Dark Chocolate is typically categorised by percentage! For me Dark Chocolate is classified by 70% and above.
BUT each chocolate maker will have a different view on the percentage they use to classify their chocolate as Dark.
For many large chocolate makers, 55% and above will be declared as Dark or Plain Chocolate. The percentage of cocoa solids will typically be displayed on the front or back label.
Dark Chocolate of 80% and above will offer reduced fat content and greatly reduced sugar content, compared to 55% and even 70%.
However, Dark Chocolate does contain more caffeine. Caffeine actually protects the Cocao Beans in their early development.
Dark chocolate is classified by the cocoa solids content; 80% dark chocolate will contain up to 80% cocoa solids. In theory the remaining 20% will be made up of cocoa butter, sugar and any other added ingredient.
If the percentage is not obvious on the front label, it is worth checking out the back to see what the cocoa solids are. Dark chocolate is not always as dark you expect (or want) it to be!
Percentage without Math
There is still confusion with the percentage classification given to Dark Chocolate.
Cocao beans are made up of cocoa solids and cocoa butter.
The percentage on labels refers to the total percentage of ingredients by weight that is from the cocoa bean, including the cocoa butter.
Many large chocolate makers are declaring a higher percentage Cocao Bean content on their labels; namely to redeem the benefits Dark Chocolate seems to have.
Just be aware of the cocoa solids content. The higher the percentage the better.