Chocolate Flavours for DIY

DIY Chocolate

For many mixers, chocolate is somewhat of a challenge, at times being a difficult profile to nail. In part, there’s a lack of realistic plain chocolate concentrates, as it’s a complex formula in terms of its chemistry and development.

It also has a lot to do with how one utilises it within a mix. 

Chocolate is not a stand-alone flavour, in fact, very few single flavoured concentrates are. Therefore, we tend to approach mixing using multiple layers of various supporting, and or contrasting flavours.

One should tackle chocolate as a blending, layered flavour, not simply a plain chocolate profile. The plainer you want it, such as a chocolate bar, the more improbable the task becomes.

I’ve omitted white chocolate here as it’s not really chocolate, but using small percentages of it can actually elevate certain chocolate recipes, even offer up a closer representation.

Tips on mixing with chocolate are at the bottom of this post.

Common chocolate uses

Some examples are pictured above. Ice creams, cocoa-chocolate milk, cakes and donuts. It’s also popular with fruits, such as banana’s, strawberries, oranges, cherries, pears and dark berries. Various coffee’s and dark liquors are excellent too, and I almost forgot to mention cookies!

I make a lot of tobaccos and cigarette e-liquids (this is what many smokers wish to try as a first vape) and chocolate is a universal additive in cigarettes, so it’s a necessary flavour for me to have on-hand. Mixed with creams, as an example, it really adds some yumminess to tobaccos.

Pairing examples

Here are some additional flavours that blend well with chocolate. Some are used as additives, just to enhance or add an additional subtle layer.

Caramel, Butterscotch, Creams, Vanillas, Custards, Butter, Coconut, Milk, Meringue, Marshmallow, Nuts, Oats, Grains, Wheat, Peanut Butter, Popcorn, Salts, Sugars -Maple.

Mint, Peppermint, Lavender, Rose, Lemon, Honey, Honeysuckle, Lemongrass.

Cinnamon, Clove, Nutmeg, Ginger, Star Anise.

Recommended Concentrates

There are a number of additional chocolate flavours that I’ve omitted. Some are just not up to par, some are difficult to source, and a number of them (including ones I haven’t tried) have failed to impress many of the most respected mixers out there.

Apart from these stand-out chocolates below, there are many fusions out there. These are blended chocolates that hero a secondary, or even an alternate top (primary) note, such as Capella’s chocolate fudge brownie and Flavorah’s chocolate mocha.

I’ve listed Medicine Flower flavors, as some of their flavours exceed anything else on the market. I have only recently sampled a blend of their dark and light chocolates and they are indeed extraordinary. However, they are extremely expensive.

Inawera Milk Chocolate (Orig)

Steeped for 2 weeks
Mixed at 6%
Recommended percentage- anything from 3-6%.

Inawera recently changed the formula of this chocolate. The newer version is not recommended as it’s nowhere near the accuracy and smoothness of the original formula. For the time being the original is still available.

Overview
This is one of the better straight milk chocolates, and depending on its usage, it may need a little help in terms of richness, body-weight and or sweetness. There is cream and butter, but for many applications, more is often required.

Flavour Description – Notes
A semi-sweet milk chocolate with slight chalkiness and bitterness, which is common when cocoa is present. However, the chalk tends to vanish quickly and won’t be an issue in a mix. It has a light mouth feel so there’s not much body or weight to it.  It’s soft in the vape and whilst the aroma is distinctly chocolate, it sings for some additional richness; whether it be creams, vanilla or any additional note that adds some extra sweetness. 

This can make a great chocolate base, it just needs a little extra love.

Uses- Pairings
Other chocolates (try TFA Double chocolate clear, or FA chocolate), creams, vanillas, caramels, berries and bakery flavours. It can compliment tobaccos too but keep percentages low, around 1-3% depending on additional flavours and the profile you’re aiming for.

Inawera has done a great job with this chocolate, too bad they changed the formula, but it happens.

Molinberry Glamour Chocolate

Steeped for 2 weeks
Mixed at 6%
Recommended percentage- anything from 3-8%.

We baked some chocolate brownies today and the aroma of this flavour is very similar. However, the aroma is more enjoyable and pronounced than the solo vape flavour. But fear not, this is a damn good chocolate for mixing. 

Overview
I feel this is a slightly more workable milk chocolate than Inawera’s original formula, and apart from Medicine Flowers offering,  my favourite chocolate that’s readily available in Australia. It’s easy to mix with and is just a wonderful all-round chocolate. 

Flavour Description – Notes
A milk chocolate with a distinct Euro cocoa cake mix, and I’ve heard other mixers say they detect a pudding note; I agree and was wondering what that may be. It’s like a powdered pudding mix but that may just be the cocoa coming through.  It’s a fairly light, subtle and dry flavour, with little body and weight.

Way in the background,  and what I get from the exhale, is a slight nuttiness, but by no means does it take away from the profile.

Uses- Pairings
The same as most chocolates –  Creams, Vanilla, Caramel, Berries, Bakery, other chocolates including white, Sugars, Tobacco.

Given that it has a solid profile to begin with, I find it easier to mix with than most other chocolates. This is a must-have flavour for chocolate lovers. It also makes for a great additive.

