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Mon Jan 30, 2017, 11:53 AM

Navitas Mayan Superfood Organic Cacao Powder

I bought this at the local food co-op yesterday but now I'm having my doubts about what I can use it for. Since they listed a website with recipes on the bag, I figured I'd find some recipes for using it - but every recipe uses all kinds of exotic ingredients, many of which I have never heard of.

Their description on the product page says:
Cacao is a top source of antioxidants, and it contains an abundance of magnesium and iron. To make our cacao powder, the finest cacao beans are milled at low temperature to protect the nutrients and flavor. Our cacao powder is a healthy alternative to conventional over-processed “cocoa” used for baking, hot chocolate, desserts and smoothies.


Since they are stressing the "superfood" aspects of the product, most of their recipes seem to be no-bake so the nutritional value is not affected.

I'm used to Hershey's cocoa and particularly like their special dark variety. I bought the Navitas cacao since I wanted to branch out to other varieties of cocoa/cacao. Hershey's cocoa says that both varieties they sell are 100% cacao so I suspect the products would work the same with maybe some difference in taste. I've only ever used cocoa in cooked recipes so I am wondering about the no-bake things.

My question is - can I use this Navitas cacao like I would regular cocoa?

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Response to csziggy (Original post)

Mon Jan 30, 2017, 12:22 PM

1. Sure. Cacao is cacao is cocoa. It sounds like the processing methods are more gentle.

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Response to hedda_foil (Reply #1)

Mon Jan 30, 2017, 12:29 PM

2. Thanks - I just started worrying after reading their recipes

Because theirs were so completely different than anything I have ever done with cocoa.cacao.

I told my husband my first test will be Katherine Hepburn's Brownies since the flavor relies completely on the quality of the cocoa used.

Katharine Hepburn’s Brownies
Ingredients
½ cup cocoa
1 stick butter
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
¼ cup flour
1 cup broken-up walnuts or pecans
1 teaspoon vanilla
pinch of salt

Preparation
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Melt butter in saucepan with cocoa and stir until smooth. Remove from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes. Whisk in eggs, one at a time. Stir in vanilla.
In a separate bowl, combine sugar, flour, nuts, and salt. Add to the cocoa-butter mixture. Stir until just combined.
Pour into a greased 8x8 square pan. Bake 40 minutes. Do not overbake; they should be gooey. Let cool, and cut into bars.


I do make one change to every brownie recipe - I bake them in a 9 inch round cake pan. That way there are no dry corners!

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Response to csziggy (Reply #2)

Mon Jan 30, 2017, 12:52 PM

3. Yum!

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Response to csziggy (Reply #2)

Mon Jan 30, 2017, 02:03 PM

4. but the corners are the best part!

I have even seen silly pans that look like a maze to create MORE corners.

do you make your own chocolate? here is an article from the nutrition/fitness program i am doing - http://www.precisionnutrition.com/chocolate-making

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Response to Kali (Reply #4)

Mon Jan 30, 2017, 03:33 PM

6. My old oven used to burn the corners while the center was still soft

So I got used to baking my brownies in a round cake and got used to it. The other reason is that I like the center to be pretty soft and gooey. With a square pan, only the center piece gets that lovely gooey part. With a round pan, every slice gets crusty edges and some gooey center so even with my new(er) convection oven that bakes evenly, I still like the round pans. The final reason is that the round pan fits in my cake and pie storage containers so I don't use plastic to cover the pan.

I may have to try making my own chocolate from this cacao! That sounds easy enough from your recipe. The Navitas site had a recipe but all the ingredients were alien to me. I'm not sure if I can find cocoa butter - I didn't see that at the food co-op where I got the cacao.

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Response to csziggy (Reply #6)

Mon Jan 30, 2017, 03:45 PM

8. I haven't tried it but it sounded reasonable, I tend to just order odd ingredients on line.

I don't have a huge sweet tooth, but I do like the crusty edges of brownies (and cornbread!). It is kind of a trick to balance that chewy fudge texture with getting it fully cooked. I have had too many raw brownies in my life. or too oily from somebody making them from a mix and not measuring carefully. yuck!

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Response to Kali (Reply #8)

Mon Jan 30, 2017, 05:33 PM

9. I've found some versions of the recipe with butter or shortening (copah?) instead of cocoa butter

I'll probably try one of those with Hershey's cocoa and butter first. All the versions say it is better with cocoa butter so if I like it with the easier to obtain and cheaper ingredients, I'll splurge on the fancy ones. I would bet the food co-op has cocoa butter - I just didn't look for it.

The co-op started out as a way for college students to get bulk food stuff cheap. Over the last 45 years they have gotten much more upscale, but they do try to stick close to their roots.They are no longer a co-op but people can buy shares in the store and owners get a discount. They buy locally produced stuff as much as possible - like produce, locally raised free range chicken and grassfed beef, have great vegan options, and still have bulk stuff - dispensers with all sorts of grains, nuts, flours, etc. Bulk herbs, too. That's where I bought the tupelo honey I sent you.

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Response to csziggy (Reply #2)

Mon Jan 30, 2017, 02:04 PM

5. only 1/4 cup of flour?

is that correct?

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Response to Kali (Reply #5)

Mon Jan 30, 2017, 03:36 PM

7. Yes, very little flour, lots of sugar and eggs

The brownies are almost pudding like and very fudgy unless you over cook them.

Previously I made them with Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa with pecan pieces and they were lovely. But I've been wanting to try better cocoa for the recipe - and there are not a lot of choices at the stores I usually go to.

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