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Cutting culinary costs

Practical hacks to cut costs without compromising on quality

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Cost cutting initiatives

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Chocolate

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Fillings, flavours & inclusions

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Ice cream

Top tips for chocolate

Have you ever thought about making chocolate with cocoa powder?

Cocoa prices have continued to spiral and with that, chocolatiers are finding new ways to acclimatise. Here we rise to the challenge, opting for alternatives that put the power of flavour and quality back in your hands. Below, with the help of deZaan, we outline how to make chocolate by using premium cocoa powder, ensuring quality remains top of the agenda.

Transforming cocoa powder into chocolate

When it comes to making your own chocolate, cocoa powder isn’t just an ingredient; it’s the heart of the creation! Its rich flavour and deep chocolatey essence allows you to control the sweetness and the texture. Chocolate contains three major ingredients: cocoa solids, fat, and sweetener. Varying the proportions of these three ingredients changes the character of the chocolate you are making. Below deZaan have provided us with four recipes to make varying chocolate flavours: 

Sweet chocolateMid-sweet chocolateBitter-sweet dark chocolateMilk chocolate
90g cocoa powder110g cocoa powder 50g cocoa powder30g cocoa powder
60g fat85g fat100g fat75g fat
150g sugar 50g sugar30g sugar75g sugar
25g milk powder

As rich and enticing as dark chocolate can be, its natural bitterness may be too overwhelming for some palates. Sweetening the mix is an effective way to soften that sharp bite, bringing a harmonious balance to the bold flavours. Sweeteners not only make the chocolate more palatable but also enhance its deeper notes, you may also wish to add powdered milk for this same purpose. The addition of fat from these ingredients allows you to dial back on the sugar while still achieving that irresistibly chocolatey quality. If you decide to sprinkle in some milk powder, remember, it has a dual purpose; it contributes both sugar and fat. So, keep an eye on how it shifts the balance in your recipe, especially if you're generous with the scoop. This way, you can craft the perfect chocolate experience that’s just right for your taste buds!

Crafting chocolate from cocoa powder

Gently heat your cocoa powder and fat in a pan. As the mix warms, stir in your chosen sweetener and give it a taste to create your perfect balance of sweetness and bitterness. Keep stirring until everything has beautifully melted together.

To temper, heat your chocolate, cool it just below the tempering temperature, and then gently warm it again to between 31-32°C without exceeding this range. You can use a microwave, a cool marble table or even a tempering machine.

Once your chocolate is perfectly blended, pour it into moulds or prepare how you wish. If you’re adding extra ingredients such as nuts, make sure they’re evenly distributed. Let your creation cool at room temperature.

Making chocolate from cocoa powder really is a simple test and learn process. Steer clear of water and high heat. If your mixture seizes, smooth it out with a little bit of oil. Too sweet? Balance it with additional cocoa powder. Trust your taste and adjust with salt or other flavourful twists, as desired. And don't forget, starting with premium cocoa powder like deZaan's range, ensures your chocolate has the finest flavour foundation. Their expertly roasted cocoa powders are designed to elevate your chocolate creations from delightful to divine!

deZaan | Rich Terracotta cocoa powder (20 – 22% fat) | 1kg and 5kg
deZaan | Rich Terracotta cocoa powder (20 – 22% fat) | 1kg and 5kg
deZaan | Rich Terracotta cocoa powder (20 – 22% fat) | 1kg and 5kg
deZaan | Rich Terracotta cocoa powder (20 – 22% fat) | 1kg and 5kg

deZaan | Rich Terracotta cocoa powder (20 – 22% fat) | 1kg and 5kg

£9.12
deZaan | Terra Rossa cocoa powder (22 – 24% fat) | 1kg and 5kg
deZaan | Terra Rossa cocoa powder (22 – 24% fat) | 1kg and 5kg
deZaan | Terra Rossa cocoa powder (22 – 24% fat) | 1kg and 5kg
deZaan | Terra Rossa cocoa powder (22 – 24% fat) | 1kg and 5kg

deZaan | Terra Rossa cocoa powder (22 – 24% fat) | 1kg and 5kg

£9.58
deZaan | Carbon Black cocoa powder (10 – 12% fat) | 1kg
deZaan | Carbon Black cocoa powder (10 – 12% fat) | 1kg

deZaan | Carbon Black cocoa powder (10 – 12% fat) | 1kg

£11.36
Olam Alkalised cocoa powder dry ingredient
Olam Alkalised cocoa powder dry ingredient

deZaan | D21S Alkalised cocoa powder (20 - 22% fat) | 25kg

£274.78
deZaan | True Gold cocoa powder (20 – 22% fat) | 1kg
deZaan | True Gold cocoa powder (20 – 22% fat) | 1kg

