Marou Provisions Cacao Powder Review and Thoughts on Baking with Craft Cacao Powder

Marou, a bean-to-bar maker in Vietnam, recently launched their Provisions Marou line which includes cacao powder, nibs and cacao spread.  This post focuses on the cacao powder, that is 100% cacao as well as flavor and thoughts on how single-origin cacao powders might effect baking/recipes.

Provisions Marou Cacao Powder

First, let us start by considering the taste of this particular cacao powder in dry form, mixed with water and then mixed with 2% milk. 

Dry: Notes of cinnamon and buttery flavors.

With hot water: Rich cocoa notes, nutty, earthy and subtle cinnamon.

With hot 2% milk: Notes of brownie and earthy.

Provisions Marou Cacao Powder

From a hot chocolate perspective I enjoy this cacao powder in both water and milk without feeling the need to add sugar.  This got me to thinking about standard cocoa powders used in baking recipes.  Since this cacao powder is a lighter brown color both dry and wet, this would change the color outcome when added to recipes. There is the flavor and the need for sugar in recipes to consider as well.  Since I didn’t feel the need to add sugar to drink it, how would the taste work in recipes? As more craft chocolate makers shift to also making cacao powder (such as Map Chocolate), more choices in the form of flavor profiles from single-origin cacao become available to those who love to bake.  These cacao powders offer something else in the form of less  “bitterness” of flavor.  Thus, the potential to need less sugar in recipe development. 

Sugar (and also depending on the form of sugar, i.e. table sugar, brown sugar, honey, corn syrup, etc.) provides various things to recipes/baking such as  sweetness, stabilization, color, texture, bulk and the ability to retain moisture in baked goods.  These are all things to be weighed if choosing to reduce the sugar in a pre-existing recipe or new recipe development.  This also leads into the consideration for enticing professional bakers/chefs to switch to craft cacao powder in their kitchens since it could also mean the need to re-work the formulas for their current recipes to adapt to sugar levels, color of finished product and flavor. There is also the potential to modify recipes for benefit to diabetics and to cater to those with dietary or nutritional concerns.

My hope is that the unique and varied flavors of fine cacao will provide inspiration for further recipe creativity and utility.

What are your thoughts? Have you baked with craft cacao powder? 

I purchased this item in Nov. 2018 at the Northwest Chocolate Festival in Seattle. I have also seen it available through Caputo’s online shop and on Chocolopolis’s online store.


Victoria Cooksey:

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