The label "dark chocolate" covers a wide array of chocolate types, all distinguished by the lack of one ingredient: milk. This therefore excludes both milk chocolate and white chocolate from the label but encompasses unsweetened, bittersweet and semisweet chocolate varieties.
The root of all chocolate is the cocoa bean, which is harvested from the Theobroma cacao tree. The bean is roasted and removed from its shell; once removed, this bean is called a nib. The nib is ground into a paste called chocolate liquor. Chocolate liquor is comprised of cocoa solids and cocoa butter. This is the basis of all chocolate, and in its rawest form is essentially unsweetened chocolate.
Sugar, Vanilla and Lecithin
Bittersweet and semi-sweet chocolate are produced by adding sugar, vanilla and lecithin to chocolate liquor. Lecithin is a naturally occurring fatty substance used as an emulsifier. The amount of these ingredients added to make dark chocolate will vary depending on the taste that is ultimately desired.
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