Over the Christmas holiday, I made a raw chocolate ganache cake and despite it was only my second time, it turned out very good! As I sometimes get question about “what is raw?” and “how is it different from the “non-raw”?, I’d like to share my findings here.
Raw food generally refers to food that is uncooked, unprocessed and quite often organic. So, in the context of cacao powder, let’s understand how they are made. Cacao powder are generally made by grinding the cocoa beans to a paste / liquor and then removing the cocoa butter (the fat component of cocoa – I will talk about fat in a later blog). The grinding process generates a lot of heat, generally well in excess of 150ºdegree Celsius. So here is the difference: cocoa butter are removed from cocoa powder using cold-pressing in the case of “raw cacao powder”. Hence, it is not overly heated.
So the next question becomes “what about heat?” Cacao is rich in a lot of nutrients (flavanol anti-oxidants, magnesium, sulphur, iron, potassium, phosphorus, calcium, folate and small amounts of zinc, copper, maganese, Vit B6, E, K, choline). Cacao has been known as one of the riches source of anti-oxidants. However, this anti-oxidants (specifically flavanol anti-oxidant) are sensitive to heat and its nutritive content can be destroyed through the grinding process. As can be seen from the diagram, raw cacao powder contains close to 4 times the anti-oxidant content more than roasted cacao powder. Now you can see why “raw cacao powder” is better. Remember one thing though: if you are using the raw cacao powder in baking, you can be exposing the rich antioxidants for destruction. So, not only the ingredient counts, the preparation method also makes a lot of difference.

In case any of you wonder about the recipe of my raw chocolate ganache cake recipe, you can find it here.


要理解『生』可可粉的意義,首先要知道可可粉的生產過程。簡單來說,可可豆經研磨成漿/液塊,然後經壓榨除去可可脂及粉碎後即為可可粉。在研磨的過程中會產生大量能量(一般超過攝氏150度) 。如果是『生』可可粉的話,這研磨過程會在低溫下進行。那這個溫差對可可粉的意義在哪裡呢?

可可粉含有很豐富的營養(包括黄烷醇抗氧化物,鎂,硫,鐵,鉀,磷,钙,葉酸與少量的锌,铜,锰,维生素B6,E,K,膽碱), 其中可可粉正正是其中一種含黄烷醇抗氧化物最豐富的食物。但黄烷醇抗氧化物並不耐熱,所以低溫研磨,壓榨對保存這養份就很重要。從一份抗氧化物份量的分析可看到生可可粉比烤可可粉的抗氧化物就高出差不多4倍,這足以證明生可可粉優勝的地方。值得一提的是,生可可粉經烤焗後抗氧化物也可能受影響。所以除了原材料外,烹調方法其實也很重要。

1. Polyphenols and bioavailability {American Journal of Nutrition}
2. ORAC Rating {US department of Agriculture/Journal of American Chemical Society}
1) Raw cocoa powder* 95,500
2) Raw cacao nibs* 62,100
3) Roasted cocoa powder 26,000
4) Organic Goji Berries* 25,300
5) Acai Berries* 18,500
6) Dark Chocolate 13,120
7) Milk Chocolate 6,740
8) Prunes 5,770
9) Raisins 2,830
10) Blueberries 2,400