Chocolate is everyone’s favorite. We all love the creamy, sweetness of chocolate.
But unlike milk chocolate, dark chocolate is hated by many. It definitely doesn’t taste as good as milk-chocolate. However, it has many health benefits.
So there must be a way to make it taste better.
So how to make dark chocolate less bitter?
You can sweeten the dark chocolate or pair it with different foods. Depending on the cocoa percentage, of course. For 50-60% cocoa, pair the chocolate with fruits, sea salt, or coffee. For 85% cocoa, go for cheese, wine, or chili pepper. If it’s 99%, you’ll need to melt down the chocolate. And add a sweetener of your choice.
To know more in detail, let’s dive into the chocolaty world in our segment.
How Bitter Is Your Dark Chocolate?
Dark chocolates can have different percentages of cocoa starting from 50%, 85% to 99%. As the percentage of cocoa solids increases, the bitterness intensifies.
If your chocolate’s percentage is higher than 50%, pair it with something that compliments the bitterness. You can also add a sweetener according to your choice.
Many people like eating dark chocolate as is. But milk-chocolate lovers might find the 50% cocoa unappealing. So it might be bitter for you as well.
For many people, even 85% isn’t dark enough. This is for people who love dark chocolate. But 85% cocoa in chocolate tastes rather bittersweet.
If the cocoa percentage reaches over 90%, it’s just dark and bitter. You can’t expect the chocolate to taste sweet anymore.
However, it’s quite good for your health, especially for your heart. So that’s one reason you want to eat dark chocolate. But the bitterness might hold you back. So just add something or pair it with fruits for a better taste.
Dark Chocolate Too Bitter- How To Make It Taste Better?
If you’re not fond of eating bitter chocolate, we’ve got solutions for you. There are ways to tone down the intensity of the bitterness. Add ingredients or pair it with something.
50-60% Cacao- Bittersweet Or Bitter?
Chocolates with a percentage between 50 to 60 of cacao aren’t that bitter. But to tone down that slightly bitter taste, you can do the following.
Method 1 of 3: Sea Salt
Adding sea salt on top of your chocolates is one of the classic ways of eating chocolate. Moreover, it brings a balance between the dark bitter taste of the cacao and the salt.
Sea salt or even just cooking salt makes a bar of bitter chocolate taste sweeter. The crispy crunch of the big chunks of salt goes well with the bitterness of the chocolate. As the chocolate melts into your mouth, the sea salt flavor cancels the bitterness.
However, things won’t be the same with all the sea salts out there. Because no matter what the product is, some companies make it better than others.
So, here’s our top choice for sea salts that go just perfectly with dark chocolate.
So try out your dark chocolates with sea salt the next time, and enjoy.
Method 2 of 3: Fruits
Pairing dark chocolates with fruits is also a common way of eating chocolate. You can either eat the chocolate as is with the fruits. Or coat the fruits with chocolate.
Either way, you’ll enjoy the dark chocolate you just bought for yourself.
You can choose fruits that are on the sweeter tone. For example bananas, dates, strawberries, raspberries, dried apricots. The bitterness of the chocolate neutralizes the extra sweetness of the fruits.
This way you get to kill two birds with one stone.
Method 3 of 3: Coffee
Coffee and bittersweet dark chocolates go pretty well together. You can enjoy 50-60% cacao dark chocolate with hot sips of coffee.
Now dark chocolate and coffee complement each other quite well. This is because the bitterness of the two cancel each other out.
Bites of chocolate along with the coffee sips make a good combination.
You can also have green coffee with dark chocolate. Because green coffee isn’t that bitter. It’ll taste pretty good with dark chocolate.
Which Method to Choose?
If you’re confused, here’s an overview of the methods and how they work.
|Methods||Taste & flavor||Ease||Calories|
|Sea salt||Less bitter but quite strong||Easiest. Because you just sprinkle the salt. Takes no time either.||Lowest calories|
|Fruits||The flavor might depend on the fruit. If the fruit is sweet, the bitterness will cancel out.||Might take little effort if the fruits are covered in chocolate. Effortless if eaten directly.||Highest calories. The sweeter the fruit, the greater the calorie content.|
|Coffee||An excellent way to cancel out the bitterness. Not everyone will like the flavor.||Effortless. You just eat it with coffee.||Fewer calories|
70-85% Cocoa- Too Bitter?
70-85% cocoa dark chocolates are more on the bitter side. So when you bite into them, your taste buds feel the intense bitterness first. And then there’s a touch of sweetness. For people fond of milk chocolates, it’s better to pair these with something. This will make the experience more flavorful.
Method 1 of 3: Chili pepper
Dark chocolate with chili pepper sounds crazy. But trust me it’s a great combination. The heat from the chili and the bitterness makes it a delicacy.
But here’s the thing-
You can’t obviously eat the two as is. It’s better to cook the two together. It could be any of the following.
- chili pepper truffles,
- chili chocolate clusters
- chili with dark chocolate which is more like a curry.
Whatever you prepare, make sure to cook it the right way. But don’t add smoked paprika in chocolate. This’ll ruin the taste.
However, either of the three recipes will make dark chocolate taste better. And it’ll bring out the decadent chocolaty flavor instead.
Method 2 of 3: Wine
Dark chocolate and wine is yet another classic combination. You’ve probably already enjoyed the two together. So you know how perfectly the two complement each other.
Here’s the thing-
The rule of thumb is to pair dark chocolate and wine based on their darkness. The darker and more bitter your chocolate, the darker the wine. For 70-85% cocoa solids in dark chocolate, you should prefer dark red wine.
