The cocoa powder to many is the sweet dark stuff that yields a milky drink on a cold winter evening but to bakers and to the Chocolatier, it means something entirely different from the concept of a layman. The true cocoa powder is made directly from the high quality cacao beans and lacks the sugary sweet additives we love so much in our winter time beverages. |
What exactly is cocoa powder is a question to many individuals. Well in the chocolate marketplace, it is what results when the cacao goes through the cocoa pressing process. When a cacao bean is particularly pressed, the majority of the fat which is also known as the cocoa butter is taken out of the bean in an unique way. The cocoa nibs are ground up between the thick stones and the paste that results is called as the chocolate liquor. The liquor is particularly pressed to remove a large portion of the fat from the beans. After the fat is taken out of the beans, a chocolate "cake" is formed. This cake is then particularly broken down and results in powder. There is a large difference between the supplemented powder that is readily available on the supermarket shelves and true cocoa, namely the inclusion of massive amounts of sugar.
There are two different varieties of premium cocoa powder that are used by the bakers and the Chocolatier: natural and alkalized. The natural cocoa powder is the lighter brown colored powder and results from the characteristic pressing of the nibs described above. The natural cocoa powder contains no additives to it and the final product is particularly bitter but performs much well in baking when combined with other flavours to give it a fabulous taste. The chocolate flavour in natural cocoa powder is particularly strong. Alkalized or Dutched cocoa powder is the result of cocoa nibs that are usually treated with the alkalizing solutions that lower the Ph of the ground up beans. Alkalizing of cacao nibs creates a wide variety of colour variations and taste differences because it reduces the overall bitterness of the final powder. When cocoa is "Dutched" it is more soluble than non-Dutched cocoa and consequently it is more appropriate for use in drinking chocolate. The Alkalized cocoa powder has a significantly milder taste to it but when used in baking it has to be very importantly combined with the baking soda or used in a recipe that incorporates the acidic ingredients so that the alkali in the cocoa powder is well balanced.
Worldwide bakers and Chocolatier each depend on both the variations of cocoa powder for their recipes. For some bakers, the more acidic taste of natural cocoa powder brings out the true chocolate flavour in their manufactured cakes, where as others prefer to use alkalized cocoa to add just a hint of chocolate flavour.
Russ Murray is the owner of this website and writes articles for his own website. For further details about lindt excellence and Divine Chocolate please visit to website.
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