Hotel Chocolat Group plc

04/17/2023 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 04/18/2023 16:49

What makes chocolate with cacao as the main ingredient so satisfying?

Discover why more cacao and less sugar is the secret to satisfying chocolate, and just what makes cacao-rich chocolate stand out from the crowd

It can be difficult to get your head around cacao content and percentages, especially in the UK, when the words 'cacao' and 'cocoa' are often used interchangeably. But the fact remains that chocolate with a high cacao content is incredibly satisfying, and there are plenty of reasons why that's the case. Read on to discover more about the impact a higher cacao content can have on your favourite treats.

Cacao content: what do we mean?

When we talk about cacao content, we are referring to the proportion of the chocolate's ingredients that cacao represents. It's important to note that this can cover the cacao butter in white chocolate and milk chocolate. Dark chocolate is not the only way to discover the high-cacao difference. You can identify whether chocolate uses cacao as the main ingredient simply by looking at where it appears in the ingredients: if cacao butter or cacao solids is the first ingredient in the list, it is the main one.

When you eat chocolate that uses cacao as its main ingredient, you are getting more of the original flavour of the cacao bean, as opposed to chocolates which use sugar or milk derivatives. These main ingredients tend to mask the chocolate flavour. They can also confuse the texture and diminish the unforgettable aroma that goes alongside the intricate taste of cacao-rich chocolate.


Why is chocolate with a high cacao content so satisfying?

Let's take a look at these individual factors which give cacao-rich chocolate its signature flavours, and help to explain why we just can't resist it.

Nuanced flavours

Cacao beans in their raw form contain a multitude of delicate flavours. They can be bitter, sweet, nutty, or a fascinating combination of these and more possibilities. We use cacao as the main ingredient in our chocolate because other ingredients can weaken these incredible flavours.

We adore that moment when your chocolate melts on your tongue and the intricate flavours unfold over time. Because chocolate with cacao as the main ingredient is so perfect for savouring, often you don't need to eat as much of it as you do with lower-quality chocolate to feel satisfied, so your precious chocolate will last longer.

Smoother texture

It can be hard to describe the superior texture of high-quality chocolate, but it's instantly recognisable when you experience it. The cacao butter in quality chocolate gives it a smooth texture and provides that delightful melt-in-your-mouth feeling, after which the chocolate taste coats your tastebuds and the flavours develop.

Lower-quality chocolate tends to have a more gritty or waxy texture, and can sometimes turn either oily or dry in your mouth. The former is usually a result of vegetable oil; the latter is an amalgamation of too much sugar or milk powder.

Enticing aroma

The delightful moment of opening your chocolate and experiencing the intoxicating scent before you even taste any is one you will only find in cacao-rich chocolate. The sumptuous chocolate smell is one of the classic indicators of quality chocolate. You may find that lower-quality products instead smell of other flavours like vanilla, or have an indistinct but overwhelmingly sweet smell.

Lower sugar content

By putting the complex flavours of the cacao bean first, our chocolate brings you these nuanced flavours and delicate aromas. It also results in a lower sugar content. Choosing chocolate with a higher cacao content means you get the satisfying chocolate-eating experience we all crave, without having to worry about high sugar intake.


100% chocolate: the ultimate high-cacao chocolate

When 85% Dark Chocolate is starting to taste a little mellow, there is only one step left on your journey to the dark side. Enter: 100% cacao chocolate.

Crafted only from cacao solids, with no added sugar or milk, this high-cacao creation is the purest chocolate experience you will find anywhere. We are proud to bring it to you in solid form, with our rare and vintage 100% Dark Chocolate Batons, and to enjoy in your Velvetiser with our 100% Dark Hot Chocolate.

100% chocolate has a malty, savoury taste which may surprise fans of mellow milk chocolate or bittersweet 70% Dark Chocolate. But you are sure to be won over once you take a small bite and discover the intricate flavours. If you take your coffee black, the deep flavour of our 100% Dark Chocolate Batons will perfectly lift the complementing flavour. Alternatively, if you would prefer something to counteract the intensity, a simple glass of milk acts as the perfect partner.

Moreover, because our 100% dark chocolate is purely derived from the cacao plant, as nature intended, it pairs perfectly with your favourite plant milk for a tempting vegan* treat.

*We believe our dark and Nutmilk chocolate is suitable for vegans. However, as it is made in the same environment as our milk chocolate, we cannot guarantee it is free from milk.

More Cacao, Less Sugar: chocolate from Hotel Chocolat

More cacao, less sugar is our mantra for good reason. As you now know, cutting down on the additives and instead letting the cacao flavour shine results in an unforgettable tasting experience every time.

We know chocolate inside and out because we aren't just chocolate makers; we are growers, too. We grow some of our cocoa beans on our Saint Lucia plantation, giving us a unique perspective on crafting the perfect chocolate. And once our carefully-grown beans are ready to transform into the products you know and love, our thorough three-step tasting process lets us create recipes full of pure chocolate flavour. Never too bitter, never too sweet, and nothing artificial, ever.

Discover our dark chocolate range, and experience the difference for yourself.