Chocolate is made from tropical Theobroma cacao tree seeds, It is mixed with fat and finely powdered sugar to produce a solid confectionary. Several types of chocolate exist and they are classified according to the proportion of cocoa used in a particular formulation. Chocolate most commonly comes in dark, milk and white varieties, with cocoa solids contributing to the brown coloration.
Chocolate became very popular in the wider world after the European discovery of America. Different parts of the world ascribes different names to the cocoa bean products from which chocolate is made. The ground or melted state of the nib of the cacao bean, containing roughly equal parts cocoa butter and solids is called chocolate liquor. The fatty component of the bean is referred to as cocoa butter and the dry cocoa solids are the remaining nonfat part of the cocoa bean, which are grounded into a powder.
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Types of Chocolate
Different forms and flavours of chocolate are produced by varying the quantities of the different ingredients used. Other flavours are obtained by varying the time and temperature when roasting the beans.
There is the milk chocolate which is a solid chocolate made with milk added in the form powdered milk, liquid milk, or condensed milk. Experts speculate that the milk is partially lipolyzed, producing butyric acid, and then the milk is pasteurized, stabilizing it for use.
The dark chocolate which is also known as plain chocolate is produced using a higher percentage of cocoa with all fat content coming from cocoa butter instead of milk, but there are also dark milk chocolates and many degrees of hybrids. Dark chocolate can be eaten raw or used in cooking, for which thicker baking bars, usually with high cocoa percentages ranging from 70% to 100% are sold. Baking chocolate containing no added sugar may be labeled “unsweetened chocolate”.
Semisweet and bittersweet are terms for dark chocolate traditionally used in the United States to indicate the amount of added sugar. Typically, bittersweet chocolate has less sugar than semi sweet chocolate, but the two are interchangeable when baking. Both must contain a minimum of 35% cocoa solids; many brands now print on the package the percentage of cocoa in the chocolate.
Couverture chocolate or Tempered couverture chocolate is a high-quality class of dark chocolate, containing a high percentage of cocoa solids that includes a higher percentage of cocoa butter than other chocolate, and precisely tempered. Couverture chocolate is used by professionals for dipping, coating, molding and garnishing (‘couverture’ means ‘covering’ in French). Popular brands of couverture chocolate used by pastry chefs include: Valrhona, Lindt & Sprüngli, Scharffen Berger, Callebaut, and Guittard.
There is also the White chocolate which is made of sugar, milk, and cocoa butter, without the cocoa solids. It is pale ivory coloured, and lacks many of the compounds found in milk and dark chocolates. It remains solid at room temperature as that is below the melting point of cocoa butter.
Ruby chocolate on another hand is a type of chocolate created by Barry Callebaut. The chocolate type is made from the Ruby cocoa bean, resulting in a distinct red colour and a different flavour.
Raw chocolate is chocolate that has not been processed, heated, or mixed with other ingredients. It is sold in chocolate-growing countries, and to a much lesser extent in other countries, often promoted as healthy.
Compound chocolate is the name for a confection combining cocoa with other vegetable fat, usually tropical fats or hydrogenated fats, as a replacement for cocoa butter. It is often used for candy bar coatings. In many countries it may not legally be called “chocolate”.
Modeling chocolate is a chocolate paste made by melting chocolate and combining it with corn syrup, glucose syrup, or golden syrup. It is primarily used by cake makers and pâtisseries to add decoration to cakes and pastries.
Cocoa powder is the pulverized cocoa solids left after extracting almost all the cocoa butter. It is used to add chocolate flavour in baking, and for making chocolate drinks. There are two types of unsweetened cocoa powder:
natural cocoa produced by the Broma process, with no additives, and Natural cocoa is light in colour and somewhat acidic, and is commonly used in recipes that also use baking soda; as baking soda is an alkali, combining it with natural cocoa creates a leavening action that allows the batter to rise during baking.
Dutch Processed Cocoa
Dutch cocoa is additionally processed with alkali to neutralize its natural acidity. Unlike the natural cocoa, the dutch cocoa is slightly milder in taste, with a darker colour. It is frequently used for chocolate drinks such as hot chocolate due to its ease in blending with liquids. However, Dutch processing destroys most of the flavonoids present in cocoa.
Furthermore, flavours such as mint, vanilla, coffee, orange, or strawberry are sometimes added to chocolate in a creamy form or in very small pieces. Chocolate bars frequently contain added ingredients such as peanuts, nuts, fruit, caramel, and crisped rice. Pieces of chocolate, in various flavours, are sometimes added to breakfast cereals and ice cream.
What Type Of Chocolate Is On The Keto-friendly List
Dark chocolate is a delicious treat that is very nutritious. It can be a good source of fiber, minerals and antioxidants. It is made by combining fat and sugar with cocoa, contains more cocoa and less or no sugar (even though sugar is added to combat the bitter taste of cocoa) unlike it’s twin milk chocolate. Basically, the percentage of cocoa in the chocolate determines its quality or level of darkness. As a rule, dark chocolate should contain a minimum of 70% cocoa.
