Tasting a chocolate tells if it is just good or superior but pinpointing the main reason behind its quality difference is challenging. You wish to use best chocolate for your products to take it to the highest level.
For example, you can choose lamontagnechocolate.com for partnership because they use high quality ingredients in their products.
Journey from cocoa beans to chocolate
Cocoa nibs & cocoa liquor
Cocoa beans are broken into small pieces after fermentation, drying and roasting. These are called cocoa nibs. Chocolate liquor comes out from roasted coca nibs. It is not liquor like in alcohol but a molten liquid. Cocoa butter is made from this cocoa liquor.
Cocoa butter maintains its solid form at room temperature but as it nears body temperature cocoa butter starts to melt into liquid. Coca butter has six melting and crystallization ranges. It does not go rancid quickly like some vegetable oils, so provides long shelf life.
Cocoa powder is prepared from remains of cocoa liquid after removing cocoa butter [it still has 10% to 22% cocoa butter to comply FDA rules]. The cake is grinded and sifted to get cocoa powder. Cocoa powder is added to chocolate making, so its quality can also affect finished chocolate product.
Chocolate manufacturing process will affect the overall quality and flavour of chocolate product.
Conching – mixture of ingredients
Cocoa powder is used in chocolate making with sugar for sweetness and flavour. Chocolate’s melting quality is got from cocoa butter. Cocoa powder is not added to make white chocolate. Milk is also added to make milk chocolate.
Emulsifier like lecithin or some other stabilizer is used in some chocolates to decrease its viscosity. It depends on chocolate manufacturer’s preference. Special machines are used in this conching process to blend and knead ingredients. Conching process affects chocolates taste.
After conching, heat is applied to chocolate bend for crystallizing the cocoa butter. As soon as the mixture gets tempered, chocolate is poured in molds, which hardens to form large chocolate blocks.
Evaluate the quality
Just looking at the chocolate, you can get the initial quality assessment. Good chocolates appear glossy without any bubbles or blemishes.
Cloudy spots, gray areas, or discoloration swirls convey a manufacturing glitch but can impact consumer’s perspective about quality. They may perceive it to be spoilage.
High end chocolate smells strongly of chocolate and not vanilla, spicy or other scents.
Taste is the obvious way to assess chocolate quality. Taste includes flavour, texture, feel, and melting aspect. Even after the chocolate is finished its taste, flavor, and velvety texture will linger in your mouth.