Nut Butters and More Q&A by Chef Prateek Bakhtiani

Nut Butters and More Q&A by Chef Prateek Bakhtiani

CocoaTown would like to thank the attendees to our Nut Butters and More Webinar brought to you as part of our Empowering Chocopreneurs series. Our guest speaker Chef Prateek Bakhtiani  was kind enough to answer the questions put in the chat.

We have created a blog post with his answers so it will stay as a valuable resource. Big Thank you to Chef Prateek on behalf of all attendees and all readers who benefit from this blog.  

Nut butters

Can we change the milk powder for a vegetable milk powder? 

Yes, as long as you make sure to adjust the fat content accordingly. 

Can milk powder be replaced with coconut milk powder?

Yes, as long as you make sure to adjust the fat content accordingly. 

So basically, milk has to be powder milk and for cocoa has to be powder or melted.


Can we use coconut milk powder instead of skim milk powder that you used in the pistachio butter that was in the promo

Yes, as long as you make sure to adjust the fat content accordingly. Also, coconut milk will add a distinctive flavor. 

Coconut milk powder has fat that might change the tempering process as it inhibits proper setting and increases viscosity, that is what I have been told. Is it true?

You will have to adjust your other fats to get the texture you desire. 

Can the lack of fat in coconut milk be supplemented using cocoa butter?

Yes, but it will change the texture of your recipe.

The salt to be used does it have to be iodized salt or non-iodized salt? I once used regular table salt and it ruined the recipe.

This should not usually pose a problem, perhaps it was something else in your salt. Or maybe some moisture content in the salt. 

Is the lecithin essential?

If you want to make the emulsion stable, yes. 

Can the lecithin be replaced by palm oil and is it natural using palm oil?

I don't like using palm oil in my recipes and I don't see why pure palm oil will make the emulsion any stabler. Palm oil is usually highly processed, so if you are looking to stay all-natural adding natural lecithin is less processed than palm oil. 

Are your recipes all based on 1000g which would be equivalent to 1 kilo?

Yes, but I would recommend the smallest batch you make to be 5kg. 

What is the exact temperature nut butters should be before putting them in jars and seal them?

Depending on the fat composition by around 23-24 degrees is a good place to start.

Is the chocolate powder or you have to melt it in this marshmallow recipe?

 It’s bean to bar chocolate, the kind that you need to melt. 

To make a chocolate peanut butter do you add powder cocoa or melted cocoa?

You can add either. 

What is the preferred brand / type of sucrose to be used?

Just normal cane sugar is good! 

Is sucrose same as sugar?


Can we use honey to replace the sugar? 

No, honey has moisture so cannot be used in fat-based spreads. 

What is the best way to package the nut butters so ensure the shelf life? In terms of temperature and any other things to note?

I store my spreads at 16degrees. They don't go bad for a long time (almost a year) but I like to put 3-6 months on the label because I want clients to consume them as fresh as possible. 

In your recipes do we always powdered ingredients except for lecithin it has to be liquid?

Yes, always use liquid lecithin. Powdered lecithin does not have the same qualities and gives the recipes an off flavor. 

Why do we have to temper the nut butter if the butter is not to solidify (and the shining appearance is to aimed)?

No, the tempering has nothing to do with shine but consistency and stability. Tempered spreads will stay smooth and stable longer than un-tempered ones which might get fat bloom, fat ricing or feel oily even when they are not split. 

Can you use a tempering machine with a screw pump or wheel to temper the spreads?


Back to tempering the chocolate nut butters, did you mean you add tempered chocolate to the nut paste or mix the nut paste and melted chocolate and then temper the entire mixture?

I usually temper the entire mixture together. But the other way around will work too. 

Regarding the hazelnut cocoa spread, does it need to go through the process of tempering?  can I substitute the hazelnut into peanut or any nuts? 

The recipe has cocoa butter, so yes it needs to be tempered. And yes, you can replace it with most other nuts. 

Can you temper the chocolate and nut butter together by mixing them in a mixing machine?

By mixing if you mean tempering machine, then yes.

How much vitamin e and c you can add to any of your recipes if we need to use vitamins?

Between 0.1 and 0.4% depending on the application. 

What nut butter is best for chocolate filling?

I like Pistachio best! But Hazelnut, Peanut and Almond are popular choices as well. 

Could you please give tips on how to recognize/screen for defective or moldy nuts?

Visually sorting them is your best option. They are usually also lighter so will rise to the top s you winnow the skins off your nuts. 

What makes peanut butter more liquid? Is it the grinding or is it additives?

Grinding. Once you jar and cool it the texture just comes back to a spreadable consistency.  

Can you share good online suppliers for nuts and other ingredients you introduced in recipes? 

It depends on where you are. In North America does a great job. SOSA is great in Europe. 

You mentioned using honey. how/when is this added and can it fully replace sugar?

You can't use honey directly since it has moisture. You can try using freeze dried honey powder. 

Do we need to use powdered honey?

Yes, Freeze dried. 

In making peanut butter, what is the best oil that u can recommend to use? can we use canola oil, or corn oil or any vegetable oil?  

Peanut, Canola or anything that is neutral. As long as it’s neutral and has no flavor or aroma you can use any oil. Peanut oil is probably your best option. 

Is melanger and refiner two different machines? can we see what refiner looks like? 

Yes they are very different. They are used for chocolate making. If you are looking to make only spreads in your production, your best option is to invest in a ballmill which is also a different machine than the other two. 

Instead of using cocoa powder and cocoa butter in the hazelnut choco spread, can i use just the cacao liquor? What will be the percentage in that case?  

You would have to recompose the recipe, but yes you can. 

On the packaging, are plastic containers safe?

Yes. If they are properly sterilized and handled with care.

How to make the nut butter ready for sale? Does the jar need to be sealed in any specific way?

This will be dictated by the laws in your country and the scale of your operation, but yes, I would recommend at least some degree of sealing. 

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