I ndia is a country where majority of people have a sweet tooth. Everyone loves chocolates, but do people know the difference between a real and a fake chocolate? Can a chocolate also be fake? Fake chocolate is termed as ‘compound chocolate’ whereas real chocolate is termed as ‘couverture chocolate’. Let us look into it deeper and see where chocolate comes from and how it is made. Chocolate comes from cacao pods. Cacao pods contain cocoa beans. Cocoa beans are cleaned properly and then roasted. This step removes moisture, adds flavor and also adds color. After the beans are roasted, they are broken down into pieces. This process is known as Micronizing. Micronizing the cocoa beans permits the next step which is Winnowing. Winnowing helps to separate shells from the nibs. After the shells are separated, the nibs are ground and the mass that we get is known as cocoa liquor. Sugar, milk solids, vanilla, cocoa butter etc. are mixed at this stage. Before the ‘real’ chocolate is delivered to the customer there are 4 more steps until the chocolate is ready to consume. As you can see, making couverture chocolate is very expensive. It is very difficult for any company to sell it at an affordable price point unless they have a huge production setup. In order to sell cheap chocolates at an affordable price, compound chocolate was introduced. What makes this chocolate cheap? It is the substitution of cocoa butter. Cocoa butter is extracted from the cocoa liquor and it is substituted with cheaper fats-like Vegetable fats. This cuts down the cost of the chocolate to approximately one third. Hydrogenated Vegetable fat may sound like a very fancy word to you but that only means ‘Dalda ghee’ which takes years to get flushed from our system. Not only is CHOCOLATES FOODIEGOODIECLUB PRAGYA ARORA chocolate this cheap, it is also easy to use. The real or couverture chocolate contains cocoa butter which is first melted carefully on a double boiler and then tempered. Whereas compound chocolate does not need any tempering. One can straight away melt in a microwave or double boiler and use it.
How can you tell if the chocolate you are eating is compound or couverture? Compound chocolate won’t melt in your mouth instantly due to the absence of Cocoa Butter whereas couverture chocolate will melt in your mouth- as cocoa butter melts at body temperature. Also, after eating compound chocolate you may feel that your mouth got coated with a layer of fat. This just because of the cheaper version of fat which is used in that chocolate. However, in couverture chocolate one won’t feel this due to the presence of cocoa butter. The percentage on the chocolate indicates the ratio of cocoa solids to cocoa butter present in the chocolate. For example, 70% dark chocolate consists of 30% sugar and 55% dark chocolate consists of 45% sugar. The higher the percentage the less sweet and more intense the chocolate will be. Even if two different chocolates have the same percentage, they can differ in sweetness, flavor, and intensity.
The bean varieties vary in sweetness and flavor, but different chocolate makers add different amounts of cocoa butter to their chocolate, which affects sweetness and intensity. My advice for the readers would be to always go for a 70%-80% dark chocolate if you want to have a good quality chocolate. Even Milk Chocolate contains hidden sugars, flavorings, preservatives etc. The are all added in the mixing stage of chocolate