Cocoa Solids: A Closer Look

Cacao beans and shell

Chocolate is made from a handful of key ingredients – cocoa butter, sugar, and cocoa solids. We recently took a deeper look at Cocoa butter, so lets explore the other star of the show: Cocoa Solids.

What are Cocoa Solids?

Cocoa solids are the solid part of the cacao bean that have been extracted and separated from the fat. They are dark brown in colour, and very bitter in flavour. It doesn’t taste anything like the finished product just yet!

They can be powder or can be a set mass with a crumbly, dry texture. They have a fruity, dark, intense flavour – like a very strong cocoa powder and a very strong coffee combined! There are several different names for cocoa solids- the most common is cocoa powder – but they all describe the solid parts from a cacao bean.

Cocoa powder

How is it made?

Cocoa Solids are made by crushing roasted, dried cacao beans to release their oils, flavour, and fragrance. The beans are finely ground until they form a thick, dark mass called cocoa liquor. Now this is not to be confused with cocoa liqueur – very far from it. Cocoa liquor is a blend of cocoa butter and cocoa solids and it is very bitter and oily, though it smells absolutely fantastic!

The cocoa liquor is filtered and separated to form two products: (you guessed it) cocoa solids and cocoa butter.

Cocoa solids can also be dried and blended to a fine powder, which is commonly used in cooking, baking and hot chocolates!

Our Swiss Dark Chocolate Collection

What role does it play in chocolate?

Cocoa solids are what gives chocolate its distinctive flavour: without it it simply wouldn’t be chocolate! The amount of cocoa solids you add dictates how strong and bitter the chocolate will taste. More cocoa solids give a darker, more bitter flavour and it gives a firmer texture with the increase in solids.

Our Swiss Milk Chocolate collection contains 30% cocoa solids, whereas our Swiss Dark Chocolate collection contains up to 98% cocoa solids. And of course, for our Swiss White Chocolate collection there are no cocoa solids, which is why white chocolate tastes so different to dark or milk chocolate.