Cocoa powder doesn't need an introduction. It is one of the prime ingredients in chocolates, brownies, and chocolate cakes. Who doesn't love an indulging chewy chocolate dessert in the evening or after a heavy meal? But do you know that not all cocoa powders are the same? The way they are processed and the region they come from decides their nutritional content, flavor, and many more.
In this article, we will introduce you to the characteristics of various types of cocoa powders, so you don't have to look blank when a recipe calls for a specific type. This knowledge will definitely help you predict the outcome of your culinary endeavor. Let's start with the seven best cocoa powders you can buy online in India from top brands like Hershey's, Looms & Weaves, KETO CULTURE, and more. This article is reviewed by nutritionist Ruchi Wadhwa, keep reading as she explains every heading.
Ruchi Wadhwa is a certified Nutritionist with a keen interest in Ayurvedic sciences. She has a wholesome, holistic, and sustainable approach to nutrition. Check out our Food and drinks section as more articles are reviewed by expert Ruchi Wadhwa.
looms & weaves
looms & weaves
Single Origin Cocoa Powder
Pure & Natural Cocoa Powder
100 % High Fat Cocoa Powder
Special Dark Cocoa Powder
Minimally Processed With 22.4% Fat and 32G per 100G Fiber
Doesn't Contain Sugar
With a Fiber Content Of 34%
Gives a Deep Brown Color to Your Dishes
Has a High Fat Content Of 24%
Ultra Dutched Dark Cocoa Powder
Chocolate Drink Mix With Added Vitamins and Minerals
|Price Starts at||₹250.00||₹399.00||₹424.00||₹250.00||₹300.00||₹349.00||₹205.00|
|Type||Cacao powder||Peruvian natural cocoa||Natural cocoa powder||Dutch processed||High fat natural||Dark cocoa||Chocolate drink powder|
|Quantity||600 grams||450 grams||400 grams||250 grams||250 grams||250 grams||250 grams|
From Sattvic Foods to Hershey's, here are our seven recommendations for the best cocoa powders you can buy online in India. We will discuss more on the various types of cocoa powders later in this article. Keep reading!
|Type||Peruvian natural cocoa|
|Type||Natural cocoa powder|
|Type||High fat natural|
|Type||Chocolate drink powder|
It is bitter and may not taste the way you expect. But there are so many benefits to eating dishes made with cocoa powder or simply a hot chocolate drink. It has a high fiber content. Almost all of the products we have listed above contain approx. 30% fiber. It helps with digestion, promotes good bowel movement, and feeds the healthy gut microbiome.
The polyphenols present in cocoa have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. This improves your heart health, regulates blood sugar levels, and also provides anti-aging benefits. Eating cocoa powder has some psychological benefits too. If you are feeling depressed, grab a bar of dark chocolate or make yourself a hot chocolate drink.
It will make you feel happier and also improve your cognitive function and memory. Add cocoa powder to your weight-loss diet. It helps your body metabolize dietary fat in a better way to keep you thin. But these benefits are not the same across all types of cocoa powders and store-bought cookies and chocolate bars.
Cocoa is packed with crucial nutrients like calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, selenium, and iron. Its consumption regularly can help improve the functioning of the brain, immunity, muscle, and nervous systems. Furthermore, cocoa powder is rich in polyphenols, particularly flavonols, which help control several cardiometabolic parameters like cholesterol, blood glucose, and blood pressure.
Keep reading to learn the difference between cocoa powder and cacao powder, how alkalization changes the flavor and nutritional content of cocoa powder, the significance of the amount of fat in cocoa powders, and many more from the sections below. This buying guide is reviewed by nutritionist Ruchi Wadhwa, so keep reading!
You can classify cocoa powders depending on the type of process it goes through. Find out the difference between natural, dutch-processed, and dark cocoa powder from the sections below.
Natural cocoa powder. a comparatively higher amount of antioxidants and flavonoids compared to the varieties. And because of its acidic nature, the cocoa powder will react with baking soda in your recipe, making your cake or cookies rise. The resulting baked goods will be drier with an airy texture.
This type is bitter, has a more intense flavor, and is best suited for recipes with cocoa powder as the main ingredient. Natural cocoa powder is also called non-alkalized cocoa powder since it doesn't go through the alkalization process. If you want more of the nutritious benefits of cocoa to be present in your baked goods or chocolate drinks, we recommend going for natural cocoa powder.
After the cocoa beans are sun-dried and ground, it is treated with an alkaline solution that neutralizes its acidity to an extent. This is how dutch-processed cocoa is made. It is less bitter and has a more "chocolatey" flavor compared to natural cocoa powder. The process also makes the cocoa powder darker or reddish-brown.
