Chocolate Lovers: Why You Should Spend More on High-End Delights

Even doctors agree that chocolate is good for you, particularly the varieties with a high cocoa content. High-end chocolate is high in cocoa, with a round, rich taste. Several key factors make high-end chocolate a totally different product from the consumer candy we call everyday chocolate, and there are many reasons why it's worth spending more.

The Reasons for Paying for High-End Chocolate

The reasons why it's worth paying more for high-end chocolate start with the raw ingredients. The soil where the beans have grown, the amount of sunlight, and the length of time beans are left to ferment and dry all affect the quality. The best cocoa beans, used in high-end chocolate, originate from the Criollo tree. This variety, native to Ecuador and Venezuela, is thought to be closest to the original tree that the Mayans used for their chocolate. Criollo beans require such tender care that they account for less than 10% of worldwide chocolate production. As with the best in wine, tea and coffee, high-end chocolatiers often know not just the country where the beans originated, but often the region, district or the actual plantation.

Most "everyday" chocolate includes relatively low amounts of cocoa solids from low grade beans. Copious amounts of sugar and fat are added, and ingredients such as milk are often dried rather than fresh. The hardy but somewhat bitter Forastero tree produces most of the cocoa beans used in consumer chocolate. High-end luxury chocolate, on the other hand, typically includes upwards of 70% cocoa solids from the purest beans. Cane sugar is preferred and natural vanilla is used to enhance the taste. Only very small amounts of the best quality fresh dairy ingredients are added to complement, but not overpower, the taste and scent of the cocoa.

The Chocolatiers Process

To bring out the distinctive chocolate flavour, beans are roasted gently and the husks removed. The remaining nibs are then ground into a rich cocoa liqueur. Further processes follow, including conching. The conching process is particularly important to give high-end chocolate its rich, round taste. The better the conching, the silkier the texture and silkiness is often used as an indicator of the quality of the chocolate. Once these processes are complete, the tempering begins.

Tempering allows cocoa butter crystals to be re-established, giving chocolate its gorgeous glossy appearance. The molten chocolate is heated to the correct temperature and worked until malleable and ready for moulds. Keeping as much moisture out of the final process as possible is another way that high-end chocolatiers ensure the best experience for their customers.

You don't have to be a pastry chef to enjoy chocolate to its fullest, look at the gloss on the bar. Close your eyes and breathe in the scent, whether floral, woody or a combination. Hold a piece of chocolate to your ear, break it gently, and listen for the 'snap'. The sharper the snap, the higher the cocoa content. Break off a small piece and put it on your tongue. Let it melt slowly, so you can savour the flavour.

So why spend more on high-end delights? The health benefits of high-cocoa content chocolate are well documented. One benefit is its ability to help reduce stress levels. Select luxury chocolate for the purity of the raw ingredients and the knowledge and skill of the makers. Most of all, however, the reason to opt for high-end chocolate is, quite simply, its taste.

 

James Hutchins, of James Chocolates, is an award winning chocolatier based in Somerset, England. James designs incredible luxury handmade chocolates for all occasions.

Featured Culinary Schools

Searching Searching ...

