We all know that chocolate is a sweet pleasure and should only be consumed in its purest form. However, what is pure chocolate called?
After all, if you are going to keep track of your diet, you should only consume the purest kind of chocolate. If eaten in moderation, it can be great for your health.
Pure chocolate is called chocolate liquor and is the base from which all chocolates are made. Chocolate liquor contains 100 percent cocoa with no additional ingredients. Under pressure, chocolate liquor becomes cocoa powder or cocoa butter, from which other chocolates are made.
Since some extra processing is needed to make chocolate liquor, solid chocolate made from cocoa solids and cocoa butter is considered pure chocolate. This is also called plain or baking chocolate. Since pure chocolate is bitter, many individuals only use it for cooking purposes.
In this article, we will discuss the features of pure chocolate. We will also explore the benefits of pure chocolate and why everyone should include it in their diet.
What is Pure Chocolate Made From?
Many individuals are of the perception that chocolate is only different because of its different flavors, which is why it is not a healthy alternative. However, the truth is that all kinds of foods have substitutes. This means that if you are trying to live a healthier lifestyle and are looking for something to replace chocolate with, you should opt for pure chocolate.
Pure chocolate is a healthier alternative because of the ingredients used to make it. Regular chocolate may taste heavenly, but it uses loads of sugar to sweeten it up. On the other hand, pure chocolate, also called chocolate liquor, is made of cocoa butter and cocoa solids. Each type of pure chocolate has different proportions of ingredients, but all of these ingredients are different from those used to make milk chocolate.
Milk chocolate is made using fewer quantities of cocoa solids, and rather than cocoa butter, it uses sugar and milk. Milk chocolate also uses other ingredients like artificial colors, vegetable oils, and flavors. These added ingredients make milk chocolate unhealthy and may cause it to lead to weight gain in some people.
What is Pure Chocolate Called?
As we mentioned before, pure chocolate is called chocolate liquor. Pure chocolate can also be known as cacao mass, cacao liquor, cocoa mass, cocoa liquor, baking chocolate, and of course, simply just “chocolate.”
Whatever name you want to give it doesn't change the fact that pure chocolate is a liquid that is made using cacao beans, commonly also called cocoa nibs or cocoa beans. It contains equal parts of cocoa butter and cocoa solids. Chocolate liquor got its name many centuries ago when the liquid was used to produce chocolate.
You may be thinking that all chocolate bars that you so fondly eat contain chocolate liquor. However, this is not the case. The three legally recognized chocolates include dark, white, and milk. Dark and milk chocolates contain the same proportions of chocolate liquor, while white chocolate is made using cocoa butter, which is essentially cocoa fat.
Milk chocolates are made using cocoa butter, sugar, chocolate liquor, and milk powder, while dark chocolate is made with cacao and sugar. However, keep in mind that chocolate liquor has more flavor than the final product.
Given that chocolate liquor is made using cacao beans, its nutritious profile is similar- it contains high concentrations of zinc and magnesium, protein, fiber, and antioxidants.
Is Pure Chocolate Good for You?
The good news is that there are lots of benefits of pure chocolate, and if you understand these, you will know why a large majority of the population opts for pure chocolate rather than milk chocolate.
Cocoa, the main ingredient in pure chocolate, is incredibly beneficial. Made purely out of cocoa without any sugar or milk, many people include it in their diets as a healthy alternative to sweet chocolate. If you love chocolate and have to consume it every day, here are some reasons why you should consider switching to pure chocolate:
1. Loaded with Polyphenols and other Antioxidants
Polyphenols are antioxidants that occur naturally in foods like tea, chocolate, wine, vegetables, and fruit. They have been proven to have a number of health benefits, such as allowing better blood flow, reducing blood pressure, inflammation, and cholesterol, and blood sugar levels.
The highest form of polyphenols is found in cocoa. Cocoa also contains flavanols, another type of potent antioxidant that produces anti-inflammatory effects in the body.
It must be kept in mind that heating and processing cocoa can cause it to lose its healthy properties. Alkaline is usually mixed with cocoa to lower its levels of bitterness, which in turn lowers the flavanol content.
2. Lowers the Risk of Heart Disease
Pure chocolate is full of anti-inflammatory antioxidants that help the heart and keep the entire cardiovascular system in check.
Flavonols protect the body against cardiovascular diseases while improving the circulation of blood in the body and lowering the risk of stroke. Other antioxidants found in pure chocolate lower bad cholesterol (HDL) and keep atherosclerosis at bay. This is when the arteries harden up. The benefits that pure chocolate provides for the heart are impressive.
3. Helps Reduce High Blood Pressure Levels
Regardless of whether cocoa is in the powdered form or as dark chocolate, it can significantly help reduce blood pressure.
People living on an island in Central America who drank cocoa were studied. It was found that as compared to their non-cocoa drinking counterparts, they had significantly lower blood pressure.
The flavanols present in cocoa help nitric oxide levels in the body, which, in turn, boost the function of blood vessels and help lower blood pressure.
4. Regulates Mood
Do you ever eat chocolate and just feel instantly happy? This is because the cocoa in pure chocolate helps boost your mood. According to research, cocoa is a natural antidepressant provided by nature that helps increase the happy hormones in the body.
