Wendyl wants to know: So little cocoa in chocolate sauce
These little pottles can be found among the fruit at your local supermarket. The idea is that you buy some strawberries or other fruit and dip it into the chocolate. Everyone loves this treat, but when it comes to chocolate, less is certainly not more. Many chocolate sauces and pre-prepared chocolate items in the supermarket can have very little chocolate in them at all.
Ingredients (in order of greatest quantity first):
Sugar A bit disappointing to see that there is more sugar in this product than anything else. In fact it is 57.3 per cent sugar which is a massive 11.5g or nearly two teaspoons per serving - one-sixth of this tiny pottle.
Added water Cocoa (3.5 per cent) This isn't a lot of chocolate for a chocolate product. It reminds me of my analysis of guacamole dip which had 4 per cent avocado. At this percentage and so high on the ingredients list you can work out that most of this product is sugar and water. If you're going to eat chocolate, make sure you eat chocolate, not something resembling chocolate.
Vegetable fat This could be palm oil, but we don't know.
Modified starch (E1442) This is hydroxypropyl distarch phosphate which is treated starch. It will be in here most likely as a thickener.
Milk solids This is what is left in milk after you take the liquid out.
Food acid (E270) This is lactic acid which is derived from milk.
Salt Emulsifier (E471) Emulsifiers in products such as this help keep the oils and water blended together just like a mayonnaise. This emulsifier is mono and diglycerides of fatty acids.
Flavour Usually vanilla flavouring is added into chocolate but with so little cocoa in there may be chocolate flavouring as well. One thing we can be sure of is that it is artificial flavouring.
Preservatives (E202, E211) These are potassium sorbate (202) which has no known health effects. But sodium benzoate (211) can cause a rash in some people.
Everyone knows how to melt chocolate. It takes a minute in the microwave, so while picking up one of these pottles when you're buying your fruit might seem easy, why not go for more cocoa and better-quality ingredients and melt it yourself? When buying chocolate I always think it's a good idea to go for one which has chocolate as the first ingredient rather than sugar. This means you are getting mostly chocolate. Whittaker's does a dark chocolate with 50 per cent cocoa which would be good to melt down and Cadbury's does dark chocolate melts with 43 per cent cocoa - a vast improvement on this product. Price-wise you will get more chocolate for your buck and all chocolate addicts know that when you eat good-quality chocolate you eat less. If you are melting chocolate to dip fruit in, such as strawberries, add a little oil to help thin it out a little. And if you don't have a microwave use a double boiler, or place a bowl on a saucepan with simmering water in it to melt it gently.