Matching School Ads
5 Program(s) Found
Le Cordon Bleu Schools of North America , Online (campus option available)
  • Its first location, in Paris, officially opened its doors as a culinary school in 1895.
  • Teaches students by having them spend significant time in the kitchen practicing precision techniques.
  • Provide hands-on training from instructors who are certified, master chefs.
  • Offer flexible schedules and online programs.
  • Has 30 schools worldwide, spanning 5 continents, including 17 campuses in the U.S.
Show more [+]
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
1 Program(s) Found
  • Provides students the opportunity to train at home in their spare time to get their high school diploma, train for a new career, or enhance current skills.
  • Offers programs in psychology/social work, business management, medical billing, criminal justice, and more.
  • Member of the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA), the Canadian Network for Innovation in Education (CNIE), and the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE).
  • Features a fully flexible schedule with no classes to attend, leaving the study pace up to the student.
Show more [+]
  • Online Courses
1 Program(s) Found
  • Offers more than 150 self-paced, career-relevant programs that are connected to a supportive 24/7 online community of students and faculty.
  • Profiled in many publications such as The Boston Globe, Fox Business, and  Inside Higher Ed.
  • Nearly 25,000 graduates each year.
  • Accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC).
  • Founded in 1890 in Scranton, Pennsylvania    
Show more [+]
  • Online Courses
  • Students can complete an entry-level technician program in about a year, and manufacturer training and graduate in as little as 18 months.
  • Provides technical education training programs for automotive, diesel, collision repair, motorcycle, and marine technicians.
  • Partners with many well-known manufacturers, including General Motors, Porsche Cars North America Inc., and BMW of North America LLC.
  • Offers internships to students and alumni for first-hand experience.
  • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
Show more [+]
  • Financial Aid
  • Designated a 2015 Military Friendly School by Victory Media for the 4th consecutive year.
  • Listed on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll in 2013, for the sixth consecutive year.
  • Links students to hundreds of training opportunities ( beyond their traditional internships and practicum) at their many “partner agencies” in each of their local communities. 
  • Accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
Show more [+]
Good for Working Adults
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Dedicated to providing a hands-on, career-focused education since 1953.
  • Offers classes online, as well as at 14 campuses across California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois and Virginia.
  • Develops curriculum with input from employers, subject matter experts.
  • Has small class sizes to promote one-on-one, student-teacher interaction.
  • Makes no-cost tutoring available in every subject to every enrolled student.
Show more [+]
  • Accredited
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Has students attend one four-week class at a time and take their final exam before moving on to their next class.
  • Offers 24/7 online tech support, with a typical response time of 4 hours or less.
  • Has online help centers that offer assistance with writing, statistics, medical assisting, and more.
  • Provides job placement assistance to all its students and alumni.
  • Researches trends for growing fields to tailor a more effective curriculum.
Show more [+]
Good for Working Adults
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
  • Offers training in various types of massage therapy, physical therapy/sports rehab, and personal fitness training & wellness.
  • Teaches in an environment that promotes learning and encourages empathetic and compassionate therapists.
  • Career service professionals work directly with students from the start of their program, and help them pursue employment in day spas, luxury hotels, cruise ships, and other locations.
  • Students can work in the SOCHI Massage Clinic to gain experience and build their career skills.
  • Financial aid representatives help students develop a personalized financial plan to finance their tuition.
Show more [+]
  • Financial Aid
  • Gives students the option to choose from day, evening, and weekend classes to fit their schedule.
  • Offers public spa and salon services at all campuses for students to gain real-world experience.
  • Provides short specialty programs and workshops open to non-students as well.
  • Has 60 campuses across the United States.
  • Accredited by the National Accrediting Commission of Career Arts & Sciences (NACCAS).
Show more [+]
  • Accredited
  • Financial Aid
  • One of the largest massage therapy schools in the nation teaching since 1979.
  • First massage school in California to be nationally accredited.
  • Has a successful job placement record— 86% of graduates get placed into work in massage therapy.
  • Provides massage therapist education with multiple methods to ensure every student learns the material.
  • Offers lifetime career placement assistance and holds partnerships with a variety of employers.
Show more [+]
Good for Working Adults
  • Accredited
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid

Saint Francis University’s 100% Online Master of Human Resource Management

Saint Francis University’s online Master of Human Resource Management program provides students with the theoretical and practical advanced knowledge necessary to become human resource leaders of the best kind.

  • Online Courses
Milan Institute , Bakersfield
  • Offers career programs in accounting, cosmetology, massage therapy, physical fitness training, and more.
  • Provides hands-on training led by instructors who have relevant, on-the-job experience.
  • Each campus features a public salon and spa for student practice.
  • Campuses are accredited by the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET) and Council on Occupational Education (COE).
  • 11 campuses across California, Texas, Nevada and Idaho, as well as 8 additional Milan Institute of Cosmetology campuses.
Show more [+]
Good for Working Adults
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Has over 350 employees who provide personalized, one-on-one live student support.
  • Partnered with AmeriCorps to create the Segal AmeriCorps education award that pays up to $5,500 towards tuition.
  • Provides 100% tuition assistance for military service members who qualify.
  • Offers JANET, the Job Assistance Network that covers instruction on résumé writing, cover letters and weekly job leads for up to three years.
  • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC).
Show more [+]
  • Online Courses
  • Offers special tuition pricing for Veterans, Active Duty Military and spouses/qualifying dependents of all Active Duty, National Guard and Reserves.
  • Works closely with an advisory board from the medical community to ensure that their curriculum, equipment and instruction are current.
  • Allows students to complete assignments on the go with its Blackboard Learn mobile app.
  • Gives online students live student support for technical or course questions.
  • Has campus locations in Florida as well as online learning programs.
Show more [+]
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
Argosy University , Online (campus option available)
  • Designated as a 2015 Military Friendly® School by Victory Media, publishers of G.I. Jobs®.
  • Each program is designed to instill the knowledge, ethical values, and interpersonal skills of professional practice and to foster values of social responsibility.
  • Offers several flexible learning options, including a blended format that combines campus and online learning.
  • Several scholarship opportunities are available for students who qualify.
  • Features a competency-based MBA program that allows students to test out of subjects based on prior professional experience.
Show more [+]
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits