Chocolate comes in all different forms for a variety of textures and flavours to tantalise all taste buds, applications and markets. But do you know the difference between real chocolate and compound chocolate? And can your taste buds actually spot the difference? Take your chocolate knowledge to the next level as we dive into the differences between chocolate and cocoa based compound products.
Just like ‘real’ chocolate, compound chocolate’s contain ingredients from the cacao bean. However, the crucial difference lies in one important ingredient: compound chocolate uses vegetable fats, such as coconut oil, or palm kernel oil, in place of cocoa butter and relies on cocoa powder to achieve a chocolaty flavour.
Cacao mass, cacao butter, sugar, milk powder*
Cacao powder, vegetable oil, sugar, milk powder*
*Not in dark chocolate
So what's the difference, really?
Technicalities aside, the noticeable differences really lie in 1. Price point, 2. Taste and texture and 3. Flexibility and ease of use. We'll explain how.
Historically, the vegetable fats that are used in compound chocolate has been less expensive than cocoa mass or butter. Hence, compound chocolate is less expensive to produce and producers can sell it to a lower price. Because of this, it is often motivated to use a compound over real chocolate, especially in cases where the chocolate works as a decoration or accent flavour rather than the 'main taste component' of the pastry or confectionary product.
Taste and texture
When we let our friends and customers try some our highest quality chocolate compounds, many are surprised by the 'real chocolaty' taste and texture. That being said, we can all agree that nothing really beats the taste of a real chocolate. Cocoa butter and cocoa mass gives chocolate a rich chocolate taste that vegetable fats just cannot.
On the other hand, compound chocolates allows for big possibility to play around with different textures and melting points, to create a perfect product for your specific application.
Flexibility and ease of use
The last and perhaps main advantage of compound chocolate is that it doesn't require chocolate tempering. Taking out this step makes the compound chocolate very easy to use: it can be melted and poured straight into a mould or onto a pastry without any further preparation.
Another advantage of compound chocolate is the flexibility of the ingredients. As the amount of oil can be adjusted easily it is in turn easy to change the properties of the chocolate, allowing for a thick or very thin coat.