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Chocolate Flavorings


chocofoodie
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I get flavor into my chocolates in lots of different ways, depending on what flavor I'm looking for. I do a lot of cream infusions - like coffee and various herbs. I add liquid flavorings like alcohol, liqueurs and concentrated fruit juices. I use reduced fruit purees. I use natural flavoring oils as well (citrus, mint). I almost never use artificial flavors - the only time I've done that is for coconut, when I couldn't find a natural coconut flavor (I have since found one, though).

There are lots of options because there is no one right answer - some things are appropriate for one flavor and not another. And sometimes you'll use multiple techniques in the same piece - my "Intense Orange" flavor uses finely grated orange zest infused in cream and also Grand Marnier added to the ganache when it's finished, for example.

Tammy's Tastings

Creating unique food and drink experiences

eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40

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I think it depends on what you're trying to do. I've always used fruit purees that I concentrate for adding fruit flavor to ganache but when I decided I wanted to flavor chocolate without adding additional liquid (puree, cream, etc.) those here who do chocolate much, much better than I do pretty much agreed that flavoring oils were the way to go. That's for fruit flavors. For herbs, zests, coffee and things of that nature I've had good results just melting the chocolate, mixing in whatever I want to use, letting it sit for a while, melting it again and pouring it through a strainer. Then I proceed as usual. It works great for the things I do but keep in mind that I'm not an expert and I do very little molding and dipping unless I need it for something specific on a plate so you may want to wait and see if the pros know of problems that may cause for molding and dipping.

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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I'd have to say I use a whole lot of different stuff depending on what I'm trying for.

I use fruit purees, often add a bit of fruit compound, citrus oil and perhaps some freeze dried fruit to boost the flavour.

For coffee I use espresso powder and sometimes mocca compound.

I use liquor and liqueurs to boost the flavour also.

A few drops of certain Loranne oils can also be helpful.

For caramel flavour I might take sugar to the right colour then add the other ingredients, or I might start with dulce de leche. Browned butter is a nice starting point.

I like essential oils for certain flavours. Salts are great, as are pink peppercorns and even black pepper.

When you get right down to it, I'll try just about anything once in chocolate. Recently I took the spices from Suvir's Tomato Chutney, roasted them in oil, strained out the solids and used them to flavour a ganache. Mixed reviews on that one. I liked it, hubby didn't.

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In addition to what everyone else has already mentioned, I use some exotic (and some not so exotic) teas to flavor my chocolates e.g. Butterfly of Taiwan oolong tea, Earl Grey, etc.

Lavender Leaves are also a popular infusion.

John DePaula
formerly of DePaula Confections
Hand-crafted artisanal chocolates & gourmet confections - …Because Pleasure Matters…
--------------------
When asked “What are the secrets of good cooking? Escoffier replied, “There are three: butter, butter and butter.”

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So there is no general consensus then on extracts vs flavoring oils? No preferences?

What about other flavoring alternatives, for example, at the LorAnn Oils site, they have the following listed as

chocolate flavor then they have an orange emulsion and they've also got a whole line of plain old flavoring oils.

I've also seen vanilla paste out there, and vanillin, as alternatives to vanilla extract.

So you guys seem to make your own flavors then, from original ingredients, rather than relying on these types of flavoring agents?

Edited by chocofoodie (log)
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So there is no general consensus then on extracts vs flavoring oils? No preferences?

What about other flavoring alternatives, for example, at the LorAnn Oils site, they have the following listed as 

chocolate flavor then they have an orange emulsion and they've also got a whole line of plain old flavoring oils.

I've also seen vanilla paste out there, and vanillin, as alternatives to vanilla extract.

So you guys seem to make your own flavors then, from original ingredients, rather than relying on these types of flavoring agents?

I think it's fair to say that I wouldn't rely on a flavouring to add all the flavour. Just to boost the natural flavour.

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So there is no general consensus then on extracts vs flavoring oils? No preferences?

What about other flavoring alternatives, for example, at the LorAnn Oils site, they have the following listed as 

chocolate flavor then they have an orange emulsion and they've also got a whole line of plain old flavoring oils.

I've also seen vanilla paste out there, and vanillin, as alternatives to vanilla extract.

So you guys seem to make your own flavors then, from original ingredients, rather than relying on these types of flavoring agents?

I try to keep things as natural and non-artificial as possible, so I avoid extracts and artificial flavors, preferring to get flavor from real food!

Tammy's Tastings

Creating unique food and drink experiences

eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40

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Yeah, I only use all-natural ingredients as well and often I really do not like the bottled flavors anyway. A lot of times, they're just too harsh.

John DePaula
formerly of DePaula Confections
Hand-crafted artisanal chocolates & gourmet confections - …Because Pleasure Matters…
--------------------
When asked “What are the secrets of good cooking? Escoffier replied, “There are three: butter, butter and butter.”

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Now I'm a little confused. Some of the folks saying here that it's best to only use natural ingredients are the same folks that told me to use flavoring oils in the other thread. Is it because I wanted to flavor straight chocolate (as opposed to a ganache) that I needed to go a different direction for adding the flavor?

