Introduction: Chocolate Extract

Picture of Chocolate Extract

Chocolate extract can be added to all sorts of baked goods (like super decadent flourless chocolate cupcakes or a rich chocolate terrine) to add some extra chocolaty oomph. The yummy rich and smooth flavor of chocolate extract goes perfectly alongside vanilla, coffee, and other flavorings, and makes any sweet treat extra delicious (and as an added bonus, it's also awesome in mixed drinks)!

For additional chocolaty goodness, check out these Cookie Spoons and this amazing Chocolate Sourdough Bread!

Step 1: You'll Need. . .

Picture of You'll Need. . .
  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 1 ounce water
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder (I like to use a dark chocolate cocoa - dutch processed is suggested)

Step 2: Shaken, Not Stirred

Picture of Shaken, Not Stirred
  1. Add all ingredients to the medium jar and shake well to combine
  2. Allow to sit for 2 to 3 days, shaking well at least twice a day

Step 3: Filtered and Ready

Picture of Filtered and Ready
  1. Dampen the coffee filter and place it in the small funnel
  2. Pour the cocoa mixture through the filter into the small bottle - it will drip through slowly, but the best things in the world take some time
  3. Once all the liquid has dripped through, gently squeeze the filter into the funnel to get all the juice out (be very careful not to rip the filter)
  4. Add to cakes, cookies, or other yummy treats to add an extra special chocolate punch (make sure to shake the extract gently before using in case it has settled at all)


BeaL6 (author)2017-11-17

I just came across this site and now I'm needing advice. I actually started the chocolate extract back a few weeks ago. Input the dark chocolate cacoa powder in vodka at a 2:1 ratio and then 6 TBSP cacoa mins to cup of vodka to see which was better. They are both steeping. I didn't know to add water so how much would I need to add and also can I add it since it's been a couple of weeks already? I can tell you that I do not like the smell 9f the nibs at all but the cocoa powder in Special Dark Chocolate smells amazing! Thank you for your suggestions. I sure appreciate any help. This 8s my first time making extracts.

SHOE0007 made it! (author)2017-06-10

Cocoa Lemon Oil and lemon Juice in Soy Oil.

SHOE0007 (author)2017-06-09

Cocoa has a lot of flavanoids especially Flavan-3-ols.

SHOE0007 (author)2017-06-09

Have you ever considered taking coca beans if you can get them and gently crushing them and boiling them in a Soxhlex extractor. I may do this with 95% alchohol to make perfume. You cannot ingest it but it is meant for local use (on skin). An Oil bath from vegetables (like soy) is required too.

SHOE0007 made it! (author)2017-06-09

Diluted with water and 5 g of ammonia carbonate per 100 ml of tap water is added giving roughly a pH of 8.6.

SHOE0007 made it! (author)2017-06-09

I do extractions and I do them with Oils like vegetable Oil since they can extract more cocoa substance than ethanol can in some cases. Yes Cocoa odor comes from Flavonoids but Oils can extract it just as well. This is what i have learned. The last pic is Soy Oil over 2 days extracted with Lilac and Cocoa.

belsey (author)2012-10-03

This might be a silly question, but what is the advantage of using this when baking (cake or cookies, for example) rather than just using cocoa powder? I can see the advantage when making drinks (although I've made some pretty tasty cocktails with cocoa powder) but for baking it seems like it would just add more steps for similar results. That said I still think it's cool and I'm going to try it out, but I thought you might have an answer before I launched into a full double blind scientific study...

rfakhre (author)belsey2015-03-21

My plan (after seeing this) is to make the extract then use it in a cookie recipe. Here's why: it's a choc. chip cookie recipe that calls for instant vanilla pudding (and vanilla extract too) added to the dough. and it turned out great. so now I am gonna switch it up and add choc. instant pudding and choc. extract and use peanut butter chips. and make my own reeces type cookie, still staying true to the textures of the ingredients only changing the flavors. hope it works.

elleyw (author)rfakhre2016-03-20

I would love to have your cookie recipe! They sound really interesting.

rfakhre (author)elleyw2016-03-20

I made these cookies and they turned out great. My modifications to this recipe only turned out so-so. They didn't get a good balance like the choco-peanut flavor of a peanut butter cup. The peanut butter chips always over powered the chocolate flavor. So it's still a work in progress.

shesparticular (author)rfakhre2015-03-31

Great idea - can't wait to hear how it goes!

