Cocoa powder is indispensable in a home kitchen but many recipes don’t use it to its full potential. Blooming cocoa is a simple step that can enhance the flavour of your baked goods and is a step that should always be included if possible.
Why you should bloom cocoa.
When cocoa powder is made there is a thin, almost invisible, membrane that remains on the cocoa solids. When you bloom cocoa you help to loosen the membrane, increasing the cocoa solids surface area and hence drawing out more of the cocoa-ness in your baked goods.
How to bloom cocoa.
Your recipe may already ask you to bloom cocoa. You will know if this is the case because it will ask you to take the cocoa and stir it through a hot liquid. Once the cocoa has been stirred into the hot liquid it is left to sit for a few minutes while you prepare the rest of your batter and then the bloomed cocoa mixture will be added. So, if you can see that there are already steps similar to this in your recipe than you are all set and don’t need to read further.
If, however, it doesn’t look like you are asked to bloom your cocoa then read on!
Look at your recipe and find all of the liquids in it. You won’t be able to add any liquids to the ingredient list as this will change the overall ratios of your recipe. This is why sometimes it is not possible to bloom your cocoa, because the recipe simply won’t have the liquid to do it.
Assuming that you do have some liquid to work with, you need to heat this liquid up and then stir in the sifted cocoa powder. The liquid can be water, coffee, milk or even a liquid fat like melted butter. Once the cocoa powder has been stirred into the liquid and you don’t have any lumps left set it aside and resume with the rest of your recipe.
Don’t forget, it is important not to bloom your cocoa and then stir it instantly into your batter because the liquid will still be warm and may start of scramble eggs, or split batter.