Black Onyx Cocoa Powder
Black Onyx Cocoa Powder is dark, dark, dark. This powder has a soft, rounded chocolate flavor, with any sharp chocolate edges mellowed by the alkalizing process which has altered its color and texture. It has a vaguely earthy smell that’s spiked with the fragrance of bitter chocolate. It looks dangerous but it’s gentle and inviting, a steady base of no-nonsense, deep chocolate.
Processing chocolate for consumption is a complicated, multi-step endeavor. Cocoa beans come in pods that are roughly the size of footballs, harvested by hand off cacao trees once they turn ripe orange. The pods can contain upwards to 50 beans, which are set out in trays of water to ferment for several days. After fermentation comes roasting to turn them brown and then winnowing, which cracks the shells of the beans and removes the nib, which is the key to chocolatey goodness. A hydraulic press is used to squeeze out the cocoa butter, the natural fats inside the nib. Cocoa butter has an extremely low melting point, so as it’s squeezed out the heat from the press melts the butter so it creates a chocolate liquor; this is drained off, leaving a crumbly, cakey material that is dried and turned into natural cocoa powder. Natural cocoa powder is somewhat acidic, with a pH between 5.2 and 5.8. In 1828, Dutch chocolatier Coenraad van Houten invented the Dutch process, which treats nibs with an alkaline solution that washes away the natural acids and raises the pH to 7, which is completely neutral. This tones down chocolate’s sharper edges and turns the powder deeper brown. Black Onyx Cocoa Powder is extra-Dutched, left to wash in alkaline even longer. This alters the cocoa powder’s basic properties by raising its pH to 8 and turns it dark brown, verging on black.
Tips From Our Kitchen
To understand how to work with Black Onyx Cocoa Powder, you have to take a little trip back to chemistry class. Because it’s an alkaline, if you’re using this powder for an item that needs leavening, like cake, it needs an acidic base to create rise. You can mix this in half-and-half with natural cocoa powder, which is acidic, and then use baking soda for rise. Or you can use all Black Onyx powder and mix it with baking powder, which contains both a base and an alkaline and creates its own rise. If you’re making something that requires no leavening, like some cookies, frostings, puddings, or in savory applications, then you can use Black Onyx powder on a 1:1 ratio with your usual cocoa powder. The Dutching process removes residual fats from Black Onyx Cocoa Powder, so it can create a dry product if you don’t counter that by adding something with fat; try butter, shortening, sour cream, or yogurt. It’s also great to use as a coloring agent, so if you need black chocolate icing, replace some of the food dye with Black Onyx Cocoa Powder and let it develop its color for a few hours. The bonus is, it won’t dye your teeth black.
Mix with sugar and milk for a deep, dark hot chocolate. Add rich contrast by dusting over a bowl of fruit, or roll frozen bananas in Black Onyx Cocoa Powder. Mix into peanut butter smoothies. Make a black velvet cake. Or turn it savory! Mix with cinnamon and cumin for a rub for ribs and pork, or stir it into chili. Use it for add deep chocolate flavor to mole, or char some mild peppers and top with a pesto made from almonds, parsley, olive oil, and chocolate. Toss pumpkin seeds with Black Onyx powder, salt, and pepper, and roast. Mix with espresso powder for a super-rich steak rub.
Our Black Onyx Cocoa Powder is a product of the USA.
This product is certified kosher.
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Serving Size1 tsp
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value*