Good day to you.
At this time of year, customer enquirers often pop into my mailbox looking for cocoa products – whether for baking a dense chocolate cake, for manufacturing a milk chocolate product or for their formulation of hot drink premix. There are a few different type of cocoa available and I thought it would be helpful to shed a bit of light on the differences.
What is Cocoa?
Processing of raw cacao seeds into cocoa mass results into a product, which has roughly equal parts of cocoa solids and cocoa butter. If you see label of a chocolate bar and it mentions 75%, the indication is that it is made of 75% cocoa mass and 25% sugar, if no other ingredients are mixed in. You would realize the importance of sugar, if you ever had to taste 100% cocoa mass and that it balances the natural acidity and tannic quality of pure cocoa.
What is Cocoa Powder?
By pressing out the cocoa butter from cocoa mass and separation of dry matter of cocoa solids, under extremely high pressure rollers; the product obtained is in form a cakes. Further pulverization of these cakes result into fine powder.
It is worth noting that cocoa powder is never entirely devoid of cocoa butter. When you add it in your recipe / formulation, the fat starts playing its role in baking, manufacturing or blending processes.
What are the different types of cocoa powder?
Cocoa Powders available in retail stores are usually with added sugar, whereas that required for baking, manufacturing and blending need more control the amount of added sugar in hands of the user. Within unsweetened cocoa, there are two main types available namely Natural and Dutch-processed.
Natural, unsweetened cocoa from a quality standpoint, is very much that - pure cocoa powder with nothing added. The natural acidity and a deep chocolate flavor is retained in this type. "Ruddy" in color than the dutch-processed, it can lead to reddish hue to baked goods; though the redness is nowadays exaggerated with food color and beets.
In contrast, a Dutch-processed, unsweetened cocoa is sometimes referred to as alkalized cocoa and is treated with an alkali. It not only neutralizes the natural acidity of cocoa, but also darkens the color of the powder.
Depending on the amount of alkalization, there are variations on the themes of Dutch-processed cocoa. The variants can be lightly dutched to more heavily dutched and form themes of light cocoa, red cocoa, dark cocoa and black cocoa.
"Black cocoa is cocoa powder that has been heavily-Dutched. If you’ve ever had an Oreo cookie, the outer cookies are a good example of black cocoa. Because it has a strong, very brusque flavor, it’s best used in conjunction with another cocoa powder and is mostly used to boost color." says pastry chef David Lebovitz in his blog post.
Here at The Blue Ingredient Co., we are business associate for OLAM Cocoa and CARGILL Cocoa and I believe, that your esteemed organisation would be using cocoa powders in your recipe? If so, lets get in touch and help me understand your operations and requirements.
I assure you to make it as simple for you
Thanks & Best Regards,
Nikhil Kapoor | Director | Blue Ingredients Private Limited
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