question about meltaway flavorings

Seth A. Hager
12/04/14 10:14:15
4 posts

Hi, I'm mostly a lurker here, now it's my time to post. I'm a hobby chocolate dipper for few years, I've fairly experienced at what I do, but have probably pick up all sorts of bad habits since I know almost no one with experience handling chocolate.

I occasionally make meltaways and have been using oil based flavors, but I just read a recipe at serious eats that calls for alcohol based flavor OR oil based. The recipe supposedly is based on Greweling's, but his book only lists oil. So the question is, does alcohol seize or affect chocolate or not? Does the added fat content make the alcohol less harmful to the texture? Anyone here with experience with using both oil and alcohol based flavors for meltaways?

Thanks for any help.

updated by @seth-a-hager: 04/09/15 22:22:19
01/28/15 12:22:53
36 posts

Not seeing an answer here, so hopefully this will help.  Let me start by saying I've never used an alcohol based flavoring for chocolate, so I'm not speaking from experience in that regard; just knowlege of the products/ingredients.

Alcohol is mixed with water. So any alcohol based flavorings are going to contain water.  It's very difficult outside of medical grade stuff to get pure alcohol, so you're going to have a distilled mixture that at best will be about 98% pure, then diluted with distilled water down to approx 80-100 proof (40-50% alcohol) And that's the base. 

The process is used because some flavors are simply not fat soluable and some flavors are. Further some flavors are naturally oils (like citrus).

Hopefully this info helps.

BTW: Did you try it and if so how did it turn out?

01/28/15 15:29:44
754 posts

Fat based flavors will always give you the best dispersion.  Alcohol based flavors can work just fine in chocolate, but disperse less well as they're hydrophillic (it's the nature of alcohols).  As time notes, due to a phenemonen called azeotroping, you're never going to get a 100% pure alcohol - it will always carry some water with it.  Almost all your vanilla liquid flavors are alcohol based, for context, and the industry uses them all the time.  Will you be ok with either one?  Absolutely, but you may need to mix a bit more witih the alcohol based.  If you use excessive amounts (ie > 1%), expect more challenges.  Most of your texture is coming from the interaction of your cocoa butter and whatever liquid fat you're adding to get the meltaway texture.

01/28/15 15:55:52
36 posts

Thanks for that sebastian. I was always told to stay away from non-oil based flavorings in chocolate, so for the most part I have. Most of my experience is from flavor extractions for cooking and baking.  And what you said does make a bit of sense since a lot of extractions try to concentrate the flavors/potentcy of the extract through distillation.

I've also noticed most non alcohol based flavorings I've found in the industry use Propelene Glycol as the medium as well and some using Vegetable Glycerin(may be labled as Glycerin or Glycerol). I would think that may be safe for chocolate as well without seizing. Both of which are an alcohol, but not water based.


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