Nope: cocoa butter isn’t just for sunbathing. This vegetable-based fat can be an invaluable addition to baked goods, imparting a unique flavor and tender texture to cookies and cakes. And like many other fats, it can be infused with weed to make your finished goodies positively intoxicating.
Recently, I made a batch of cannabutter using cocoa butter instead of the more frequently-used butter or coconut oil. When used in baking to substitute for part of the butter called for in a recipe, it offers a subtle cocoa scent which boosts overall flavor, adding a complexity beyond just “weed-flavored”.
What is cocoa butter?
Before we get cooking, it may be helpful to explain what cocoa butter is and is not. Cocoa butter is a fat which is extracted from the cocoa bean. It has a pale, whitish-yellow color, and is solid at room temperature, but has a low melting point–just below human body temperature.
Cocoa butter is re-combined with cocoa liquor to make chocolate confections like bars and truffles, and it’s what is responsible for giving chocolate its melt-in-your-mouth quality.
How to use canna-cocoa butter in baking
Canna-cocoa butter and regular cocoa butter aren’t necessarily suitable for swapping in a 1:1 ratio with the butter called for in a recipe. Personally I’ve only ever substituted cocoa butter for up to ¼ cup of the butter or oil in a recipe.
For instance, if I had a shortbread cookie recipe which called for 1 cup (2 sticks) of unsalted butter, I might substitute ¼ cup of this canna-cocoa butter and ¾ cup butter.
However, even a little cocoa butter can make a big difference in baked goods, imparting that unique cocoa-scented flavor and aroma and offering a tenderness to the texture of the finished goodies.
¼ ounce marijuana
4 ounces cocoa butter (in solid form)
1. Decarboxylation time! (this is the same process you’d follow if making regular cannabutter, btw). Scatter the marijuana on a lined, rimmed baking sheet; toast at 240 degrees F for 30-40 minutes, turning a few times throughout the baking. Remove from the oven, and let cool completely. Finely grind the cannabis, using a spice grinder or mortar and pestle before proceeding.
2. Set up your double boiler with water in the bottom. Place the cocoa butter in the top of a double boiler. Once melted, add the marijuana.
3. Cook over low heat for 3-4 hours, stirring every 20 minutes or so. You’ll know that it’s done when the oil has become thick and turned a slightly greenish texture. Keep monitoring the water level: if it gets too low, be sure to replenish it.
4. Strain the mixture through a mesh strainer or cheesecloth, and into a heatproof container. It will solidify as it cools. Re-melt before using in baking. Store at room temperature in an airtight container.
The Daily News-Miner has partnered with The Fresh Toast, a lifestyle and entertainment platform featuring coverage of cannabis, culture, comedy, food, drink, edibles and more. Online at www.thefreshtoast.com Jessie Oleson Moore is a writer, illustrator, recipe developer, unicorn enthusiast, and yoga instructor currently living in Asheville, NC.