SHOE0007 (author)2016-01-24

Last year I purified polyphenols from chocolate by adding fresh 85% cocoa to 10 ml of 99.999% acetone and different acids like hydrochloric acid or vinegar.

You can gently using hot water bath drive away the acetone and the acid. HCL vapourises at 36.5 degrees C and acetone at 54 degrees C.

AnishM10 (author)2015-11-06

The comments here are amazing, I thought I was the only one who is obsessed with the science of food hacking

AussieAnglerGal (author)2012-09-26

is there a substitute for the alcohol?

Tzehtk. (author)AussieAnglerGal2014-10-24

maybe propylene glycol

sure... you can probably boil the cocoa powder in 200cc of distilled water and let it cool.. Add diethyl ether to the mixture and gently shake, Not to much because you don't want to make an emulsion that's hard to separate. Let rest overnight. Decant the water. The ether/essential oil mixture will be on the top. The ether will contain a very small amount of water, You can remove this by using a desiccant if you wish. Evaporate the ether by using a hot water bath .Ether boils at 34,6c/92.28f. Do this outside in open air and don't smoke while you're doing it. You now have pure essence of cacao. No open flame or heat source. Very dangerous unless you know what you are doing.

Unfortunately alcohol is kind of the basis of this and other extracts. It does cook off when the extract is used though.

thehbird (author)2014-01-20


scree (author)2012-11-09

A lot of hoopla surrounding the 'necessary' amount of alcohol to extract flavor compounds from the cocoa powder. I'd just like to throw my two cents in about the fact that I love that the water is in the shot glass and the vodka in the not-a-shot glass :)

bgoldberg1 (author)2011-11-13

I wonder if steam distillation would produce similar results.

It certainly would be faster.

If anyone does try making steam distilled cocoa, please post an instructable! Also, please try a few different liquids (water, vodka, everclear) as solvents, and tell us how the taste changes.

chikid68 (author)2011-05-08

I wonder if everclear or some other higher alcohol content liquer would yield a more potent extract .
I know it does when making vanilla extract from vanilla beans so I would assue it does with chocolate as well

starthorn (author)chikid682011-06-08

Actually, I read an article where they tested this, and they found that 10% more vanillin was extracted at 47.5% ethanol than 95% ethanol. Standard vodka will do better than everclear (for vanilla).

Remember, a lot of the flavor compounds you're extracting are alcohol soluble, but some of them are water soluble. If you don't have enough water, you'll lose out on that flavor.

(Data Source:

shesparticular (author)starthorn2011-06-08

Thank you so much for that additional info, starthorn! That makes a lot of sense.

shesparticular (author)chikid682011-05-08

Could work - please let me know how it turns out if you try it! I've only ever made vanilla extract with bourbon but higher content booze would likely make the extract more potent.

chikid68 (author)shesparticular2011-05-08

i will let you know how it turns out although i ay do 2 batches one with vodka and one with everclear to compare results

shesparticular (author)chikid682011-05-08

Sounds great, thanks!

lynnejackson (author)2011-05-23

I LOVE This!!!!

Thank you!

FireLite MS2 (author)2011-05-09

I used this, but with dried chipotle peppers instead of cocoa powder, and I used gin instead of vodka. it turned out great, actually.

also, using scotch with vanilla is a really good idea, and goes good in chocolate chip cookies.

so then you didn't do this, you made pepper extract

well, yeah, but same concept. it's an extract, therefore, (almost) same product!

I love doing vanilla extract in bourbon, but I'm sure whiskey would be great also! Awesome suggestion with peppers - that sounds great!

walshlg (author)2011-05-08

please never consume everclear or any other extra high potency alcohol. The concentration process uses toxins, like benzene and ether, these are known to cause cancer. Distillation is the only reasonably safe concentrating process used commercially that I've ever run into. You could extract the water with absorbants but I've not seen that for sale.

spark master (author)walshlg2011-05-12

everclear is higly distilled alcohol nothing more, it is not "pure" there is water. and if higher potency booze yields better extracts then as mentioned before simply do not add water to the mixture. nice instructable, just like the vanilla bean extract one, which brought me here

tkjtkj (author)walshlg2011-05-09

I've no idea what 'everclear' is .. Is it some extra-concentrated alcohol? It's impossible to make 100% alcohol by distillation alone: but there are ways of doing so that do not involve adding anything at all to the highest-distilled alcohol , which i think is about 93% :

