Chocolate, milk chocolate, white chocolate, dark chocolate, semisweet chocolate, bittersweet chocolate, whichever chocolate you name is delicious in its way. Among them, dark chocolate has been gaining huge popularity with time, mostly because of its nutritional value.
But by nature dark chocolate tastes bitter, and not everyone enjoys it. So, what will you do when all you have is dark chocolate at home but you are craving some sweet chocolate dish? How can you make your dark chocolate sweet?
Simple answer: You can just make your dark chocolate sweeter. To sweeten dark chocolate you can-
- Use honey, sugar, syrup, or condensed milk.
- Blend dark chocolate with any sweet chocolate.
- Pair your dark chocolate with cheese/sea salt flakes/sweet fruit/chili pepper/ wine.
Do any of these suggestions look weird to you? Worry not! Because all of them make sense. How? Let me explain to you one by one.
How to Make Dark Chocolate Sweet
By Adding and Mixing Different Ingredients
The first option is to sweeten the chocolate by changing its composition. For the most bitter dark chocolate, adjusting the chocolate itself is the most effective way to sweeten it.
Adding some type of sweetener to dark chocolate or mixing it with sweet chocolate such as white chocolate is an amazingly easy way to add sweetness to dark chocolate and make it taste better.
(i) Blending Dark Chocolate with Cocoa Butter or Sweeter Chocolates
When you blend more cocoa butter with dark chocolate, it changes the ratio of cocoa butter and cocoa solids in the chocolate, lowering the cocoa solid’s percentage and reducing the bitterness.
|What is Cocoa Butter?||What is Cocoa Solid|
|It is a white, solid mass that almost all types of chocolate are made from. It adds sweetness and richness to the chocolate.||They are the components that give the chocolate its dark color and distinct better flavor.|
So, if you have cocoa butter at home, blend it with your dark chocolate. An expensive but effective method.
However, if you don’t have cocoa butter, you can simply use white chocolate that is packed with cocoa butter but comes in cheap. Add white chocolate to your dark chocolate and increase the quotient of sweetness. Or, if you have semisweet dark chocolate, mix it with milk chocolate to make it sweeter.
Using this method, you can easily control and customize the level of sweetness you want in your dark chocolate.
(ii) Using Sweetener
It is the most commonly used method to sweeten dark chocolate and it is very easy too. Because there are so many types of sweeteners available, you will definitely get one for you from any grocery store.
Before adding any artificial sweetener-
- Gently melt the dark chocolate first. Don’t overheat it otherwise, the chocolate will seize.
- The melted chocolate should be lump-free.
- To melt dark chocolate, you can use a double boiler or microwave. You can also melt it inside a pan or pot.
Once the dark chocolate has melted properly, you can mix it with a sweetener. Start with a little sweetener at first and then add as you go. It will allow you to adjust the level of sweetness.
You may also like: Is Cocoa Butter Vegan?
(iii) Mixing Honey
Honey is naturally sweet and can easily be incorporated into chocolate.
But the actual disadvantage of using honey is that, due to its distinct flavor, it can radically alter the flavor of dark chocolate.
Another thing is that, if you want a thin consistency from your chocolate, it’s better not to use honey as it can add thickness to the melted chocolate.
(iv) Using Granulated Sugar
It is the easiest method to follow. It’s the most affordable sweetener and everybody has some sugar in their pantry all the time.
However, it also comes with certain drawbacks.
Even the best kind of granulated sugar changes the structure of melted chocolate. So, you have to keep this in mind before choosing to use granulated sugar to sweeten your dark chocolate so that it doesn’t ruin your recipe. For example, if you are using chocolate to make a sauce, it will turn out to be grainy because of the granulated sugar.
(v) Using Sugar Syrup
Sugar syrup is the liquid form of granulated sugar and as it is a concentrated form of sugar, it is extremely sweet.
However, unlike granulated sugar, sugar syrup doesn’t alter the texture of the chocolate. So, it is better to use it to sweeten your dark chocolate instead of granulated chocolate.
Using sugar syrup, You can create any kind of consistency from light to heavy. But if you can make sugar syrup using equal parts sugar and water, it will be the ideal sugar syrup to add to your dark chocolate.
(vi) Using Condensed Milk, Powdered Sugar, Liquid Glucose, or Stevia
You can also use any of these ingredients to make your dark chocolate taste better. But these ingredients are more expensive and not everybody has them on their hands all the time.
They do, however, work effectively and don’t alter the texture of the chocolate when you mix them.
