Monday, May 10, 2010

INGREDIENTS - Cocoa Powder(Cacau)

The recipe for Brigadeiro in yesterday's Flavors of Brazil called for cocoa powder. This is a culinary term which often confuses amateur cooks, and consequently causes culinary disasters. Dessert and pastry recipes are the most exacting recipes in the entire body of culinary instructions, and one wrong ingredient, or one incorrectly measured ingredient can swiftly turn a potential triumph into a disaster.

Cocoa powder, which is also known as cocoa or cacao in English and is called cacau in Portuguese, is not the same thing as "hot chocolate mix" or "cocoa mix" or any similar sweetened powders. It is pure cocoa solids, in other words, the nonfat component of chocolate. (The fatty component, contrastingly is called cocoa butter). These two components of chocolate are separated in a number of different ways, by pressing or by either the Dutch or Broma process. In any case, the end result is the separation of cocoa powder from cocoa butter. It is this cocoa powder that is required to make Brigadeiros as they should be made.

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