Three years ago, one of the largest chocolate producers released a product called ruby and it was marketed as the fourth type (they did not use the word chocolate here); giving consumers another option in addition to white, milk and dark chocolate. We are drawn to ruby because of its unique pink colour and berry-forward flavour.
The marketing campaign for this product was fantastic but a new type of cocoa bean was not discovered and the colour comes from the way the raw nibs are processed. As a chocolate maker, I am always suspicious about proprietary techniques that are kept secret because I would like to know how my food is produced and what might be in it. Thanks to John Nanci (the chocolate alchemist), I'm happy to explain the process a bit more and be able to offer a single origin ruby chocolate bar produced by DWN.
Certain raw cocoa beans, when high in catechins, turn either red or purple when treated with acid. Ruby chocolate is the red phase. I started with unroasted Oaxaca Lavados (Mexico) cocoa nibs that spent 24 hours in a bath of citric acid -- the colour change is pretty much immediate. The following day the nibs were roasted until crunchy in order to dry them and kill off bacteria before grinding into chocolate. The final result is a deep burgundy mylk chocolate bar made with soy milk powder. Every time that I ate a piece of chocolate there was a different prominent flavour but the primary the tasting notes are citrus and fresh red berries with underlying notes of unripe pepper, and chili spice at the end.