When it comes to sugar-free chocolate, big manufacturers usually rely on sugar substitutes. To make their products palatable without sugar, they use alternatives with lower calories but higher sweetening power. Sorbitol, maltilol, inulin and xylitol are just a few of the ingredients found in mass-produced sugar-free chocolate. They are cheap, produced in laboratories and easy to source in big quantities. These substances also come with contraindications for the human body, and their taste is not so pleasant.
Mass-produced chocolate definitely can’t satisfy the sugar-free demand without compromising on quality and flavor. Lucky for us, craft makers have a better answer: 100% cacao chocolate.
100% cacao chocolate doesn’t contain sugar. Every ingredient comes from the cacao beans. The percentage is divided between cacao solids (the “brown” part that contains health properties and chocolatey flavor) and cacao butter (the “white” part which is the fatty component of the chocolate). The ratio in a bar is approximately 50/50, but will vary depending on the producer.
It is also a similar product to unsweetened chocolate. The difference is that unsweetened chocolate is meant for cooking and baking. While 100% cacao chocolate is meant for tasting and savoring.
Instead of using chemicals like big manufacturers do, craft makers rely on smarter choices. To satisfy the demand for sugar-free chocolate, they are making their 100% cacao bars:
- SMOOTHER: adding cacao butter is the most used strategy to make chocolate creamy and smooth. The percentage of cacao still remains the same, but by tweaking the ratio between cacao solids and cacao butter, makers manage to give a more pleasant texture.
- CRUNCHIER: to give it a “twist”, craft makers have started including cacao nibs in their bars. Cacao nibs are bits of roasted cacao beans. This addition doesn’t interfere with the 100% definition, as cacao nibs don’t contain sugar.
- MORE FLAVORFUL: depending on the origin and many other factors, chocolate can taste fruity, floral, spicy, earthy, nutty. With 100% cacao chocolate made by craft makers, the flavor is never flat or boring.