Chocolate liquor is loaded with a mood-enhancing chemical known as anandamide. This chemical is known to keep people euphoric. Moreover, pure chocolate has been studied to have a positive impact on the reward part of the brain. Researchers have found that cocoa mingles with the neurotransmitter systems to help release serotonin, dopamine, and endorphins, all of which can help humans feel happier.
5. Increases Sex Appeal
Pure chocolate is known to be an aphrodisiac. This means that if you are ever looking to find your way into someone’s heart, give them something that is loaded with cocoa powder.
This is because pure chocolate contains a mood-enhancing chemical known as phenethylamine. This chemical is known to release the exact endorphins that are released when an individual falls in love. Hence, pure chocolate can vastly improve your sex life.
6. Contains Caffeine
Chocolate liquor contains a good amount of caffeine. This means that each time you consume chocolate liquor, you will feel a boost of energy and might be able to fight off fatigue for longer periods of time. Along with containing caffeine, pure chocolate also contains magnesium.
Did you know that two tablespoons of pure chocolate contain 14 percent of the body’s daily requirement of magnesium? Magnesium helps protect the body from high blood pressure issues, as well as type II diabetes and osteoporosis. Consuming healthy quantities of pure chocolate is one of the best ways to keep the body awake, energized, and free of disease.
7. Keeps Wrinkles Away
If you want beautiful skin that is free of wrinkles and completely flawless, you need to include healthy quantities of chocolate liquor in your everyday diet. The polyphenols found in pure chocolate protect the cells in the body from premature oxidation. This ensures that the skin does not become wrinkled and that it can look young for as long as possible.
Moreover, the cocoa present in chocolate liquor helps improve the texture of the skin while ensuring that it never looks dull. According to a study, pure chocolate helps improve skin microcirculation, as well as skin hydration. This means that by including a little pure chocolate in your diet, your skin can look brighter and more youthful.
Along with keeping your skin wrinkle-free, cocoa powder has been used as a moisturizer for decades. Even today, it is used to keep the skin smooth and soft.
8. Keeps the Brain Sharp
Pure chocolate helps boost memory, as well as cognitive function. Moreover, science has also proved that it increases the flow of blood to the brain.
The cocoa present in pure chocolate can help slow down cognitive impairment that comes with age, as well as forgetfulness. Many studies show that consuming pure chocolate helps prevent Alzheimer’s disease, along with other neurological diseases. All you have to do is include some chocolate liquor in your everyday diet so that your brain and memory stay intact for as long as possible.
How is Chocolate Liquor Used?
Chocolate liquor is used to make a number of goods, such as candy, ice cream, and beverages that use coffee. The great thing about chocolate liquor is that it produces a well-recognized, rich flavor, even when it is used in small quantities. Chocolate liquor is used to make dark as well as milk chocolate. To make white chocolate, the cocoa solids are removed.
Many people know of chocolate liquor by its generic name, baking chocolate. However, baking chocolate should not be confused with cocoa powder- a defat version of chocolate liquor that contains lower than 10 percent fat. Food manufacturers get their chocolate liquor via a big cacao processor that is not available to the general public because they only deal with other food companies. These big cocoa processors sell other cacao products to manufacturing clients, such as whole beans, cocoa butter, cocoa powder, and cacao nibs.
Chocolate liquor is also used in manufacturing bean to bar chocolate. Cacao beans are prepared and processed without the use of milk and sugar. Usually, test batches are made to test the quality of the cacao beans first. Most chocolate makers do a number of tests to try different conche times and roasts.
Frequently Asked Questions for Pure Chocolate Chocolate liquor
1. Is pure chocolate vegan?
Absolutely. Pure chocolate or chocolate liquor is made using the ground seeds of cacao trees. This makes it vegan-friendly.
2. Is pure chocolate poisonous to dogs?
Pure chocolate can make cats and dogs extremely sick. Hence, your pets should be kept away from chocolate liquor. In case of ingestion, take them to the vet as soon as possible.
3. What is pure chocolate made from?
Pure chocolate is made from ground cacao beans. Pure chocolate is also known as cocoa mass, cocoa liquor, baking chocolate, cacao mass, and simply just “chocolate” as well.
4. Does pure chocolate contain alcohol?
No, pure chocolate does not contain alcohol. It is made using the humble cacao bean. The term “liquor” in chocolate liquor refers to the liquid state that cacao has to reach before it can be called chocolate liquor.
5. Does pure chocolate contain gluten?
Luckily, pure chocolate is gluten-free. This makes it safe for individuals with gluten allergies.
6. Is pure chocolate free of dairy?
Chocolate liquor is dairy-free, which makes it safe for individuals with dairy allergies.
7. Is pure chocolate healthy?
Chocolate liquor or pure chocolate is good for the human body. It comes straight from the cocoa bean, which contains considerable amounts of protein, fiber, and healthy fats. Moreover, pure chocolate contains high concentrations of zinc, magnesium, and other antioxidants that are great for heart health.
About THE AUTHOR
Lori has been a Culinary Arts instructor for twenty years. She has taught in the public school setting, at the collegiate level and through adult continuing education as well as running several cooking and baking camps for children. She has participated in several cooking, cake & chocolate contests and has been well recognized. She has raised thousands of dollars for charities using the byline “Saving the World one Cupcake at a Time”. Additionally, she has had several articles regarding food published in various magazines.Read More About Lori Gilmore