Food Tips

Cocoa essentials

Cocoa essentials Author: Style At Home

Food Tips

Cocoa essentials

3 things you may not know about cocoa

  • It starts off as a kind of unsweetened baking chocolate-chocolate liquor-derived from the beans of the cacao tree. The liquor is separated into solids and butter, and the solids are then ground to make cocoa powder.
  • There are only three varieties of cacao tree: the Criollo, Forastero and a hybrid of these, the Trinitario; most cocoa is made from a mix of varieties.
  • We could soon be celebrating Cocoa Day. One of Ghana's politicos has proposed a holiday devoted to cocoa and chocolate-and we're more than ready to jump on that bandwagon.


2 ways to try cocoa right now

  • In cocoa nibs, the unsweetened kernels of cacao beans that are roasted and chopped.
  • Served in a frosty drink, sweetened with honey, spices and vanilla like they did in its native South America.


1 thing to remember at the grocery store

  • Natural (unsweetened) cocoa has a dark, intense flavour; use it for brownies and cookies. Dutch-process cocoa has some neutralized acids; use it in icings and sauces.


1 collectible to pick up when you see it

  • Vintage cocoa tins from companies like van Houten and Cadbury.


1 tip you can't live without

  • If a recipe (especially with baking soda) calls for cocoa, use natural cocoa. Dutch-process cocoa can alter the chemistry of a recipe.


1 way to indulge your inner cocoaholic

  • Book into the Hershey Hotel in Hershey, Pennsylvania, for a 50-minute Cocoa Massage-it doesn't have a single calorie!

 

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Food Tips

Cocoa essentials