Flashcards in CONCEPT 50: COCOA POWDER DELIVERS BIG FLAVOR Deck (100):
All too often, chocolate cakes, brownies, puddings and mousses look dark and decadent, but take a bite and what happens? Why is this?
The flavor is pretty wimpy because an insufficient amount of chocolate was used or the type of chocolate.
Although we rely on unsweetened and bittersweet chocolate in dessert recipes, what ingredient is the key component to creating chocolate recipes with big flavor?
How is cocoa powered made?
By removing most of the fat (cocoa butter) from cocoa liquor (produced by fermented cocoa beans), which in effect concentrates the amount of cocoa solids.
Ounce for ounce, cocoa powder has more what than any other type of chocolate?
Cocoa solids, and thus more chocolate flavor.
Cocoa powder contains solid particles of what 3 things?
Insoluble carbohydrate, fat (10 to 12%) and a smaller amount of protein, with tiny flavor molecules trapped inside.
Where to the flavor molecules come from?
Some come from the cocoa beans, others are produced during fermentation and subsequent roasting of the beans.
If you simply add cocoa powder to dry ingredients (as is often the case) what happens?
You don't get much flavor.
What's the secret to using cocoa powder?
Bloom the flavors by pouring hot water over the cocoa. Stirring the cocoa in hot water causes these flavor molecules, which would otherwise remain imprisoned, to burst forth, amplifying overall flavor.
Does the intensity of cocoa powder depend on how it was produced?
Describe the regular method of producing cocoa powder.
Regular cocoa powder produced from fermented, roasted beans has an intense flavor and light color, and is naturally acidic with a pH around 5.7.
Describe the Dutch-processed method of producing cocoa powder.
Dutch-processed, or alkalized, cocoa powder is produced from fermented beans that have been treated with an alkali before or after roosting to raise the pH of cocoa powder to 6.8 to 7.2. Dutch-processed cocoa powder has a milder, less bitter flavor, but darker color.
Why does unsweetened chocolate contain less chocolate flavor than cocoa powder?
It has a good deal of cocoa solids, but also contains more fat crystals than cocoa powder, and therefore less chocolate flavor.
Why does bittersweet chocolate have less chocolate flavor than unsweetened and cocoa powder?
It contains less cocoa solids, and many more fat crystals, as well as sugar, giving it the least chocolate flavor of the three.
TEST KITCHEN: HOT CHOCOLATE MADE WITH COCOA POWDER, UNSWEETENED AND BITTERSWEET CHOCOLATE.
The cocoa powder won hands-down, followed by the unsweetened and finally the bittersweet.
What % of cocoa powder are cocoa solids?
80%, so 1 ounce provides 0.8 ounce of flavorful solids.
If you have an unsweetened bar that is 49% cocoa solids, how much would you need to replicate the cocoa powder?
If you have an bittersweet bar that is 21% cocoa solids, how much would you need to replicate the cocoa powder?
What is cacao percentage?
The combined percentages of cocoa butter and nonfat cocoa solids.
When a recipe calls for bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, can you substitute a chocolate with a higher cacao percentage than 60% generally used for cooking, making no other adjustments?
Not if you expect identical results.
When manufacturers increase cacao content, they correspondingly decrease the amount of ______ and usually add _______ _______?
Sugar, cocoa butter
If you're baking with 70% cacao chocolate and suspect the recipe was developed with 60% cacao chocolate, you can try adding what?
A bit more sugar; be prepared for trial and error.
Why is cocoa powder good for making chewy brownies or sturdy cupcakes?
It contains little fat, which can negatively affect the texture of chewy brownies or sturdy cupcakes.
What should be noted about baking brownies in glass?
Let the brownies cool for 10 minutes, then remove them promptly from the pan; superior heat retention of glass can led to over baked brownies.
Most homemade brownies are what? What's the difference?
Super-rich and fudge or more cake-like and less rich. The difference between the two styles is simply the ratio of chocolate to flour.
To get boxed-mix brownie chew in homemade, you need to right proportion of what? What was the magic ratio?
Liquid to solid fat. The ratio was 1:3 of saturate to unsaturated as opposed to the 2:1 ratio found in homemade brownies.
How can you reduce greasiness in brownies?
Reducing the overall fat content makes them dry so they used emulsifiers to help the fats from separating. Mayonnaise worked surprisingly well but, after diving deeper, they identified the active emulsifiers in mayonnaise as lecithin, a phospholipid that occurs naturally in egg yolks; two eggs yolks in exchange for a little oil did the trick.
