New to the Ingredient Line Up: Cocoa Powder from the Dominican Republic

New to the Ingredient Line Up: Cocoa Powder from the Dominican Republic

Certified Organic & Fair Trade

We talk a lot about ingredients around here. Swapping this ingredient for that, house-made this, local that, organic. Oh look, naturally colored sprinkles! These things are so important to us.

At a time when cakes can look like anything, including a neon rainbow, we want our desserts to be really delicious, simply beautiful, and full of rad ingredients.

By the end of 2020, we had baked our way through the last 50lb bag of Peruvian cocoa powder. We got so used to it being around, it was like a trusty old friend. Sadly it’s gone. But not without an upgrade!

Boasting the same 20-22% fat content, the newest ingredient in our bakery is a rich, organic, Fair Trade (yahoo!) cocoa powder from the Dominican Republic. We put it to quick work as soon as it arrived. It has already made its way into many batches of desserts, including chocolate cakes, vegan whoopie pies, and keto-friendly brownies.

Cacao, Cocoa & Natural Cocoa - What is the Deal?

The basics start with the cacao beans. They are separated, fermented, rinsed, then dried. Next they are roasted, low temps for cacao and higher temps for cocoa. After roasting, the beans are cracked into nibs and pressed. The pressing removes the cocoa butter (hello white chocolate!) and yields the chocolate liquor. The liquor is dried, then ground into powder.

If you are brave enough to go down this rabbit hole, search for cocoa vs cacao and you'll see every explanation of the differences in process and final product from food scientists, bakers, and even nutritionists who weigh in on the health benefits of one vs the other.

We use a natural cocoa powder, which means it is unprocessed after it arrives at the powder stage. Boasting a complex flavor profile, natural acidity, and a high fat content -- this cocoa powder is the shining star in many of our chocolate cakes, brownies, cookies, and even chocolate marshmallows!

This newest ingredient carries the USDA Organic certification, and is Fair Trade. Grown and processed in the Dominican Republic, we source our cocoa powder from Earth Circle Organics (now Cambridge Commodities) a leader in organic ingredient space. They've developed lasting relationships with farmers around the world, and buyers like us!

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