Jump to content


Welcome to the eG Forums!

These forums are a service of the Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to advancement of the culinary arts. Anyone can read the forums, however if you would like to participate in active discussions please join the society.

Photo

Rich Cocoa Powder


  • Please log in to reply
38 replies to this topic

#1 Shel_B

Shel_B
  • participating member
  • 2,809 posts
  • Location:San Francisco Bay Area

Posted 04 March 2013 - 08:50 AM

I'd like to find a rich, dark, cocoa powder to be used in puddimgs, brownies, and cakes.  In the past - quite a few years ago - I used Bensdorf (sp?) and Droste.  What's available these days? 

 

I made a pudding last night with TJ's cocoa powder because that's what we had on hand, and it was a spur of the moment decision to make it, but the TJ's powder seemed pale in color and lacking the rich chocolate taste we were looking for.

 

Thanks!

 

... Shel


.... Shel


#2 Lisa Shock

Lisa Shock
  • society donor
  • 2,279 posts
  • Location:Phoenix, AZ

Posted 04 March 2013 - 11:47 AM

Some of your recipes may call for dutch process cocoa, some may be fine with natural. The recipe should drive the choice. http://www.davidlebo...utch-process-v/

That said, Pernigotti and Valrhona are two of the highest fat, richest, cocoas.
  • Shel_B likes this

#3 GlorifiedRice

GlorifiedRice
  • participating member
  • 1,491 posts
  • Location:Philly Burbs

Posted 04 March 2013 - 12:37 PM

Valrhona is silky on the fingertips its so rich...

 

Remember, Dutch Process removes the nutrition


Wawa Sizzli FTW!

#4 rickster

rickster
  • participating member
  • 765 posts
  • Location:Chicago Suburbs

Posted 04 March 2013 - 02:51 PM

Droste is still pretty widely available where I live and still a good option. I've also used Scharffenberger and Valrhona, although I had to mail order the Valrhona. Some place like Sur La Table or WIlliams Sonoma might carry it.



#5 ChrisZ

ChrisZ
  • participating member
  • 428 posts
  • Location:Sydney

Posted 07 March 2013 - 03:51 PM

I've got 3 types of cocoa in the pantry.  As the others have already said, Valrhona is lovely but in these parts it's very expensive, so I tend to save it for special occasions.  In terms flavour it's superb though and has a beautiful rich colour. 

The everyday cocoa I use from the supermarket is Van Houten, which is fine.  The supermarket choice is either Cadbury, Nestle or Van Houten and the Van Houten is easily the best of the 3, although I grew up using Cadbury so there's a certain amount of nostalgia there.

When I bake anything chocolate I dust the tins with cocoa, not flour, so I also have a pack of cheap generic brand cocoa that I use just for that.

 

It's occurred to me that I don't think I've seen cocoa in Australia that isn't dutch process, so if I needed it I'm not sure where I'd get it.



#6 janeer

janeer
  • participating member
  • 1,255 posts

Posted 07 March 2013 - 08:21 PM

Penzey's Natural Cocoa is very good, 24% butterfat.  Perugina, if you can find it; I usually bring it back from Italy.



#7 Ozcook

Ozcook
  • participating member
  • 46 posts
  • Location:Melbourne, Australia

Posted 09 March 2013 - 01:00 PM

I've got 3 types of cocoa in the pantry.  As the others have already said, Valrhona is lovely but in these parts it's very expensive, so I tend to save it for special occasions.  In terms flavour it's superb though and has a beautiful rich colour. 

The everyday cocoa I use from the supermarket is Van Houten, which is fine.  The supermarket choice is either Cadbury, Nestle or Van Houten and the Van Houten is easily the best of the 3, although I grew up using Cadbury so there's a certain amount of nostalgia there.

When I bake anything chocolate I dust the tins with cocoa, not flour, so I also have a pack of cheap generic brand cocoa that I use just for that.

 

It's occurred to me that I don't think I've seen cocoa in Australia that isn't dutch process, so if I needed it I'm not sure where I'd get it.

AFAIK neither the Cadbury nor Nestle cocoa powders sold in Australian supermarkets are dutch processed. Do you know for sure that they are?



#8 ChrisZ

ChrisZ
  • participating member
  • 428 posts
  • Location:Sydney

Posted 09 March 2013 - 05:17 PM

I've got 3 types of cocoa in the pantry.  As the others have already said, Valrhona is lovely but in these parts it's very expensive, so I tend to save it for special occasions.  In terms flavour it's superb though and has a beautiful rich colour. 