Why can you add chocolate chunks to the brownies final mixture if the cocoa butter will throw off the saturated and unsaturated fat ratio?
Only chocolate that is melted and incorporated into the batter actually affects the ratio of fats in the mix.
What is key for brownies with a good shine?
TEST KITCHEN: BROWNIES MADE WITH BROWN SUGAR, GRANULATED SUGAR, THEN BROWN SUGAR AND CORN SYRUP.
Only brownies made with granulated sugar took an attractive crackly sheen.
Why does granulated sugar create a sheen on brownies while brown sugar and corn syrup don't?
It's all due to what might be deemed "special effects." Whether on its own or in combination with corn syrup, brown sugar forms crystals on the surface of the cooling brownie. Crystals reflect the light in a diffuse way, creating a matte effect. The pure sucrose in granulated sugar forms a smooth, glasslike, noncrystalline surface as it cools that reflects light in a focused way, for a shiny effect.
Why do brownies made with brown sugar or corn syrup never have a crackly crust?
Its formation depends on sugar molecules rising to the surface of the batter and drying out during baking. Since both brown sugar and corn syrup contain more moisture than granulated sugar, the surface of brownies made with either of these never dries out enough for a crisp crust to form.
Fat can be divided into two broad types.
Saturated and unsaturated.
What do both types of fat consist of?
Carbon atoms strung together in long chains.
Shortening is also called what?
Partially hydrogenated vegetable oil.
In predominantly saturated fats such as shortening, beef tallow, and lard, each of these carbon atoms has the maximum number of what attached to them?
What do the hydrogen atoms do to the carbon atoms?
he hydrogen acts as a buttress to keep carbon chains rigid so that they can pack together like a box of pencils, forming a fat that is solid even at room temperature.
Why aren't unsaturated solid?
They have fewer hydrogen atoms providing support, resulting in carbon chains that don't stick together tightly and a fat that is liquid at room temperature.
Does the right combination of rigid and flexible chains--the shortening system--give brownies their unique texture?
Does boxed brownie mix come with the right ratio of fats?
It comes with a saturated fat component, which is broken down into tiny, powdery crystals. When a cook then adds unsaturated vegetable oil to this mix, the liquid fat and powdered solid fat combine in a ratio designed to deliver maximum chew.
Name a predominantly saturated fat.
Are classic versions of brownies made with all butter?
Yes, for a high portion of solid, saturated fat that leads to a tender texture, versus a chewy one.
When ingredients like butter and eggs were scarce during WWII, what ingredient did home cooks use to moisten their cakes?
Mayonnaise - it helped coat the flour's protein particles for a moist and tender cake.
What happens if you add too much cocoa powder?
The baked good becomes dry and chalky; add a few ounces of chocolate instead.
Why does blooming work so well with cocoa powder?
Cocoa powder contains solid particles of fat and protein with tiny flavor molecules trapped inside. Dissolving the cocoa in hot water causes these flavor molecules, which would otherwise remain imprisoned, to burst forth, amplifying overall flavor.
Why is hot coffee better than hot water for blooming cocoa powder?
The roasted notes of the coffee reinforce the nutty, roasted notes in chocolate.
The difference between natural cocoa and Dutch-processed all comes down to what?
Cocoa beans grow on what tropical plant?
What happens to the beans once they're picked?
The white beans are fermented, turning them dark and developing a characteristic aroma. The dried beans are then cracked open and the nibs separated from the shells and roasted to bring out flavors.
How much cocoa butter do the nibs contain?
They contain about 55% cocoa butter.
How is chocolate liquor made?
The nibs are ground up and heated until they form a thick liquid called chocolate liquor, the basis of most chocolate products.
How is cocoa powder made?
Much of the cocoa butter must be removed from the chocolate liquor, leaving a dry powder.
How can you tell the fat content of cocoa powder?
The final fat content is indicated by the numbers on the cocoa label. A 10/12 cocoa contains 10 to 12% cocoa butter while a 22/44 cocoa contains 22 to 24% cocoa butter.
Do premium brands of cocoa powder tend to have higher percentages of cocoa butter?
Yes, while mass-market Hershey's and Nestlé cocoas belong to the 10/12 category.
After removing cocoa butter from chocolate liquor, the cocoa powder is still naturally _______.
After being finely ground, sifted, and packaged, cocoa powder is marketed as what?
"Natural cocoa" powder.
How was Dutch-processed cocoa created?
