Chocolate that Doesn’t Look Like Chocolate

This blog is for the chocolatiers and chocoholics looking for a little inspiration and advice on colouring!

At The Cake Craft Company, we’re about a lot more than just baking, and we wanted to shine a light on the art of chocolatiers. This skilled and artistic craft has a lot that goes into creating beautiful chocolate goodies, and we wanted to bring you a guide on the work of colouring chocolate.

Whether you’re a seasoned professional or are new to the world of chocolatiers, we hope you find some useful tips, advice and information here. We want to help you achieve the most beautiful chocolate colours and shades for your next creation!

The History of Chocolate Colours

When we think about chocolate, we immediately picture the three staple varieties of dark, milk and white chocolate. Of course, these are represented as a deep, rich brown, a light, milky brown and a cream off-white, respectively.

But what if we told you that these are not natural chocolate colours?

In the 1800s, chocolate was a deep shade of red, the colour of untreated cocoa beans. In fact, when the word chocolate was originally used to describe a colour, it was always about a ‘reddish chocolate’. In contrast, today, we immediately connotate it to rich brown shades.

It was in 1828 that a Dutch chemist cancelled out the ‘bitter’ taste of unprocessed cocoa beans by removing half of the natural fat to create a chocolate powder. What would become known as ‘Dutch cocoa’ would pave the way for solid chocolate to be created as we know it today.

Dutch chocolate was a dark brown shade. With its less bitter taste, traditional red cocoa fell out of favour, and the chocolate term became associated with its new brown variation. This shows the standard colour of chocolate is simply a convention. So, you can feel free to open your imagination and skill set to a whole world of chocolate colour creation!

How to Dye and Colour Chocolate

So, now you know a little about chocolate’s colour history, we hope you’re ready to test the bounds and limits of the chocolate shades you can create.

If you’re wondering how to effectively and efficiently dye your chocolate, you can try a couple of different methods and tips. We have detailed them all in our guide so that you can achieve the best results that work for you.

Step 1: Preparation

Of course, you should always clean your workstation, tools and equipment as a first step. However, when going about your usual routine, you should thoroughly dry any moulds or tools you plan on putting into contact with your chocolate.

Ironically, chocolate hates moisture and if in contact with moisture during the process of setting, it will lose its delicious shine and become dull if left in contact with water residue.

Step 2: Melting

Next, it’s time to melt your chocolate. If not using chocolate chips, break up your chocolate into easy-to-melt chunks.

There are two main ways you can melt your chocolate, and the decision can be a rather controversial choice. However, we will advise you on both to decide which is the best option for you.

The first method, the ‘Bain Marie’ method, involves melting your chocolate over a pan of boiling water. Simply heat a small amount of water in a saucepan and place your chocolate in a heat-proof mixing bowl held aloft of the water. Stir gently using silicone utensils until the chocolate has melted.

Alternatively, you could use the microwave method to melt your chocolate. In a microwavable dish, put your chocolate chunks in the microwave for bursts of 30 seconds. Mix the chocolate well between each session, even if no melting has started yet.

Once you can see the melting process has begun, you should reduce the microwave time to bursts of 20 seconds.

Stop putting the chocolate in the microwave once half of it has melted. Larger chunks and lumps will melt into the mix with continuous stirring, ensuring that the temperature remains even without drying out. You can check your chocolate’s temperature with a thermometer to ensure it’s just right – tempering chocolate is super important for those shiny finishes!

Step 3: Colouring

Now it’s time for the moment you’ve all been waiting for, colouring your chocolate!

Once again, you can use a couple of methods to colour your chocolate, and it’s up to you to decide which you prefer.

We recommend colouring your chocolate using either a powdered or oil-based dye. Because of chocolate’s aversion to moisture, using a water-based dye will leave you with a spotty, dull colour appearance that won’t mix well.

However, some specially formulated and designed water-based dyes for chocolate colouring can achieve great results. For example, we love the Colour Mill Oil Based collection!

Add your chosen dye to the chocolate while it is melted and mix in to achieve results. However, you should always follow the instructions of your chosen dye product to create the best colour payoff.

Step 4: Setting

Finally, it’s time to set the chocolate! Once you have achieved your desired colour, you can pour your melted chocolate into the chosen moulds.

Just make sure you don’t make the mistake of moving your chocolates too quickly into the refrigerator or freezer. Although popular shows like GBBO show contestants shoving everything into the fridge to cool and set more quickly, this can cause adverse effects when setting chocolate.

Avoid taking chocolate from hot to cold temperatures too quickly. Instead, allow your chocolate to cool and set it at room temperature before transferring it to a fridge or freezer.

Get Creative with Colouring your Chocolate

Sounds pretty simple, right? At The Cake Craft Company, we are committed to making baking, creating and decorating as easy as possible for our clients.

This is why we are pleased to offer a wide range of chocolate colouring options to ensure you find the best products to suit your chocolatier needs.

For more options, why not browse our full collection of chocolate supplies to find more tools and equipment to help you achieve the best chocolatey goodness results?

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