Jump to content
  • 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

Recommended Posts

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?

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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)?

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.

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)

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)

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?

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)

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

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?

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)

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.

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

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 curls
      So I've remelted some Valrhona Azelia that was extra from another project and even at 45° C the chocolate has small lumps. If I press a lump against the side of the melter (or between my fingers) it smooths out but I can't remove all the lumps that way. For tonight, I poured all the chocolate through a sieve and pushed the lumps thru with a silicone spatula. That solves the problem for today but I want to know, what caused those lumps in the first place? Also, if this happens again, is there a better way to correct the problem? I have never had this happen before with any couverture (including the Azelia) and hope you can tell me how I can prevent this from happening .
    • By anonymouse
      I've been working with the Boiron purée recipe tables (chocolate and PdF, ice cream) - some good successes.  However the document is very terse and I wondered whether anyone who is experienced with these formulae might clarify what the expected result is:
       
      - "Fruit ganaches" and "Fruit and caramel ganaches".  I think these are supposed to produce a ganache for cutting and enrobing, although when I tried it came out far too soft to be dipped???
       
      - "Ganaches to be combined with fruit pastes" - I think these are to be layered above PdF and enrobed - is that right?
       
      - "Chocolate molded sweets" - Are these intended to be served as is, ie moulded without a layer of couverture going into the mould first? However the instructions talk about pouring into a frame.
       
      - "Fruity delight" - looks like a fairly light dessert to go into a parfait glass.  Has anyone done these and how do they turn out?  How do they compare to the sabayon-based ones in the Boiron ice cream book?
       
      I'm going to start working through some of the ice creams next week and it will be interesting to see how these turn out.
       
      Thanks for any advice.
       
    • By anonymouse
      As a newbie here I thought, before piling in with my own questions, I'd pull together some of the things I've learned in my first months of chocolate making - in case this helps others who embark on the same path.  
       
      Many of these learnings came from eGullet, some from elsewhere, and I'm very grateful for all the many sources of experience and insight.  Cooking technique is quite personal so of course not everyone will agree with my idiosyncratic list of course.
       
      Most useful equipment so far
       
      Cooking isn't really about the equipment - you can make fine chocolates with hardly any equipment - but here are the things which have helped me the most.
       
      1. Small tempering machine.  This got me started on chocolate making with a superb easy path.  The ChocoVision Rev 2B (with the "holey baffle" which increases its capacity) just gets the tempering perfect every time.  Yes, I could temper in the microwave or on a slab, but it's great to take away any uncertainty about the final finish, by using this great machine.  Downsides: continuously noisy, doesn't have the capacity for large batches.
       
      2. Plenty of silicon baking mats (Silpat clones).  I use these not just for ganache and inverting moulds onto, but also just to keep the kitchen clean!  Working at home, I create a lot of mess and found I could reduce the risk of divorce by spreading large sheets (60x40cm size) across the work surface.  So much easier to clean, and I can scrape unused chocolate back into the supply for next time.  
      I get mine directly from China through AliExpress where they are about 1/3 of the local price.  Then, for a further cost saving I ordered a couple of sheets of stainless steel at exactly the same 40x30 size, from a hobbyist place, and stuck some rubber feet underneath. The silicon mat + steel sheet can then easily be carried to the cool room. I got metal bars made up by another hobbyist place (an eGullet suggestion) which was a cheap alternative to caramel bars.
       
      3. Scrapers.  Life got better when I stopped trying to scrape moulds with a regular palette knife.  I found we had two Japanese okomoniyaki spatulas from Japanese cooking which were perfect!
       
      4. Polycarbonate moulds.  Again in order to afford a bunch of these, I get them from China via AliExpress where they are £5-£7 each (including shipping) rather than £18 (+£10 shipping) locally.  If I were starting again I'd buy little squares and half-spheres first, because these are easy to decorate with transfer sheets and cocoa butter respectively; plus a bar mould for quickly using up some extra chocolate or making a snack for the family.  Magnetic moulds are not in my view essential for the beginner because you can just apply the transfers manually - but they are very easy to use.
       
      5. Hot air gun - little Bosch paint stripper from Amazon.  Always kept to hand to sort out anything which crystallises too quickly in the bowl or on my equipment.
       
      6. Fancy packaging.  We got some little boxes in bright colours with silver lining - great to turn your experiments into gifts. Quite expensive because you have to buy quantities, but worth it we felt.
       
      If I were working at scale I think my top 5 would also include a vibrating table, but that's beyond my means.

      Best sources of learning so far (apart from eGullet of course)
       
      1. Callebaut website - fabulous range of videos showing how a master does the basic techniques.  Also Keylink (harder to find on their website - look in "knowledge bank") which is refreshingly straightforward.
       
      2. Several books recommended on this forum.  Once I got past the basics, I delved into two masterpieces: Wybauw ("The Ultimate Fine Chocolates", a revised compilation of his previous books) and Greweling ("Chocolates and Confections"). These are just awe inspiring.