During the early 19th century, a Dutch inventor named Conrad van Houten developed a process called Dutching that has been used for over a century by most European companies to make Dutch-processed or alkalized cocoa.
How is Dutch cocoa made?
An alkaline, usually potassium carbonate, is added to the chocolate liquor as it is refined. The alkali raises the pH of cocoa from around 5.7 to 7.2.
What does raising the pH of cocoa powder accomplish?
It has a darkening effect on the cocoa, mellows its sometimes harsh flavor and improves solubility in liquids.
Difference between European and American cocoa.
Most European cocoa is Dutch, whereas most American ones are natural.
Are Dutch and natural cocoa powders interchangeable in recipes?
Mostly, they are interchangeable. However, in recipes for baked goods such as cakes that rely on baking soda or powder for some or all of their leavening, it is best to use the type specified; cocoa's acidity may affect the leavener's effectiveness.
Which cocoa does test kitchen prefer?
The less harsh flavor of Dutch-processed.
Most cupcakes sacrifice flavor for what?
How could you boost chocolate flavor and texture in a cupcake when the initial dessert was too tender and not chocolaty enough (cocoa powder, flour, dairy, chocolate and blooming liquid)?
Reduce the amount of cocoa powder because it has no gluten forming capabilities and works to dilute the flour. Use less chocolate to cut back on fat; a lot of fat makes the cupcakes too tender. Throw away some dairy and use more coffee to amp up chocolate flavor; reduced negative impacts of dairy on chocolate. Use bread flour for more gluten; also allows you to use more chocolate and cocoa.
How does oil help create a richer chocolate flavor than butter?
Besides making a more tender crumb, oil doesn't contain milk solids in butter that can mute chocolates flavor.
What could you add to chocolate cupcake right before baking?
A cooled chocolate ganache in the center.
How can you create a chocolate mousse with substantial chocolate flavor?
Lose the butter, reduce the number of eggs, add whipped cream, and play with the ratio of chocolate to water.
Does mousse contain far less dairy and more chocolate than pudding?
What is the daunting task when making chocolate mousse?
You want intense chocolate flavor with a light, airy texture.
How does losing butter make a better mousse?
It addresses the mousse's dense, heavy texture; the mousse tasted less heavy and helps rid the waxy texture butter can impart when it resolidifies in the fridge.
How does limiting the eggs make a better mousse?
Some recipes call for too many eggs but too many egg whites can create a texture similar to marshmallows. Reducing the number of egg whites and replacing it with cream makes the mousse light but not foamy.
How can water help stop a gritty mousse?
With a lot of added chocolate, the mixture can begin to seize, giving a grainy, gritty texture. Liquid can cause chocolate to seize, yes. But more important is the liquid to solid ratio. With small amounts of liquid, the solids absorb just enough to form a gritty paste. But with more liquid (at least 1 tablespoon for every 2 ounces of chocolate), the dry cocoa solids become fluid. Increasing the water makes the product looser and glossier.
What happens when chocolate melts?
Its ingredients--mainly cocoa solids, sugar and cocoa butter--disperse evenly, creating a fluid mass.
What happens if water is introduced to melting chocolate?
If even a tiny amount of moisture is introduced, the liquid and sugar will form a syrup which comments the cocoa particles together, creating clumpy grains.
How much liquid does it take to trigger this reaction?
It mostly depends on the amount of chocolate and sugar content. Even in the absence of sugar, however, such as in unsweetened chocolate, the cocoa particles will cling together if liquid is introduced.
How do you reverse this reaction?
The addition of more liquid can reverse the seizing and bring chocolate back to a fluid state; it can be any liquid (such as milk or water) to dissolve most of the sugar and disperse the cocoa particles in the sea zed chocolate clumps.
Can diluted chocolate be used in baking?
No, it can no longer reliably be used in baking. Use it instead for chocolate sauce, hot chocolate or chocolate drizzle.
Guidelines to prevent seizing.
In recipes that contain no liquid, take great care not to let any moisture into the chocolate. In recipes that do contain liquids such as melted butter, liqueur, or water, always melt chocolate along with these ingredients to keep the cocoa and sugar particles sufficiently wet.
What do you do if chocolate does seize?
Add boiling water, 1 teaspoon at a time, and stir vigorously after each addition until the chocolate is smooth.
Culprits of dense, heavy, ganache-like mousse.
Butter, unwrapped cream, and too much chocolate.
Culprits of mousse that's too fluffy.
Too many whipped egg whites produce and unappealing "marshmallow effect."
