Uses of Cocoa

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

By Darra Goldstein

Published 2015

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Cocoa consists of finely ground cacao cells of the de-shelled and partly defatted cacao bean. The two most important features of cocoa are flavor and color, but the cocoa also influences the mouthfeel, shelf life, stability, and structure of the end product. Natural, or nonalkalized, cocoa typically has a yellowish-brown color and an acidy cocoa flavor. Natural cocoas are suited for cream fillings for wafers, chocolate truffles, compound coatings, icings, and fat-based syrups and pastes. Alkalized, or dutched cocoa, is available in colors ranging from light brown and red to deep dark brown, red, and black. Alkalized cocoas are used with dairy products, instant products, bakery products, cake mixes, desserts, ice cream, syrups, and coatings. Because product colors can create taste expectations and consumers can detect very slight differences in color, the choice of cocoa type is critical. See vision.