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Of all the different forms cocoa can take, cocoa powder is certainly one of the most common. It can be used to decorate desserts and as an ingredient in luxurious recipes. Together, let’s find out about all the benefits cocoa powder has to offer.
How to make cocoa powder
To make cocoa powder, cocoa beans are removed from their pod, fermented, dried and roasted to bring out all their chocolatey flavor.
The cocoa bean’s flesh is separated from its shell and ground down. The next step – grinding – transforms the pieces into a kind of paste that can be used to make chocolate.
It’s thanks to cocoa paste that we can make cocoa powder. The paste is pressed to separate the powder from the beans’ natural fat, known as cocoa butter.
This gives us cocoa powder, on the one hand, with its low fat content and intense cocoa flavor, and fat-rich cocoa butter on the other. Cocoa butter is highly flavored when it has been pressed. Cocoa butter only takes on a neutral flavor when it’s deodorized.
In both desserts and savory dishes, unsweetened cocoa powder has earned its place as a key ingredient. This intense, healthy ingredient helps us make lots of tasty dishes and desserts without upping the carbohydrate count.
Cocoa powder’s uses in desserts
A cocoa flavor is sought out in lots of dessert and cake recipes. Valrhona’s no-added-sugar 100% cocoa powder gives your preparations a deliciously cocoa-rich flavor.
You can use this cocoa powder in intensely flavored tiramisus, cakes and chocolate brownies. Fitness fans can even add it to their water bottle or use it to make cocoa-rich protein bars to boost their energy levels and nutrition.
Cocoa powder can also be enjoyed at breakfast. Simply sprinkle it on your cereal or add it to a glass of milk or smoothie to enjoy all the health benefits and unique flavor of cocoa.
Cocoa powder can, of course, also be used in hot or cold drinks such as hot chocolate. To enjoy these at their best, however, it is best to sweeten them in order to bring out all the cocoa and milk’s mellow flavor.
Cocoa powder in savory dishes
As bizarre as it might sound, 100% cocoa powder can also work wonders in savory dishes. Cocoa powder is perfect for sauces and pairs beautifully with chicken and other poultry. A pinch of cocoa powder gives a dish that little bit of oomph along with a delicious bitter touch.
It can also be kept for a long time. Just keep it in a dry place away from heat, light and humidity. Make sure you don’t leave your cocoa powder near a heat source (such as a gas cooker or hot plates) so that the cocoa retains all its intense flavor and nutrients.