Chocolate flavoring is one of the most popular sweet tastes worldwide. Its unique aroma makes it an excellent addition to various foods. According to the World Cocoa Foundation, more than 3 million cocoa beans are consumed each year.  But where exactly does chocolate flavoring come from?
Chocolate flavoring comes from the chemicals found in different cocoa beans. The flavor depends on the type of the cacao tree, on conditions in which it grew, and the processes of cocoa beans treatment, such as fermentation and roasting.
From sweet milk chocolate to super dark chocolate, there are many chocolate flavors that you will find in the market. I will take you through the journey of enlightenment and provide information on how chocolate flavoring is made, and what different types of chocolate flavoring you can find worldwide.
What Is Chocolate Flavoring Made Of?
Chocolate flavoring depends on various factors such as cacao tree type, exposure to sun, humidity and temperature. Furthermore, you need to consider roasting, fermentation, and ingredients included in each flavoring formula.
Fermentation is a key stage because it triggers several chemical reactions, while conditions during roasting form the complexity of chocolate flavor.
Everything starts with cocoa pods that grow on the cacao trees. It is a fruit that you can see on the packaging of dark chocolates or cocoa powders. Inside the cocoa pods, you can find about 30 to 40 cocoa beans. These cocoa beans are the seeds, and if you plant them, you will grow a brand new cacao tree.
When you shake your cocoa pods and hear the sound of beans move inside them, you know it is time for harvest. Cocoa beans should then be cleaned and dried. As you can guess, their flavors depend on the type of cacao tree.
Do you know that robust chocolate flavor? It is from a cacao tree called Forestero. In addition, it is the most popular one, too.
The second one is Criollo and this tree grows cocoa beans that give the chocolate a mild, woody flavor.
If you cross Forestero and Criollo, you got yourself Trinitario. Its beans will give you fruity flavors with rich chocolate notes.
Thanks to everything I mentioned, cacao trees in Ivory Coast will give you different beans than cacao trees in Costa Rica.
What Is the Natural Flavoring in Chocolate?
Cocoa is listed as the main ingredient in chocolate and it is a source for extracting aroma chemicals. In contrast, artificial flavors are made by people in laboratories.
You can find natural chocolate flavorings in the bigger supermarkets or order them online. Their concentrated, unsweetened flavor makes them perfect for confectionery goods, icings, and as an addition to any baked goods.
How Is Chocolate Flavored?
Different processes are applied for flavoring chocolates. The end result depends on the cocoa beans and the methods involved. One of the processes used for flavoring chocolate is fermentation.
For flavor generation, fermentation and roasting are the most critical processes. The cocoa beans are allowed to ferment, and it generates unique flavors.
Some chocolates have nuts, dried fruits, or added aromas. The spectrum of aromas includes vanilla, orange, cherry, and even chili. They are applied in liquid form as an extract while chocolate is still not solid. On the other hand, nuts and dried fruit are added in the final steps when the chocolate is already in the molds.
List of Unique Chocolate Flavors
Everyone has their favorite flavors, but how much do you actually know about the different kinds of flavors? Let’s dig deep and discuss various chocolate flavors.
Milk chocolate has light brown color and a creamy texture and is regarded as one of the most popular types of chocolate flavor. To get milk chocolate, producers mix chocolate liquor with milk and sugar.
It has a sweet and chocolatey flavor profile with notes of caramelized sugar.
It has a softer texture than dark chocolate but is not as sweet and soft as white one. It is used in baking recipes that require a milder chocolate flavor.
Cocoa solids are created when the chocolate powder is treated under high pressure and crushed into powder.
The cocoa powder is acidic and has an intense bitter chocolate flavor. It is brown and can be divided into two types – natural and Dutch-processed cocoa.
Unsweetened cocoa is good for baking and provides a delicious chocolate flavor.
You can also use it for making a delicious warm cocoa drink before going to sleep and you will sleep like a baby!
It is deep brown and is considered the second most popular chocolate flavoring type. You can refer to it as semisweet chocolate since it has a high proportion of cocoa powder.
Its flavor has notes of red fruit, cinnamon, and baked brownie. Dark chocolate has various health benefits since it is a source of antioxidants.
- RELATED: How to Sweeten Dark Chocolate?
White chocolate has an ivory color and creamy texture. This chocolate flavoring is made by combining lecithin, vanilla, milk, butter, sugar, and cocoa beans. It has a unique vanilla aroma.
Due to the high milk and sugar content, white chocolate has a rich, soft texture. It does not contain any cocoa powder and that is why it is missing the brown color.
Ruby chocolate flavor was discovered in 2017. It has a pinkish hue and looks noticeably different from other chocolate flavorings.
This chocolate has a fruity flavor that comes from ruby cocoa beans found in Brazil, Ivory Coast, and Ecuador.