cacao powder

high fat (20-22%)
powder
4.7
based on 21 reviews
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shaker jar
1.5 oz
$4
refill
1.5 oz
$3
large refill
6 oz
$10
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VARIANTS
nibs
powder
Although cacao powder is derived from cacao nibs, grinding cacao nibs will not immediately yield this powder. The composition of the nibs is approximately half fat—in the form we call cocoa butter—so grinding nibs will instead yield a liquor. (Incidentally, is the base for making chocolate bars and treats.) To obtain powder this liquor is further processed, usually by using industrial devices such as hydraulic presses in order to separate out the fat.

The producer can choose how much fat to leave in their powder. High fat powder contains around 20-24% cocoa butter, and is usually more expensively priced than the 10% cocoa fat counterparts (FDA requires a 10% minimum for powder). Higher fat will yield a richer chocolate flavor and more moist baked goods. It will also be less soluble in cold liquids due to its fat content.

Used in baked goods to create chocolate flavor and chocolate brown color. When used in baking to supplement other chocolates in the recipe it will further enhance the chocolate flavor giving it more depth and complexity.
QUICK INFO
cacao powder, powder
PLANT PART
bean
PROCESSING / FORM
powder
BOTANICAL NAME
Theobroma cacao
VOLUME
1.5 oz (43 g) per 1/2 cup
ORIGIN
Ecuador
BOTANICAL NAME
Theobroma cacao
AKA
cocoa powder
The Theobroma cacao, or cocoa tree, is thought to be an ancient plant domesticated thousands of years ago in South America. Later, when introduced to Mesoamerican civilizations, it was so highly prized it was referred to it as "food of the gods" and was even used as a form of currency.

There are three main commercial types of cacao: forastero, criollo, trinitario. Our bean is the newly rediscovered and still rare 'nacional.' This prized variety of cacao bean was believed extinct after a disease in 1916 attacked Ecuadorian trees and 95% were subsequently destroyed over a period of three years. This variety's characteristic white bean and complex fruit and floral flavors that had once dominated the market were thought lost to history until recently when a pair of men sourcing fruit rediscovered the variety on small isolated farms in a Peruvian canyon in 2007. Newly cultivated for larger production, this still rare variety offers rich creamy flavor with very little bitterness.
CONFUSIONS

Cacao v Cocoa
Cacao and cocoa are used so often interchangeably that even vendors disregard any technical differences when naming products. 'Cacao' has traditionally referred to ingredients not processed using heat. 'Cocoa' powder has either been heated or has had ingredients added to transform it into a ready-mix cocoa for drinks or both.

Cacao = natural, more bitter
Roasting helps reduce bitterness and can be employed a different points throughout the production process as a way to soften the bite in cacao's chocolatey flavor.

Dutched Cocoa
Alkalization of the cacao will also decrease its bitterness, which is done with a potassium carbonated solution that will neutralize the acidity. This process yields 'Dutched cocoa.' Dutched cocoa is darker in appearance, more soluble in water, and is used in many modern chocolates. NOTE: In baking Dutched cocoa can not be swapped with other powders without accounting for the pH difference. Leavening ingredients in a recipe are usually in proportion to the expected pH of the powder.

USAGE HINT

Beyond the obvious hot chocolate that can be made using cacao powder mixed with milk and sugar—cacao powder can also be used to make chocolatey smoothies and yogurts or even coffee.

QUICK FACT

Initial consumption of cacao was done primarily as a liquid in South and Mesoamerica. Even for hundreds of years after it was brought to Europe it continued to be ingested as a drink by the rich and wealthy. It wasn't until 1847 when Joseph Fry, of J. S. Fry & Sons a British chocolate company, formulated a way to make moldable chocolate paste by adding cacao butter back into cocoa powder.

 

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REVIEWS (21)