Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

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cocoa can be a confusing term because until about the end of the 19th century it was often used in English to mean what is properly called cacao. See chocolate: botany and early history; and also chocolate manufacture.

As the term is now understood, cocoa is the substance left after the cocoa butter (needed for enriching chocolate confectionery, see chocolate in the 19th and 20th centuries) has been extracted from the chocolate mass and powdered. It can be used to provide a chocolate flavour in baked goods, icings, and puddings. It is also mixed with sugar and vegetable fat to make ‘chocolate-flavoured coating’, used for covering cakes and biscuits.