Cocoa is prepared from the seeds of Theobroma cacao, deprived of their outer pulp and roasted, in which form, as in the coffee bean, the starch of the seed is changed into dextrin. The peculiar aroma is due to a volatile oil. The striking feature in its composition is the high percentage of fat. It is also rich in starch and albuminous matter, one-fifth of the latter, however, being of an indigestible nature. Konig gives the following analysis: -
Theobroma .. .
Ash .. .
In many commercial cocoas there is a large addition of sugar and starch. Cocoa thus ranks as a foodstuff of distinct value. By reason of the large amount of sugar and fat present, if used in excess, it is liable to upset digestion. When not too rich, it forms a nutritious drink especially useful for children and convalescents. The special preparation of cocoa advertised by Sandow contains less fat than most other cocoas, and is on that account a valuable preparation for many subjects with a delicate digestion.
The kernels when finely ground constitute cocoa nibs; if boiled in water for about two hours and the fluid strained off a decoction of pure unadulterated cocoa is obtained which is a nutritious and easily digested drink. For children and invalids peptonised cocoas are undoubtedly the best forms. Savory & Moore and Allenbury supply good brands.
A " fortified cocoa " can be prepared as follows: -
1 teaspoonful of peptonised cocoa.
2 tablespoonfuls of milk sugar.
1/2 cup of water. 1 ounce of cream.
Mix the cocoa and sugar, add the water, and boil for four or five minutes; then add the cream, plain or whipped.
Chocolate is cocoa to which has been added starch, sugar, and flavouring substances, generally vanilla. It contains about 1.5 per cent, of theobromine, 15 per cent, of fat, about 60 per cent, of sugar, and 5 per cent, of nitrogenous substances.
To 1/2 oz. allow 1/2 pint of water and 1/2 pint of milk. Make the milk and water hot, break the chocolate into small pieces, add it, and stir until quite dissolved. Bring to boiling point, then strain, and serve with sugar. (Excellent drink in cold weather).