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Old 02-01-2012, 06:49 AM   #11
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what the heck do you do with a gallon of non-food grade cocoa butter?

scratch that, i don't want to know...
There is a woman who makes a palette of cocoa butter and paints masterpieces with it. She can paint any picture you give her. She enters her work into food competition since cocoa butter is a food item.
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Old 02-01-2012, 01:42 PM   #12
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what the heck do you do with a gallon of non-food grade cocoa butter?

scratch that, i don't want to know...
Cocoa butter is used in cooking, food manufacture (e.g. candy), soapmaking, massage, personal care products (creams, lotions), etc. As far as I know fats and oils are dual purposed, that it doesn't make much sense for suppliers to stock fats and oils that cannot be used for cooking. However it's a good idea to verify that any fats or oils are food grade before purchasing for cooking.

Myself, I've never purchased a gallon of cocoa butter. I've purchased small quantities online. I buy stuff like coconut oil (a lot less cost) from my local supplier, not cocoa butter. I can't remember where I purchased the cocoa butter online so that's why I didn't recommend a supplier. I bet Longwind would go through a gallon of anything in a pretty short time from what I read of his posts and prolific cooking.
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Old 02-01-2012, 03:51 PM   #13
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i think he uses it to lube up his fingers before posting...
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Old 02-01-2012, 03:56 PM   #14
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Old 02-01-2012, 04:29 PM   #15
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Tom, I became more interested in the physical and chemical qualities of fats and oils when I experimented with making soap. A knowledge of these qualities is important there, and is of course important to cooking, and is vital to understanding health and nutrition. I'm sorry if my comments took this thread off topic.
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Old 02-01-2012, 04:41 PM   #16
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Old 02-01-2012, 05:22 PM   #17
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Tom, I became more interested in the physical and chemical qualities of fats and oils when I experimented with making soap. A knowledge of these qualities is important there, and is of course important to cooking, and is vital to understanding health and nutrition. I'm sorry if my comments took this thread off topic.
Your comments were exactly what I needed to read. You have given me pause for thought, and illuminated teh need for experimentation, and research what may already be known about the hypothesis. It's all good.


And don't worry about BT. His irreverent wit is one of the qualities that makes him such a great guy, and good freind (if a bit strange). It's what got him married after all; because we know it wasn't his manly phisique. (Sorry about that BT. I couldn't resist.)

Seeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North
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Old 02-01-2012, 05:42 PM   #18
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hey, my big belly is quite sexy all greased up in a gallon of cocoa butter...

and no sweat, greg. it was very interesting.
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Old 02-01-2012, 06:03 PM   #19
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Thanks for the comments Longwind. (I hope you don't mind the nickname.)

Perhaps I can add a bit more for you to think about. In my investigations into fats and oils I've been using a spreadsheet to track the popular ones, and I've placed cocoa butter into what I call the "palmitic" group, because they resemble palm oil in being high in palmitic acid (16:0) and oleic acid (18:1). Also, most of this group has significant stearic acid (18:0). (The first number indicates how many carbons in the fatty acid chain, the second is the number of double bonds, i.e. the degree of saturation -- zero is totally saturated). To put the chain length in perspective, the majority of fatty acids in our edible oils and fats fall between 12 and 18 (and for some reason I don't understand, they are always even numbers). These fatty acids are lauric (12:0), myristic (14:0), palmitic (16:0), stearic (18:0), oleic (18:1), linoleic (18:2), and linolenic (18:3). (It's interesting to note that the more double bonds the more likely to go rancid.)

The oils and fats in my "palmitic" group are: palm oil, beef tallow, cocoa butter, shea butter, lard, and rice bran oil. All these oils and fats contain much more palmitic acid (approx. 20%-40%) than other fats and oils not in the group. They are also high in oleic acid (35%-50%) which however is not unusual for edible oils and fats, for example my "oleic" group (olive, avocado, canola, peanut, safflower, etc.). And finally the palmitic fats/oils often contain high stearic acid, particularly beef tallow, cocoa butter, shea butter and to some extent lard.

So when I think about using cocoa butter think about how it resembles particularly palm oil, beef tallow and lard. As you said in your OP, I agree that it looks like a problem that cocoa butter has such a high melting point, and how are you going to easily get that into your pastry? I understand why you don't want to use animal fats (although that isn't a problem for me). Perhaps you might investigate using palm oil.

Also, and I know this sounds strange, but rice bran oil falls in this group too. Maybe I've placed too much importance in the fatty acid line-up, but when I investigate oils and fats I find coincidences like that happen time after time after time. Things just click but I still haven't figured out why.
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Old 02-01-2012, 07:57 PM   #20
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Now, I have my pie crusts down. They come out so light, tender, and flaky that I'm not sure I can get them to come out any better. Now I'm not bragging. I've just learned what it takes to make a great pie crust...

But I have a question, and a hypothesis. First, the question; does anyone know a source of good, raw, edible, reasonably priced cocoa butter? Though it has a fair amount of saturated fat, it doesn't create cholesterol in the blood stream as does animal fat. But, it is brittle at room temperature, and doesn't soften until about 98 degrees or so. This would make it difficult to use for pastry, and the resulting pastry might be questionable.

But I wonder, if melting lard and cocoa butter together would make a hybrid fat that would increase the working temperature of the lard, and make the cocoa butter more pliable so that the dough can be handled and still maintain a flaky texture at warmer temperatures than can be done with pure lard. This would free the user from having to chill the flour, and lard, and use ice water, etc, to keep the fat solidififed (the key to a flaky crust).
I've continued to think about this topic and I'm wondering if I understand your question at all. I've focused on your idea to use cocoa butter... But what really is the question?

I've read enough of your posts to believe you make perfect pie crusts. Most people would be happy enough to reach that level of expertise.

You've mentioned health concerns. You never said what fats you use in your perfect pie crust. Are you trying to make the same perfect pie crust but replace an unhealthy fat with a healthier fat?

You mentioned a desire to not have to chill water etc. Are you simply looking for a way to make a perfect crust without needing to take temperature into account?

I don't understand what we're trying to accomplish here.
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