Van Houten, Coenraad Johannes

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

By Darra Goldstein

Published 2015

  • About

van Houten, Coenraad Johannes (1801–1887), developed a superior form of drinking chocolate by devising a process that removed substantial amounts of fatty cocoa butter from the cocoa mass, thus creating a more homogenized finished product. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries in Europe, chocolate was used almost exclusively as a beverage. Chunks of unsweetened chocolate were dissolved in hot water or milk, sometimes with the addition of sugar. But the beverage was oily and heavy because of the cocoa bean’s high cocoa butter content; wooden sticks called moulinets were used to whip the drink into a froth, partly an attempt to disperse the fat evenly throughout the liquid. See chocolate pots and cups.