Cocal; 5-Methyl-2 phenyl hexenal FEMA #3199

chocolatecakeWould you volunteer to taste chocolate cakes?

Who says no to chocolate?

I am in the middle of a house move and working long hours, but I will find time to judge chocolate cakes at the Thurston County Fair. Cake baking contestants should expect a critical assessment of the chocolate flavor in their cakes.

Ingredients in chocolate

You need roasted cocoa beans, milk solids, sugar and vanilla the make chocolate.I blend flavor “keys”(vanilla, milk and cocoa flavors) to make chocolate flavor. Each”key”contains chemical aromatics of each component. Cocoa “keys” use aldehydes such as:

Cocal or 5-Methyl 2-phenyl hexenal (FEMA #3199): a POWERFUL aromatic which characterizes cocoa when used at a very low level. A general flavor description is sweet, syrupy, floral, herbal like and slightly nutty.

isoValeraldehyde or 3-Methylbutyraldehyde (FEMA #2692):  a powerful green aromatic, which can be described as fermented and sour (like powdered cheese).

Acetaldehyde (FEMA 2003): an ether like aromatic which is fresh, green and fruitty.

Aldehydes add character to chocolate flavor and are necessary in a dark chocolate flavor. Other useful aromatic chemicals for cocoa flavor include roasted notes (2,3,5 Trimethyl pyrazine, 2,6 Dimethyl pyrazine and 2,3,5,6 Tetramethyl pyrazine). Aromatic acids such as Butyric acid, Levulinic acid and Phenyl acetic acid add sweet fermented notes. Esters such as iso Amyl phenyl acetate complete the full sweet cocoa flavor.

Cocoa Extract

In the flavor industry, we often “top note” a cocoa extract. Top noting improves and extends flavor. There are two types of cocoa which a flavor chemist will top note. Cocoa powder is what remains after the cocoa butter is removed from the bean. Dutch/alkali processed cocoa powder tastes mild and smooth and Broma/Naturally processed cocoa powder tastes astringent and intense.

My preference is for naturally processed cocoa powder (like Ghirardelli). Dutch cocoa is mild, sugary and flat. Winners use naturally processed cocoa.





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