The everyday cocoa I use from the supermarket is Van Houten, which is fine.  The supermarket choice is either Cadbury, Nestle or Van Houten and the Van Houten is easily the best of the 3, although I grew up using Cadbury so there's a certain amount of nostalgia there.

When I bake anything chocolate I dust the tins with cocoa, not flour, so I also have a pack of cheap generic brand cocoa that I use just for that.

 

It's occurred to me that I don't think I've seen cocoa in Australia that isn't dutch process, so if I needed it I'm not sure where I'd get it.

AFAIK neither the Cadbury nor Nestle cocoa powders sold in Australian supermarkets are dutch processed. Do you know for sure that they are?

 

No, I just assumed because Cadbury/Bourneville cocoa is more reddish than brown and is made in the UK.  I just did a quick Google search which didn't reveal a conclusive answer, with some sites saying it is and others saying it isn't, so unless I spend longer searching I'm still not sure either way.  

Again it is an assumption, but I thought there was a noticeable difference between plain and dutched cocoa, so if I'm wrong about Cadbury being dutch process then I'm also wrong about that - as I haven't noticed any big differences when using cocoa that is clearly identified as dutch process!



#9 Chocolot

Chocolot
  • participating member
  • 458 posts
  • Location:Ogden, Ut

Posted 09 March 2013 - 09:50 PM

I have Pralus and Valrhona. Much prefer the Pralus.


Ruth Kendrick

Chocolot
Artisan Chocolates and Toffees
www.chocolot.com


#10 Ozcook

Ozcook
  • participating member
  • 46 posts
  • Location:Melbourne, Australia

Posted 10 March 2013 - 02:35 AM

 

I've got 3 types of cocoa in the pantry.  As the others have already said, Valrhona is lovely but in these parts it's very expensive, so I tend to save it for special occasions.  In terms flavour it's superb though and has a beautiful rich colour. 

The everyday cocoa I use from the supermarket is Van Houten, which is fine.  The supermarket choice is either Cadbury, Nestle or Van Houten and the Van Houten is easily the best of the 3, although I grew up using Cadbury so there's a certain amount of nostalgia there.

When I bake anything chocolate I dust the tins with cocoa, not flour, so I also have a pack of cheap generic brand cocoa that I use just for that.

 

It's occurred to me that I don't think I've seen cocoa in Australia that isn't dutch process, so if I needed it I'm not sure where I'd get it.

AFAIK neither the Cadbury nor Nestle cocoa powders sold in Australian supermarkets are dutch processed. Do you know for sure that they are?

 

No, I just assumed because Cadbury/Bourneville cocoa is more reddish than brown and is made in the UK.  I just did a quick Google search which didn't reveal a conclusive answer, with some sites saying it is and others saying it isn't, so unless I spend longer searching I'm still not sure either way.  

Again it is an assumption, but I thought there was a noticeable difference between plain and dutched cocoa, so if I'm wrong about Cadbury being dutch process then I'm also wrong about that - as I haven't noticed any big differences when using cocoa that is clearly identified as dutch process!

 

I also have the Droste, as well as the Cadbuyry Bourneville Cocoa and the Nestle Cocoa. The Droste (Dutch processed) is unmistakably darker with a different flavour to either of the others.



#11 GlorifiedRice

GlorifiedRice
  • participating member
  • 1,491 posts
  • Location:Philly Burbs

Posted 10 March 2013 - 05:30 AM

See I always thought (or was wrongly told) that the darker the cocoa the better, that the lighter cocoas were "Dutched"..

I bought the Valrhona thinking I was getting the best most nutritious product. But now that I read this thread and I find out

that its the opposite, I know now that that gorgeous dark silky Valrhona has very few antioxidant qualities..because of the Dutching.

::sigh:: Oh Well!


Wawa Sizzli FTW!

#12 Panaderia Canadiense

Panaderia Canadiense
  • participating member
  • 2,074 posts
  • Location:Ambato, Ecuador

Posted 10 March 2013 - 12:07 PM

I'm hesitant to make a recommendation on this thread, because I doubt that what I buy here is even available outside of Ecuador, but on the off chance:

 

I use primarily a fragrant, high-fat content cocoa powder produced by Kallari, which is a non-alkalized and which is a gorgeous red-black colour.  If you do come across it, it's worth whatever price is being charged.


