Also known as Dried Cocoa, Cacao, or natural Cocoa Powder
What is Cocoa Powder?
Cocoa powder is a flavorful ingredient used in baking. To make cocoa powder, the seeds (pictured above) are dried in a factory and then crushed into pieces called nibs. Chocolate liquor is then produced from these nibs. After extracting cocoa butter from the chocolate liquor, the remaining solids are cocoa powder. This is what we call natural cocoa powder.
Cocoa Powder, also spelled cacao or cocoa, is a substance produced from the seed of the cocoa tree. This fruit-bearing tree grows large fleshy fruits continuously throughout the year along its trunk. The location of the seed pods on the trees, each containing 30-50 seeds, make it an easy product to harvest by hand. In fact, it is estimated that during harvest a worker can pick around 650 pods per day. That is enough seeds to make about 65 pounds of chocolate.
To make cocoa powder, the seeds are dried in a factory and then crushed into pieces called nibs. These nibs are made into chocolate liquor and defatted. The fat goes on to make cocoa butter, while the defatted “cake” goes on to become cocoa powder. This is natural cocoa powder.
Use at 5-10% of flour weight.
Used mostly in icings, fudges, sauces and beverages.
There are many health benefits associated with cocoa powder that range from heart health to decreases in LDL cholesterol. It is also fairly low calorie. This powder is typically mixed back in with cocoa butter to make chocolate products, but can also be used as it to make a variety of dishes.