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Shel_B

Rich Cocoa Powder

39 posts in this topic

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

"... ya can't please everyone, so ya got to please yourself "

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

Remember, Dutch Process removes the nutrition


Wawa Sizzli FTW!

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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.

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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.

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

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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?

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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!

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I have Pralus and Valrhona. Much prefer the Pralus.


Ruth Kendrick

Chocolot
Artisan Chocolates and Toffees
www.chocolot.com

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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.

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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!

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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.

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Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.

My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

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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

"... ya can't please everyone, so ya got to please yourself "

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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.

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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...

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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

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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.livestrong.com/article/539346-dutch-processed-cocoa-powder-vs-unsweetened-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

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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.

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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?

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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.

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

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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?!

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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."

'

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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).

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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.

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