By Pairing Chocolate with Other Ingredients
You can enhance the sweet flavor that dark chocolate contains by reducing its bitter flavor profile. Based on the percentage of cocoa solids and cocoa butter, every dark chocolate has some sweetness to it.
To reduce the bitterness of dark chocolate you can pair the chocolate with wine, cheese, chili peppers, fruits, or sea salt flakes.
For example, if you want to reduce the bitter flavor of semisweet dark chocolate, you can pair them with sea salt flakes or fruits.
For bittersweet dark chocolate, you can choose ingredients like cheese, wine, and chili peppers to neutralize their bitterness.
And in the case of regular dark chocolate, marshmallows work well with toning down the bitterness and adding sweetness.
(i) Pairing with Fruits
Bitter chocolate and fruits, this classic pairing goes way back. By pairing fruits with dark chocolate, you add sweetness to the bitter chocolate and a unique taste and texture to the fruits. But remember that not all the fruits will give you the same result as every fruit has a different flavor profile.
You can serve fruits and chocolate side by side or you can use melted chocolate to coat the sweet fruits to balance out the bitterness and a touch of sweetness.
The ideal fruits to pair with dark chocolate are those that are extremely sweet. Banana, berries, oranges, and peaches top this list.
(ii) Pairing with Sea Salt Flakes
The ancient saying about opposites attract applies to sea salt and dark chocolate perfectly. This method is so effective because sea salt can easily neutralize the aroma and taste, and also balance the bitter flavor naturally.
By nature, sea salt is a flavor enhancer that mainly helps in sweetening things. But you will have to use top-quality sea salt flakes to achieve your desired result. Because regular salt will do the job but not as well.
Before eating your chocolate bar, simply sprinkle some sea salt flakes on top of it, or add some to your chocolate recipe. You can also add sea salt to the melted chocolate or incorporate it into the recipe because salt also melts.
(iii) Pairing with Cheese
Why not combine two of the most decadent appetizers: cheese and chocolate? Even if cheeses don’t taste very sweet on their own, some of them have a lot of natural sweetness.
Here the rule of thumb is that the bitter chocolate, the more excellently it pairs with aged and complex cheeses such as moldy cheeses like gorgonzola, or matured cheese like goats’ cheese. Sweeter chocolate, on the other hand, is best used as a basic addition to simpler cheeses.
Though cheese pairs well with dark chocolate, but not always in a recipe that calls for it. Because-
- Incorporating these two flawlessly into a recipe would be extremely difficult, if not impossible.
- The flavor and texture of cheese alter when it is heated.
(iv) Pairing with Chili Pepper
You may find the combination of spicy chili peppers with sweet or bitter chocolate truly crazy and odd. But it works great. Because similar to the sea salt choice, this is another example of opposites complementing each other. Chili, similar to sea salt, is a taste enhancer that helps to balance the bitterness of dark chocolate.
After all, when your taste buds are busy with the smokey heat of chili pepper, you are less likely to think about bitter dark chocolate.
Chili peppers are an excellent ingredient to use in dark chocolate recipes, and they both work well in both sweet and savory recipes.
Also, let me tell you that the tradition of pairing chili peppers and chocolate has been going on for centuries in Asian and Mexican cuisine.
(v) Pairing with Wine
If you are already pairing dark chocolate with some cheese, why not turn it into a full-fledged extravagant meal with a glass of wine? Wine has been a long popular match with chocolate. You can serve it separately or incorporate it into a dark chocolate recipe.
However, here it is important to know which wine to pair with dark chocolate to match its intensity.
Here the general rule of thumb is that the more bitter dark chocolate should be paired with a heavier wine. You have to keep their level matched so that they can really help to cancel each other out.
You can choose a light-bodied red wine like Pinot Noir or Gamay to pair with sweeter dark chocolates.
When it comes to bittersweet chocolates, Merlot, Bordeaux Blends, Zinfandel, and even Cabernet Sauvignon are good choices.
Bold wines like Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Pinotage, and Tannat, possibly the heaviest, pair best with bitter black chocolates.
Sweetening dark chocolate is never a difficult task. You just need to have some ingredients and patience to either sweeten the chocolate itself by changing its composition or by toning down its bitterness. Either way, it will be delicious for you to enjoy and include in your recipe.
Monica Nash is the seniormost writer at limitlesscooking.com. She is excellent at designing the content, and she understands how the audience will receive each piece of work. And yes, she cooks very well! Her 3-year of experience and dedication make the whole team energized.