• Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

snowangel

Dutch VS. Regular Cocoa

48 posts in this topic

What is the difference between dutch process cocoa and regular cocoa? If one has recipes (like a few from my great grandmother) that call for cocoa, what will happen if I use dutch process?


Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

snowangel:

Short version: there are implications if your recipe uses chemical leaveners. You should use Dutch cocoa in recipes that call for baking powder; if the recipe uses baking soda, you should use regular cocoa.

Longer version: Dutch cocoa is cocoa that has been processed with alkalai. This raises its pH from around 5.5 to about 7, making it almost neutral. Unless your recipe calls for leavening, it doesn't matter whether you use regular or Dutch; many people prefer Dutch cocoa because it is smoother (though some will say smoothness sacrifices deeper chocolate flavor). It really is a matter of taste, and you should use whichever one you want, unless you are working with pastry. In this case, the less acidic Dutch cocoa is usually preferred. An eGullet pastry person can probably advise you better than me.

Dave


Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd also add that there's tremendous variety of flavor within the two styles--Dutch and not Dutch process. Buy a few, do a blind tasting, see for yourself. It's just like chocolate, it depends on the beans, where they're grown, how they're processed, etc. You might prefer one brand to coat truffles, another to bake with.

I am sure there are other good ones, but I've liked Valrhona, De Zaan, Cluizel and Cacao Barry Extra Brut.


Steve Klc

Pastry chef-Restaurant Consultant

Oyamel : Zaytinya : Cafe Atlantico : Jaleo

chef@pastryarts.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just ordered some "black cocoa" from King Arthur to try out. Can anyone tell me more about it? Is it Dutched or natural? What makes it black? What should I expect flavor-wise?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I just ordered some "black cocoa" from King Arthur to try out. Can anyone tell me more about it? Is it Dutched or natural? What makes it black? What should I expect flavor-wise?

Dutched cocoa would have a redish hue. I'm guessing your "black" cocoa is not dutch process.


We like the mooooon........Coz it is close to us...........

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I thought I would report back on my first experience with black cocoa. I'm here to say that it is a wonderful, wonderful thing!

I ordered one pound of black cocoa from King Arthur Flour for $4.95. There's no indication on the label who the manufacturer is, but it does say it contains "cocoa beans processed with alkali", so I think that means it's Dutch processed. It really is black - about the color of ground espresso - and has deep chocolate smell.

For my first test I made a half batch of spicy chocolate cookies. Half recipe made about 56 medium cookies. Here's the recipe:

3/4 lb butter, softened

1-3/4 cups sugar

2 eggs

3 cups flour

1-1/2 cups cocoa powder (I used half black cocoa and half perigotti, as the package says that the black stuff may be too strong to use my itself)

1/4 tsp salt

1/3 tsp ground black pepper

1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp ground cinnamon

Cream together butter and sugar. beat in eggs until fluffy. sift in all dry ingredients and stir until well incorporated. divide dough into thirds, wrap in plastic and chill for at least an hour. Using the black cocoa made the dough B-L-A-C-K, not even slightly brown, and it tasted rich and choclatey.

pre-heat oven to 375 F. roll out dough on floured board to 1/8 inch thick. Use a pastry brush to dust off any flour on top surface. cut out with cookie cutters and bake on parchment or silpat lined baking sheets for 8-10 minutes. do not overbake. since the dough is already black and the cookies will still be a little soft when they come out of the oven (they'll crisp when they cool), it is very hard to tell when they're done.

When cool you can drizzle them with milk or white chocolate or some royal icing for decoration.

Using the black cocoa, these cookies came out completely black (of course) with a strong, rich, chocolate taste. Much richer tasting than when I've made them before with regular cocoa. I can't wait to try this stuff in a cake!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I can't wait to try this stuff in a cake!

Very interesting. When you do try it, please let us know how it turns out! Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have now tried nightscotsman's black cocoa cookies (in fact, I just had one for breakfast) and they're both delicious and really, really black.