deZaan | True Gold cocoa powder (20 – 22% fat) | 1kg

£8.57
deZaan | True Dark cocoa powder (10 – 12% fat) | 1kg
deZaan | True Dark cocoa powder (10 – 12% fat) | 1kg

deZaan | True Dark cocoa powder (10 – 12% fat) | 1kg

£11.22
deZaan | Crimson Red cocoa powder (22 – 24% fat) | 1kg
deZaan | Crimson Red cocoa powder (22 – 24% fat) | 1kg

deZaan | Crimson Red cocoa powder (22 – 24% fat) | 1kg

£13.18
deZaan | S7 Light Brown Cocoa Powder 10-12% Fat | 25kg
deZaan | S7 Light Brown Cocoa Powder 10-12% Fat | 25kg

deZaan | S7 Light Brown Cocoa Powder 10-12% Fat | 25kg

£136.49

Fillings, flavours and inclusions

Make fillings go further: Make your creations work harder for you by including inclusions and fillings to 'bulk out' your chocolate bars. For example, adding a handful of dried fruit or nuts to your chocolate bars will allow you to use less chocolate per bar. Equally, adding textured and chunky inclusions to your fillings will also allow you to use less ganache, ready-made or otherwise. Intrigued? Watch our demo video on adding texture to chocolate. 

Versatility in usage: A huge variety of inclusions can be used in a number of different culinary applications. For example, you can use dried and candied fruit in baked goods, desserts, savoury dishes, cocktails and breakfast dishes. This versatility means that chefs can buy these ingredients in bulk and use them across multiple menu items, enhancing cost efficiency.

Shop fillings & inclusions
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Ready-made time-savers

Adding flavours to ready-made ganache

Using pre-made ganache offers significant cost advantages. Firstly, it dramatically reduces preparation time. Furthermore, using a stabilised ganache will help to provide a longer shelf life on your products. These ganaches also serve as a versatile base, facilitating the creation of various flavours without needing multiple different bases. By slightly warming the ganache to achieve a pipeable consistency, you can incorporate various flavorings such as Irca Joypastes, Rubicone concentrated pastes, and vanilla in forms such as pods, pastes, and extracts, as well as Sosa concentrated pastes. This versatility and ease of use make ready-made ganache a cost-effective option for a diverse range of culinary applications.

Truffle shells that are ready to go! 

Using ready-made chocolate truffle shells is cost-effective, primarily because it saves time by eliminating the need for moulding the chocolate - giving you a quick and easy route to finished chocolates. The consistency in size, thickness and shape of pre-made shells ensures a uniform product quality, which is essential for maintaining customer satisfaction and brand reputation. Additionally, these shells reduce the necessity for skilled labour that is required for making truffle shells from scratch, thus lowering training and labour costs. Furthermore, ready-made shells minimize waste from production errors. 

Blanxart Professional | Ready-to-use ganache | White chocolate | 6kg
Blanxart Professional | Ready-to-use ganache | White chocolate | 6kg

Blanxart Professional | Ready-to-use ganache | White chocolate | 6kg

£43.16
Blanxart Professional | Ready-to-use ganache | Milk chocolate | 6kg
Blanxart Professional | Ready-to-use ganache | Milk chocolate | 6kg

Blanxart Professional | Ready-to-use ganache | Milk chocolate | 6kg

£41.95
Blanxart Professional | Ready-to-use ganache | Dark chocolate | 6kg
Blanxart Professional | Ready-to-use ganache | Dark chocolate | 6kg

Blanxart Professional | Ready-to-use ganache | Dark chocolate | 6kg

£39.55
Barbara Décor | White chocolate truffle shell | 126pcs
Barbara Décor | White chocolate truffle shell | 126pcs

Barbara Décor | White chocolate truffle shell | 126pcs

£9.00
Barbara Décor | Milk chocolate truffle shell | 126pcs
Barbara Décor | Milk chocolate truffle shell | 126pcs

Barbara Décor | Milk chocolate truffle shell | 126pcs

£12.34
Barbara Décor | Dark chocolate truffle shell | 126pcs
Barbara Décor | Dark chocolate truffle shell | 126pcs

Barbara Décor | Dark chocolate truffle shell | 126pcs

£11.59

Ice cream tips

Using cocoa mass in chocolate ice cream is more economical because it eliminates the premium paid for the unnecessary sugar and additives included in processed chocolate. This makes cocoa mass a purer, more adaptable and often cheaper option for achieving desired chocolate intensity and quality in ice cream.

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