      Most useful ingredients so far
       
      1. Callebaut couverture "callets" in 2.5kg bags - quick to measure, easy to re-seal.  Everyone should start with 811 and 823, the "standards" ... but I soon moved to more exotic flavours.  Current favourites are Cacao Barry Alunga (rich milk), Callebaut Velvet (white but not as cloying as the usual one; lovely mouthfeel), and half a dozen Cocoa Barry dark chocolates which go with particular ingredients.
       
      2. Boiron frozen fruit purees. These are just amazing.  I struggled with lots of different approaches to fruit flavouring until I discovered these.  The problem is that most liquid purees have a short life span and are quite expensive if you only need a little quantity - whereas the Boiron ones just live in a neat, stackable tub in the freezer.  Grab a flavour, pop it out onto a chopping board, slice off what you need, return the rest to the freezer.  And the range is fabulous.  So far I've particularly enjoyed raspberry, passion fruit, kalamansi (wow!) blackcurrant, and Morello cherry.  (I'm experimenting with banana but most banana chocolate recipes seem to need caramel which I don't find so easy to perfect.)
       
      3. IBC "Power Flowers" so I can mix my own coloured white chocolate with a wide palette of colours, for brushing or piping into moulds as decoration.  Quite tricky to scale down to the tiny amounts I need, but I found this far better than heating little bottles of cocoa butter and being restricted to the colours I had.
       
      4. Marc de Champagne 60% - great for truffles.  My supplier sends it in a little chemical bottle which is a little un-champagne-like, but never mind.  Rose drops (oil-based) were also useful for truffles if you like that sort of thing.

      Suggestions for learners (aka things I wish I had got right)
       
      1. Start learning in winter.  There is a HUGE amount of cooling needed in chocolate making; once we had cold weather we could close off a room, turn off its heating, and create a cool room.  Made a big difference to productivity (and quality!).
       
      2. Don't do anything involving caramel, marshmallows, turkish delight, or other temperature-critical sugar work until you are confident with everything else - or you will get demoralised quickly.  Or maybe I'm just rubbish at these techniques.
       
      3. Learn simple decoration (cocoa butter colour, texture sheets etc) early on.  These make a big difference to how everyone will react to your work.
       
      4. Don't rush.  Chocolate making takes a lot of (elapsed) time.  Give things time to crystallise properly.  I find there is always an endless amount of cleaning-up to do while I wait :-)
       
       
    • By JohnT
      I have heard over the years of bakers using beetroot in chocolate cakes to "enrich" them. I have never done this and I am not too fond of beetroot in its various forms (a childhood "thing"). However, I have been requested to bake a chocolate cake using "beetroot juice" in the recipe - the person requesting the cake even supplied me with the recipe!
       
      Right, this is a first time for me doing this and I need to make a sample cake to make sure it results in an edible cake. The recipe calls for 250ml (a metric cup) beetroot juice. So my question is, how would I produce a cup of this beetroot juice? Just wiz a few raw beets in a blender and strain out the juice? Do I boil the beets first or use them raw? Ignorance is sometimes bliss - but sometimes not.
       
      Help with this dilemma would be appreciated for this beet ignorant sod in "Darkest Africa".
      John.
    • By Kasia
      MILLET GROATS CHOCOLATE CREME WITH CRANBERRY MOUSSE
       
      Today I would like to share with you the recipe for the best chocolate crème I have ever eaten. It is thick, smooth and very chocolaty in flavour and colour. Despite the chocolate, the dessert isn't too sweet. But if somebody thinks that it is, I recommend serving it with slightly sour fruit mousse. You can use cherries, currants or cranberries. You will make an unusually yummy arrangement and your dessert will look beautiful.

      My children were delighted with this dessert. I told them about the fact it had been made with millet groats after they had eaten it, and ... they didn't believe me. Next time I will prepare the millet groats crème with a double portion of ingredients.

      Ingredients (for 4 people)
      chocolate crème
      100g of millet groats
      200g of dark chocolate
      1 tablespoon of dark cocoa
      250ml of almond milk
      fruit mousse
      250g of fresh cranberries
      juice and peel of one orange
      half a teaspoon of grated ginger
      4 tablespoons of brown sugar

      Boil the millet groats in salty water and drain them. Melt the chocolate in a bain-marie. Blend the millet groats, chocolate, cocoa and milk very thoroughly until you have very smooth crème. Pour the milk in gradually to make the right consistency of your desert. Prepare the fruit mousse. Put the washed cranberries, ginger, juice orange peel and sugar into a pot. Boil until the fruits are soft. Blend. Put the chocolate crème into some small bowls. Put the fruit mousse on top. Decorate with peppermint leaves. Serve at once or chilled.

      Enjoy your meal!


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×