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I need 70% dark chocolate for a cake recipe (actually 72%, but the recipe notes that slightly lower content will be fine), also, according to the recipe, high-quality chocolate is not a must.

In my local supermarket, 70% dark chocolate was priced extremely high, and 100 grams of 60% and 100 grams of 81% chocolates (of different manufacturers) costs half the price of 200 grams of 72% chocolate.

Will mixing 60% and 81% dark chocolates (the recipe requires melting the chocolate) give me similar result to a 70% dark chocolate?

  • 1
    Don't forget the whole "chocolate" vs. "baking chocolate" thing too... – Mehrdad Dec 27 '17 at 9:33
  • I think you should try it and tell us what you discovered. Ideally, you'd bake two cakes, one with the 70%, and one with the 60-81 blend, and see if there is a perceptible difference. But so much for saving money if you go that route. – J.R. Dec 27 '17 at 15:39
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Functionally, it should work out fine; but it is not an exact substitute.

Based on the fact that your recipe gives you a tolerance for both strength and quality of the chocolate I would say it is probably fine to proceed boldly with your plan to mix the two. You might try a small sample melt first (as suggested here) by mixing an equal but smaller amount to check your results first.

Will this create 72% (or even 70.5%) chocolate, actually no. There is more to chocolate than just the %cocoa. % of cocoa is just one element to the formula. The 72% 'on the shelf' almost certainly has different ratios of sugar, chocolate liquor, butter etc. Once melted these would react differently with the other elements of your recipe if that recipe were more exacting in it's requirements.

There is an interesting collection of articles on the chemistry of chocolate here, but nothing indicates that you should face any problems from an inexact match of 60+81 vs. 72

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    You're right that it won't be an exact substitute, but actually even a 70% may not be exactly like the thing intended by the recipe. Somewhat like with wine, dark chocolate varies a lot in taste between brands and cultivars (and years? Not sure). Such differences will generally surface much less pronounced in the final result though, unless the recipe asks for little but chocolate. – leftaroundabout Dec 26 '17 at 19:21
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    I'm not sure I see your point. Unless the recipe specified the criteria you mentioned (sugar, butter, etc) or the exact brand of chocolate, and the store carried that exact item, is there some reason you would expect the 70% available at the store to match the recipe better than a mix of 60% and 81%? – prl Dec 27 '17 at 0:04
  • @prl, if you are trying to duplicate a recipe for which you have an exact expectation then substituting this chocolate mixture will not create the same experience, it will be 'off'. If you are (as I believe OP to be) simply following a recipe then this will be 'just fine'. – Cos Callis Dec 27 '17 at 16:03
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Yes, you will obtain a 70.5% chocolate, but percentage in chocolate is not the most clear thing. It indicates the percentage of ingredients derived from the cacao (cocoa) beans, but it is not always specified how much chocolate liquor, cocoa butter and cocoa solids are used.

see source

Nonetheless to use this mix in your recipe is ok, because you will have the same quantity of sugar (well, check the ingredients of the two bars you'll be using to see if they contains other things apart from cacao, cacao butter, and sugar); the actual chocolat-y-ness of the cake will depend on the exact ingredients of your bars

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    Now add appropriate capitalization and this would be a fine answer. – Nobody Dec 26 '17 at 20:05
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I'm sure this question is effectively answered, but on the technical side:

Stepping away from culinary expertise, math will give you an equation of 11 parts of 60% and 10 parts of 81%, to arrive at 70%. If you want 72%, then do about the opposite, making the 81% more dominant.

It's around 13 or 14 (81%) to 10 (60%), to arrive very close to 72%.

I'd expect, however, that unless a recipe is extremely delicate, (what you gave us seems to say it's not) near-equal parts of each will suffice.

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