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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If you want to flavor straight chocolate, flavoring oils are pretty much your only option - you can't use liquid flavorings because your chocolate would seize, and you don't have any other ingredients to put the flavor into - like cream for a ganache.

And there are some natural flavoring oils - the citrus oils and mint oils are generally natural, and some spices like cinnamon.

Tammy's Tastings

Creating unique food and drink experiences

eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40

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Now I'm a little confused. Some of the folks saying here that it's best to only use natural ingredients are the same folks that told me to use flavoring oils in the other thread. Is it because I wanted to flavor straight chocolate (as opposed to a ganache) that I needed to go a different direction for adding the flavor?

Citrus oils are 'natural' and can be used to flavour straight chocolate. Loranne makes some natural citrus oils. Some flavours are difficult to get intense enough for my taste, so I resort to boosting with 'non natural' alternatives (bu only if they taste natural and damn good). But I'm not in the business of selling chocolates. If I was, I would probably go 'all natural' as a business decision.

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That makes sense. Thanks! Soooo... if a person wanted to go the all natural route for flavoring straight chocolate with fruit flavors (raspberry for example) they'd basically be out of luck?

P.S. I hope this post and my last post don't sound as critical to anyone else as they do to me. It's not intended that way, I'm sincerely trying to learn more about chocolate here.

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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That makes sense. Thanks! Soooo... if a person wanted to go the all natural route for flavoring straight chocolate with fruit flavors (raspberry for example) they'd basically be out of luck?

P.S. I hope this post and my last post don't sound as critical to anyone else as they do to me. It's not intended that way, I'm sincerely trying to learn more about chocolate here.

You could use freeze dried fruit powders, but then you'd get a change in texture.

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there is not much option to add natural fruit flavor to straight chocolate because chocolate itself is a balance of ingredients that form an emulsion. Berries on the other hand taste the way they do because of the water content. If you are okay with thickening and siezing, then you can use any fruit-based flavor you like. but if you want to be able to temper then moisture is not an option. If you want fruit flavor in chocolate, the best idea is to chop up bits of dried fruit and add them to the chocolate, or sprinkle freeze-dried bits or powder on top.

Citrus fruit is another story, you could try exploiting chocolate's natural tendency to absorb odors by wrapping the chocolate tightly with some rinds.

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What I'm trying to do specifically is experiment with flavoring aerated chocolates. I've got the aerating technique down now and get really nice results with white, milk and dark chocolate and want to take it another step and incorporate flavors into the chocolate. I don't temper the chocolate to be aerated, it's either used as is for plate decoration or coated in tempered chocolate after it sets so tempering isn't an issue.

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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What I'm trying to do specifically is experiment with flavoring aerated chocolates. I've got the aerating technique down now and get really nice results with white, milk and dark chocolate and want to take it another step and incorporate flavors into the chocolate. I don't temper the chocolate to be aerated, it's either used as is for plate decoration or coated in tempered chocolate after it sets so tempering isn't an issue.

So if it's aerated you might be able to use the freeze dried fruit powders. I'd be interested to hear about your results.

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Are you guys able to achieve consistent flavors using only natural means?

The Boiron purees are pretty consistant so that helps. If you make up your own purees, then it's more hit and miss.

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Are you guys able to achieve consistent flavors using only natural means?

Certainly something like natural oils would allow you consistency from batch to batch. For infusions, I get variation across batches, but consider that part of the charm of all natural small batch production. :-) I'd be more concerned about consistency if I had a bigger operation.

Tammy's Tastings

Creating unique food and drink experiences

eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40

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I agree, stay away from anything artificial. It just doesn't taste right, and even if it did, I still wouldn't use it. I agree on kerry's method. you may need to use several different things to get the flavor you want.

I'm sure many others will agree, the only way to do it, is to start experementing, until you come up with what your looking for.

Like Kerry, I've tried many strange things in chocolate, and some things work and some don't. Keep an open mind, you never know what will work until you try it. I've been surprised many times.

Luis

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I get flavor into my chocolates in lots of different ways, depending on what flavor I'm looking for. I do a lot of cream infusions - like coffee and various herbs. I add liquid flavorings like alcohol, liqueurs and concentrated fruit juices.  I use reduced fruit purees. I use natural flavoring oils as well (citrus, mint).  I almost never use artificial flavors - the only time I've done that is for coconut, when I couldn't find a natural coconut flavor (I have since found one, though).

There are lots of options because there is no one right answer - some things are appropriate for one flavor and not another.  And sometimes you'll use multiple techniques in the same piece - my "Intense Orange" flavor uses finely grated orange zest infused in cream and also Grand Marnier added to the ganache when it's finished, for example.

I've searched for a natural coconut flavor, and have yet to find one natural. Any advice on where to find it?

Luis

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I've searched for a natural coconut flavor, and have yet to find one natural. Any advice on where to find it?

Luis

Luis,

Here is one that claims to be natural.

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