It’s high quality makes it more nutritious and beneficiary than other antioxidants food as it will contain a high quantity of flavonoids (which in turn makes it rate higher than others). Keto diet does not favor meals or snacks with high carbs, however due to the high quality and lowness in carbs of the dark chocolate, it is part of the items allowed on a keto diet. Although the rate of intake depends on the brand and procedures in producing it.
Dark chocolate is a type of chocolate that one can eat when on keto diet, but this must be done in moderation because unlike other chocolates, dark chocolate is very low in carbohydrates. Normally, a keto diet would restrict your carb consumption to a maximum of 5% of your average calories consumption.
Fitting dark chocolate into your meal plan has a lot to do with the restrictions you place on other carb food around you and strictly observing your daily carb intake limit. To fit dark chocolate into your keto meal, make sure that it is made up of at least 70% of cocoa as anything lesser will increase your carbs intake drastically. Never forget that control is the key to staying true to your dieting cause.
If you intend to monitor your carbohydrates intake from other food, you need to adjust your diet plan accordingly in a way that whatever you eat for that day would not exceed a net carbs of 20 grams to prevent excessive intake of carbs.
As stated above, you could also go for a sugar-free dark chocolate, and when you go shopping for this, ensure that you get brands that adopts low carb sweetener (monk fruit sweetener, erythritol or stevia) as sweetener for their dark chocolate, because this sweetener has little to no net carb. Do not buy dark chocolates that are sweetened with maltitol, maple syrup, coconut sugar, or date syrup as these sweeteners are high in carbs, thus not keto-friendly.
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Some keto-friendly dark chocolate that works are:
- Hu Simple Dark Chocolate: this dark chocolate is naturally made with 70% cocoa, and does not contain dairy, gluten, refined sugar, cane sugar, or sugar alcohols. Its natural ingredients list makes it an affordable yet healthy choice all serious with their keto diet plans. Hu’s Simple Dark Chocolate helps with keeping you on keto while satisfying your urge for sweetness. It has the net carb of 11 grams per serving and has the consumption limit at ⅓ of the bar a day
- Green & Black’s Organic Dark Chocolate: this dark chocolate is made with 85% cocoa solids from Trinitario cocoa beans with a little bit of vanilla to give it an intensely dynamic flavor. Although this dark chocolate has a bit of sugar added to make it sweeter, it still is keto-friendly and will satisfy your sweet tooth. It’s net carb per serving for keto diet is 11 grams which means 3-5 pieces can be consumed from it’s 12 pieces per pack
- Lily’s Extremely Dark chocolate: this dark chocolate is prepared with 85% cocoa solids and sweetened with stevia. It is completely sugar and gluten-free. Despite the fact that it’s sweetener is stevia, it still has a rich and creamy taste and not that of stevia. It helps with keeping you on your keto diet track and satisfies your chocolatey urge. It’s serving size is 40 grams and should be consumed 20 grams per day
- Endangered Species Extreme Dark Chocolate: this keto-friendly dark chocolate bar is made with 88% cocoa content and a little bit of sugar is added. Due to the high percentage of cocoa used, it boasts of low carb. It has a strong and silkily smooth flavor that is not too bitter. It is a nice delicious treat on a keto diet. It’s net carb let serving is 7 grams and only ¼ of its bar should be consumed per day
- Lindt EXCELLENCE 95% High Cocoa Chocolate Bar: Lindt dark chocolate is one of the dark chocolate with one of the highest quality. It is prepared with 95% or cocoa solid, this makes it very delicious and nutritious. It is a dark chocolate to add to your keto diet meal planning. It has a strong cocoa flavor and is bitter in taste. It’s highly addictive and delicious. It has a serving size of 4 pieces and a net carb if 3 grams per serving, 1-3 of its pieces can be consumed daily.
But if you are a do-it-yourself person, below is an easy to follow recipe on how to prepare keto-friendly dark chocolate cookies for yourself.
Ingredients needed are:
- ½ cup cocoa butter (8 tablespoons that is melted )
- ⅓ cup coconut flour
- ¾ cup granular monk-fruit or stevia sweetener
- 2 eggs (whisked)
- ½ cup cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (for flavor)
- ½ cup sugar free chocolate chips
- ¼ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- ¼ cup chopped pecans
- You preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Then mix the melted butter, coconut flour, sweetener, eggs, baking powder, cocoa powder, salt and vanilla combined in a medium pan. You mix it until a thick batter forms.
- You then fold in the chocolate chips, coconut flakes and pecans.
- Grease your baking sheet.
- Scoop the batter onto the baking sheet making use of an ice cream scoop. (Remember to leave enough space between the cookies).
- You proceed to baking the scooped batter for 8-10 minutes before allowing it to cool.
We all know that chocolates are sweet treats. But for keto diet, you must always monitor your carbs intake so as not to derail from your diet goal. When you go for a dark chocolate, ensure it contains a minimum of 70% cocoa.