dark chocolate

Dark chocolate is made from roasted and ground cocoa beans, mixed with fat cocoa butter and finely powdered sugar to produce a solid confectionery. It has a higher percentage of cocoa, and can be eaten as is or used in cooking. Percentages of cocoa ranging from 70% to 80%.

Baking chocolate contains no added sugar and is labelled as 'unsweetened', but other varieties sold in stores are semisweet and bittersweet which indicate the amount of added sugar.

cocoa beans

Cocoa beans (also called cacao) are the dried and fermented seed of Theobroma cacao. The fruit, called a cacao pod, is ovoid, long and wide, ripening yellow to orange. The pod contains 20 to 60 seeds (or beans) embedded in a white pulp. Each seed contains a significant amount of fat (40–50 percent) as cocoa butter. The three main varieties of cocoa plant are Forastero (most common), Criollo (rarer, a delicacy), and Trinitario.

Its seeds are used to make chocolate liquor, cocoa solids, cocoa butter and chocolate. The fruit's active constituent is the stimulant theobromine, a compound similar to caffeine.