Alpes d’Or prides ourselves on using 100% pure cocoa butter in all of our chocolate. We credit cocoa butter for our creamy texture and melting smoothness, so lets take a closer look at this magic ingredient.
What is cocoa butter?
Cocoa butter is fat that has been extracted from a cacao bean. This plant-based fat is pale yellow in colour, has a delicate, chocolate-like aroma and a gentle, creamy flavour. It is a far cry from a chocolate bar, but it plays an incredibly important role in chocolate-making and, as you will see, chocolate eating!
Although cocoa butter is a fat it is not necessarily unhealthy – it is high in antioxidants and fatty acids, which means benefits heart health. You will notice cocoa butter is also very popular in beauty products due to it’s moisturising ability and delicious smell.
How is it made?
Cocoa butter is made as part of the chocolate-making process. Cacao beans are roasted and then broken to release their inner goodness. They are then crushed into a liquid that is thick, brown, and very bitter. This is called ‘cocoa liquor’, and it is not as tasty as it sounds! The cocoa liquor is pressed and lightly heated to separate it into two entities: fat (cocoa butter) and bean (cocoa solids). None of the precious cacao bean is wasted, as the cocoa solids are ground to make cocoa powder, which gives chocolate its colour and taste.
Cocoa butter is all natural and plant-based. It is naturally gluten free, sugar free and vegan product. It makes an excellent cooking product
What role does it play in chocolate?
Cocoa butter has a low melting point – of around 35C. This is means that it melts at body temperature, and more importantly, melts in the mouth. Cocoa butter gives chocolate its creaminess, its smooth texture, and its melting properties. Because of its high anti-oxidant content it is a light and fresh-tasting fat, resistant to rancidity and the aging process that cheaper, low-quality fats are prone to.
Cocoa butter has a gentle and rich flavour. Although it does not taste like chocolate as we know it, it does form an important building block in the flavour profile of the finished product. High quality, all natural cocoa butter adds base notes of creaminess and freshness that is not achieved by any other product. And the melting properties mean that it carries flavours throughout the mouth to improve the overall experience of the chocolate. There is simply no substitute for this exquisite product!