Im not recommending this for any purpose except for some laboratory use , but: If one puts a 'wide-mouthed' container (ie, a shallow pan) of alcohol into a closed space in which there is also a pan of H2SO4 (ya, sulphuric acid) , the acid will, over time , draw into it any humidity from the air in the enclosure. So that the partial pressure of water in the water-alcohol mixture is now higher and water will move from the mixture into the air, where the highly 'hydroscopic' acid will continue to absorb it. I recall that its possible to obtain very high concentrations of alcohol in such a fashion. Of course, upon storage, the alcohol will begin to suck up H2O from the atmosphere, so tight sealing is a container with little or no 'dead/empty airspace' above the alcohol is necessary.
Sulphur salts are not going to move into the air within the enclosure. Nonetheless, I suggest untrained/unprepared humans keep their sulphuric acid where it should be: in your car's battery!

I only mention this because its totally irrelevant to the 'structable, which is a fine project and well-explained!
Thanks, Shesparticular !

shesparticular (author)tkjtkj2011-05-09

Thanks so much for the info! Personally, I'll just stick to vodka since it works well and is more readily available in my area than Everclear (which also kind of makes me nervous).

Vodka was a good idea (unlike gin) because it is just 35% ethanol and 65% water. On a side note, if you wanted to find out the strength of a drink or any other ethanol diluted mix just use the following formula...
[(% alcohol) x (volume alcohol)] / (volume of final diluted ethanol mix) = (new % ethanol)

Thanks for the formula, that's very helpful! Personally I wouldn't want to drink this (or any other extracts), as they're best used in things (I think).

Scurvymcdiggle (author)tkjtkj2011-05-09

everclear is 95% not 100% everclear is not some magic evil liquid. its just rot gut.

Everclear is 190 proof or 95% ethanol in water (same thing). It is the highest concentration of ethanol you can get using regular distillation methods. Most 200 proof or 100% ethanol are used for chemical research. These do contain ~0.01% benzene, ether, or another additive to break past that 95% concentration barrier, and for this reason, SHOULD NOT BE CONSUMED. There are some other ways to get 100% ethanol without the toxic stuff in it, but those methods are rare, very expensive, and used for chemical research that needs absolute purity. Bottom line is that if you buy it outside of a chem lab, distillation was used to make it, don't use any alcohol over 95%, and don't drink straight 95% ethanol.

Scurvymcdiggle (author)walshlg2011-05-09

as far as i have been able to find out it is just distilled.

Pattus (author)2011-05-04

Can I ask why there is water and not just the alcohol?

shesparticular (author)Pattus2011-05-05

Thanks for the question! As far as I know, both are used because if only vodka was, the alcohol content would be too high, causing the resulting extract to cook off too quickly when used and evaporate too quickly.

Pattus (author)shesparticular2011-05-05

Thanks, I thought maybe there was something in the cocoa insoluble in alcohol.

shesparticular (author)Pattus2011-05-06

Well there's that also, but vodka is 80 proof (40 percent alcohol), so there is already some water present.

Awesome question, thanks!

Pattus (author)shesparticular2011-05-09

What final volumes are people getting?

I looked to have about 30-40ml (30ml ~= 1oz) after a day or so filtering.

The mass was fairly solid but moist and I couldn't squeeze much out of it without tearing the paper.

It definitely didn't have another 60mls in it though.

shesparticular (author)Pattus2011-05-09

I ended up with roughly 1 1/2 to 2 ounces.

jsavinc (author)shesparticular2011-05-08

I think this doesn't make sense, the chocolate aroma will not evaporate along with the alcohol, because if it did, even adding water would not prevent its evaporation, besides, you still get chocolate flavoured food despite it being cooked on high temperatures.

I'd say it's perfectly okay to use just alcohol in the recipe!

shesparticular (author)jsavinc2011-05-08

If you want to use just alcohol, that's totally up to you - it's just been my experience that a 2:1 ratio of vodka to water yields a better extract than one that's alcohol alone. If you try different ratios and find that one is particularly effective, please do let me know!

nutsandbolts_64 (author)2011-05-08

What's with the vodka?

About This Instructable




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