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I'm experimenting with different vegan solid fats for baked goods, like pancakes. This fat isn't only solid at room temperature, it's hard as a rock even on a warm summer day. For baked goods, do I need to do any adjustments to the recipe, or do I just microwave it until it melts and use it like butter?

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Cocoa butter has an exceptionally high melting point for a vegan lipid.

For most baking applications, it probably not ideal; you would be better served with a liquid oil, or if you need something solid but malleable, a hydrogenated vegetable oil product like a vegan margarine.

The main culinary use (in general) is thinning chocolate in creating chocolate coated candies or similar, which makes sense as cocoa butter is one of the primary components in chocolate. Of course, when it is hardens and is in temper, it is literally as hard as chocolate.

Otherwise, you can fry or saute with it, although it would be easier to do so if you purchase cocoa butter grated as it is normally too hard to scoop at room temperature.

If you melt it (and it will melt just below body temperature), you could bake with it, but you may get a different texture than you expect, as when cool, it is much harder than other typical culinary fats. You will have to experiment and see what the results are like.

It will be too hard to use with creaming method recipes.

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The texture comment is dead on. A fat as solid as cocoa butter will make most baked goods seem very stale, because it will harden the crumb much more than you're used to. –  sourd'oh Sep 5 '13 at 20:24
    
@sourd'oh The idea of cocoa butter as a substitute for butter is intriguing. What if you mixed melted cocoa butter with something like canola oil and then baked with the mixture? With appropriate added water... –  Jolenealaska Dec 4 '13 at 5:41
    
@Jolenealaska I think that is doable. I worked one place where the owner made a super secret white chocolate cake. While the recipe was kept from the minions like myself, I always suspected that thinning cocoa butter with oil was the basis of the cake. (And seriously, the cake was amazing. It was kind of firm, but it literally melted in your mouth.) –  sourd'oh Dec 4 '13 at 14:21
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