Theobroma cacao L.

Family: Malvaceae or cotton family

The major producers of cocoa are: Ivory Coast; Ghana, Nigeria, Indonesia and Cameroon.

Cocoa (cacao) is a concentrated powder extracted from the beans (seeds, nibs) of the cocoa fruit. The beans are fermented, dried, roasted, and separated from their skins. They are ground into a mass which is melted to form a mixture called cocoa or chocolate liqueur. This mixture contains, roughly, equal portions of cocoa solids and cocoa butter.

The cocoa liqueur is pressed to remove cocoa butter and the resulting cocoa solids are pulverized to form cocoa powderCocoa liqueur contains roughly 53% cocoa butter (fat), about 17% carbohydrates, 11% protein, 6% tannins, and 1.5% theobromine.

Cocoa Powder

Cocoa (Theobroma cacao)

Natural cocoa powder tastes very bitter. It has a light brown colour and is acidic, with a pH level of 5.1 to 5.4. It contains several minerals: calcium, copper, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium and zinc. It also contains caffeine and theobromine and about 22% fat.

Culinary Use

  • Cocoa powder is a key ingredient of chocolate, chocolate syrup, and chocolate confections.
  • Cocoa powder provides the drink hot cocoa which is usually made of cocoa, sugar and boiling milk or water.
  • Cocoa is used to provide a chocolate flavour in baked goods, icings and puddings.
  • It’s also mixed with sugar and vegetable fat to make ‘chocolate-flavoured coating used for coating cakes and biscuits.
  • Cocoa powder can mixed with sugar, powdered milk and cocoa butter to make instant drinking chocolate.

Author: Liz

I love everything food: eating, cooking, baking and travelling. I also love photography and nature.

4 thoughts

  1. Funny you should post this as I watched a show on foods on Netflix the other day showing how chocolate is made. I had no idea it was such a process and now here is your post! Wow, raw cocoa powder is certainly high in fat, then we add sugar and oil or butter, no wonder there are so many calories in a plain old chocolate bar! And being Easter everyone who likes chocolate will sure get their fix this weekend! Thanks Liz, very informative!

    1. Oh yes raw cocoa has a lot of fat. I can’t remember the last time I had a hot cup of cocoa. Maybe tonight? Have a nice weekend

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