When a recipe calls for 100% cocoa powder, it refers to pure cocoa, with no added sugar. Its flavor is intense (and very bitter) and it The cocoa beans, after being dried, roasted and fermented, are crushed – at this stage, they become “nibs”. To obtain cocoa, a mixture of solids and cocoa butter is made to produce the powder (free of fats and sugars).
There are two types of cocoa: natural, the most common, and alkaline, known as “dutch cocoa”. To learn more about these differences, check out this post.
100% cocoa powder can be easily found in supermarkets, health food stores – where you can buy it in bulk -, emporiums and stores specializing in confectioneries. These are some labels and their ingredients:
MOTHER EARTH: CONTAINS GLUTEN. May contain traces of soy, nuts and sesame.
GUY: Soluble Cocoa Powder. GLUTEN-FREE.
HARALD: Cocoa. GLUTEN-FREE. “ALLERGIC: MAY CONTAIN MILK AND SOY DERIVATIVES.”
BARRY CALLEBAUT (imported): cocoa powder. GLUTEN-FREE
Powdered chocolate is the combination of powdered cocoa with sugar, usually in equivalent proportions (50% cocoa + 50% sugar). In some products, the percentage of cocoa may be much lower, as according to the Ministry of Agriculture, powdered chocolates must have at least 32% powdered cocoa in their composition. There are brands that add flavorings, solubilizers and other chemical additives to the mix. Check out some and their ingredients:
NESTLÉ: Pack two friars. Soluble cocoa powder, sugar and flavoring. Gluten-free.
GUY: The website does not specify the ingredients of the product, it only mentions that it is “obtained through the combination of cocoa and sugar.”
FLEISCHMANN: Sugar, lecithinated cocoa powder, synthetic aroma identical to natural vanilla. GLUTEN-FREE.
MELKEN: Cocoa, sugar and synthetic flavoring identical to natural. GLUTEN-FREE. “ALLERGIC: MAY CONTAIN MILK AND SOY DERIVATIVES.”
Chocolate is the least suitable option for preparing recipes. In addition to containing a lot of sugar (very much – just take a look at the color of the powder; it is certainly possible to identify sugar grains in the mixture), numerous other substances are combined with cocoa. According to the Municipality of São Paulo, instant chocolate powder is obtained by mixing cocoa powder, sugar, maltodextrin and other substances.
TODDY: – Sugar – Cocoa powder – Malt extract – Sodium chloride salt – Whey powder – Skimmed milk powder – Vitamin C – Vitamin B3 – Vitamin B2 – Vitamin B6 – Vitamin B1 – Vitamin A – Vitamin D – Soy lecithin 322 – Flavor – Gluten
NESCAU: Sugar – Cocoa powder – Minerals – Vitamin B1 – Vitamin B2 – Vitamin B6 – Vitamin B12 – Soy lecithin emulsifier – Ascorbic acid – Flavoring – Flavoring – Gluten
OVOMALTINE: Sugar – Malt extract – Glucose – Cocoa powder – Whey powder – Whole powdered milk – Egg powder – Sodium chloride salt – Vitamin A – Vitamin D – Vitamin E – Vitamin B1 – Vitamin B2 – Niacin – Vitamin B6 – Folic acid – Vitamin B12 – Pantothenic acid – Calcium – Iron – Zinc – Magnesium – Manganese – Iodine – Cinnamon powder – Antiumectant – Sodium carbonate – Soy lecithin emulsifier – Flavoring – Gluten