For centuries cocoa butter has been used as a base for making white and milk chocolate. However, in the last few decades, cocoa butter has taken on a new life in the world of cosmetics, showing up in everything from soaps to body lotions. This is largely because of the scent it emits, as well as its emollient properties that help to keep the skin moist and smooth.
Where it Comes From
Cocoa butter comes from the cocoa bean. These beans are usually found in parts of Africa as well as the Caribbean and Latin America. The beans grow in pods that are located on trees in tropical areas. Once the pods have been opened and the beans extracted, the bean can then be processed into cocoa butter.
Cocoa butter is actually the vegetable fat that can be extracted from the cocoa bean. This can be done in two ways. The first is by making a cocoa liquor. The liquor is made by taking fermented and roasted beans and removing the shell from them. The innards are then pressed to separate the cocoa butter from the cocoa solids.
The cocoa butter can also be extracted using the broma process. The process starts with grinding the cocoa beans. The beans are then placed in sacks in a warm room. The heat in the room causes the fatty cocoa butter to melt out of the beans, which can be collected below. This separates the cocoa butter from the cocoa solid, which is then used to make cocoa powder.