Cocoa butter is what gives chocolate its rich, smooth taste that we love. Without it, chocolate just wouldn’t taste the same. That’s why it’s so important to have a higher percentage of cocoa butter in your chocolates and cocoa.
Understanding Cocoa Butter and the Cocoa Bean
The cocoa bean consists of cocoa butter and nonfat solids. In processing, the two are separated, but anywhere between 8-26% of the cocoa butter is left coating the solids, leaving a richer taste. These coated solid particles become the base of the chocolate flavor in cocoa powder.
Chocolate melts in your mouth because the melting point of the cocoa butter is just below body temperature.
How much cocoa butter should my cocoa have?
The percentage of cocoa butter in the cocoa powder you should use mostly depends on the application. If there is already a higher fat content in the recipe, like ice cream, then you might be able to get away with a lower amount of cocoa butter.
Cocoa can be segmented into three classes depending on the amount of cocoa butter:
Low cocoa butter: 8 to 10% range
Medium cocoa butter: 16 to 18% range
High cocoa butter: 22 to 28% range
However, the difference between high cocoa butter cocoa and low is dramatic. Most store cocoas have 8 to 10% cocoa butter, but I often find the chocolate flavor lacking. I’ve never tasted good cocoa that wasn’t at least 16% cocoa butter. The cocoa powders we sell fall in the medium to high range of cocoa butter content.
(Updated from July 11, 2018)