Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Coconut Oil for Chocolate Creations

In our overflowing Winter Holidays 2013 season we've gotten some creative kits, some lovely gifts, some unique flavors, and some ingredients that we could use when making our chocolate treats for the holidays.  Today's Special Sacramental Review is entirely tested and written by a new Acolyte who tried out the Viva Labs Virgin Coconut Oil sample we were sent since we have a coconut and tree allergy sufferer in my house and therefore I couldn't really test it out.

I consider myself an adventurous cook, so I was excited about the prospect of cooking with coconut oil. However, after my experience with the product, I think I’d rather slather it on my body than incorporate it in another dish.

1)  Like butter (which coconut oil is often a substitute for), coconut oil is primarily made of saturated fat, so it is solid at room temperature. It’s simply a solid white clump, which can easily be scooped out for measuring. It has a waxy texture, which unfortunately resembles certain bodily fluids.

2)  There are a myriad of uses listed for the coconut oil. Most are conveyed in a concise manner--such as their descriptions for hair and skincare use--but they also have a “suggested use” description, which is too vague. They state that it can be used as a supplement, but neglect to say for what benefit. It would also have been helpful if the jar had given exact substitution measurements, since it states how it can serve as a substitute for butter.

3)  Considering how it can be substituted for butter, it was quite easy to find recipes.

4)  First off, there is a pronounced coconut flavor. I don’t know if the fact that this particular product is extra virgin coconut oil had any effect on its taste, but every article on coconut oil I have read has stated that coconut oil does not taste like coconut. It’s supposed to have an innocuous flavor, since it’s primarily used in baking. However, this product—wow… I would suggest that one uses this product for desserts, since it is not a refined oil, and thus, not innocuous enough. It melted easily, because it scoops out in flakes. So compared to butter, one doesn’t have to wait as long for the substance to melt.

For those with dairy allergies, or vegans, this product is undoubtedly useful. I would be wary though in incorporating this product without experimenting first, since the flavor is quite strong.

I made a chocolate hazelnut disaster that can be traced to this site

The egg whites congealed at the bottom, along with the coconut oil, so that was odd. Since the oil had such a strong flavor, we decided against preparing the coconut mousse, although we probably wouldn’t have pursued that nonsense further anyway.

Does today's testing and review intrigue you, Sisters and Brothers?  Is coconut oil something you use in your baking and cooking?  Would you like to try it out?  If so, please click on the image below that will take you to the site the company would like you to use if you'd like to give it a try.

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