  • Shel_B likes this
Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.
My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

#13 Shel_B

Shel_B
  • participating member
  • 2,809 posts
  • Location:San Francisco Bay Area

Posted 10 March 2013 - 12:57 PM

A preliminary search indicates that the product is available at Whole Foods here in the US.  I'll look for it and maybe give it a try ...Shel

 

I'm hesitant to make a recommendation on this thread, because I doubt that what I buy here is even available outside of Ecuador, but on the off chance:

 

I use primarily a fragrant, high-fat content cocoa powder produced by Kallari, which is a non-alkalized and which is a gorgeous red-black colour.  If you do come across it, it's worth whatever price is being charged.


.... Shel


#14 Lisa Shock

Lisa Shock
  • society donor
  • 2,279 posts
  • Location:Phoenix, AZ

Posted 11 March 2013 - 08:54 PM

BTW, I'd like to point out that color has almost nothing to do with flavor in chocolate and cocoa. The darker = richer, or, darker = more flavor, concepts are something that marketing people for cheap chocolate candy companies have been telling consumers rather loudly over the past 5-6 years. I attended a workshop at a pastry conference where representatives from several chocolate companies were present and complaining about this -and demonstrating with blind tastings that color doesn't indicate much of anything at all. There are some really excellent cocoas and bitter chocolates which happen to be light in color, or red, etc.

#15 ChrisZ

ChrisZ
  • participating member
  • 428 posts
  • Location:Sydney

Posted 12 March 2013 - 03:13 AM

AFAIK neither the Cadbury nor Nestle cocoa powders sold in Australian supermarkets are dutch processed. Do you know for sure that they are?

 
You really piqued my curiosity! I phoned Cadbury's customer help line today and they said their cocoa is dutch processed. 

BTW, I'd like to point out that color has almost nothing to do with flavor in chocolate and cocoa.

That's interesting, as I was under the assumption that dutch processed cocoa was red, while unprocessed cocoa was brown. As I said above, I have also assumed that there's s noticeable taste difference between them. However they're just assumptions and I'm happy to be corrected, and as I said above I don't think I've come across plain cocoa in Australia...

#16 Mjx

Mjx
  • manager
  • 6,586 posts

Posted 12 March 2013 - 05:15 AM

Valrhona is silky on the fingertips its so rich...

 

Remember, Dutch Process removes the nutrition

 

It seems unlikely that Dutch processing has that much effect on any lingering nutritional value in processed cacao, which undergoes enough heat processing to break down antioxidants, not to mention, even if you're eating something that has lashings of cacao in it, it's still not going to be so much that it's bringing significant nutrient value to the table (I freely admit that I do not specifically eat chocolate-containing things for their health value :wink: )

 

. . . .
That's interesting, as I was under the assumption that dutch processed cocoa was red, while unprocessed cocoa was brown. . . .

 

The other way around: 'Dutched' involves treating the cacao with a base (it will usually say 'processed/treated with alkali' on the packet), which makes it less red and less acidic.


Michaela, aka "Mjx"
Manager, eG Forums
mscioscia@egstaff.org


#17 GlorifiedRice

GlorifiedRice
  • participating member
  • 1,491 posts
  • Location:Philly Burbs

Posted 12 March 2013 - 05:41 AM

According to the Hershey Center for Health and Nutrition, natural, unsweetened cocoa powder can deliver up to 90 percent more antioxidants than Dutch-processed.

 

Source: http://www.livestron...d-cocoa-powder/

 

YMMV since it is the Hershey Center


Wawa Sizzli FTW!

#18 Mjx

Mjx
  • manager
  • 6,586 posts

Posted 12 March 2013 - 08:37 AM

According to the Hershey Center for Health and Nutrition, natural, unsweetened cocoa powder can deliver up to 90 percent more antioxidants than Dutch-processed.

 

Source: http://www.livestron...d-cocoa-powder/

 

YMMV since it is the Hershey Center

 

Hm, yes. I tracked down the original research article cited in the Hershey report sheet, and what I'm reading for now is how much cacao offers in terms of antioxidants, in the best-case scenario.

Guess what I'm saying is not that I disagree with what you say, but that the total original amounts of antioxidants, in even a generous serving of something cacao-heavy, is so small, neither its presence nor its loss can be described as nutritionally significant.


