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Can soy lecithin change texture??
December 23, 2008
1:58 am
wineandfoodscamp
Madison, USA
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I've noticed that my two new favorite chocolate makers, DeVries particularly and also Rogue, make chocolate bars that aside from the taste also have the most sumptuous texture. The bars all have a perfect "snap" when you break them apart and gorgeous, long, slow-melting feel on the palate. Neither makers pull cocoa butter and replace it with lecithin like most do; even Pralus, one of my old favorites, does this.

I understand how tempering changes crystal structures and how that effects different textures and the level of complexity of melting points in the mouth. But I wondered if soy lecithin makes any difference too?, because the texture differences between those that have it and those that don't are really striking, at least that I have come across so far; Pralus, again as an example, has a funky crunchy woodsy texture that is not at all like the smooth and glass-like feel of, say, DeVries. What other chocolates are out there that are just plain beans and sugar?

In the meantime I will be happily nibbling on DeVries Costa Ricans 77% and 84% and his addictive caramelized nib clusters, plus a few distractions of Rogue Chocolatier Hispaniola every once in awhile -- Wowsers!!

Rachel A. Dahl

Rachel A. Dahl
December 23, 2008
11:51 am
Sebastian
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Technically yes, practically, not really. Lecithins used at less than 0.5% most of the time, and only 1/2 of that is soy oil, so the practical contribution of soy oil by lecithin is 0.25%.. pretty small. if you've got sensitive equipment you can likely detect textural differences, but most humans aren't honed to quite that level. it could be that you're extra sensative to it and can detect it, but more than likely it has to do with the hardness of the cocoa butter (not all ccb is created equal, some are very soft and some are very hard) and degree of temper.

December 26, 2008
8:36 pm
Scott--DFW
Dallas, USA
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My sense of what's behind DeVries's texture (which is about as good as chocolate gets):
-- High percentage of cacao solids (77%, 80%, or 84%) means a lot more potential for crystalization.
-- The avoidance of additional cocoa butter beyond that contained in the liquor helps avoid a slick, fatty mouthfeel.
-- Effort to ensure uniformity of particle size (rather than just a good average particle size).

Scott

January 16, 2009
3:39 pm
alex_h
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Try some Domori, Rachel.

January 16, 2009
4:36 pm
wineandfoodscamp
Madison, USA
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hi,

I tried two bars from Domori about eight?nine? months ago and remember preferring one of their bars much more than the other but my remaining impression was that the flavors had seemed muddy and unbalanced in one and nice but not particularly complex in the other. I'll have to try them again so that I can differentiate which bar I had preferred, it has been so long, in fact have been thinking as of late a need to collect all my favorite artisan bars together and do one massive blind tasting on them.

Domori had had, though, as I recall, more of that nice crispness of texture; I remember that when I had opened the package and first just seen the chocolate and picked it up and smelled it and broke it, that I had WANTED to like it! But it had not had that amazing fast break and sheen of the DeVries. Still I will try it again. Any other suggestions?

Rachel A. Dahl

Rachel A. Dahl
January 18, 2009
6:28 am
ChemicalMachine
USA
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Try Michel Cluizel, it is very good and has no lecithin.

January 18, 2009
1:43 pm
wineandfoodscamp
Madison, USA
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hi ChemicalMachine,

Actually, Cluizel does have lecithin, at least do the single origin bars that I carry of Cluizel in my store. One of the reasons I first posted this question was because I had just done a blind tasting of DeVries, Pralus and Cluizel, and the Cluizel bars had showed particularly waxy compared to the others

Thanks, though

Rachel A. Dahl

Rachel A. Dahl
January 19, 2009
9:03 pm
ChemicalMachine
USA
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Here is an old thread on soy: http://www.seventypercent.com/.....PIC_ID=551

Most consider Cluizel's texture to be quite good.

My Cluizel bars do not list soy on the ingredients list, and everything I have read says that they contain no soy. Your bars list soy on the label?

January 19, 2009
9:40 pm
ChemicalMachine
USA
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Lets start a soy free list:
Amedei?, Amano, Bonnat, DeVries's, Domori,Michel Cluizel, Theo

Amano is very good and definitely worth trying if you have not. I have not had a better Madagascar.

Another thought; perhaps bars containing lecithin as a substitute for cocoa butter should be considered health products. I should go into marketing...

January 19, 2009
11:42 pm
wineandfoodscamp
Madison, USA
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I stand corrected; checked all the Cluizel bars, and none of them have lecithin. Which just goes to support that my original question posed 'nay'; I had thought Scott's answer had made a lot of sense particularly his comment "The avoidance of additional cocoa butter beyond that contained in the liquor helps avoid a slick, fatty mouthfeel".

Secondly it would not bother me at all to bathe in chocolate although I expect the lecithin content might not be enough to derive any benefit to my skin :)

Rachel A. Dahl

Rachel A. Dahl
January 20, 2009
12:42 pm
ellie
london, United Kingdom
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Soy lecithin can be taken orally as health supplement also.. There are claims that it even lower cholesterol. Thus chocolate with lecithin could be considered to be one with additional benefit by some - although not enough in dosages, I guess.

January 20, 2009
10:45 pm
Scott--DFW
Dallas, USA
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quote:


Originally posted by ChemicalMachine

Lets start a soy free list:
Amedei, Amano, Bonnat, DeVries, Domori, Michel Cluizel, Theo


Add Patric, Askinosie, Taza, Claudio Corallo, Rogue, Coppeneur, and Mayordomo. There's enough variety in that list to make it pretty clear that the absence of soy lecithin alone doesn't ensure any particular texture.

Scott

January 21, 2009
12:41 am
Sebastian
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Remember, all cocoa butter is not created equal. For the bars your looking at, the VAST majority of textural differences can be attributed to the hardness profile of the ccb used.

January 23, 2009
7:49 pm
aguynamedrobert
California, USA
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Another thing to remember about Lecithin is the why it is used. You will notice that not many Chef/Chocolatier type chocolates are on that list. I love that we have companies with and without Lecithin because it gives us a greater variety of chocolate styles to choose from. For viscosity reasons a chef/chocolatier type chocolate will use lecithin(which is an emulsifier). When you are a chocolatier and need an extremely thin shell on a bon bon and low viscosity for a certain application you will most likely be using a chocolate with lecithin in it for its technical properties.

I do get questions as well though from people with soy alergies so it is nice to have a list of eating chocolates for people to find one that they like.

Have a great day everyone,

Some Chocolate Guy
http://www.chocolateguild.com

Some Chocolate Guy http://www.chocolateguild.com

Can soy lecithin change texture?? | Fine chocolate bar discussion | Forum