Chocolate Inclusion or Infused Chocolate and What Separates them.

Cacao Infused with Kuleana Rum makes great Hawaii Chocolate
Hawaiian Chocolate | Infused Chocolate

First off let's define each one. A chocolate inclusion is any ingredient added into or onto chocolate liquor, bars, paste or even chocolate beverages. For example, to make chocolate, sugar is the only ingredient that is required beyond cacao. Cacao being the raw ingredient chocolate paste or liquor is made from. So, to call something chocolate references only the cacao (or cocoa powder/butter) and sugar ingredients. Everything else is added to chocolate is considered and inclusion. Even milk is an inclusion in chocolate. The only thing that is not considered an inclusion in chocolate is an infusion. Let's define an infusion. Wikipedia says an infusion is a "process of extracting chemical compounds or flavors from plant material in a solvent such as water, oil or alcohol, by allowing the material to remain suspended in the solvent over time (a process often called steeping). In other words, infusing is mixing ingredients to impart flavors to certain ingredients. Often some liquids or solids will result from this process which are also called infusions.

Its really not that complex. We infuse locally grown Kuleana Rum (the Hawai'i grown) into our Hawaiian cacao nibs. What we do is simply pour the bottle of rum into the nibs. Guess what happens. Well, 2 things; 1.) the nibs absorb the rum and the flavor of the rum and 2.) the left over rum is infused with cocoa flavor. It's an infusion and both ingredients are infused.

Bean-to-Bar Hawaiian Chocolate
Hawaiian Vanilla | Bean-to-Bar

In some recipes there and depending on how much nibs we use, there may be no liquid left at all. The cocoa nibs drink it all up. This means we do have to dehydrate them before making them but thats another story.

Infusing Bean-to-Bar Chocolate with Kuleana Rum
Hawaiian Rum Infused Cocoa Nibs | Kuleana Rum

If you want to taste a chocolate bar infused with Hawaiian Rum, try our bar here. It also has Hawaiian Vanilla in it but the vanilla counts as and inclusion. So our 71% Kuleana "Huihui" Rum Chocolate Bar is an infusion and an inclusion bar. Its not our only infused bar.

We infuse 10-year old whiskey into our cacao beans. Thats right. Read that again. The whisky is smoked. Well the peat from Scotland is smoked which imparts flavor to whisky. Its rich. Its malty. Its chocolately and caramelly. It could be all yours here.

Hawaiian Chocolate Infused with Laphroaig Whisky
Whiskey Infused Bean-to-Bar Hawaiian Chocolate

These two bars infused with top shelf spirits take months to infuse. They "steep" in spirits for 2 months and then they have to have the moisture evaporated.

Bean-to-Bar Hawaiian Chocolate Infused with Laphroaig Whisky
Laphroaig Whisky Infused Bean to Bar Hawaii Chocolate

Its a process.

So that is the main difference between the two. One is a process and once is simply another word for ingredient. You see there is no alcohol left in the bars. Just the flavors. They are true infusions.

We have a few inclusion bars if want to explore those here. I hope this helped explain this differences between a chocolate inclusion and infused chocolate. Its a confusing subject but so delicious to truly experience. Check out our other blog posts for more fun information about cocoa, cacao and chocolate.

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