Matthew Amster-Burton, aka "mamster"

Author, Hungry Monkey, coming in May

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've tried the cookies too, damn, those are the type of cookies I really like and I wish they were more popular here in America. The public just doesn't appreciate cookies that aren't over the top sweet. Nightscotsman, great work on those cookies, there was just enough sugar to complement that really dark cocoa, what a treat. I had one for breakfast too! Oh and great presentation as well!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The recipe for "Almost Oreos" is included in Nancy Silverton's Sandwich Book. The ingredient list calls for "black, super-alkalized cocoa powder" and she explains, "To get that deep, nearly black color, you'll need to use some highly alkalized black cocoa powder (see King Arthur Flour in the sources) for color, and some unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder for flavor. When buying your unsweetened cocoa powder and chocolate, look for Scharffen Berger and Valrhona." In the photograph the cookies are lovely contrast to the pure white vanilla filling.

Nightscotsman's chocolate cookies were fabulous, with a perfect crisp texture. He drizzled them with chocolate--milk chocolate?--that looked almost red against the black cookies.


Hungry Monkey May 2009

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey nightscotsman: I just hunted up this thread because I was thinking of baking the spicy cocoa cookies (that's how good they are, I recall them clearly from two years ago). Two questions: what's the source of this recipe? And are the quantities listed here the full recipe or the half recipe (that is, if I want a half recipe should I havle what's here, or is it already halved)?


Hungry Monkey May 2009

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sort of off-topic, but does anyone know where to get Van Leer 120 cocoa? I ask because the Cook's Illustrated tasting from several years back had this cocoa rated #1, ahead of Valrhona, Merckens, Droste and Pernigotti- but I've never seen it anywhere.


"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hey nightscotsman: I just hunted up this thread because I was thinking of baking the spicy cocoa cookies (that's how good they are, I recall them clearly from two years ago). Two questions: what's the source of this recipe? And are the quantities listed here the full recipe or the half recipe (that is, if I want a half recipe should I halve what's here, or is it already halved)?

Jeez, has it really been two years? Some day I'll get back to Seattle. Hope everyone there had a great Thanksgiving. :smile:

The recipe is from Martha Stewart and as written above is the full batch.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Black cocoa is indeed a dutched, or alkalized cocoa. Think of the dutching process as a line - if you're near the beginning of the line, the resulting cocoa powder is only slightly darker and slightly fudgy. Towards the middle of the line, you get the reddist colors and the most fudgy flavor development. at the end of the line, you've so severly alkalized it, that it's turned very dark and has lost almost all of it's chocoalte/fudgy flavor characteristics. Black powders are tyipcally valued more for their color as opposed to their flavor, and their pH's are often in the 8 range.

As a note, if you're reading a book that has a particular cocoa rated as #1 from years ago, you can be fairly certain that it doesn't taste today what it tasted like years ago. This is due to a number of reasons, but the most significant of which is cocoa is an agricultural product, prone to seasonal variations. The beans they used to make that particular cocoa years ago may not even be available today. Industrial processes change as well. It's commonly seen in the industry that the target changes from year to year.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sort of off-topic, but does anyone know where to get Van Leer 120 cocoa? I ask because the Cook's Illustrated tasting from several years back had this cocoa rated #1, ahead of Valrhona, Merckens, Droste and Pernigotti- but I've never seen it anywhere.

The top-rated cocoa for both hot chocolate and baking was Van Leer 120 Cocoa, available by mail from New York Cake, 1-800-942-2539

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For my "black" cocoa cookies, I used King Arthur's black cocoa and the "Double Dutch Dark" half and half.

I also use this same mixture in my cocoa fruit cake which turns out very dark and has an intense cocoa flavor, which, combined with the dried and plumped cherries and other fruits, has almost the taste and mouth feel of a bonbon.

Lighter, regular cocoa products will produce a very nice cake, but not the same texture or mouth feel and flavor as these.

I also use the Scharffen Berger cocoa and the Valrhona cocoa for other applications.

from this vendor.

When I get down to Surfas I usually pick up some of the Barry's Extra Brute cocoa powder

Surfas.


Edited by andiesenji (log)

"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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sort of off-topic, but does anyone know where to get Van Leer 120 cocoa? I ask because the Cook's Illustrated tasting from several years back had this cocoa rated #1, ahead of Valrhona, Merckens, Droste and Pernigotti- but I've never seen it anywhere.

