Have you seen desserts made with those trendy pink chocolates and asked yourself, "What is ruby chocolate?" This guide will break down everything you need to know about the groundbreaking confection.
- What is Ruby Chocolate?
- What is special about ruby chocolate?
- What does ruby chocolate taste like?
- History of Ruby chocolate
- What is ruby chocolate made of?
- Ruby Chocolate vs white, milk and dark chocolates
- Is ruby chocolate real chocolate?
- Is Ruby chocolate vegan?
- Where to buy Ruby chocolate
- How to bake with Ruby Chocolate
- Ruby Chocolate FAQs
- Ruby Chocolate Recipes
- More Chocolate Guides
What is Ruby Chocolate?
Introduced in 2017 by the Swiss company, The Barry Callebaut Group, Ruby chocolate is a completely new addition to the world of sweets. It has been gaining popularity among chocolate enthusiasts ever since it hit the scene because of its unique flavor and rose-colored appearance.
Colored chocolates are nothing new, but what sets this chocolate apart is that its unique color and flavor do not come from any additives. Instead, chocolate experts use a specific variety of cocoa beans, complete with natural pink coloring, to produce the eye-catching chocolate.
Before the discovery of ruby chocolate, the last major innovation in the field was when Nestle began producing white chocolate all the way back in 1936.
Callebaut carefully manages the process of making the product, using a proprietary method that involves allowing the special cocoa beans to retain their natural color during the fermentation process, as well as the addition of citric acid. Despite the berry-like taste, Callebaut adds no fruit flavors or coloring during the chocolate-making process. Exactly how ruby chocolate is made is a trade secret of Callebaut, who holds the patent for the new chocolate.
This rosy-colored chocolate has become a popular choice among bakers, chocolatiers, and gift-givers around the world because of its rarity as well as its distinct color and taste. Its visually appealing appearance offers a unique alternative to traditional chocolate varieties, offering the world of chocoholics something completely new to feast their eyes and their taste buds on.
What is special about ruby chocolate?
Taste - What flavor is ruby chocolate? Though Callebaut produces ruby chocolate in the same manner as milk chocolate, it has a fruity and slightly tart taste, unlike the traditional sweet flavor of milk chocolate. Some describe it as a specific taste, all its own, while others compare it to a combination of white chocolate and milk chocolate with hints of raspberry and strawberry undertones.
Appearance - The most immediately noticeable distinguishing factor is its vibrant color. It has a naturally occurring pink hue that comes from the unfermented ruby cocoa bean. This unique bean gives off a pinkish-red color when harvested, compared to the purplish color of a traditional cocoa bean. This answers the question, why is ruby chocolate pink?
Quality - Since the company's formation in Belgium in 1917, Callebaut has made the quality of its confections a top priority. Whether it's ruby or any of their other varieties, Callebaut carefully scouts cocoa beans from across the globe. The company selects ingredients for their specific taste and quality, bringing only the finest beans to their blends.
Sustainability - Callebaut sources 100 % sustainable cocoa for all of its products. They also work to reinvest in the areas that grow and harvest their cocoa beans, with a portion of each purchase made supporting the farmers and their communities. In 2015, Callebaut established Cocoa Horizons, a nonprofit organization whose goals include training young entrepreneurs in the industry, increasing productivity, and supporting farmers.
What does ruby chocolate taste like?
Ruby chocolate has a unique flavor profile that is more difficult to describe than the types of chocolate that came before it. This is in part because tasters of the rare chocolate recount their experiences in very different ways. While the more established varieties (white chocolate, milk chocolate, and dark chocolate) have straightforward flavors, ruby is more complex. But that complex flavor is undeniably delicious.
Some people describe the taste as fruity, with notes of fresh berries, while others say it is sweet, with a hint of vanilla, like a raspberry flavored white chocolate. Based on ingredients, however, the composition is closer to a milk chocolate bar because it includes cocoa butter and cocoa mass.
Overall, the taste is distinct from other types of chocolate. While Callebaut produces it with cocoa beans, it does not fit into the traditional flavors of chocolate, e.g., bitter or milky. Its fruity and smooth taste put it in a category of its own.
History of Ruby chocolate
As mentioned earlier, ruby chocolate is a relatively new invention in the world of chocolate. Callebaut first introduced it in 2017, years after filing the original patent. The introduction of a fourth official chocolate, the first in almost 80 years, was a major development.
Discovering and perfecting the groundbreaking product was no easy feat. The development took over a decade of research and development by Callebaut's team of chocolate experts. The chocolate was first unveiled to the world in Shanghai, China, and slowly began to grow in popularity.
An agreement with Nestle
After the initial announcement of the chocolate's production, the new product was met with a lukewarm reaction from the public. Markets showed slight interest, but consumers were skeptical about the fourth kind of chocolate. They thought the new chocolate was actually just flavored and colored white chocolate.
It began gaining traction after Callebaut and Nestle entered an agreement to have full selling rights for 6 months, allowing them enough time to launch a ruby chocolate Kit Kat bar.
The launch of the "Sublime Ruby KitKat" in Japan and South Korea became a springboard for getting it into the hands of consumers in Europe and eventually into the Western world.
The sale of these KitKats soon extended into the United Kingdom and Australia where it was met with a moderate response. Ruby chocolate itself faced hurdles with the United States because it did not meet the US Food and Drug Administration's definition of chocolate. This is despite the fact that the rest of the world considers it real chocolate.
Its labeling was changed for US release as Ruby Couverture, which allowed it to finally hit shelves in the United States. One of the popular retailers, Trader Joe's, began selling it under the name Pink Chocolate Wafers.
