What is Ruby Chocolate?
When we think of chocolate, most of us envision a brownish bar of creamy sweetness ranging from the ever popular milk (light) chocolate to the darker varieties like semi or bittersweet chocolate. On occasion, we might even think of a white chocolate bunny or a dipped pretzel. Most people are not familiar with the newer pink-hued chocolate called ruby chocolate. Never-the-less, it is intriguing at the least and provides an interesting option.
Ruby Chocolate was introduced in 2018 as a new chocolate, pinkish in color, with a somewhat fruity taste. It is a curiosity and is becoming easier to obtain. The chocolate is made from a “ruby cocao bean” which was patented by chocolatier Barry Callebaut in 2009. According to Callebaut’s website, the ruby bean is grown in Brazil, Ecuador, and the Ivory Coast There is some mystery surrounding this new bean, as to how it is processed, and whether it qualifies as an actual type of chocolate.
Callebaut teamed up with the Kit Kat Bar (Nestle) to introduce ruby chocolate to the world. It has since been used and distributed by a number of companies. Besides the obvious chocolate bar and chips, it has been found in baked goods, ice creams, and drinks. Should you wish to experiment with this curious chocolate, you will find some ideas as well as tips for working with it in the balance of this article.
Like many, I have my favorite go-to chocolates, but that doesn’t mean that I’m not up for a new combination or, in this case, a new variety. Initially unimpressed with my first go round with ruby chocolate, I decided to give it another chance by purchasing some juju straight from the Callebaut source. Too excited to keep it to myself, I shared it with two rows of passengers on my flight up the coast. Along with other chocolates, we had an official taste test as we observed the smell, texture, mouthfeel, and of course taste of the chocolate. I guess I’m a chocolate nerd.
What Does Ruby Chocolate Taste and Look Like?
If I didn’t know better, I would describe it as a flavored, white chocolate. But, it is more bitter, and the fruity flavor is more like wine than a typical berry. Others describe the fruity taste similar to raspberry or strawberry. Generally, white chocolate is quite sweet while Ruby has a tang, or an after taste. It does not, however, taste like a typical cocao flavor.
It’s no surprise that ruby chocolate is…ruby colored. Actually it’s described as pinkish in color. Depending on how it’s used, the color can actually fade from a dark pink to a lighter hue, particularly if it is stored in warm, humid conditions. It is unique in that it doesn’t resemble either the white or brown chocolate that we are accustomed to.
What Can I Make From Ruby Chocolate?
You can make traditional chocolate dishes with ruby chocolate; however, there are some suggestions for optimum experience. Callebaut has been generous in sharing tips and recipes when tempering, molding, and baking with the chocolate. Since the flavor is unique, the first suggestion is to refrain from masking the distinct flavor with complicated add-ins. As with traditional chocolates, ruby chocolate can be used to make bars, truffles, and enrobed pieces. Callebaut suggests using “dry, crunchy inclusions” such as dried fruit or nuts in your confections.
The chocolate tends to lose some of its color and taste as it is mixed with other ingredients, or when it is particularly humid. Thus, it is not unusual to see an ingredient such as beet powder to help maintain the distinct pink color, especially when used in baking.
Is Ruby Chocolate Worth the Hype?
Callebaut has done a great job marketing their unique product. Instagram enthusiasts were quick to help promote it. Some people have embraced the “new” chocolate as the fourth type of chocolate after white, milk & dark. Others have been skeptical, particularly with the secrecy surrounding the origins and production of the beans. At the end of the day, it’s up to you whether it fits into your chocolate budget and taste profile. Since it is still so new, it will be interesting to see how popular the chocolate becomes.