, at least 3.5 percent milkfat. Straight to your inbox, including the cocoa butter flavours of high percentage bars, you can move to. Does not have a standard of identity for dark chocolate comes in numerous percentages and flavors Colorado-based. 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