Ingredients for perfect mousse.
Going easy on the egg whites, omitting butter and adding a small amount of water yields the right texture.
Chocolate 101: cocoa beans
The cacao tree grows in tropical regions around the world and produces large fruits that look like fibrous pods. Each fruit contains about 40 white cocoa beans, which are dried, fermented and then shipped to a processing plant where they are stripped of their hulls to form cocoa nibs.
Chocolate 101: chocolate liquor
At the processing plant the nibs are roasted to dark brown seeds and ground into a liquid cocoa mass called chocolate liquor. Chocolate liquor is pure, unsweetened chocolate and is the base ingredient for all chocolate products.At the processing plant the nibs are roasted to dark brown seeds and ground into a liquid cocoa mass called chocolate liquor. Chocolate liquor is pure, unsweetened chocolate and is the base ingredient for all chocolate products.
Chocolate 101: cocoa butter
About 55% of cocoa liquor is cocoa butter, a natural, highly unsaturated fat responsible for chocolate's unique texture. Cocoa butter has a very narrow melting range and stays firm up to 92 degrees. Since the temperature inside the human mouth is just a few degrees higher than the melting point of cocoa butter, chocolate melts very slowly. In fact, it seems to melt into--rather than just in--your mouth.
Chocolate 101: cocoa solids
Particle of ground cocoa solids are suspended in the cocoa butter and make up the other 45 percent of chocolate liquor. Cocoa solids carry hundreds of flavor compounds we recognize as chocolate. Most of the characteristic chocolate flavor compounds are produced during the fermentation and roasting steps.
Also called bakers chocolate, this is simply pure chocolate liquor that has been cooled and formed into bars. Among bar chocolates, unsweetened has the most intense chocolate flavor.
When sugar is added to chocolate liquor the product is now technically called "dark chocolate," assuming that it still contains at least 35% chocolate liquor (most chocolates contain far more). The terms "bittersweet" and "semisweet" are not regulated, although most manufacturers use the forum to indicate a product with less sugar. When you see labels that read "70% cacao," this means the products contain 70% chocolate liquor by weight and the rest is mostly sugar, plus a little emulsifier and/or vanilla.
Milk chocolate is similar to bittersweet or semisweet chocolate but with the addition of milk solids, which give this product its unique caramel and butterscotch flavors and soft texture. Most milk chocolate contains less chocolate liquor and more sugar than bittersweet or semisweet chocolates.
White chocolate is technically not chocolate since it contains no cocoa solids. Authentic white chocolate contains at least 20% cocoa butter (along with milk solids and sugar), which gives this product its meltingly smooth texture. Note that many brands rely on palm oil in place of some or all of the cocoa butter and can't be labeled "chocolate." If the product is called "white chips" or "white confection," it is made with little or no cocoa butter. That said, since both styles derive their flavor from milk and sugar, not the fat, we find this distinction makes little difference.
Made by removing most of the cocoa butter from chocolate liquor. The resulting powder is roughly 80% cocoa solids and therefore has an intense chocolate flavor. To counter the harsh, acidic flavor, the powder is sometimes treated with alkaline solution, or "ditched." Test Kitchen finds that Dutch-processed has a milder, more complex flavor than natural cocoa, which can be harsh and astringent. They are interchangeable in most recipes.
Where should you never store chocolate? Explain.
The refrigerator or freezer; cocoa butter can easily pick up off-flavors from other foods.
How should chocolate be stored?
Wrap well in plastic and store in cool, dark pantry.
How long can chocolate be stored?
Milk and white chocolates should be keep for 6 months; dark and unsweetened chocolates will keep for a year.
What happens if chocolate is exposed to rapid changes in humidity or temperature? What is this called?
Sugar and fat may dissolve and migrate, causing a white film to develop on the surface of the chocolate. This cosmetic condition, known as bloom, does not harm the flavor of the chocolate.
Can chocolate become scorched if overheated?
Yes, employ gentle heat.
How should you heat chocolate?
Use a double boiler and make sure the pot is set above the simmering water; the chocolate can overheat if touching.
Can you melt butter and chocolate together if the recipe calls for butter?
Can you use a microwave to melt chocolate? Can you still add butter?
Yes, but with reduced power to reduce the risk of scorching; 45 seconds using 50% power - stir and reheat additional 15 seconds as needed. Wait until chocolate is almost melted or butter will splatter.
To replace 1 ounce unsweetened chocolate.
3 tablespoons cocoa powder + 1 tablespoon butter or oil.