Michaela, aka "Mjx"
Manager, eG Forums
mscioscia@egstaff.org


#19 fvandrog

fvandrog
  • participating member
  • 80 posts

Posted 12 March 2013 - 08:54 AM

Hm, yes. I tracked down the original research article cited in the Hershey report sheet, and what I'm reading for now is how much cacao offers in terms of antioxidants, in the best-case scenario.
Guess what I'm saying is not that I disagree with what you say, but that the total original amounts of antioxidants, in even a generous serving of something cacao-heavy, is so small, neither its presence nor its loss can be described as nutritionally significant.

Indeed, the 90% loss cited when comparing Dutch processed versus natural cocoa sounds very significant, but in the end it's very minor quantities. In addition, it seems the 90% loss is the worst case scenario, with generally between 25% and 40% of flavanols remaining.



#20 Katie Meadow

Katie Meadow
  • participating member
  • 1,363 posts
  • Location:Bay Area / East Bay

Posted 12 March 2013 - 09:09 AM

I just love Valrhona cocoa. I transfer it out of the box, so I can't doublecheck the fine print, but I don't believe it was dutched. None of my go-to recipes using cocoa (I don't do a whole lot of baking) call for dutched, so I don't even keep it around. Surely Valrhona makes both?



#21 Mjx

Mjx
  • manager
  • 6,586 posts

Posted 12 March 2013 - 09:33 AM

In case anyone else is geeking out over this as badly as I am, oracvalues.com lists antioxidant levels for a variety of foods in μ mol of Trolox Equivalents (TE)/100g, and indicates that cacao has  55,653 μ mol TE/100g, 40,200 μ mol TE/100g if Dutched (Wikipedia is listed as a source, which does make the accuracy open to question, but this can be checked; it also includes this statement:

The Linus Pauling Institute and European Food Safety Authority state that dietary anthocyanins and other flavonoids have little or no direct antioxidant food value following digestion. Unlike controlled test tube conditions, the fate of anthocyanins in vivo shows they are poorly conserved (less than 5%), with most of what is absorbed existing as chemically modified metabolites destined for rapid excretion. [Source: Wikipedia]).

 

A standard dark devil's food cake I make uses 50g cacao (27,827 μ mol antioxidants, using un-Dutched cacao). If no one is looking, I might eat an entire 1/8 (two embarrassingly generous slices) of the cake at one go (3478 μ mol, from the cake layers alone); if you're smaller than Andre the Giant, half that is a more typical, sane serving, since this is a pretty rich cake, what with flavoured whipped cream on it and all (1739 μ mol antioxidants).

 

Of the items listed, pecans are a fairly common thing to eat 100 g of in one go, and from that you'd get 17,940 μ mol TE/100g (about 10× what you'd get from that chocolate cake). Clearly, the thing to do is have a honking huge slice of cake, than assuage any nutritional concerns by eating a bunch of pecans (followed by a half-marathon, if one's figure is a concern).

 

:blink:

 

------

 

Getting back to the OP, I've found that the key to getting a rich, full flavour from whatever chocolate I'm using is to bloom it in boiling water (I often tweak recipes just so I can do this, since my choices of cacao are not generally than fantastic where I am); this has given me good results even from the cheap, iffy crap I've occasionally picked up at ALDI.


  • Shel_B likes this

Michaela, aka "Mjx"
Manager, eG Forums
mscioscia@egstaff.org


#22 cakewalk

cakewalk
  • participating member
  • 1,634 posts

Posted 12 March 2013 - 12:11 PM

Alice Medrich, in one of her books, writes about Dutch vs. natural cocoa. Her recipes generally specify when to use one or the other, or if you can use either. She mentions Valrhona as a Dutched cocoa, but also mentions (I don't remember precise wording) that it is "barely" Dutched or "less" Dutched than many other brands. I remember it only because I had never realized there were "degrees" of Dutching. I will try to find this later. Also the book is several years old, and I don't know if Valrhona still does it the same way. (But it is such a lovely cocoa.)

 

Does anyone really use coca powder because of its antioxidant properties?!



#23 cakewalk

cakewalk
  • participating member
  • 1,634 posts

Posted 12 March 2013 - 08:58 PM

The Alice Medrich book I mentioned above is "Bittersweet." She writes about natural and alkalized cocoas and then says, "When I use a Dutch-process cocoa, I prefer one that is moderately rather than highly alkalized. I like Valrhona, Pernigotti, Droste, and Guittard Jersey." She goes on to say, "I have seen packages that are not correctly labeled. The highly regarded Maison du Chololat cocoa, which is Dutch process, carries no indication of it on the label. Similarly, although the industrial bulk package of Valrhona indicates that it is Dutch process, the retail package does not."

