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Watch for Carol on "Creative Living with Sheryl Borden," a PBS-TV show airing on your local PBS station during 2017-2018.

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What’s New in Chocolate: Ruby Chocolate!

After a month of focusing on chocolate desserts for February, my research turned up a new form of chocolate in addition to dark, milk, and white: ruby chocolate or ruby cacao.

Ruby Cacao in bar and chip form.

Ruby Cacao in bar and chip form.

It is called ruby because it is pink when the beans are processed into candy. It was introduced in Asia and Europe, but just recently came to the United States.

What is Ruby Chocolate?

Ruby chocolate is developed from the Ruby cacao bean that is found naturally in Ecuador, Brazil, and Ivory Coast. Experts say it was commercialized by the Callebaut chocolate company, who registered a patent for it in 2009.  Skeptics suggest it is really a different way of processing regular cocoa beans and it is more of a marketing ploy than a truly new chocolate bean. Stay tuned on that….

Where to Buy Ruby Chocolate

I found the ruby cacao bar (3.1 ounces) at Whole Foods, introduced just before Valentine’s Day. To further the Valentine theme, the wrapping is pink with hearts and a place for “To” and “From” if you want to use it as a gift. I found a 5 ounce bag of ruby cacao chips at Trader Joe’s, packaged in pink as well. They look just like chocolate chips. There may be other places to buy ruby cacao, but these are the two places  I found so far.

How does Ruby Chocolate Taste?

Even though it’s called chocolate, tasters say it’s not really “chocolatey” at all. When I bought these Choco-Love brand bars at Whole Foods for Valentine’s Day, the check-out lady said she wasn’t sure she liked ruby chocolate. She said it was more like white chocolate, which isn’t really chocolate. So, I went home thinking I might be truly disappointed even though I love white chocolate.

My husband and I shared the bar for dessert and I was pleasantly surprised. Don’t expect a deep, dark chocolate experience. Instead, it is sort of like white chocolate but with a definite fruity note, perhaps berries? And, I didn’t find it overly sweet… which is good. In fact, there is a pleasant tang…almost like there is some fermentation.

How to Use Ruby Chocolate

My advice is to eat it as a chocolate bar. We just break off a square and savor it with coffee. There are not many recipes online yet, so I didn’t find much help about how to cook with ruby chocolate. But that may change in the future.

If you feel like experimenting (which is what I plan to do), use the chips like you use regular chocolate chips or bars. That means whatever you make will be pinkish, which might look great in some desserts but not in others.  

For example, a mousse with melted ruby chocolate might be a pretty light pink in color. You could chop up the bar and use the chunks just like you would use chocolate chips in cookies, bars, or cupcakes. But if you’re planning to melt ruby chocolate and use it like regular bittersweet chocolate in brownies, you won’ get that dark chocolate look.

Is Ruby Chocolate for You?

If you are curious about new foods, (as I am) then you might want to give ruby chocolate a try. It’s fun, something new to talk about with friends, and might give your dessert repertoire a boost. Bon Appetit!

 

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