August 1, 2006
Domori claims not to add extra cocoa butter, but because their chocolate is so creamy and smooth, it's hard to imagine that they don't (unless they conch for an extremely long time). After looking at the box of Blend No. 1, the percentage of cocoa butter contained in the bar is 45%...45%! That's even more cocoa butter than El Rey's Apamate, which contains 43%. Blend No. 1 isn't that strong for its percentage (78%), which makes me believe that extra cocoa butter is indeed added. I haven't tried Break (which I believe is merely a modified Blend No. 1) yet, but I believe the cocoa butter percentage is a little lower. Anyone have any comments? I'll get to the bottom of this eventually.
July 31, 2006
I think it is down to different natural cocoa butter content in different beans, which I understand can vary quite a lot. Certain varieties, often the finest ones, will have a higher percentage. I'll research more, but I think the Domori claim is genuine.
Domori Break is actually a stronger version of the blend, but I think their figures may take into account the actual nibs, which may get classified as part of the cocoa mass - it certainly tastes a LOT less sweet.
This whole percentages thing is pretty complicated - for example new European rulings say that the percentage is calculated only on the chocolate part of the bar, not on additions. Additions would include vanilla and lecithin, so the percentage we see is not quite what we would first think. A lot of makers hedge their bets here and go for a 'minimum' amount, rather than the real figure, e.g. Rococo's 65% organic recently got downgraded from a 70%, because of a change in calculation, though in fact if the mass and butter are added up they come to 68%!.
August 1, 2006
Well, cocoa percentages should be based on the cocoa part of the bar and not on additions. Although additions might effect overall taste, they are not cocoa constituents. Vanilla and lechitin only make up about 1-2% of a chocolate bar anyway, so I doubt their presence really is factored in at all.
I'm not too sure about the percentages of Break, but I will check and compare them to those of Blend No. 1. I know for a fact, though, that Break has 80% cocoa solids, but I believe you're correct in that Domori factors in the presence of cocoa beans to determine overall cocoa content. If that's the case, then shouldn't Puro be over 100% since it has some beans scattered throughout? hehe
That's another thing: I've had one bar of Puro that had a few cocoa bean pieces, but the one I'm eating now doesn't have any. Leftovers from a previous batch of Break's production or something Domori intnetionally did? Perhaps this is related to the sweetness/bitterness predicament encountered by someone else in another thread.
August 1, 2006
Soy Lechitin is an emulsifier used to reduce the viscosity, or thickness of chocolate. This thinning of the chocolate reduces the amount of cocoa butter required to produce the correct texture in the manufacturing process. Cocoa butter is also used to add flavor to chocolate, and some brands, such as Cluizel, might add extra to compensate for the lack of lechitin. As with a lot of ingredients, such as saffron and vanilla, a little can go a long way. Not much lechitin is needed to achieve the desired results.
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