Currently, there are a few brands selling ruby chocolate products, but they are still not very common to see on shelves. There are a greater number of products available online, but some contain other additives and may not represent the purest form.
What is ruby chocolate made of?
Ruby chocolate is made from the rare ruby cocoa beans. These beans only grow in Brazil, Ecuador, and the Ivory Coast. Ruby cocoa beans are distinctly different than other types of cocoa and cacao beans, partially because of their color.
The uniqueness of this chocolate leads many to wonder how is ruby chocolate made. The process of making it involves roasting and grinding the ruby cocoa bean, just like other types of chocolate. However, the beans are minimally and carefully processed to maintain the bean's color and enhance its natural fruity flavor.
If you're wondering exactly what is in ruby chocolate, other ingredients include sugar, cocoa butter, skimmed milk powder, whole milk powder, cocoa mass, emulsifier, soy lecithin, citric acid, and natural vanilla flavoring.
Ruby Chocolate vs white, milk and dark chocolates
Chocolate lovers can't help but compare ruby chocolate to the other three types of chocolate; white, milk, and dark. While all of these chocolates have their unique flavor profiles, ruby stands out for its unique attributes.
Ruby Chocolate - Ruby chocolate has a fresh berry fruitiness and a pink appearance. It has a slightly sweet and somewhat sour flavor. It can be used in upscale confections, candy making, like my raspberry ruby chocolate ice cream bar or raspberry ruby bonbon.
White Chocolate - White chocolate has a smooth, creamy flavor and pale ivory appearance. It's very sweet and is made mainly from cocoa butter, not cacao beans. It also contains milk powder which aids in giving white chocolate its creamy taste.
Milk chocolate - Milk chocolate contains a higher percentage of cocoa than white chocolates, giving it a traditional chocolate flavor. It has added milk and the most amount of added sugar among the chocolate types. This gives it a very sweet taste. Milk chocolate is present in a variety of sweet treats, and it can withstand much higher temperatures than ruby chocolate.
Dark Chocolate - Dark chocolate has the highest percentage of cocoa solids and a more bitter taste than milk chocolate. It contains much less sugar and does not have milk or vanilla as additives for flavor. Dark chocolate comes in a variety of cocoa percentages and is often a bitter, more refined chocolate.
Is ruby chocolate real chocolate?
Yes, it is real chocolate, made from cocoa beans. It shares many qualities with white chocolate, with the exception of citric acid. It also contains both cocoa butter and cocoa mass. These are also referred to as cocoa liquor and cocoa solids, respectively.
However, according to the Callebaut website, ruby is not a natural chocolate. This is because it does not grow spontaneously in nature with its ruby coloring. Rather, other ingredients of natural origin combine to give this chocolate its notable hue.
Is Ruby chocolate vegan?
This new chocolate is not vegan, nor is it friendly to a plant-based diet. This is because the ingredients include milk powder, which aids in giving it a creamy taste. It is, however, considered vegetarian.
Where to buy Ruby chocolate
If you want to try ruby chocolate where to buy it is probably what you're mostly wondering about. It is becoming more widely available in countries across the globe, but it has yet to rapidly expand. Currently, you can find it at specialty chocolate shops, online retailers, and some supermarkets. The ruby chocolate price varies by location.
Popular brands include Callebaut, KitKat, and the Chocolove ruby cacao bean bars. You may also find it in stores called Pink chocolate wafers. While some chocolate industry experts don't believe in the longevity of ruby chocolate, others are certain that the phenomenon is here to stay.
Some experts predict that the availability will grow over the next decade and that it will reach popularity levels similar to white chocolate. This would mean greater accessibility and more brands utilizing the pink and chocolate treat.
How to bake with Ruby Chocolate
As with other types of chocolate, it's is an excellent ingredient for making confections and desserts. It works perfectly in mousse cakes, ganache, coating cookies, etc.
According to Callebaut's website, you should use it with fat-based fillings such as other chocolates or nuts for the best results. Cooks should also exercise caution when crafting confections involving ruby and water-based fillings such as cream and fruit fillings.
Ruby is easy to work with, but it is not ideal for beginners due to its low melting point. Without proper skill, the chocolate can easily burn. Simple missteps can also cause this delicate chocolate to lose its distinct pink hue.
Callebaut recommends that you melt the chocolate using a double boiler or very carefully melt it in increments in the microwave.
Ruby Chocolate FAQs
It should be stored in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight and heat sources. It is best stored in an airtight container to prevent moisture from getting in and affecting the texture of the chocolate. Do not store it in the fridge. Poor storage can make it lose its vibrant color and instead take on a greyish hue.
While not specifically a health food product, it is made from cocoa beans, which carry some nutritional benefits, including antioxidant flavanols, which help reduce inflammation and lower blood pressure. In general, any chocolate should be consumed with moderation.
Yes, it is naturally pink. Its hue comes from the cocoa beans that comprise the chocolate. No artificial flavoring or coloring is added to achieve its pink color.
No, while they share similar properties, they are not the same. Ruby is its own distinct type of chocolate made from ruby cocoa beans, whereas white chocolate is made from cocoa butter, sugar, milk, vanilla flavoring, and additional ingredients.
It is very sensitive to heat. Ideally, it's melted using a double boiler method. This prevents the chocolate from overheating. You can also melt it in the microwave, but you must stir it frequently and only heat it in brief increments. Fore more information, read my how to melt chocolate chips guide.
Due to its unique processing, you cannot make it at home. It's made with a patented process and performed by Barry Callebaut scientists.