If you love chocolate, you’ve probably wondered about the ingredients it contains at one point or another. One component, in particular, may have caught your eye on some fine chocolate packaging or when you were perusing the components of your favorite candy bar – chocolate liquor.
This ingredient doesn’t seem like something that can be found in any grocery store, so what is chocolate liquor? And why do chocolatiers love to include it in their confections? Keep reading to find out!
What Is Chocolate Liquor (AKA Cacao Liquor)?
What is chocolate liquor? Chocolate liquor is a thick, dark brown liquid grinding up the nibs of roasted cacao beans. The name liquor comes from the fact that it contains about 54% cocoa butter. This gives it an oily, dense texture.
Despite the name, chocolate liquor has no alcohol. It’s simply the base for all types of chocolate, including milk chocolate and white chocolate.
When used on its own, chocolate liquor has an intense, bitter flavor that’s not particularly pleasant. But when combined with sugar, milk, and other flavorings, it becomes the delicious treat we know and love.
Components of chocolate liquor
Chocolate liquor is made from cocoa beans that have been roasted and ground into a paste. The cocoa paste is combined with cocoa butter, sugar, and milk to create different types of chocolate.
Chocolate liquor contains anywhere from 50-80% cocoa butter, which is why it’s used in baking and candy making. It contains 17% carbohydrates and 11% protein.
White chocolate has no chocolate liquor but does contain cocoa butter. Dark chocolate has less than 20% cocoa butter, so it can’t be called chocolate.
White chocolates generally contain added ingredients like vanilla extract or lemon oil for flavor and color. Milk chocolates are named as such because they have at least 10% milk solids, which can come from cream or condensed milk.
What is the Chocolate Liquor Production Process?
Chocolate liquor is the melted form of the nibs of the cacao bean. It’s also called cocoa mass or cocoa paste. The bills are roasted, then ground into a thick paste.
The paste is put into a hydraulic press where the cocoa butter is extracted, leaving a cake-like substance called cocoa cake.
The cake is ground into a powder called cocoa powder. The cocoa powder can be mixed with sugar and other ingredients to make chocolate confections like brownies and cakes.
What Are the Benefits of Chocolate Liquor?
Now that we’ve answered your question, “what is chocolate liquor?”, it is necessary to know the benefit. It makes hot, iced, and other sweetened hot drinks.
It can also be added to a recipe that typically calls for melted chocolate. Chocolate liquor comes in four varieties which are the following: unsweetened, semisweet, bittersweet, and sweet dark (or bittersweet).
Unsweetened is bitter and contains no sugar; semisweet has less sugar than bittersweet or lovely dark; bittersweet has more sugar than semisweet but less than sweet dark, and sweet dark has the most sugar four types.
It is helpful for recipes that require melting chocolate because it melts at a lower temperature and has fewer impurities than its counterparts.
In addition, when paired with eggs, butter, vanilla extract, or cream cheese, its flavor will become more affluent and add extra richness to whatever dessert you make.
Finally, What is chocolate liquor? Chocolate liquor is the liquid form of cocoa beans. It’s also called chocolate extract or cocoa mass.
You can use it in cooking and baking to add a chocolate flavor or drink it on its own. Chocolate liquor is the key ingredient in many popular desserts, including brownies, cakes, and cookies.
If you’re looking for a way to add a little something extra to your next batch of baked goods, give chocolate liquor a try!