Cocoa powder recipes
Cocoa is both a powder crushed from the beans of the tropical American cacao tree, and the hot drink made from it. The beans are fermented, dried, roasted and turned into a thick paste, from which the fat (cocoa butter) is removed. The mixture is then ground. There is also a ‘Dutch-processed’ variety, which is made from beans treated with a potassium solution that neutralises their acidity and gives them a milder flavour.
Recipes using cocoa powder
Ensure that the cocoa has not been bulked up with flour or cheaper ingredients. The best variety, known as Caracas, is from Venezuela.
Store in a cool, dry place, avoiding direct sunlight.
Mix cocoa with hot milk or boiling water to make a drink, or add to cakes, puddings and icings to give them a chocolate flavour.