Savoury Cooking with Chocolate 101
A lot of people, when they think of chocolate, only think of it as a sweet food to be used in desserts and baking; especally when you think of cocoa or cacao and your classic supermarket chocolate bar. However it's possible to use the ingredient in savoury dishes with chocolate.
When raw cacao is unsweetened, it works well in savoury dishes as well. Chefs and flavour experts suggest it works particularly well with spices especially chilli, cardamon, wasabi, clovea and cinnamon. Check out 80Noir Ultra Spices mixed with chocolate beads to try it for yourself.
Cacao creates intriguing flavours when paired with meats; including beef, pork, steak, venison and duck. It can also be paired with shellfish, beetroot and certain cheeses, including ricotta and parmesan.
There are many types of chocolate:
Cacao vs Cocoa
Cacao and cocoa both come from the cocoa bean, the difference is in the amount of processing. Cacao is made from cold-processing un-roasted cacao beans, whereas cocoa is raw cacao that has been roasted at a high temperature, it is then usually sweetened with sugar. Cocoa still has many of the nutrients that cacao has, just smaller quantities due to the heat, processing and additives.
The Different Types of Cacao
Once cacao beans are dried, they are then cold-pressed to remove the cacao butter, the fatty part of the fruit found in the inner part of the lining of the bean. The beans are then either ground to create raw cacao powder or crushed to create the nibs. Solid cacao in bar form like our mini bars, is a combination of the raw cacao powder and cacao butter.
Has a bitter chocolatey taste
Similar to chocolate chips but are more bitter and savoury in taste
Solid (100%) Cacao Chocolate
Extremely dark, quite bitter chocolate with no sugar added, made by combing raw cacao powder and cacao butter.
White in colour and is buttery in texture. It has an incredible aroma of chocolate. its used to make chocolate and natural beauty products.
Ways in which you can use the different types of cacao in your cooking.
1. Add a few shavings of solid cacao to stews to add a wonderful layer of flavour.
2. Use the nibs as a healthy alternative to chocolate chips, perfect for your morning porridge. Toast to boost the flavour
3. Add a spoonful of cacao powder to your favourite smoothie for an extra hit of antioxidants.
4. Make your own chocolate with cacao butter.
5. Make a healthy hot chocolate drink with high percentage solid cacao.
When cooking with chocolate, please be mindful that cooking it in very high temperatures reduces the nutrient content and why when we make hot chocolate it's around 70 degrees and always added when taken off the heat.
So go on, be adventurous, try adding chocolate to your dishes to boost nutritional content and flavour.
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