Chocolate lovers celebrate! Just when you thought you’d tasted every flavor of chocolate under the sun, another comes along and astounds your taste buds. There is something new in the air, and it’s a little red and a tad bit fruity – ruby chocolate!
Sometimes referred to as “millennials chocolate” due to its pink hue, this is a relatively new flavor. Some call it the fourth type of chocolate alongside white, milk, and dark. Trendy and different, it can’t be classified as bitter or milky but rather has a tart and fruity taste to it.
Intrigued yet? Let’s dive into the wondrous world of ruby chocolate, exploring what exactly it is and how you can enjoy it.
What is Ruby Chocolate?
First things first, what is this mysterious new chocolate? While many get it mixed up with colored white chocolate or raspberry flavored varieties, it actually is its own type of chocolate. The color and taste are completely natural.
Made from ruby cacao beans, the makers of the chocolate, Barry Callebaut, insist it is neither a new type of bean nor is it genetically modified. Instead, the difference comes from the way the cacao bean is processed and treated.
No one knows exactly what that process is, as Callebaut keeps their information under wraps. However, they say their ruby cacao beans are sourced from South America and the Ivory Coast.
Just like any cacao bean, the chocolate is made from grinding the cacao and mixing it with sugar, milk powder, and a couple more ingredients. Citric acid is a unique added ingredient to ruby chocolate.
The citric acid helps lock in the special flavor and signature red color of the ruby chocolate during the beans’ fermentation process. Just like you would add lemon juice to guacamole to stop it from going brown, the chocolatier adds citric acid.
The fermentation process is shortened to help enhance the fruit taste and the hue of the beans. Other theories on the process include that they have bred trees to be pinker in color rather than the typical purple. In order to hold the color, the beans themselves would have to already be red or pinkish in color.
A Brand New Chocolate
This unique process for making ruby chocolate developed by Callebaut is the only kind like it in the world. For years they worked on this process – the development of the chocolate is believed to have started as early as 2005.
Ruby chocolate was first unveiled at a 2017 trade show in Shanghai. Japan was the first country to have it available, followed by Europe and then the US.
The KitKat Ruby was the first product to use this pink-hued chocolate available to the public, which made quite the stir! The signature red color and natural fruity tastes were a big hit.
By the way – if you’re interested in KitKats, check out this fascinating article about why KitKats are considered good luck in Japan.
To this day, ruby chocolate is only available to culinary professionals. Unfortunately, the average home cook can’t source large quantities of it.
What Does Ruby Chocolate Taste Like?
Dark chocolate is slightly bitter and earthy, milk chocolate creamy and rich, and white is the sweetest of them all. We all understand these flavor profiles. So, how do you describe ruby chocolate to someone who has never eaten it?
Ruby chocolate holds some sweetness like white chocolate, with a hint of sour notes. The tartness resembles lemon, raspberries, or other berries, depending on your palate. This sweet treat has a finish that is slightly acidic. It is sure to hit after each bite! No doubt, it can be described as a loud flavor.
Some people confuse ruby chocolate with flavored or dyed white chocolate. However, it is completely separate. Unlike white chocolate that is dyed red, ruby chocolate comes in a natural pink color and holds its tart, fruity taste all on its own.
Most people say the color is the most exciting part about ruby chocolate. But the hue and flavor combine to make this chocolate a feast for the eyes as well as the tongue.
Ruby chocolate is made in a similar style to milk chocolate. It includes cocoa butter, milk powder, sugar, and cocoa mass.
Why is This Variety So Rare?
You may be reading this and think, have I ever seen ruby chocolate? It’s hard to say! As mentioned, you may have seen a dyed red or pink white chocolate, which has a very similar appearance.
Ruby chocolate is hard to come by for two main reasons. First, the cocoa nibs are patented, meaning only the makers of the chocolate, Barry Callebaut, can produce it. They have complete control over who can purchase their unique chocolate for use in their products. For example, when first released, Nestle had exclusive rights to the chocolate for the first six months after its release. Talk about elusive chocolate!
The second reason ruby chocolate is so rare is that it is not sold to the general public. Barry Callebaut manufactures cocoa and chocolate for commercial kitchens, bakers, and companies. Your best bet to acquire it is through your local chocolatier or in small packs online.
Is Ruby Chocolate Real?
As new chocolate shrouded in secrecy, there is talk about whether or not ruby chocolate can be considered real. Many believe calling it the fourth kind of chocolate is nothing but a grand marketing trick.
Some people think that ruby chocolate is simply flavored cocoa butter or colored fat. Others believe that it has the same depth as white chocolate and is a whole new variety. The manufacturers of the chocolate only let a few details out, so it’s hard to know all the information. But yes, ruby cocoa is real.
However, ruby cacao beans are not some new and amazing discovery. Instead, it is the name given to the bean that has been unfermented and processed differently than the average cacao bean. It is indeed real and actually pink. When ground, you get the amazing color found in ruby chocolate.
