I'm on a journey to explore the world of American craft chocolate
Butter You Up
There’s a reason we’re used to eating chocolate with added cocoa butter: It’s delicious. Call it European style, call it cheating, call it whatever you want: I call it some of my favorite chocolate out there.
For many years bean-to-bar makers wanted to distinguish themselves from the old guard by eschewing cocoa butter (and vanilla) to focus on “pure” ingredients: cacao and sugar. Art Pollard of Amano Chocolate says this attitude is all ego, and I tend to agree with him. If you’re making chocolate that way because that’s what you like to eat (like Dandelion), then more power to you.
But if it’s to showcase your talents and to be “pure,” then I’m not sure I buy it. What does “pure” in this context even mean? I think it’s related to our desire to get away from industrialization and capitalism to an idealized simpler time, when ingredients were whole and we were (supposedly) happier. Scott Craig of DFWFood.org said recently,
I think he’d say the same about adding cocoa butter.
Of course, cocoa butter is also the main ingredient in the much-reviled white chocolate (and lots of skincare and beauty products, ha). Some makers like Askinosie and Fruition are starting to make white chocolate bars, but honestly, I still don't like them that much. Have you tried one you liked? And are you into added cocoa butter in your chocolate, or are you a purist?
What I’m Tasting Today
French Broad's Limited Edition Panama Bar With Nibs