Unveiling the Secrets Behind the Irresistible Taste of Belgian Chocolate
Chocolate is a commodity that has versatile uses, from being an aphrodisiac and a preferred dessert flavour to being a popular gift for all occasions. Chocolate is one of the largest industries in the Australian confectionery market, amounting to 2.85 billion AUD. The preference of Australians towards premium chocolate has led to one of the highest consumption rates of 6.3 kg per capita in the Asia-Pacific region.
When one hears the word ‘Belgian’, they inevitably follow it with the word ‘chocolate’. Such is the popularity of Belgian chocolate. It has been recognized worldwide for its quality, innovation and taste. Many chocolate manufacturers and companies globally have adopted the flavour in their menu to deliver premium luxury chocolates in their shops. Australia is one among them. Moreover, fairtrade luxury chocolate sales are rising among Australian consumers, and they have taken up 3% of the market.
Belgium has long claimed itself as the home for the best chocolate globally. And it is not without good reason. Since the early colonial trade times, Belgians have grown some of the world’s best quality cocoa beans around the Congo River. With such rich raw ingredients at hand, it was only a matter of time before the region’s skilled chocolatiers produced some of the most delicious, smooth and flavoursome chocolates. Not to mention the talented chocolatiers who developed the most innovative ways to refine the art of chocolate making through creative techniques and experiments. They invented novel methods of mixing and filling chocolates that numerous chocolate makers from around the world incorporate in their recipes. They also hold pride in inventing pralines and hard chocolate coatings that allow chocolatiers to fill their choco truffles with cream, nuts, caramel, nougat, fruit and other forms of chocolate.
Chocolate lovers worldwide must know the unique style of Belgian chocolates that sets them apart. One of the most crowd appealing features is their mid-range flavour profile that does not hit extremes. They have a characteristic medium bitter and medium sweet flavour and buttery touch. They also use authentic cocoa butter in their products, which uplifts the overall quality and taste of the chocolate, elevating it to a premium level. The chocolates also come with ganache and buttercream, with moulded pralines and truffles.
Cocoa butter or cacao butter is a crucial ingredient in every Belgian variety of chocolate. It is a type of pure fat that manufacturers extract from cocoa beans through fermentation, drying, roasting and pressing. It contains the flavour and aroma of cocoa and is vegan. It brings out the smoothness and silkiness of chocolate bars.
A praline is a form of sugary, nutty chocolate covering that enfolds the soft filling of nut paste or cream.
The fillings are light and airy, showcasing the finesse in their preparation. They also come in unique shapes, moulds and packaging that makes them the perfect choice for presents on special occasions.
Belgian milk chocolate has a classic mild milk chocolate flavour without an overbearing sourness, fruitiness or other floral flavours many chocolates have. Although, it is darker than Swiss chocolates and sweeter than French ones. Its dark chocolate variant has a classic fudgy and earthy flavour which is comforting without providing too many distractions. It contains 100% of cocoa butter, while many other chocolates partially or entirely replace it with vegetable fat (5%-100%). The uniqueness of the chocolate comes from the quality of ingredients, its origin (African cacao), and the production method.
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