In the US and Canada, ruby chocolate has not yet been approved to hold the namesake and cannot be legally sold and advertised as such. There are certain criteria chocolate must meet to be considered dark, white, or milk. For now, they call this variety ruby couverture.
How Natural is This Pink-Hued Chocolate?
Just like any chocolate, ruby chocolate is natural in color and flavor and comes from whole ingredients. However, due to the secrecy of the processing of the cacao beans, no one knows how many preservatives are inside.
Like anything you buy from the store, you don’t know what preservatives went into the ingredients beforehand. Likewise, every ruby chocolate product turns out slightly different (think a KitKat bar versus pure chocolate), and the process may change.
It should be noted that it is not organic or fair trade.
Where Can I Get Ruby Chocolate?
- Trader Joe’s Ruby Cacao Wafers are an easy way to melt the chocolate into ingredients or place one directly on your tongue for a delicious flavor.
- KitKat Ruby, the very first ruby chocolate, is one of many specialty KitKats. The best way to source one of these bars is to go to a specialty candy store.
- Chocolove XO Ruby is a bar of pure, sweet ruby chocolate. Find it online or at your local candy store.
- Amazon, of course. The chocolate is hard to source, but Amazon almost always has some sort of ruby chocolate available.
Unfortunately, this variety of chocolate is only sold to confectioners – there is no way to make it at home yourself. To taste it or include it in some of your own baking, you will have to purchase it in small amounts from your local chocolate store or online.
How to Enjoy Ruby Chocolate
The possibilities are endless when it comes to ruby chocolate. It compares well to white chocolate. However you enjoy the white variety, you should try ruby in its place. It pairs well with fruits, berries, and wine for a simple delight or can be used in many baking applications.
And of course, these pink-colored chocolate creations make for a festive and sweet valentine’s treat!
How to Temper Your Chocolate
If you are lucky enough to get your hands on this pink-hued sweet, you may want to experiment with tempering your chocolate.
Tempering chocolate helps to get a smooth chocolate coating without sacrificing any of the taste. It is best to temper before using it in a recipe, with the exception of adding it into a batter or ganache. To temper, you will need a double boiler:
- Fill the bottom with water and place two-thirds of your chocolate on top. Mix and heat slowly until you reach a temperature of 110°F. Do not let it go above 120°F. A candy thermometer will work best for taking the temperature.
- Remove from heat, being careful not to get any water on the chocolate. Add in the remaining chocolate and continue to mix. This will bring down the temperature of the chocolate. You want to keep stirring until you reach 84°F. It may take a little while!
- Reheat the chocolate for a moment until it reaches 89°F. Then it’s done, and it’s your working chocolate! Don’t let it sit over water or exceed 91°F. Temper it as many times as you need while making your ruby confections.
Ever since cake pops came on the scene, there hasn’t been a cuter dessert out there, and making them is simple.
- Buy a cake mix and make and bake it as you normally would.
- Once cooled, crumble the cake, and mix it with your favorite icing.
- Roll into balls and insert a lollipop stick into the creation.
- Let your cake pops cool in the fridge.
- Finally, dip them in your tempered ruby chocolate and decorate with some fun sprinkles.
Chocolate Dipped Strawberries
A super simple recipe, chocolate-dipped strawberries are made even more fun by using ruby chocolate.
- Use large, ripe strawberries and clean them well.
- Please make sure they are 100% dry before dipping them and be sure to remove them from the fridge before drying, so they don’t retain any moisture.
- Dip in warm, not hot, chocolate, and then gently swirl to get any excess off.
- Place the strawberries on wax or parchment paper, so they come off easily. Enjoy!
Chocolate Chip Cookies
A fun take on a classic favorite, swapping out the chips with ruby wafers makes for a less sweet, more flavorful chocolate chip cookie. Everyone has their own go-to recipe, whether a soft and chewy cookie or a hard and dunk-able chocolate chip recipe. Mix things up with the new variety to ease your way into its unique flavor.
Chocolate Bundt Cake with Ruby Glaze
A fudgy cake will pair brilliantly with the fruity notes found within ruby chocolate. Bundt cakes are simple to make yet have an aesthetic that looks great for entertaining. The next time you have visitors over, make a chocolate Bundt cake. Once fully cooled, simply drizzle melted ruby chocolate over the top of the cake. Not only will it look beautiful, but it will add even more flavor to your recipe.
If you’re looking for another simple and cute recipe, try making ruby chocolate pretzels. Pretzels dipped in chocolate are the perfect snack for salty yet sweet lovers. To make your pretzels:
- Line a baking sheet with wax or parchment paper.
- Dip your pretzels halfway in melted chocolate.
- Swirl and tap the pretzels to ensure the excess chocolate drips off.
- Refrigerate your pretzels until completely hardened.
- Remove from the pan and keep in them Tupperware in the fridge until ready to eat.
And there you have it! This article covers the ins and outs of the new and exciting ruby chocolate. Still a mystery to many, you can now keep your eyes peeled for this delicious, pink, and fruity chocolate. Once you know about it, you won’t be able to stop thinking about it!
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