If your recipe requires cocoa powder just to enhance the taste of the dish and not to overpower other flavors, you can use dutch-processed cocoa powder. Also, since there is very little acidity left in the cocoa powder, it won't react much with baking soda, resulting in less rise and fudgier pastries and cookies.
The dutch processed cocoa involves washing cacao beans with a potassium solution to neutralize the acid, resulting in a product with an almost neutral pH and a slightly improved taste. Dutch-processed cocoa powder is perfect for recipes that don't need leavening or baking soda like brownies or cookies.
Whereas, the natural cocoa powder does not undergo the process of dutching, making it both bitter and acidic. Due to its naturally acidic nature, natural cocoa powder is used to activate the leavening effect of baking soda. Leavening is a process by which cakes and bread are made to rise. Therefore, natural cocoa powder cannot be replaced in recipes that use baking soda.
Ultra-dutched, dark, or black cocoa powder is made by treating ground cocoa beans with an alkaline solution until all the acidity is gone. This heavily dutched cocoa powder is almost black with very less nutritional value and completely non-bitter. You can use it as a coloring agent for brownies and cakes.
Sometimes you will not find black cocoa to have any cocoa or chocolate taste at all. But manufacturers have found a way to overcome this drawback of the ultra-dutching process—by manipulating the fat content of the final product. Find out the significance of fat content in the cocoa powder from the next section.
Black cocoa is ultra-processed cocoa, dutched to a point it becomes completely neutral and loses most of its antioxidants resulting in a powder that is neither nutritious nor chocolatey, due to which it is mainly used as a colouring agent in cakes and cookies like oreo.
Another way of classifying cocoa powders is based on the amount of fat present in them. Low-fat cocoa powders have fat content between 10% - 12%, while high-fat cocoa powders have 21% - 24%. Fat carries flavor too. You will find high-fat cocoa powders to have significantly more flavor than low-fat cocoa powders.
We found that brands rarely mention whether their product is high-fat or low-fat, so check the nutrition information to determine the fat content. Cookies and cakes made with high-fat cocoa powder will be moister and darker. Yes, the fat content is also responsible for the color of the cocoa powder.
As you already know, the alkalization process destroys the cocoa flavor. So manufacturers reduce the amount of cocoa butter they press out of the ground and treated cocoa beans. Compared to low-fat, dutch-processed cocoa powder, high-fat cocoa powder will have a more intense cocoa flavor. Following a keto diet for weight loss? Go for cookies and brownies made with high-fat cocoa powder.
The amount of fat in the cocoa powder will determine the flavour, colour, and palatability of the product to which it is added. Cocoa powders with high-fat content will result in a product that has a dark and intense chocolate flavour. Conversely, heavily processed cocoa powder results in a product that is crumby and dry.
Here is another classification for cocoa powders—sweetened and unsweetened. If the ingredients list says 100% cocoa powder, it means the cocoa powder is unsweetened. Those who have tried and loved real cocoa should go for unsweetened cocoa powder. You will have more control over the amount of sweetening agent you decide to add to your recipe.
Sweetened cocoa powders are mostly chocolate drink mixes. You can add them to hot milk or water, stir and drink it directly. Most recipes on the internet usually require the use of unsweetened cocoa powder, but if you have the expertise or enjoy experimenting, go ahead and use it in your milkshakes, brownies, pies, tiramisu, and tarts.
If you want to experience the actual taste of cocoa, it's best to go for unsweetened or natural cocoa powder. Sugar as an additive can affect the underlying chocolate flavor to a point where all you might taste is sugar. So, it's better to choose 100% cocoa.
You don't have to go through any tedious process to prepare some confectionery desserts when you get chocolate cravings. Here is a simple recipe that uses just two ingredients—cocoa powder and condensed milk to prepare a decadent chocolate truffle. Nino, the chef in this video, breaks down the cooking process into four:
How about some healthy, energizing, and immunity-boosting drinks to freshen you up? Click on the links below to find out our ten recommendations and buying guides for the best summer drinks, coffee brands, and giloy juice brands available to buy online in India. Remember to consume these in moderation, so you get the maximum benefits without any side effects.
Now you are well-versed in the types of cocoa powders and their health benefits. Here is everything in a nutshell. Cacao powder is different from cocoa powder since it is not subjected to high heat processing. Thus cacao powder contains more nutrients than cocoa powder. But roasting changes the flavor profile and makes cocoa powder more chocolatey.
Go for a natural cocoa powder since it has flavor as well as a better nutrition profile. But it is bitter and may require you to use sugar, honey, or other sweetening agents. Alkalization reduces the bitterness and makes the cocoa powder darker. Black cocoa powder is heavily dutched, so it is not at all bitter, while regular dutch processed cocoa powder is slightly bitter with a more intense chocolate flavor.
Author - Arun F Xaviour
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