TFA Double Chocolate Clear

Steeped for 2 weeks
Mixed at 4%
Recommended percentage- anything from 3-8%.

This has been one of the most popular chocolates, it’s available almost everywhere, and has been widely used in recipes. Whilst I feel there are better options available, it still has a place; particularly for those seeking a somewhat artificial candy flavoured semi sweet chocolate.

Overview 
A semi-sweet chocolate blend of milk, cocoa and a hard chocolate candy.  Although this flavour has many uses, it’s the least accurate of the bunch, as it’s not intended to be a straight milk or cocoa based chocolate.

Flavour Description – Notes
A fairly rich fusion of semi-sweet chocolate, sugars and American hard candy. There’s a dry syrupy flavour to it, but overall it lacks any real cream or butter that one may expect from chocolate, especially milk. The cocoa comes through as chalky and tends to linger a tad. An artificial richness as opposed to a natural richness.

Uses-Pairings
Apart from the same as above, given its artificial properties, it’s suited to candy-lollies too. It’s also handy as a blender with other white and semi-sweet chocolates. 

Although this is not as close to a real chocolate as the others, it certainly has its uses. Personally, I find it shines best when blended with more subtle chocolates, depending on the application.

FlavourArt Chocolate & Cocoa

Steeped for 2 weeks
Mixed both at 1%
Recommended percentage- Cocoa-0.25 – Chocolate up to 2%

I’ve bundled these two together as they’re meant to be blended in varying percentages, depending if one wants a lighter chocolate or a darker, more cocoa-based flavour. Obviously, one could mix with just one of them, substituting the other with an alternate flavour, but considering they compliment each other, I’d start experimenting with both.

Overview
Like all chocolate concentrates, whether they are intended to be used for a milk variety or dark-cocoa based, they require a bit of work. As good as these two are, and they are capable of outstanding results, these more than the others I’ve listed, generally take more experimenting to get the most out of them.

Obviously, a mix with a higher percentage of cocoa will produce a darker chocolate. Using more plain chocolate, plus some additional flavours will offer more of a milk chocolate.

Flavour Description – Notes
Chocolate: This is a semi-sweet chocolate with a distinct liquor background, slightly syrupy with a hard candy flavour. I sense some caramel in here too. This is not your standard milk chocolate, but it can be.

Cocoa: A rich, European style cocoa powder, somewhat dry but an accurate representation.  Although cocoas are not creamy, this one too, there is a texture there that I can’t place. Some have said it’s marshmallow which can come across as a creamy taste to some. 

Uses- Pairings
The same as other chocolates. These flavours are capable of the best results for cakes.

The advantage of purchasing these two flavours is that you have two solid bases to work with. One is able to mix a chocolate to suit one’s taste, whether it be dark, light, or somewhere in between.  

The major disadvantage with using this cocoa is that it can be a coil killer, but that’s also based on percentages and other recipe ingredients. Higher wattage vaping, anything over 50 watts or so, will exacerbate the issue. 

Medicine Flower Chocolates

I recently sampled the dark and light chocolates and have ordered some from the states. 

These flavours are superb, and as soon as they arrive I’ll offer up my thoughts and update this section. I will say that Medicine Flower flavours have a reputation of offering some of the most authentic flavours, but at $35 a bottle, plus shipping, they better be!

Tips on mixing with Chocolates

Steeping: The majority of chocolate recipes will benefit from at least a 2 week steep, even longer if the chocolate plays a major role in the overall profile.
Cocoa: Fa Cocoa in small percentages, (0.15-0.25%) can add authenticity to lighter more milk based chocolates.
Acetyl Pyrazine: AP will really elevate a chocolate mix when using FA Cocoa. It adds a great buttery, creamy, caramel taste, as well as some sweetness. Try it at around 1.5%.
Certain complimentary chocolate flavours such as FA Cookie and FW Graham Cracker can also have a similar effect but the use of AP is preferred. 
Ethyl Maltol: Em is sometimes used to add some sweetness to chocolates, although I never have.

Flavours I’ve used in chocolate recipes. Some add a contrasting flavour note. Here are a few suggestions –

CAP Golden Butter
FA  & TFA Marshmallow
TFA White Chocolate
TFA Bavarian Cream
FLV Vanilla Custard
FW Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
FLV Vanilla Bean
FA Oba Oba
FLV Popcorn
CAP Cake Batter
Juice Factory Cherry
FA Bano – Banana
FA Coconut
FA Nut Mix
FA MTS Vape Wizard

There are a multitude of flavours that compliment chocolate. Half the fun is discovering them, so happy mixing!

From The Table,
Charles

It’s all about the juice..

How I Test Flavour Concentrates

All flavours are tested using an RDA – Vandy Vape Pulse 22
Fused Claptons – 2x27g TM N80 and 1x40g N80 
Tested at 25 & 35 watts using Native Wicks Platinum Blend cotton.

All flavours are mixed in a 50-50 blend of PG & VG. Zero nicotine.
Generally steeped for 2 weeks.

Flavour Notes are based on aroma, the 5 ml water test and vaping. 
See our post on Testing Flavours

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