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Difference Between Dark and Milk Chocolate

chocolateDark vs Milk Chocolate

Ask any chocoholic and they will be able to tell you unequivocally that there is a big difference between milk and dark chocolate. Chocolate is made from the cacao bean, which is native to Central America. Since Aztec times Central Americans have enjoyed chocolate and it was discovered and brought back to Europe by the conquering Spaniards. Over time different ways of producing chocolate have been conceived and nowadays there are several methods used and preferred by chocolate makers and chocolate eaters.

Chocolate is extracted from the cacao plant. Pods are taken from the tree, which contains cocoa beans. These are crushed and the mash is then extracted and fermented for around seven days. Dark chocolate has a much higher percentage of cacao included in it, and it therefore tends to be lower in fat. This style of chocolate appears much darker than milk chocolate because it is more pure. Depending on the percentage of cacao in the product dark chocolate often has less sugar than milk chocolate. Often dark chocolate has a cocoa solids percentage of around 65 per cent.

Since dark chocolate is more pure, it also has more of the health benefits that are associated with chocolate. Chocolate has been shown to have high levels of antioxidants, which help to rid the body of toxins and free radicals that can age the body and cause disease. Other health benefits of dark chocolate include lowering blood pressure, fortifying the cardiovascular system and helping to control glucose metabolism.

Milk chocolate is more refined than dark chocolate and as such has a smoother, sweeter and creamier texture than dark chocolate. Milk chocolate was first produced in 1875 by a Swiss manufacturer called Daniel Peters. Milk chocolate usually contains around 30 per cent cocoa solids and uses milk powder or condense milk to make the chocolate creamier and sweeter.

Other ingredients used to produce both dark and milk chocolate include: sugar, vanilla or vanilla substitute and lecithin, which acts as an emulsifying agent.

1. Dark chocolate has a higher percentage of cocoa solids than milk chocolate
2. Milk chocolate is made by combining chocolate with milk powder or condensed milk
3. Dark chocolate has several health benefits associated with it
4. Dark chocolate was first used in Central America in the time of the Aztecs
5. Milk chocolate was first made in the 19th century by a Swiss manufacturer

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  1. It’s worth adding a comment about so-called ‘white chocolate’

    With chocolate, its cocoa solids for chocolate flavor and cocoa butter for chocolate mouth-feel.

    White chocolate is not technically a chocolate, and doesn’t usually taste of it because it only contains cocoa butter, not cocoa solids (responsible for the chocolate flavor), milk, sugar and flavorings.

    For chocolate flavor, steer clear of white chocolate

  2. Nice, clear explanation of the differences of dark and milk chocolate.

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