Most people would misinterpret chocolate liquor as chocolate alcohol and consider it to be non-halal but little did they know that chocolate liquor actually contains no alcohol! It is the key ingredient in chocolate and is used as a base for cakes, brownies and chocolate cookies.
What is a Chocolate Liquor?
Chocolate liquor, also known as ‘cocoa liquor’ and ‘cocoa mass’ is a smooth, thick, liquid form of chocolate. It is the purest form of chocolate, produced by grinding cacao beans. Chocolate liquor contains roughly 50% cocoa solids (cocoa powder) and 50% cocoa butter (the pale-yellow vegetable fat of the cacao bean).
When it is cooled and molded into blocks, chocolate liquor is known as unsweetened baking chocolate.
Chocolate in its most familiar form is made by mixing chocolate liquor with (more) cocoa butter or cocoa, sugar, soy lecithin and, often, milk. The cocoa to cocoa butter ratio determines the darkness and flavor intensity of the chocolate being produced. As with dark chocolate, the higher the cocoa content, the darker and richer the flavor. The higher the cocoa butter and milk content, the lighter the color and creamier the texture of the resulting chocolate. A prime example of a chocolate with a high cocoa butter and milk content is white chocolate. White chocolate contains no cocoa liquor.
How is it made?
Chocolate liquor is produced by taking cocoa beans that have been fermented, dried, roasted, and separated from their shells. The fermentation process is to remove the fleshy, fruity pulp that surrounds the beans; the fatty beans, themselves, do not ferment. Grinding the processed beans releases the smooth and thick chocolate liquor from their centres.
As discussed earlier, chocolate liquor does not contain alcohol and it is simply a liquid form of chocolate. It is distinct from ‘chocolate liqueur’, a chocolate flavored alcoholic beverage. I hope this post would be able to remove any misunderstandings. Till next time!
Chef Jacques Poulain