100% Schokolade

Everything you need to know about 100% chocolate

hundertprozentige Schokolade

Did you know that there is also 100% chocolate, i.e. chocolate made from 100 percent cocoa ingredients? It is considered a healthier alternative to “normal” chocolate, to which sugar is added. In this 100 percent chocolate guide you will find out what makes this chocolate special!

First things first: What is 100 percent chocolate?

Let's start with the basics: 100% dark chocolate, as its name suggests, is unsweetened. In some cases it is made exclusively from cocoa beans, in most cases from a mixture of cocoa beans and a small, added amount of cocoa butter (the fat from the cocoa bean itself). In both cases it is called 100 percent chocolate because it is made exclusively from cocoa beans - without any other additives. Chocolate made from 100 percent cocoa ingredients is very special and is certainly not considered sweet because of the lack of sugar. But by definition it is still chocolate.

Why a 100% chocolate guide?

So much for the chocolate itself. But why do we need a whole guide? The reason is that in ourchocolate tastings we often experience that the participants are very skeptical about 100 percent chocolate. The experiences that most people have had with this chocolate in the past were primarily in the context of common industrial chocolate or baking chocolate. Accordingly, in the perception of most people, it initially performs poorly. There are now many great craft or bean-to-bar chocolate manufacturers who have taken on the challenge and manage to conjure up extremely exciting, fruity flavors with little bitterness from special cocoa beans and varieties. In contrast to dry, often bitter baking chocolate, they offer a complex, slightly bitter taste and are for many a real alternative to other chocolates. By the way, you can find some of these great chocolates – our personal favorites – here .

100 percent chocolate – more than just baking chocolate

And one more request: even if you've only known 100 percent chocolate from baking and cooking recipes, try to say goodbye to this idea. Of course, we think it's great if you also want to use high-quality chocolate for cooking and baking. However, especially with 100% dark chocolate, it is exciting to enjoy it individually or in combination with selected other foods. If you complement chocolate with coffee, wine or even cheese, for example, completely new, great combinations can be created that enhance or perfectly complement the flavors of the other product. Instead of masking the flavors of the 100% chocolate when cooking or baking (which actually makes sense with baking chocolate ;-) ), concentrate on the pure, original, 100% taste.

Sounds great? Or are you still not sure how you can integrate 100% dark chocolate into your (culinary) everyday life? No problem! We have put together 11 tips and suggestions for you that will make this exciting chocolate variant tasty. Afterwards, there will certainly be no questions left unanswered... and if there are, please feel free to ask us .

One more note before you read on: This is not a guide totasting chocolate, but is intended to be a source of inspiration for handling and enjoying 100 percent dark chocolate.

Tip #1: Quality over quantity

As already mentioned, quality is the be-all and end-all with 100% dark chocolate. In order to get exciting flavors and a nice melt, you should look around in the so-called bean-to-bar or craft chocolate area (a list of great bean-to-bar manufacturers can be found here, our favorites can be found here ).

Of course, 100% dark chocolate will never be sweet and mild, but you'll see that you can taste real differences when you try different bars from different craft chocolate producers. And if the price puts you off right away, always remember: with such intense chocolate - and also with craft chocolate with less cocoa content - small pieces are enough for a long-lasting taste. So you will probably enjoy your chocolate for longer. In addition, the chance that you are supporting an ethical supply chain with your purchase is almost always 100%. ;-)

Tip #2 for the perfect aroma combination: Birds of a feather like to mix

No matter what food - wine, coffee, cheese, ... - you want to pair with chocolate, the motto is: birds of a feather like to mix. So if you want to combine unsweetened chocolate with coffee, you should combine it with unsweetened coffee. And when it comes to flavors, you should always combine similar variants with each other. For example, a fruity 100% chocolate goes great with a fruity coffee or fruity craft beer, a nutty chocolate goes well with a nutty espresso, etc.

