The hot trend of aerated chocolate, recently adopted by giant chocolate maker Hershey’s, has found it’s way to the U.S. But how do you incorporate those beautifully uniform bubbles into your own chocolate?
Why Aerate Chocolate?
It depends on who you ask, but, in general, the benefits can include the added texture, change in flavor, increased profit margin (a plus with the rising prices of cocoa), or calorie cutting. The aeration process alters the taste of the chocolate, and it becomes an entirely new medium to explore, albeit a challenging one. According to Stephen Beckett, a former researcher for Nestlé, “If you aerate [chocolate], it tends to be creamier. Its density is so low it melts very easily, and gives you a different taste.” As for increasing profits, when you aerate using carbon dioxide or nitrous oxide, the overall chocolate density can be up to half of what it normally would be. Chocolatiers are able to adjust the amount of bubbles, and the size of bubbles–depending on the process, and to achieve just the right amount of lightness in the chocolate.
The Fundamentals of Aerating Chocolate
Chocolatiers will approach this challenge differently, but the fundamentals of aerated chocolate tend to be the same. Here are some tips for creating smaller batches of aerated chocolate without the use of professional aeration equipment, which can cost several thousand dollars.
- Temper Chocolate
- Add Cocoa Butter for additional fluidity
- Charge Chocolate in a Whipped Cream Siphon
- Dispense into Molds
This method creates a chocolate foam that sets, trapping all the bubbles in a network of crystallized cocoa butter. An optional step is to make a vacuum-set foam by placing the freshly foamed chocolate in a vacuum container. By offsetting the ambient pressure, the function of a vacuum, the bubbles will expand, creating a much lighter texture in the finished chocolate.