Seventy percent of bars are the epitomize of chocolate made by hand: only raw cacao with the correct quantity of sugar leads to exquisite tasting notes without too much sweetness or bitterness. A refined palate can be awed by the subtlest flavors in an intense process that requires skill and concentration. Pure cacao is the primary ingredient, with no other distractions, and the experience is almost a religious ritual. Can we be sincere? Sometimes, chocoholics want to have fun!
In this case, inclusions come in to save the day with delicious, vibrant, as well as emotional components that enhance already delightful cacao with extra flavors and textures. Yes, they require a bit of attention. However, they shouldn’t have to be considered as serious.
There are the classics, such as nuts and fruits, that have been paired with chocolate for ages. At the same time, others, such as superfood powders and mushrooms, have been more recently developed developments. Every year, makers of craft chocolate beat boredom and predictability by introducing new and exciting ingredients that quickly turn into trends (often that are copied blatantly from Big Chocolate brands).
There will be chocolate inclusions that everyone is talking about, some that maintain the same level of popularity, and a few more in danger of falling out of fashion. Let’s look them up!
The inclusions gained popularity due to the reason that they were already trending in other sectors, and the market for chocolate made by craft got in on the trend (except for a few bean-to-bar producers who formed part of the trendsetter category). Matcha and oat milk are the most popular choices in the drink industry, as well as turmeric, which is retaining an important position in the variety of superfoods. Another reason that contributes to the popularity of these additions, including matcha and turmeric, particularly their captivating hue that draws lots of attention on social media. Chocolate is a regular feature on Instagram. However, it’s bright yellow and intense green chocolate. Totally Irresistible!
Move over coconut milk! Every craft chocolatier has (or is thinking of having) an oatmeal milk bar within the range. Oat has a unique taste: less soft than coconut milk but stronger than almond or rice milk. Oat adds a cereal flavor to any milk made from plants as well as white, adding a layer of depth to the simplest of basic recipes. It is thought to go well with cacao of any origin that ranges from the nutty Ugandan to the floral Ecuadorian cacao.
More green and more caffeine-rich than other teas, matcha chocolate is an absolute win from any perspective: fashionable, healthy, nutritious, and Instagram-worthy. It is usually paired with white chocolate to ensure that the vegetal and nutty flavor of the matcha isn’t distracted by the powerful chocolate flavors. It is a popular beverage that is now consumed in its most delicious liquid form. There are many vegan options available.
In 2015, superfoods were well-liked in chocolate craft, such as maca powder, ginger Goji berries, maca, and pumpkin seeds are some of these nutritious ingredients. Turmeric was among the most popular, however, since it was always a part of the dark variety of chocolate (coherently with the trend towards healthy eating). Still, it hasn’t received the attention of many. In 2021, it becomes the principal ingredient in the bright chocolate bars that don’t require any introduction. Frequently referred to as “golden turmeric,” “golden latte,” and “golden milk.”
These additions are not new. We’ve seen many whisky and chili as well as gianduja chocolate bars in the past seven years. But they will never become outdated. Chocolate makers who make craft chocolate are retaining these items in their collection since they are extremely popular regardless of seasonal changes or ever-changing fashions. Whiskey is an iconic adult bar, chili is a treat for those with adventurous palates, and gianduja is a delight for all the family. With different flavors or ingredients, drinks remain a favorite for everyone. True Highlanders!
Whiskey bars are a great occasion for chocolatiers who craft their chocolate to collaborate with distilleries in the area to create the creation of a partnership between small companies that will help in promoting both brands. The cocoa nibs are placed in whiskey barrels over months before continuing their bean-to-bar journey, taking all the flavors of whiskey into the cacao nibs. Dark chocolate, which is between 70 percent and 80 percent cacao, is the best choice for this type of inclusion. Certain bars have more intensity than others. However the most common notes include wood, tobacco, and spices.
Chili bars boast a strong taste that is loved by a wider range of chocoholics than you’d believe. Craft chocolate makers search for the top chilis in the world based on the amount of spice they’d like to have in their chocolate bars. Dark chocolate is generally the best choice, as it helps ensure that the spiciness of the cacao stands out against the strength that the chili has. While not a flavor that is regarded as a niche chocolate bar, chili chocolate bars enjoy an extensive history of fame and continue to be as robust as their flavor.