Tip #3: From bean to bean – black coffee and 100% chocolate

Not only chocolate and wine, but also the combination of chocolate and coffee is considered by many to be the absolute “perfect match”. Basically speaking, this perhaps applies to "mainstream" chocolates, which mask the original flavors with a lot of sugar and additives, paired with taste-free "mainstream" coffee. These may complement each other well, but you won't find exciting aromas or a special taste experience here.

But if you are looking for a special taste experience and great quality, then you should definitely match your coffee or espresso to your chocolate. For example, (slightly) sweetened chocolate tends to make the taste of exciting, acidic coffee even more sour. Conversely, sweetened coffee can make unsweetened 100 percent chocolate much bitterer than it actually is. However, if the balance is right, a completely new, wonderful taste experience opens up. So you have to look closely and maybe experiment a bit before you find a truly perfect match.

Have we aroused your interest and have you become curious? Then we recommend the following practical procedure: Try out some 100% chocolates and choose your top 3. Taste carefully and make notes on the flavor profiles or the strongest characteristics. For example, ask yourself: is the chocolate particularly fruity? Particularly dry? Particularly nutty? (At the risk of repeating ourselves: you can find tips for tasting here ). With your notes, you can then go to the coffee roaster of your choice - or write to them online - and ask for a suitable type of coffee. This procedure is of course not entirely uncomplicated, but it is fun and when you have found the “perfect match”, you will see that the effort was worth it. This way you can discover new flavors that would never have been revealed if you had enjoyed the individual products separately.

Tip #4: Afternoon slump? – 100 percent chocolate can help!

Who doesn't know the classic afternoon slump that always ruins your productivity in the second half of the day. If you don't have time for a well-deserved siesta, 100 percent chocolate can help you get out of the tiredness hole. Because this chocolate is made from pure cocoa, it also has the highest possible concentration of theobromine. Theobromine is considered a “mood booster” and helps to achieve natural, unsweetened energy boosts. So if you have a sugar or afternoon low again, there's now a delicious and healthy remedy. A small piece of 100% chocolate helps to reactivate your energy level. We can absolutely recommend it!

Tip #5: 100 percent chocolate to combat sugar shocks

We all know it and the WHO & DGE like to (and vehemently) point it out again and again: We humans eat far too much sugar . So if we feel guilty at regular intervals, we don't eat less chocolate, we simply eat higher-percentage chocolate. The good thing about high-quality chocolate is that it contains relatively little sugar compared to industrial chocolate or sweets. Nevertheless, of course, no chocolate can beat 100% chocolate - it is the star in the "Free from" contest - no sugar, no sweeteners, no additives. Instead, pure chocolate taste (for which there really is no substitute!), exciting flavors and a great texture.

Tip #6: Less is more

The most important idea with craft or bean-to-bar chocolate is that small amounts are enough to satisfy your chocolate cravings. Even with small pieces you get everything you need: a full-bodied chocolate taste, complex aromas and a pleasant melting (+ a clear conscience because you consumed in moderation and ethically). The 100% chocolate takes this idea to the extreme. Because a single piece offers 100% flavor and a long, lasting finish - experts say the taste of high-quality chocolates can last up to 20 minutes.

Tip #7: Stay flexible = 100% + X

The 100 percent chocolate can also be versatile – if you let it. Of course it's great that it has no sugar. For many people, this is probably the most important reason for buying 100% chocolate. And yet sometimes it is too intense or not sweet enough for us. That's why we experimented a bit with the +X. And we find that a small drop of honey is often just the right addition. We particularly like the combination with rosemary honey, but here too it's like with all pairings - what you like is good... and there are plenty of types of honey. We also tested and found the combination with molasses to be good. And if you like something a little more exciting, you can drizzle a little (good) balsamic vinegar onto your piece of 100% chocolate. The sweetness and acidity contained in vinegar make a great complement to most 100% chocolates.

Tip #8 : Strong chocolate likes strong drinks

If you enjoy a good glass of whiskey or a strong rum, then 100 percent dark chocolate may soon become a welcome companion. Even small pieces complement the drinks perfectly. In addition, the stimulating effect of chocolate can help to clear your head, while drinks usually have the opposite effect. As with all food pairings, the “birds of a feather like to mix” strategy is reliable. Of course, you can always look for contrasts, but it's easier to mostly look for similarities. Of course there are countless of these, a safe bet is, for example, a good bourbon with 100% chocolate.

