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Ask Paul: What Is Ruby Chocolate?

By Paul Adams Published

Is it for real?

Dan asked: What is ruby chocolate?

Just when you think there are enough kinds of chocolate, the large manufacturer Barry Callebaut introduces another: not dark , not white, but what they call ruby chocolate. Callebaut patented the manufacturing process for the specialty chocolate in 2009, brought it to market in 2017, and now sells the product to many chocolatiers, who turn it into bars, bonbons, and other treats. True to the name, it’s a startling mauve, and it’s made with no added coloring. How does that work?

 

Callebaut capitalizes on the fact that, like other fruits, fresh cacao beans can naturally produce brilliant pigments: in particular, flavonoid polyphenols that can create a vivid violet color.

So why isn’t all chocolate ruby chocolate? Because of the usual chocolate-making process: It requires fermenting the beans for several days, during which time enzymatic reactions oxidize the purplish-red polyphenols, irrevocably altering their  color and reducing their astringency (although some winey tannic notes are often still present in good chocolate).. Roasting the beans then produces the familiar reddish-brown spectrum of chocolate we know and love.

The Callebaut method, according to the patent, entails: selecting beans with the right rosy pigments; skipping the long, color-degrading fermentation step; and instead soaking in an acidic solution to heighten the pinkness. These beans are then processed, with the addition of plain cocoa butter and sugar, into ruby chocolate.

It looks unearthly, beautiful, and Valentine-y. How does it taste? Like white chocolate, it has no cocoa flavor. And the taste contribution of the pink beans is rather minimal, so most of the flavor of a ruby chocolate bar comes from the fat and the sugar. There’s a perceptible hint of fruity tartness from the beans, especially in the aftertaste, but not much more than a whisper. It gets by on its looks. 

One more caveat, from my home testing: Don’t make pink-chocolate-chunk cookies, gloriously appealing as that sounds. The heat of the oven changes the ruby to a dull beige.

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JOHN C.
16 days

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too. I've done this using a rimmed sheet pan instead of a skillet and put veggies and potatoes around the chicken for a one-pan meal. Broccoli gets nicely browned and yummy!

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too.

MD
MILES D.
JOHN C.
9 days

Amazed this recipe works out as well as it does. Would not have thought that the amount of time under the broiler would have produced a very juicy and favorable chicken with a very crispy crust. Used my 12" Lodge Cast Iron skillet (which can withstand 1000 degree temps to respond to those who wondered if it would work) and it turned out great. A "make again" as my family rates things. This is a great recipe, and I will definitely make it again. My butcher gladly butterflied the chicken for me, therefore I found it to be a fast and easy prep. I used my cast iron skillet- marvellous!

CM
CHARLES M.
11 days

John, wasn't it just amazing chicken? So much better than your typical oven baked chicken and on par if not better than gas or even charcoal grilled. It gets that smokey charcoal tasted and overnight koshering definitely helps, something I do when time permits. First-time I've pierced a whole chicken minus the times I make jerk chicken on the grill. Yup, the cast iron was not an issue.