Cocoa Butter is an all-natural vegetable fat derived from cocoa beans. Also called Theobroma oil, Cocoa Butter is one of the most stable fats known and has a very mild chocolate flavor and aroma. Christopher Columbus is believed to have brought the first cocoa beans back to Europe as part of the treasures of the New World.
How is your Cocoa Butter made? Is it OK to use it in baking and chocolate recipes, and is it healthy?
Cocoa butter is mechanically pressed from roasted, winnowed and milled chocolate liquor. Prior to pressing, the cocoa butter is centrifuged to remove any remaining solids. It is identical to the cocoa butter used in food products and is appropriate for any use, including baking. In fact, we purchase this ingredient from a producer of fine chocolate.
According to the International Cocoa Organization, “Cocoa butter is the fat that occurs in cocoa beans and is used in the manufacture of chocolate. Cocoa butter, like all fats, is composed of several fatty acids - Palmitic acid 25%, Linoleic acid 3%, Stearic acid 35%, Oleic acid 35% and others 2%. Stearic and palmitic acids are saturated fatty acids, oleic is a monounsaturated fatty acid and linoleic acid is a polyunsaturated fatty acid.
Research has shown that cocoa butter does not raise cholesterol as might be predicted by its saturated fatty acid content, because of the neutral effects of stearic acid on blood cholesterol levels. Unlike palmitic or other saturated fats, stearic acid does not raise blood cholesterol. Forty years of research have shown that cocoa butter has a neutral effect on blood cholesterol.”
Cocoa butter is also prized as a healthy oil for the skin and scalp.