Hmmmm….Milk Chocolate With No Sugar

If you want chocolate without sugar, you really have two choices: go for the gusto with a 100% cacao bar, or deal with the slightly funny taste of a maltitol sweetened bar. (Not to mention the side effects of maltitol and other sugar alcohols…) There appears to be a third answer to this problem, which is to use milk to soften the edge on the cacao without using sugar. I recently got a MarieBelle chocolate bar which has this unusual composition. The bar (which appears to be made by the National Chocolate Company of Colombia) contains cacao, cocoa butter, and various milk solids (skim and whole), vanilla, and some emulsifiers. No added sugar! (Other than what’s lurking in the milk.)

The bar has a very deep brownie-ish taste, and a harder overall mouthfeel than typical milk chocolate. The milk has the familiar effect of flattening the fruitier aromatic notes in the cacao, but there’s a much more pronounced chocolate finish than in a sweetened milk chocolate. Overall, it’s quite delicious, and a great way to get a chocolate fix without added sugar. It’s also an interesting bar to add to your internal taste library, as you can isolate what the milk is doing to the texture and flavor of the chocolate, without sugar effects complicating the picture.

This is going on my list of formulations to experiment with….

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2 Responses to Hmmmm….Milk Chocolate With No Sugar

  1. Casey says:

    This is fascinating! Never heard of such a thing. Wonder if we’ll be seeing a lot more of it.

  2. erica says:

    I tried something similar in a chocolate drink: mixed a baking-chocolate bar with whole cream, and added cinnamon and pepper. Once melted together, I added more milk to create a potable drink. It worked remarkably well — full “chocolate” delivery without the distraction of sugar. Ultra-rich and unusual flavor. In subsequent batches I added the more traditional chili pepper, but in that first batch I had only black pepper and used whole peppercorns. Sucking the chocolate off the peppercorn produced a very unusual, almost minty cool taste.

    This experiment was based partly on the aztec xocolatl drink, and partly on a wild-foods expert’s comment that (though we usually mask bitter and sour flavors with added sugar) bitter flavors can be cut with fats. He was talking about native northwesterners’ use of choke-cherries and other fruits, _with_ pits. The pits (like cacao beans) contain rich fats and proteins of arguably more nutritive value than the pulp of the fruit. Local groups mixed the dry, bitter, tart fruit-and-seed mash with oil, probably fish oil, to make an all-purpose food.
    I’ve also heard of a Jamaican “cocoa tea” that involves ground cacao and spices, where sugar and milk are optional.

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