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Cacao vs Cocoa. What’s the Difference?

Cacao vs Cocoa. What’s the Difference?

Alyce Alexandra | July 7, 2019

We get this question a lot, and it’s no wonder – the difference between cacao and cocoa can be subtle and confusing (and don’t even get us started on the spelling…) So let’s try to get things straight.

 

Cacao

Cacao is the purest form of chocolate there is, and what you will often see used in many healthy or raw food recipes. It’s the product that we use in many of our recipes from our Healthy Desserts and Snacks class. It is much less processed that cocoa, which will give any ingredient an AA+ in our book. Cacao has a more bitter flavour than cocoa, so unless you have a taste for it, don’t go throwing down cacao nibs like smarties or you’ll be in for a rude shock!

 

Cocoa

Cocoa, on the other hand, is what you probably grew up with, and used in baking or your hot chocolates. While cacao is raw, cocoa is processed at a high temperature, and it is thought that it loses many of its nutrients in the process. When buying cocoa powder, look for plain cocoa powder — some cocoa products can deceptively contain a lot of hidden sugars and additives.  We stick to cacao when we’re being super healthy, but we use cocoa in a lot of our favourite dessert recipes.

 

The Differences

While the differences between cocoa and cacao are distinct, the two can generally be used interchangeably, although it may have an impact on the flavour of your dish. 

If you’re looking for healthy recipes to utilise your cacao and cocoa, check out my cookbooks on Alyce Alexandra …

For now, you’re going to want to check out my Dairy-Free Chocolate Ice Cream.

And these delicious TWC Chocolate Recipes:

7 Sinless Recipes for Chocoholics 
The Scientific Reasons You Should Love Your Chocolate
Perfect Chocolate Sponge Cake
Chocolate Protein Bombs
And juuust a few more here

 



Loryn’s Flavourful Pho From ‘Thermo Cooker Fresh Favourites’

Loryn’s Flavourful Pho From ‘Thermo Cooker Fresh Favourites’

Alyce Alexandra | June 27, 2019

This delicious pho broth is my sister Loryn’s magic formula, and as the name suggests it is absolutely full of flavour! You’d be fooled into thinking it had been simmering on the stove for hours. While the ingredient list is longer than I usually like, you’ll have most, if not all of it in the pantry already, and the method is super short (so I figure it balances out!).

This recipe is straight from my latest cookbook ‘Thermo Cooker Fresh Favourites’. It’s dairy free, gluten free (option), vegetarian, vegan and serves 4.

 

Ingredients

1 brown onion, peeled and halved
1 long red chilli
3 garlic cloves, peeled
3cm piece ginger, peeled
20g toasted sesame oil
8 cloves
4 star anise
2 cinnamon sticks
1 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
½ teaspoon fennel seeds
120g tamari
60g miso paste (see note)
20g maple syrup
2 shiitake mushrooms (fresh or dried)
40g stock concentrate (see page 249 of book)
1.7 litres water

Cooked noodles – flat rice noodles, udon noodles, soba noodles, kelp noodles

4 cups ready-to-eat vegetables – snow peas, bok choy, spinach, choy sum, spring onions, grated carrot, grated zucchini, steamed broccoli, steamed broccolini, sauteed mushrooms

Toppings – fried shallots, bean sprouts, lime wedges, coriander, mint, Thai basil, chilli, sriracha

 

Method

1. Place onion, chilli, garlic and ginger in TC bowl, chop for 5 seconds, speed 5. Scrape down sides.

2. Add oil, cloves, star anise, cinnamon, coriander and fennel seeds, sauté for 6 minutes, 100°C, speed 1.

3. Add tamari, miso paste, maple syrup, shiitake mushrooms, stock concentrate and water, cook for 30 minutes, 100°C, speed 1.5. Strain through a fine sieve.

To Serve

Divide noodles and vegetables between 4 serving bowls, pour over broth and garnish with toppings. Leftover broth can be frozen in plastic containers and defrosted for later meals.

Note
I like to use red miso paste for this recipe but whatever you have on hand is fine.

 

Want more super easy and tasty recipes to make in your thermo-cooker at home? Check out Alyce’s book ‘Thermo Cooker Fresh Favourites‘ here!

 

 

Easy Thermomix 2 Minute Noodles

Easy Thermomix 2 Minute Noodles

Alyce Alexandra | May 19, 2019

Thermomix 2 Minute Noodles

Two-minute noodles… we’ve all been partial to them at some stage in our lives! But you know my motto, ‘homemade is always best’, so I figure if people want to enjoy their instant noodles – go ahead! Just make sure you’ve made them yourself.

While these aren’t quite ‘2-minute’ noodles, they are still darn quick clocking in at just 15 minutes.
The Thermomix or thermo cooker makes the broth so simple, but of course, you could make it on the stove.
Our stainless-steel food warmers are definitely the pick for keeping everything warm while the noodles soften, and the carry handle, lockable lid and cool-touch exterior mean it’s also the perfect vessel to serve straight from the table.

This recipe is:
vegan (option)
vegetarian (option)
dairy free
& serves 4

 

Ingredients

200g frozen mixed peas, carrots and corn
650g stock of choice (chicken, beef, vegetable, either fresh or stock powder)
40g miso paste
3 tsp celery salt
1 tsp parsley flakes
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
½ tsp ground turmeric
600g instant ramen noodles or 200g of any of the awesome dried noodles in the TWC range

Method

1. Place vegetables, stock, miso, herbs and spices in TC bowl, cook for 10 minutes, Varoma temperature, reverse speed 1, or until Varoma temperature is reached.

2. Meanwhile, rinse 2.2L stainless steel food warmer with boiling water to preheat and then place noodles in.

3. Pour stock and vegetable mixture over noodles and immediately cover with food warmer lid. Allow to stand, covered, for 5 minutes, then use a fork to separate noodles.

4. Take the food warmer over to the table, serve up and enjoy. Can add coconut aminos or tamari for extra saltiness and flavour.

 

Variation: For adults, serve with sriracha chilli sauce for a kick.

Note: Instant ramen noodles can be found in the fridge section of the supermarket or Asian grocer. You can substitute with any fresh noodle such as Singapore noodles or udon noodles, however the thinner the noodle the more authentic. You can also cook dried noodles from the TWC range on the stovetop and combine with the broth to serve.

 

Find more of Alyce’s fantastic whole food Thermomix recipes on her website.

Share your healthier versions of fast-food favourites with us on Instagram with #myTWC

 

Chocolate Muesli Protein Slice

Chocolate Muesli Protein Slice

Alyce Alexandra | April 11, 2019

 

This might just be one of the most filling and delicious afternoon snacks! A chocolate coating makes almost anything taste amazing, and the oats, nuts and coconut will keep you satisfied ‘til dinner. Steps 5-7 are just the chocolate coating, so if you are after a super speedy snack feel free to skip the choc-top.

 

Ingredients

12 Medjool dates, pitted
100g hazelnuts
100g rolled oats
100g water
70g cacao nibs
50g coconut sugar
50g plain flour
50g shredded coconut
50g maple syrup
20g macadamia oil
20g chia seeds
200g milk or dark chocolate, roughly chopped

 

Method

1. Preheat oven to 170°C.

2. Place dates and hazelnuts in processor until chopped into small pieces.

3. Add rolled oats, water, cacao nibs or choc chips, brown sugar, flour, shredded coconut, maple syrup, macadamia oil and chia seeds, process until combined.

4. Use wet hands, squash mixture into 12 silicone bar moulds, filling ½ full. Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden.

5. Melt chocolate and pour evenly among bar moulds completely coating muesli bars.

Allow chocolate to harden completely before removing bars from moulds.

 

Find more of Alyce’s fantastic whole food Thermomix recipes on her website.

Share your beautiful healthy chocolate creations with us on Instagram with #myTWC

 

Grain-Free Banana and Coconut Mini Loaves

Grain-Free Banana and Coconut Mini Loaves

Alyce Alexandra | March 13, 2019

 

This recipe makes 6 mini loaves using Alyce’s mini loaf moulds! It’s gluten-free, dairy-free & vegetarian and perfect to pop into lunch boxes or enjoy for morning tea.

 

Ingredients

120g raw almonds 50g shredded coconut ¼ tsp baking powder 2 eggs 50g coconut oil 1 ripe banana, quartered

Method

1. Preheat oven to 180°C.

2. Place almonds and coconut in a processor or bullet blender with the milling blade and mill til smooth.

3. Place almond and coconut mixture in a bowl and add baking powder, eggs, coconut oil and bananas, mix until combined.

4. Divide the mixture evenly between 6 silicone bar moulds and bake for 20 minutes, or until cooked through and golden on top.

5. Allow loaves to cool for 10 minutes before removing from moulds.

 

Note This recipe can easily be expanded – use double the ingredients and follow exactly the same steps.

Find more of Alyce’s fantastic whole food Thermomix recipes on her website.

Share your beautiful baking creations with us on Instagram with #myTWC.

 

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