This guide will provide you with all the information you need to know about Brazilian-style dark confectionery coating. We'll go over what Brazilian dark confectionery coating is, how it differs from traditional cocoa powder coating, its benefits, and some tips on how best to use it.
The Origin Story of Brazilian Style Dark Confectionery Coating
The history of chocolate is fascinating. The Mayans were the first civilization to discover the cocoa tree and cultivate it. They used this newfound resource as currency, food, medicine, and even as an aphrodisiac. The Aztecs were the next civilization to discover cocoa. In fact, the word chocolate comes from the Aztec word 'Xocolatl'; the translation of this word means 'bitter water.' This bitter drink was made using cacao beans and cornmeal to make a thick paste mixed with honey or other local sweeteners.
Our modern-day understanding of chocolate is vastly different from what was originally consumed in Mesoamerica. Cocoa powder is now used instead of ground cacao beans to produce milk chocolate, dark chocolate, and white chocolate. And while it was just consumed as a beverage by the Mesoamerican civilizations, we have discovered its benefit in baking and cooking.
The history of Brazilian chocolate starts a little later than that in Mesoamerica However, the indigenous species of cocoa grew wild in the Amazon rainforests long before it was cultivated. The soil conditions in the Amazon forest provided the perfect habitat for cocoa trees, which allowed them to thrive. A mix of fertile soil, rainfall, and humidity made for ideal conditions to grow cocoa plants.
Cocoa trees require a minimum temperature of 68 degrees Fahrenheit, so the rainforest climate provides the ideal conditions for them to grow.
The integration with the indigenous jungle gave Brazilian cocoa its distinctive flavor. The Brazilian climate, soil, and harvesting process all contribute to making it taste different than any other cocoa powder on the market today.
Cocoa cultivation began in Brazil in the mid-1700s, and its production grew exponentially throughout the 1800s and 1900s. Over the years, cocoa production grew to such an extent that Brazil became one of the top cocoa producers in the world.
However, this all came to a devastating halt in the 1980s when the destructive fungus Vassoura de Bruxa, known as the witches' broom disease, killed thousands of cocoa trees. This had a massive impact on the cocoa industry in Brazil, and many cocoa farmers were forced to switch from growing cocoa to more profitable crops such as rubber or bananas, and 250,000 rural workers became unemployed.
In the 1990's Brazilian chocolate producers began working with scientists from the U.S to develop fungicides that would keep the witches' broom disease at bay. The development of a specific fungicide for this disease made a massive difference in turning the tide for the cocoa industry in Brazil, as the country now ranks sixth in the world in cocoa production.
Since then, high-quality cocoa plantations have significantly increased, and Brazilian chocolate has become well-known for its fine flavors and aromas. Because of its unique taste, texture, and smell, it is now used by many professional pastry chefs to make confections.
When all this is taken into account, it's clear to see why chocolate has become such a staple of Brazilian culture and tradition.
There are plenty of chocolate-based treats with one of the most popular being Brigadeiros. This truffle-like chocolate dessert is named after the 1945 presidential candidate Eduardo Gomez known as the 'Brigadier.' With milk and sugar scarce at the time, a Rio confectioner named Heloisa Nabuco de Oliveira decided to make a treat with cocoa and condensed milk. The ingredients for Brigadeiros are very simple, but the flavor is so impressive that they have stood the test of time and can be found in Brazilian homes and bakeries to this day.
Cocoa powder is an essential ingredient in Brazilian culture that has influenced the nation for hundreds of years. Brazilians have a very close relationship with cocoa, and it's a key part of their national identity.
How Brazilian Style Dark Confectionery Coating Is a Game-Changer for the Chocolate Industry
One of the primary reasons that pastry chefs and confectioners rate Brazilian-style dark confectionery coating so highly and find it such a game-changer is that it doesn't require tempering.
Tempering is the process of melting and cooling chocolate in a specific way. It is most commonly used for dipping confections such as fruit or nuts in chocolate, creating crisp shells for filled chocolates, making ganache centers that are then wrapped with coatings, or just simply melting dark chocolate into an emulsion that is then drizzled over desserts for visual appeal.
However, the temping process can be tricky and time-consuming. Many pastry chefs avoid tempering not because they don't know how but because they are too busy to take the time. It can also take a lot of practice to perfect this complicated process, and many people don't have the time or patience to try and do it.
Brazilian-style dark confectionery coating will allow you to skip the tempering; it still has a great, robust dark chocolate flavor, but trans-fat-free environmentally-friendly palm oil has replaced cocoa butter.
Since they have discovered the labor-saving delights of Brazilian-style dark confectionery coating, it has become a staple product in chocolatiers' kitchens because it makes their jobs easier, which is an important factor to look for when picking ingredients.
No need for expensive chocolate tempering machines or chocolate melters either. All you need to do is melt it at a heat of no more than 113F over indirect heat. As a result, you'll find yourself reaching for this dark confectionery coating more often than any other, making it a true game-changer for the chocolate industry.
If you use this confectionery as your go-to method for coating and enrobing, there really shouldn't be a need to temper chocolate ever again unless you enjoy the process!
The Benefits of Brazilian Style Dark Confectionery Coating Compared to Traditional Cocoa Powder
As we have previously discussed, the primary benefit of using Brazilian-style dark confectionery coating is that it is unnecessary to temper your chocolate. That's right, no more difficult tempering! You can even use the microwave to save time.
There are other benefits too, though. Some of these include:
Brazilian style dark confectionery coatings provide a richer color tone than regular cocoa powder without adding any additional flavors or colors, making the end product more visually appealing.
It tastes similar to chocolate and doesn't contain any strange ingredients or hydrogenated oils but is made from all-natural products. The high-quality raw ingredients used in Brazilian-style dark confectionery set it apart from inferior traditional cocoa powder, including 100% top-quality Manaus cacao.
This dark confectionery coating is eco-friendly as it is made from environmentally sustainable palm oil that will not contribute negatively to deforestation or rainforest depletion.
Brazilian-style dark confectionery coating is highly versatile and can be used in countless ways for all of your chocolate creations, including crispy chocolate shells, ganache truffles, fruit dipped in chocolate, or any kind of candy coating application you can imagine.
You can make delicious dark candy-coated strawberries in a matter of minutes. Melt at a low temperature (below 110F), dip, and chill to solidify.
What Makes This Product Stand Out In a Market Full of Vanilla Flavored Products?
The biggest differentiator is that Brazilian-style dark confectionery coating still offers a solid dark chocolate flavor without all the hassle that tempering entails. Chocolate is one of the top 10 most consumed flavors in the world, so there are quite a few dark confectionery coatings on the market. However, there are none that have the same amount of complexity in flavor while still being easy to handle and get great results with.
Is Brazilian Style Dark Confectionery Coating Right For You?
The answer to this question will depend on your specific circumstances. However, if you are looking for a product that takes the guesswork out of tempering or if you want something that can give your end result a professional look that will impress your customers, then Brazilian-style dark confectionery coating is probably what you're after.