Sunday, December 18, 2011

Is All Cocoa Powder Created Equal?

I like to make hot chocolate and many other chocolate things.  That got me to natural is the cocoa I buy?

 Cocoa powder is made when chocolate liquor is pressed to remove three quarters of its cocoa butter.  The remaining cocoa solids are processed to make fine unsweetened cocoa powder.   There are two types of unsweetened cocoa powder: natural and Dutch-processed.
Dutch-Processed or Alkalized Unsweetened Cocoa Powder is treated with an alkali to neutralize its acids. It has a reddish-brown color, mild flavor, and is easy to dissolve in liquids.   Droste, Lindt, Valrhona, Poulain and Pernigotti are some popular brands.

Natural Unsweetened Cocoa Powder tastes very bitter and gives a deep chocolate flavor to baked goods.  Its intense flavor makes it well suited for use in brownies, cookies and some chocolate cakes.  Popular brands are Hershey's, Ghirardelli, and Scharffen Berger. from here
How is cocoa powder made?
Cocoa beans are roasted, then ground to a paste. Afterward, the thick paste is pressed between hydraulic plates, which squeezes out about half of the excess cocoa butter. (Cocoa beans are about 50% fat.) What’s left is a hard disk of cocoa powder, which is then grated into a fine powder. Most cocoa powders are between 20-22% fat, which is why most low-fat chocolate desserts call for cocoa powder. found here
So, in a sense, all cocoa powders are created equal.  It doesn't seem like one is made more naturally than the other which is good....because....I like my hot chocolate!  :)

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