You may have heard of cacao butter...but what exactly is it? And why is it an ingredient in both chocolate and moisturizers?
WHAT IS CACAO BUTTER?
Cacao butter is a natural, plant-based fat derived from the cacao bean that works to add a creamy mouthfeel, fragrance, and smoothness to your favourite food and body products. It is pale yellow in colour, has a low melting point, and has an irresistible chocolate scent and aroma. And yes, this butter is completely dairy-free, sugar-free and vegan-friendly.
HOW IS CACAO BUTTER MADE?
Cacao butter, also known as cocoa butter, is a type of fat that comes from cacao beans. To harness cacao butter, the beans are harvested from the cacao pods, and then cleaned and roasted. Next, the beans are stripped from their shells and crushed into nibs, which are then ground into a liquid known as cocoa liquor. This liquid is then pressed to separate the fat. This fat, friends, is cacao butter! The remnants are processed into cocoa powder, which means the whole cacao pod is utilised.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF CACAO BUTTER?
Organic cacao butter is a pure, natural oil that is free from dairy, gluten and sugar, and is suitable for both vegetarians and vegans. Since cocoa butter is solid at room temperature but melts close to body temperature, it’s a perfect fat for any treat that you want to melt in your mouth.
Cacao Butter is one of the most stable fats known, containing natural antioxidants that prevent rancidity and allow a long storage life of two to five years. It is also high in fatty acids, which is why it’s often used as a moisturiser for hydrating and nourishing the skin.
HOW TO USE CACAO BUTTER
Cacao butter melts at 35oC and can be used in so many different ways. Cacao butter imparts a rich flavour and silky-smooth consistency, making it the perfect base for chocolate making without the need for dairy or cream. It can be used in cakes, bliss balls, tarts, 'nicecream', smoothies and basically anything you want to add creamy cacao goodness to.
Cacao butter can also be used in natural beauty remedies such as a body butter, as it's a great natural (and delicious) moisturiser for the whole family. You can even use cacao butter as a treatment for sunburn, dry chapped lips, scar tissue and stretch marks.
Ready to start using cacao butter? Try this scrumptious homemade vegan white chocolate: