Cocoa beans are the fruit of the cacao tree and the source of all the tasty chocolate products you know and love. The ancient Olmecs and Mayans are responsible for first cultivating this tree and recognizing its potential as a food. There are many more forms of cocoa available today, however, than these ancient people could have ever dreamed of. Alkalized cocoa powder is one product that people frequently wonder about, and it can easily be confused with other forms of cocoa.
Although cocoa beans have been used by mankind for thousands of years, it was not until 1828 that cocoa powder as we know it became available, thanks to the work of Dutch chemist C. J. Van Houten. Van Houten discovered a process for removing most of the fat, or cocoa butter, from the roasted cocoa beans, thus producing cocoa powder. He found that adding an alkaline substance, such as potassium carbonate, to the cocoa powder resulted in improvements to the taste and properties of natural cocoa powder. This treated form of cocoa powder became known as Dutch cocoa, or alkalized cocoa powder.
When compared to natural cocoa powder, alkalized cocoa powder is darker brown, with reddish undertones; it is milder in flavor and mixes with liquids more easily. Alkalized cocoa powder has an alkaline pH from 7 to 8, while natural cocoa powder has an acidic pH, around 5. Alkalized cocoa powder is sold in stores alongside other types of baking chocolate and is sometimes labeled as Dutch-process cocoa or European-style cocoa. It should list alkali in the ingredients.
Alkalized cocoa powder is preferred by many cooks for baking cakes, cookies, and pastries because of its mellow, smooth flavor and rich, dark color. It is easier to mix with other ingredients, and will absorb liquids more readily than natural cocoa powder. Alkalized cocoa powder is used in ice cream, hot cocoa mixes, candies, beverages, and chocolate syrups where a full-bodied, smooth, chocolate flavor is desired.
Baking soda will not do its job of leavening in baked goods with alkalized cocoa powder because it requires an acidic ingredient, such as natural cocoa powder, to react. Recipes with alkalized cocoa powder should use baking powder instead, or other acidic ingredients, such as orange juice. For best results, use the type of cocoa powder called for in recipes and don’t try to substitute one type for another.
- The health benefits of chocolate have been discussed in media a great deal in recent times, and this is good news to many chocolate lovers. Unfortunately, while alkalized cocoa powder is more palatable to some, it is lower in the health-promoting flavanol antioxidants than untreated cocoa. According to a study presented in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry in 2008, the processing that alkalized cocoa powder undergoes substantially reduces the amount of beneficial substances it contains.
My favorite cocoa powders are the Bolivian El Ceibo 100% cocoa beans and The Grenada Chocolate Company pure organic cocoa powder, both we sell our shop www.patisserievercruysse.be
What is so unique about this cocoa powder? We produce it ourselves,and it is as natural as it can be. Our cocoa beans are organic, fermented to perfection and sun-dried in our facilities in the Amazonian region from where they are transported in our trucks to our factory in El Alto where they are carefully roasted, peeled then pressed to obtain the cocoa powder. Unlike many brands in the world, El Ceibo does not alkalinize the beans in order to give it a deeper color and reduce its acidity. El Ceibo cocoa powder is the original cocoa powder, and it creates a totally new experience.
Weight: Exists in 250g
Oganic and fair trade cocao beans
Pure Organic Cocoa Powder(6oz/170gr recloseable pouches): Pure and delicious, perfect for hot-chocolate, chocolate ice-cream, baking, etc. Grenada’s cocoa is known for its extra rich flavour and strength. Our Organic* Cocoa Powder is uniquely rich and flavourful because of our small-scale relatively low-pressure cocoa butter press and, of course, because of the special taste of our cocoa beans!