June 29th, 2021
With chocolate being an international favourite treat, there are very few things that come close to it as an ingredient. With unparalleled popularity and amazing flavours, chocolate has taken a prominent place in both savoury and sweet dishes.
That said, despite the immense popularity of chocolate, many people are unaware of the different forms of the ingredient and its origins, especially when it comes to the debate between chocolate vs cocoa powder.
To understand this, at Melt, we’ve put together a short guide that contains the basic differences between chocolate and cocoa powder so that you can understand the purpose and usage of both the ingredients.
So without further ado, let’s take a look!
The rawest form of chocolate is the cacao bean, taken straight from the tree during harvest, which is dried and fermented. Once the cacao is roasted and turned into a powder, it becomes cocoa or can be made into chocolate.
This means that based on the current stage of the beans, its nutrients, flavour and of course, the texture can differ. Moreover, it also means that the purest form of chocolate is cacao, followed by cocoa and then finally chocolate.
Cocoa powder is essentially the dried remains of roasted cacao beans, after the harvesting process. Due to the high roasting temperature, the molecular structure of the bean changes which causes a slight reduction in the nutritional value.
This unsweetened product is then used for baking and various other purposes to give a rich and intense chocolate taste to many desserts and beverages.
The two basic types of cocoa powder are natural and dutch process. While natural cocoa powder has an intense flavour along with a light reddish-brown colour, dutch-processed cocoa powder has a more mellow taste with a darker brown colour.
However, dutch processed cocoa powder is the preferred option between the both, especially when it comes to baking.
With time, chocolate has been skilfully integrated into various culinary areas. Cooking with chocolate has become popular over time and does not necessarily restrict itself to sweet treats. Additionally, a good old chocolate bar is the ultimate pick-me-up for many, making it one of the best culinary treats out there.
That said, chocolate is further divided into normal eating chocolate and cooking chocolate. Cooking and baking chocolate has a lower sugar content and serves as a better alternative, especially for those looking to cut down on sugar. It usually has a lower cocoa butter content and may contain other ingredients such as palm oil.
The differences between both mainly come down to the sugar and cocoa butter percentage. For dishes like cakes and muffins, you can use a bean to bar chocolate or single origin chocolate to develop good flavours in your creation.
However, if you’re trying out something more technical such as ganache, you may want to consider using cooking chocolate for better results and success with your creation.
The purer the chocolate, the better flavour and intensity it brings forth. Additionally, depending on the stage of roasting, the nutritional value too is affected. That said, cocoa powder is a slightly better form when you consider intensity and nutritional value. However, when it comes to taste, it is by no means superior to chocolate.
Furthermore, if you’re looking to try out sugar-free or vegan options, purer forms of cocoa or cacao will be ideal for you. However, if all that matters to you is the chocolate flavour, there’s a whole variety of sweets available for you to try out.
Based on your intention with the chocolate, whether you’re using it for cooking or eating, either type may better suit your purpose. If you fancy eating a plain truffle or a delicious bonbon, any type of chocolate would suit your palate. On the other hand, if you wish to try out an elaborate chocolate dessert, cocoa or maybe even cacao will do the trick.
Now that you know the key differences between chocolate vs cocoa powder, you can try out different combinations of cocoa or cacao in the form of delicious chocolate.
From single-origin and Dark chocolates to sweet treats and baked goods – at Melt, we have it all.
Check out our collection of delicious gourmet chocolates and place your order today!
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