'



#24 Ozcook

Ozcook
  • participating member
  • 46 posts
  • Location:Melbourne, Australia

Posted 15 March 2013 - 06:41 PM

Nestle Australia have just confirmed that their Baking Cocoa is indeed alkalized.  Unfortunately this is not disclosed anywhere on the tin. :angry:

 

I have just ordered some Ghirardelli, Natural Unsweetened Cocoa online. It is not alkalized (i.e. dutch processed).



#25 hydrocolloidal

hydrocolloidal
  • participating member
  • 4 posts
  • Location:India

Posted 18 March 2013 - 09:27 AM

I cant comment so much on the various effects on the recipies that the dutch process can have but as a food technologist I know dutch process.

 

Its where, in simple words, the cocoa mass is treated with a base. The extend of dutch process is the concentration of alkali with which it is treated. usually being 2%, 4% and sometimes 6%.

What the process does is that it brings out the flavours in the cocoa and nutralizes the astringic flavours in it. Also as far as i know most of the chocolates use alkalized cocoa mass although cocoa powder is available as both.

All it might do is bring down the acidity of the final product. Also I guess the alkalized cocoa powder has a better solubility in water. so if its drinking chocolate, its most probably dutch processed.


Dreamer, Writer, Food Technologist. Taking life on the rocks. A big gulp at a time.


#26 mostlylana

mostlylana
  • participating member
  • 416 posts
  • Location:Kamloops, BC, Canada

Posted 19 March 2013 - 01:13 PM

Also as far as i know most of the chocolates use alkalized cocoa mass....

 

Can you expand on this?  I've never heard of alkalized cocoa mass.  Interesting...



#27 hydrocolloidal

hydrocolloidal
  • participating member
  • 4 posts
  • Location:India

Posted 20 March 2013 - 01:05 PM

Also as far as i know most of the chocolates use alkalized cocoa mass....

 

Can you expand on this?  I've never heard of alkalized cocoa mass.  Interesting...

Cocoa mass is chrushed cocoa beans.. the crushing releases the cocoa butter in it. Cocoa powder is obtained by squeezing this cocoa mass and removing the cocoa butter. For chocolates they dont do that (not always), they only need to add more sugar, milk powder and a few other indgredients.

 

The cocoa mass is sterilized using steam at a particular pressure and temp usually 120 deg C, if the steam used here has a alkaline added to it, its alkalized cocoa mass from which alkalized cocoa powder is pressed.

 

I was fortunate enough to spend a month as a intern in a chocolate factory.


Dreamer, Writer, Food Technologist. Taking life on the rocks. A big gulp at a time.


#28 Shel_B

Shel_B
  • participating member
  • 2,809 posts
  • Location:San Francisco Bay Area

Posted 27 January 2014 - 04:11 PM

I'd like to make some chocolate pudding for this coming weekend.  The recipes I'll choose from suggest Dutch processed cocoa as an ingredient.  It's been several years since I made any of these puddings, and am out of the loop WRT cocoa.  Any suggestions for a good Dutch processed cocoa that won't break the bank?  Thanks!


.... Shel


#29 Emily_R

Emily_R
  • participating member
  • 881 posts

Posted 27 January 2014 - 10:50 PM

I've been happy with Ghiradelli's dutch cocoa -- good quality at a reasonable price... 



#30 andiesenji

andiesenji
  • society donor
  • 9,489 posts
  • Location:Southern California

Posted 27 January 2014 - 11:33 PM

I have several brands of cocoa, mostly Dutch process because to me it has a fuller, richer flavor and in my opinion produces a better result in baking. 

 

I use a combination of King Arthur  Black cocoa and Double Dutch cocoa in anything that I want to have the deepest, most robust chocolate flavor, such as puddings, ice cream, gelato, candy.

 

I think the cost is reasonable and the stuff keeps nicely, retaining full flavor for a long, long time.

 

For recipes that incorporate other flavors, I use a lighter, less overpowering cocoa such as Frontier (from Amazon) which combines well with espresso, marshmallow, etc. 

 

Some of the "smoother" cocoas do better in hot drinks than the more robust types and I make my own blend.

 

Cocoa2.JPG

 

The one in the glass jar with the bail is Valrhona


Edited by andiesenji, 27 January 2014 - 11:35 PM.

  • judiu, demiglace, annabelle and 2 others like this
"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett
My blog:Books,Cooks,Gadgets&Gardening