Method 3 of 3: Cheese
If you can’t handle the bitterness of dark chocolate by itself, pair it with cheese. That’s the reason why you’ll always find cheese and chocolates paired on a cheeseboard. Because the two ingredients genuinely bring out each other’s flavors.
For dark chocolates with over 70% cocoa solids, go for aged cheese. Something like sharp cheddar, soft-ripened goat, sheep or cow milk cheese, or blue cheese.
This is because these types of cheese are more pungent and acidic. So they pair well with dark chocolate.
Which Method To Pick?
So if you haven’t been able to decide which one to go for, we’re making it easy. Go through the table and choose your method. Look out for how it benefits you and align it with your needs.
|Methods||Taste & Flavor||Ease||Time||Calories|
|Chilli pepper||A strong and unique flavor||Difficult than the other two. It needs to be cooked||May take 20-40 minutes for preparing||Fewer calories|
|Wine||Classic flavor. Tones down the bitterness||Easy because you’re not cooking anything||Takes no time||Moderate amount of calories|
|Cheese||Classic flavor. Reduces bitterness and brings flavor||Easy because you’re not cooking anything||Takes no time||Highest calories|
99% Cacao- Dark & Bitter?
Dark chocolate with 99% cocoa solids has nothing but cocoa beans. There is no sweetness within them. Even though it’s incredibly healthy for you, it doesn’t taste good.
So you’ll need to melt the chocolate down and mix a sweetener. Or you could use it in baking desserts.
Sweeteners will tone down the 99% cocoa in chocolate. It can be any kind of sweeter. All you need is something that’ll tone down the bitterness.
Begin by melting the chocolate completely.
After melting it, add the sweetener. Either eat the chocolate as is or use it for baking. It’s recommended to use melted chocolate with sweeteners for baking purposes.
Here are a few sweeteners used to alter the taste of the dark chocolate-
Condensed milk is basically evaporated sweetened milk. Using this is a great idea for making chocolate taste better.
Melt the chocolate at first. Either microwave it or use the double boiler method. Ensure that you don’t burn it. Or else you’ll make it even more bitter.
Once you’ve melted the chocolate, add the condensed milk to it. Add the milk according to your required sweetness.
Moreover, make sure to add the milk when the chocolate is still hot. Once it cools down, the condensed milk won’t mix with it anymore.
Now you can let the chocolate set. Or use it for baking with peanut oil or other oils. It’s better to use for baking because the original temper of the chocolate tends to get damaged. So it doesn’t taste the same or isn’t as firm as before.
Adding sugar changes the texture of the chocolate completely. But it’ll definitely cut down the bitterness. You can add any kind of sugar, plain white or brown sugar. Using sweeteners like stevia will also do the job. It’s easier to mix in powdered sugar than granulated sugar.
However, in case you want a healthier version, you can also add honey. It can be your very own healthier version of sweet chocolate. Quite good isn’t it?
|Sugar Type||Ease||Taste||Texture||Effect on Health|
|Granulated sugar||Harder to mix||Sweet||Might affect texture||Contains fat. Might be unhealthy|
|Brown sugar||Easier to mix than granulated sugar||Sweet. Tastes the best among all types of sugar||Might slightly affect the texture||Healthier than granulated sugar|
|Powdered sugar||Easy to mix. Blends well||Sweet||Mostly doesn’t affect the texture. Becomes a little thick||Contains fat. Might be unhealthy|
|stevia||Easy to mix like powdered sugar||Slightly sweet||Mostly doesn’t affect the texture. Becomes a little thick||Zero-calorie substitute of sugar. So quite healthy|
|Honey||Easy to mix||Slightly sweet||Mostly doesn’t affect the texture. Becomes a little thick||Contains fewer calories. Quite healthy|
One thing you can do is to add white chocolate to the dark chocolate. This will turn it into milk chocolate.
You just simply melt the 99% cocoa. Then add chunks of white chocolate into it. Let the white chocolate incorporate into the melted dark chocolate.
The outcome will be sweet milk chocolate.
By the way, you can also just toss the chocolates together while baking brownies or cookies. You’ll end up with great desserts. You can also play mix and match here. Add your choice of chocolate. It can also be butterscotch chips or even peanut butter.
You can add liquid glucose to melted dark chocolate. This will hold the original texture of the chocolate.
Besides, you’ll need to add a little bit of liquid glucose into the chocolate. Don’t be too generous. Otherwise, it’ll turn it into a chocolate sauce.
So from now on, you’ll not have to eat bitter dark chocolate on its own. You can now use different methods to make it taste better.
Question: Why is dark chocolate good for health?
Answer: Dark chocolate is a rich source of minerals and antioxidants. Furthermore, it has barely any sugar reducing the risk of heart diseases.
Question: How can I sweeten unsweetened cocoa powder?
Answer: You can sweeten unsweetened cocoa powder the same way you sweeten dark chocolate. You can sweetener, or condensed milk, or even just granulated sugar you’ll be using for baking.
Question: Does dark chocolate melt slowly?
Answer: Dark chocolate melts faster than any other chocolate. Because of the high percentage of cocoa butter and fat.
As our discussion comes to an end, here’s an extra tip for you. Add a bit of rum to your melted dark chocolate. Enjoy the boozy chocolate as is or make a dessert. It’s pretty tasty.
So we hope our take on how to make dark chocolate less bitter will change your mind. Hopefully, you’ll like dark chocolate now. Let us know if it works.
Hi, I am Tanjila. I am a Law student currently pursuing my LLB degree at BUP. I have worked for a Marketing agency for over a year as a content manager. I like a discourse on Politics, Poetry, Cooking, Music and takes immense joy in being a wordsmith. And me being a Food Lover, am just sharing some cooking experience on this blog.