The top-rated cocoa for both hot chocolate and baking was Van Leer 120 Cocoa, available by mail from New York Cake, 1-800-942-2539

The Chocolate Source, used to carry Van Leer but dropped it at least a year ago. Chocolate Source.

Cake Decorators still had it last month - check here.


Edited by andiesenji (log)

"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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wanted to try a good dutch processed cocoa in my brownie recipe but it has 1/4 tsp of baking soda in it. How would they be affected if I used dutch processed rather than regular?


Don't wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great. Orison Swett Marden

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If it's a fudgy brownie, as opposed to a cakey one, the leavener isn't that important, although it will lighten the texture slightly. Usually you can use either type of cocoa in brownie recipes, (fudgy, that is). BTW, are there any other acidic ingredients in the recipe other than natural cocoa powder, such as bar chocolate, coffee, etc?


Edited by merstar (log)

There's nothing better than a good friend, except a good friend with CHOCOLATE.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would like to tell you all of Felchlins cocoa powder, its absolutely awesome. When you open the bag the whole room smells like chocolate


"Chocolate has no calories....

Chocolate is food for the soul, The soul has no weight, therefore no calories" so said a customer, a lovely southern woman, after consuming chocolate indulgence

SWEET KARMA DESSERTS

www.sweetkarmadesserts.com

550 East Meadow Ave. East meadow, NY 11554

516-794-4478

Brian Fishman

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I would like to tell you all of Felchlins cocoa powder, its absolutely awesome. When you open the bag the whole room smells like chocolate

Is it Dutched or natural, and where is it produced?


There's nothing better than a good friend, except a good friend with CHOCOLATE.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
BTW, are there any other acidic ingredients in the recipe other than natural cocoa powder, such as bar chocolate, coffee, etc?

merstar - there is a small amount of instant coffee for depth of flavour but that's all. And they are more chewy than fudgy. Does this make a difference? I don't have easy access to small amounts of Dutch process cocoa, otherwise I would just try it. I don't want to buy 5 lbs or whatever from my supplier if it's not going to work.


Edited by CanadianBakin' (log)

Don't wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great. Orison Swett Marden

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

CanadianBakin' (love your name),

I honestly don't think it will make a big difference. If the brownies were very cakey, (which most people wouldn't even consider brownies), I'd be more careful, but in this case, they should work out with the Dutched cocoa. If anything, you may end up with a slightly fudgier texture. However, it would probably be a good idea to get a few more opinions on this before splurging on the cocoa powder. Try posting this question as a brand new post, and you should get more responses.


There's nothing better than a good friend, except a good friend with CHOCOLATE.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sort of off-topic, but does anyone know where to get Van Leer 120 cocoa? I ask because the Cook's Illustrated tasting from several years back had this cocoa rated #1, ahead of Valrhona, Merckens, Droste and Pernigotti- but I've never seen it anywhere.

Van Leer was purchased several years ago by Callebaut. I found a press release a month ago or so (it was earlier than that) where they were liquidating many of their assets.

Too bad, they had great cocoa. (And I treasure my last remaining bit.)

-Art


Amano Artisan Chocolate

http://www.amanochocolate.com/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On a google search I found this company that manufactures black cocoa and it was the only company I could find in the US (and that is on the web): Blommer Chocolate Company. Maybe King Arthur's gets it from them. So far it seems only King Arthur carries it, which OK since it's one of my favorite companies, but I have to wait for the package...

Or maybe there is an alternative??

On the Cook's Illustrated site they have a cocoa rating and they give a bad rating to Hershey's Special Dark Dutched cocoa, describing it as "overzealously-Dutched". They did not like the results of baking goods made with it. But it seems that the Special Dark maybe is really black cocoa and should not be used by itself, but mixed with regular Dutch-process cocoa like it has been described on this thread.

Does anyone have any experience with Hershey's Special Dark? It is available in stores so I wouldn't have to wait for (another) shipment from King Arthur :rolleyes:, if it is indeed black cocoa.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Similar Content

    • By Loubika
      Hi everyone,
       
      I'm a little pastry chief in France, still learning and really passionate. It's been five months that I did'nt studiy or practise and I miss that so much. I never stop talking about this. I decided to travel in south america to learn everything I can. I'm actually in Central Colombia, and I will travel to Ecuador, Galapagos, Peru, Bolivia and maybe a little bit more if I want to. I have time until march, more or less.
       
