Cooking with Cocoa Butter: Why it isn't just for skincare!

Cooking with Cocoa Butter + Sprouted Hazelnut Cocoa Butter Recipe

Cooking with Cocoa Butter: Why it isn't just for skincare!
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I could not be more excited about writing this post! Why? Cocoa butter is suuuper healthy and yet under-utilized in the cooking world.

Perhaps many of you have used cocoa butter in DIY skin care products. Yes, it’s a nourishing butter for our bodies. But not just for our external bodies. Internally, too, cocoa butter has a delicious nutritional profile!

When nutritionists look at fats in foods they look at the saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated content. The Weston A. Price Foundation and Paleo functional medical practitioners have helped us to see that foods high in poly-unsaturated fats, such as sunflower and safflower oil, are not desirable in the human diet.

Cooking with Cocoa Butter: {Sprouted Hazelnut Cocoa Butter Recipe}
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In stark contrast to the dietary advice we’ve received from the FDA over the last 50 years, we now know that saturated fats, when sourced properly, are good for us, that cholesterol is needed for every function in our bodies and that mono-unsaturated fat, too, is good, in lesser ratio to saturated fat. (sourcesource)

This means that butter and coconut oil reign and that olive oil comes in a strong second.

So where does that put cocoa butter? In very good standing:

  • Saturated Fats- 57-64%
  • Monounsaturated Fats- 29-43%
  • Polyunsaturated Fats- 0-5%

Other things to know about cooking with cocoa butter? The melting point is 93.4 degrees Fahrenheit: very low. It’s high in antioxidants, has a very long shelf life (2-5 years) and unlike chocolate, has almost no caffeine.

Also known as theobroma oil, cocoa butter is indeed extracted from cocoa beans. As with chocolate, the process of extraction first includes fermenting the beans. The butter is more accessible by then roasting the beans and separating them from their hulls. (source)

On to the fun stuff of using cocoa butter, suuuper healthy cocoa butter, in baking and cooking.

The easiest and most functional way to incorporate cocoa butter into one’s cooking is to make nut butter with it! The cocoa butter adds new and good fats to your homemade nut butter, helps with digestion, and I love the way it affects the nut butter’s texture! An otherwise runny nut butter becomes scoopable, just right!

Cooking with Cocoa Butter: {Sprouted Hazelnut Cocoa Butter Recipe}
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My recipe here is for Sprouted Hazelnut Cocoa Butter, a spin-off of the well-loved Nutella flavor combo. You’ll get hints of chocolate with every bite; and the recipe is every bit as easy as making any homemade nut butter!

{Sprouted} Hazelnut Cocoa Butter
 
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Place hazelnuts and cocoa butter in work bowl of food processor. Process for about 4.5 minutes, or longer for some models, until nut puree is liquidy and mostly smooth.
  2. Transfer to refrigerator container with lid and chill 2-3 hours before serving.
  3. Note- Nut butter will be quite firm but melt slightly (nicely) when placed on a warm baked good.
Notes
Variations

Add up to 2 T raw honey or stevia, to taste, for a sweeter butter; additionally, add 1-2 T unsweetened cocoa powder for a truer cocoa-based Nutella-like spread

Add 1 t cinnamon or ½ t celtic sea salt

Ubiquitously seen in chocolate recipes, what about making chocolates (free of soy lecithin and other additives) or coated candies and truffles? These treats often utilize cocoa butter because it hardens well and thins cocoa. See my Homemade Chocolate with Cocoa Butter recipe over at Eat Beautiful if you’re interested in making homemade chocolate!

And what about cake baking with this fat? Cocoa butter is so solid that if used directly in a baked good it will actually harden the crumb more than is desirable, making the baked good taste stale. So the trick when using it in baked goods is to thin it with another fat. This is worth doing!

Cooking with Cocoa Butter: {Sprouted Hazelnut Cocoa Butter Recipe}
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The other fat alone can not produce the fine crumb that cocoa butter can with a little diluting.

I believe cocoa butter is perfectly suited to making the best pound cake.

For a taste of cocoa butter cake, see the recipe for my addictively delicious Grain-Free Cocoa Butter Pound Cake! Truly, it was very hard to stop eating it! I stopped after two pieces. {Eek! Too good to stop after one.}

We love dunking this pound cake into morning coffee or serving it as the base for Strawberry or Raspberry-Rhubarb Shortcake. It’s also excellent on its own, with a fabulous moist yet firm crumb.

Because cocoa butter has a high smoke point, it is also well suited to sauteing and use in savory recipes, not just in sweets. I recommend stirring it into curry dishes and mole recipes, as a finishing fat. The subtle chocolate flavor adds complexity to the dish; and the nourishing cholesterol is great for every function in the human body. Have fun experimenting with its versatility! (source)

Cooking with Cocoa Butter: Why it isn't just for skincare!
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 Looking for more tasty food recipes using cocoa butter? We have you covered here on Scratch Mommy!

Click below for two more tasty (and EASY) recipes!

 

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