different cocoa fat content for different folks
Posted: 15 February 2014 09:41 PM   [ Ignore ]
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cocoa can be purchased in either 10-12% fat or 22-24% fat - I cannot find any discussion about the pros and cons of or the reasons for manufacturing cocoa with different percentages of fat - so why is it important to know the fat content of the cocoa I am using and which is suitable for various baked goods??????

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Posted: 16 February 2014 03:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Hello Michael and Welcome,

Aside from adding flavor, I don’t have a fact-based reply for you. But I did a little research.  I hope this is what you are looking for:

This article discusses fats in baking, not specifically cocoa powder:

During the baking process, fat performs a multitude of chemical functions, such as tenderizing, leavening

http://chefsblade.monster.com/training/articles/217-food-science-basics-function-of-cooking-fats


This article discuses cocoa powder:

Cocoa Powder 101
How to choose the correct type for your baking needs

Cocoa powder is a common ingredient in many classic baked goods including cakes, cookies and brownies. What many people don’t know is that there are actually a couple of different types of cocoa powder available in the bulk food aisle that will give baked goods an array of different chocolate tastes.

Before cocoa powder can be made, cocoa beans must be harvested and turned into a product called cocoa liquor. The liquor then undergoes processing to remove a majority of the fat (cocoa butter) from the product. What’s left at the end of the extraction process is known as “cocoa press cake” which is then ground into the fine cocoa powder that you’ll find lining your grocery store shelves. While processing removes most of the fat content, many cocoa powders still contain at least 10-12%.

The fine cocoa powder that is left after undergoing the processing method above is known as natural cocoa powder. In some cases, the powder is alkalized, which is an additional processed used to raise the pH levels of the powder to improve its color, taste and functionality. The alkalized powder is sold as Dutch processed or Dutch cocoa powder.

The differences between natural and Dutch processed powders include taste as well as functionality. Natural cocoa powder is most commonly used in cakes, cookies and brownies because it gives baked goods a deep, rich chocolate taste. Natural cocoa powder is an acid, and when used in recipes with baking soda it will create a leavening action that causes the batter to rise in the oven. The Dutch processed powders are a neutral substance and will not react with baking soda; therefore it must be used in recipes that call for baking powder or other acidic ingredients in order to produce desirable baked goods. Dutch powders will give your baked goods a subtle chocolate flavor.

http://www.discoverbulk.com/LearnAboutBulk.aspx?ID=713

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Posted: 16 February 2014 10:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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If your recipe assumes you’re using cocoa with the fat in the 10-12% range, but you use the higher fat percent, you will end up with a reduced chocolate flavor.


If your recipe assumes you’re using cocoa with fat in the 22-24%, but you use the lower fat percentage, your product will seem a bit drier and might have chocolate flavor out-of-balance.

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Posted: 16 February 2014 11:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Thanks Charles. I was hoping you’d reply. That is good to know. grin

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Posted: 16 February 2014 12:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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thanks all - I don’t think I have ever seen a formula (even a commercial / production one) which specifies a fat content for cocoa = I have always assumed that most recipes are built around Hershey’s or some other readily available powder - I have worked in many bakeries and catering kitchens without the question popping up - but the Restaurant Depot I buy from now has both low and high fat cocoa available in bulk - hence the conundrum - I’ll try calling Callibeaut sometime

Michael

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Posted: 16 February 2014 05:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Hi, Michael!

I use E. Guittard Cocoa Rouge, which you can buy from Sur La Table or Amazon, and everything I have made with it has been very chocolatey and nothing’s been dry.  I’ve made cookies and cakes with it and added it to ganashes and frostings.  It’s a high fat one.  I’ve also used Penzey’s high fat, and it’s worked well everywhere I’ve used it. 

Hope that’s helpful!

—ak

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