Tip #9: Say cheese… and chocolate

A combination that is often underestimated and wrongly ignored is cheese and chocolate. Very little can go wrong and you can quickly find great combinations - even without much practice. In fact, there are always craft chocolates that inherently contain cheese-like flavors. If you want to make it particularly easy (aka tasty), you can consider a 100% chocolate addition to the cheese board. Just like the cheese, the 100% chocolate is also spicy - the 100% chocolate cheese platter is ideal as a starter or dessert. If you're missing the sweet component, consider tip 7 again. Because not only 100% chocolate but also cheese, fruit jams or a little honey go wonderfully... not to mention a sweeter glass of wine (but more on that later).

#10: Chocolate with beer – that’s what I advise you

In addition to the supposed - and unfortunately not uncomplicated - perfect match of wine and chocolate, there is a somewhat less popular combination option: chocolate and beer. This pairing, which is still largely unknown in Germany, has already found many fans internationally. What's exciting here is that chocolate and beer have some similarities. They are both fermented and therefore already have an interesting taste development behind them. Both rely on the skill of the manufacturer to bring out the best flavors. When pairing, it is therefore recommended (as always) to combine high-quality products. Here again, birds of a feather like to mix. But contrasting flavors can also complement each other well. There are many exciting combinations, our personal beer recommendations for a chocolate pairing is a good stout or porter beer.

Tip #11: Wine & Chocolate – Yay or Nay?

We saved this tip for last. As already mentioned, wine and chocolate are not as easy to combine as everyone assumes. It is a hotly debated topic among (wine and chocolate) sommeliers, top chefs and experts. We think wine and chocolate make a great combination - when they're put together well. A common problem with chocolate and wine pairings is that the sweetness of the chocolate makes the wine taste sour. The attentive readers will notice: one man's suffering is another man's joy! In this case, unsweetened 100% chocolate can really shine. The wines that don't work with other chocolates can make a wonderful combination with 100 percent chocolate. And as mentioned, combining similar flavors and intensity levels is an easy way to approach pairing. And because 100% chocolate is dark and intense, it is best tried with a dry, intense red wine.

Theyo tip:

Eat 100% chocolate and talk about it. As you should have noticed at this point, we think it's worth spending more time with 100% chocolate. Whether as a shocker, a little pairing adventure or an exciting souvenir to the next (dinner) party: 100% dark chocolate can trigger interesting culinary discussions and lead to fantastic new taste experiences. Give it a try – it's worth it! The Akesson's 100% with cocoa nibs , Latitude Uganda Semuliki 100% and Chocolate Tree 100% are our current favorites - and we have tried many of them for you! You can also order our popular “Around the World 100%” box here for a 100% chocolate surprise.

FAQ about 100 percent chocolate

How healthy is 100 percent chocolate?

Compared to “normal chocolate,” 100 percent chocolate actually performs significantly better. Because the really unhealthy thing in chocolate is, firstly, the added sugar and secondly, all the other unnecessary additives such as flavor enhancers. Without sugar, however, you get the full portion of the positive ingredients in cocoa, including magnesium and healthy fatty acids.

What does 100% cocoa mean?

100 percent chocolate consists only of ingredients from the cocoa bean, so it does not contain any sugar or other non-cocoa ingredients.

Where can you buy 100 percent chocolate?

We can only use this question as an invitation for a little self-promotion: For high-quality 100 percent chocolate, visit our shop :-)

What recipes can you make with 100% chocolate?

A great way to use 100 percent chocolate in a recipe is, for example, drinking chocolate. If you are interested, we recommend our 100% Theyo drinking chocolate . :-)

Does 100% chocolate mean it is always sugar-free?

This question can be answered with a simple “yes”! 100 percent chocolate means 100% cocoa content and 0% added sugar.

Header photo by Sigmund on Unsplash

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