      My project is to go in the farms and meet the people who grow up the raw material I use for make my pastries, Talk to them and see the plantation would be really helpfull for me to understand how does it works. If people need, I'm volunteer for work in exchange with accomodation and food for a few days. My spanish is not good yet, but I'm learning and sometimes it's more funny to not speak the same language. I'm interested about everything, exotic fruits, citrus, coffee, cacao, sesame, pepper, spices...
       
      If some of you is, knows or works with farmers or pastry chiefs in those countries, I would be glad to meet you/them and learn everthing about the work. We can exchange good recipe too.
       
      Thank you very much,
      Loubna
       
       
    • By Darienne
      Yesterday I made my familiar go-to simple lime/cream cheese pie with one egg, some milk, lime juice & zest, etc, covered with a dark chocolate ganache: heavy cream, a dollop of butter.  It's in the fridge covered with a plastic topper but I can cover it with plastic wrap or aluminum foil.

      Today's lunch guest is not coming...onslaught of sleet, freezing rain, and now snow...oh goodie...winter's here...  Now she is slated for next Thursday.  Is there any possibility that the pie can last that long and not poison or at least revolt us?

      Thanks.
    • By LucyInAust
      Hello,
       
      I've been asked to make a cake with an edible film strip style ribbon (NOT made of fondant) and I'm trying to work out a solution given limited time (2 weeks) and limited skills (a lifetime's worth of lack of decorating skills and attention to detail!).
       
      Ideally I'd love to use a chocolate transfer sheet ... but the only ones I can find are in the USA (I'm in Australia) and the shipping time makes that impractical.  I've been googling and not seen a decent alternative that I think I can do (actually I haven't even found something that is edible that I think looks good, even from professionals!!)!  Fondant would be the most obvious solution but I've been given the instructions of no fondant (but maybe they wouldn't notice a strip?!) ... but chocolate seems possible.
       
      Some ideas I've thought of and would love feedback ...
      Could I use old film negatives as a transfer?  Cut out the frames and then use the strips?   (am I going to kill anyone with chemicals?!!) Could I create acetone strips by trying to stamp/cut out something that sort of looks like a film strip?  Use it as a stencil instead? Piping on to acetate using an image behind as a guide?  I can't say I have very steady hands so am thinking it would be very wonky?!!! If I did the outline in dark chocolate would I need a white chocolate layer to make it transfer onto a buttercream cake?  
      I have a chocolate tempering machine, most likely to be using Callebaut 54% but could use Lindt 70%/85%/90%.
       
      I've really only used transfer sheets directly on to dipped chocolate, and acetate to create random curls for decorations ... I'm wondering about the logistics of getting the chocolate on the strips, keeping it shaped for the cake (I think the cake is square ... but maybe it might be round?!) and also transferring them on to the cake?
       
      (back up plan ... plain ribbon!!!)
       
      Would love any advice!  Thanks!!
    • By curls
      Looking for your opinions and experiences... I am planning to put some wire shelving in my chocolate & confections kitchen. The kitchen has a concrete floor. This shelving will hold ingredients, colored cocoa butters, and packaging. Wondering if I should get casters for this shelving... what are your thoughts on this oh so important question?  ;-)
    • By DianaB
      I've used Valrhona Ivoire white chocolate as a base for various ganache recipes for some time after failing to create a good ganache with other white chocolate including Callebaut, a brand I otherwise like.  Valrhona is expensive compared to other brands available here in England but Vente Privée offers it at a good discount several times each year.  There is a Valrhona sale this week: 
      https://secure.uk.vente-privee.com/ns/en-gb/operation/57934/classic/3642874/catalog
       
      That link is to the English site but I know the company operates in other countries. You need to become a member to buy from the site, not sure why but it is free and you aren't obliged to buy anything.  
       
      I've already placed an order, popular products sell out fast.  Since ordering I have read various posts in the Pastry and Baking thread that have left me wondering if I should be using Opalys as my white chocolate rather than Ivoire.
       
      Do any of you have experience of both variants of Valrhona's white chocolate?  I would be grateful for any advice you can provide on using them in baking or chocolate making.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.