cocoa powder is one of the most important and a key ingredient in everything from cakes and brownies to frostings and even beverages.
if it weren’t confusing enough to understand the difference between Dutch-process and regular cocoa powder, there’s also that little voice in your head wondering if cocoa powder is the same thing as hot cocoa mix . Read on for everything you need to know about cocoa powder.
Cocoa powder is an unsweetened powder produced by grinding the seeds of the fruit of a tropical evergreen tree which is called the cacao, or cocoa tree. These seeds are first fermented, then dried and roasted. After roasting, the beans have their hulls removed and are then processed to extract their fat, which is known as cocoa butter. The leftover solids are further ground into what eventually is sold as cocoa powder.
Cocoa butter is considered as one of the most important substance in bar chocolate, along with sugar, cocoa powder, and some form of emulsifier, such as lecithin, to hold them all together.
Not all of the fat from the cocoa butter is removed from the cocoa powder and higher-quality powders actually have more fat in them. You can generally determine the quality of a cocoa powder by comparing its fat content as shown on the nutritional label.
Cocoa powder is the missing ingredient in so-called “white chocolate,” which is produced by combining cocoa butter and sugar (plus an emulsifier), but no actual cocoa solids.
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