What is dark chocolate?
Pure dark chocolate has only two ingredients: cocoa and sugar.
Some respectable chocolates may contain additional ingredients such as:
- Soy lecithin: it is an emulsifier that helps with texture
- Flavorings: Whether it is vanilla, spices, or oils, it can be difficult to differentiate natural and artificial flavors. If you want flavored dark chocolate, choose one that is organic.
These ingredients are not necessary, but still acceptable.
If you come across a chocolate that contains hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oil, put it back where you found it. These are trans fats which represent a significant risk factor for heart disease.
Dark chocolate is vegan friendly, but I would recommend checking the ingredients list to make sure your chocolatier did not sneak in any milk or milk fat.
The rule of thumb when it comes to chocolate’s ingredients is “less is better”.
High quality dark chocolate always has cocoa (or chocolate liquor) listed as the first ingredient.
The absence of dairy in dark chocolate makes it less perishable. When stored properly, an unopened chocolate can last up to 2 years, and an open one can last up to a year. I trust that after reading this article you won’t take a year to finish your precious delicacy.
To appreciate dark chocolate’s nuanced flavors, buy a bar with a percentage. 60% means 60% cacao 40% everything else. The higher the number, the darker the chocolate.
How to store chocolate:
Keep your chocolate in a place where temperature is controlled.
Aim for a temperature between 60–64°F (16–18°C), not much higher.
During warm seasons, store your chocolates in a cool space like a basement or cold cellar.
Nine Reasons Why Chocolate Is More Than a Sweet; It Is a Superfood
Dark chocolate was the subject of many studies. All of them exalt the health and happiness that dark chocolate brings. Although results always vary, it is undeniable that dark chocolate has a lot to offer.
Quality dark chocolate is nutritious and improves several important risk factors for disease.
1. It is one of the best sources of antioxidants. It exerts anti-inflammatory activities. It is rich in fiber, iron, magnesium, copper, manganese and a few other minerals.
3. A small daily consumption can help lower blood pressure for people with hypertension.
4. The bioactive compounds in cocoa may improve blood flow in the arteries and cause a small but statistically significant decrease in blood pressure. In the long term, this should cause much less cholesterol to lodge in the arteries, resulting in a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.
8. It contains serotonin, and tryptophan which is a naturally occurring chemical that helps your body produce serotonin. Serotonin is a mood enhancer and may help you feel relaxed.
How to enjoy it best
As you can see, dark chocolate is a wonderful health food, but like everything else, it should be consumed with moderation. Dark chocolate is high in calories. In order to positively affect your health, the daily dose recommended is approximately 1 to 2 ounces (30-60g). Enjoy it as part of a balanced diet.
The darker the better! The healthiest dark chocolate contains a cocoa percentage of 70% or higher.
The many varieties of chocolate offer a wide range of flavors so although a higher percentage of cocoa implies a more bitter chocolate, you might be surprised by what you taste. The only way to know is to try it for yourself. In all cases, make sure you buy an organic chocolate, preferably sourced through direct trade.
National Dark Chocolate Day is celebrated on February 1rst. It is the opportunity to organize a chocolate tasting party. But of course you don’t have to wait until then to purchase your decadent treats.
Rosie’s Confections Dark Chocolate
At Rosie’s Confections, the chocolate we use to make our heavenly confections comes from TCHO.
Our classic recipes are made from a 81% dark chocolate. It has complex fudge-y notes and slight hints of raw almonds. The chocolate is certified USDA organic and vegan.
USDA certified organic foods are grown and processed according to federal guidelines. Soil quality, pest and weed control, use of additives are among the many factors addressed.