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etalanian

King Arthur Black Cocoa Powder

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I bought some "black cocoa" from King Arthur. Has anyone out there ever used it? Before I start playing with it I want to check to see if there are any secret ways to use it. Or if there are any problems with it.

Thanks in advance for any help or ideas.

Eileen

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I bought some "black cocoa" from King Arthur. Has anyone out there ever used it? Before I start playing with it I want to check to see if there are any secret ways to use it. Or if there are any problems with it.

Thanks in advance for any help or ideas.

Eileen

Hi Eileen

I've never used it, but if you do a search on the King Arthur website for "black cocoa" you'll come up with several recipes. I believe black cocoa is used mostly for the color rather than flavor, like for oreo cookies, etc. The KA recipes combine black cocoa with regular cocoa.

Ilene :biggrin:

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Hi Eileen

I've never used it, but if you do a search on the King Arthur website for "black cocoa" you'll come up with several recipes. I believe black cocoa is used mostly for the color rather than flavor, like for oreo cookies, etc. The KA recipes combine black cocoa with regular cocoa.

Ilene 

Thanks for the info, Ilene!

Eileen

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I have been using it since they began selling it.

I use it in my Fruited cocoa cake

RecipeGullet cocoa cake

Which I usually make for Christmas but also during the rest of the year.

I also use it in my cocoa cookies, which is not yet in RecipeGullet, although I have posted it somewhere on one of the cookie threads.

When done correctly, with the ingredients as listed - i.e., Dutch process cocoa,

these cookies are both crispy and chewy at the same time.

I have modernized the recipe and made it in a more reasonable size for today. The original made hundreds of cookies.

Cocoa Cookies

The original of this recipe is over 200 years old. It has been made in my family for at least that long.

These cookies are the most intensely flavored chocolate wafer cookies of any I have tasted - We always had them for Christmas and on special occasions when grandma made ice cream. These cookies are excellent keepers if stored in a tightly closed tin. (however the tin has to be in a locked vault or secret hidey-hole, otherwise they disappear like magic) *Please use only "Dutch-process" cocoa the other kind doesn’t work in this recipe.

I recommend the Double Dutch cocoa from King Arthur Flour and often use this mixed half and half with the Black cocoa from the same source.

Unsalted (sweet) butter 1 stick

Sugar 2 cups

cocoa (*Dutch process) 1/2 cup

water 1 tablespoon

salt 1/4 teaspoon

egg 1

vanilla 1 teaspoon

flour (all purpose) 2 cups

baking soda 1 teaspoon

cream butter and sugar, add cocoa, water and salt.

beat the egg and add with vanilla to the mixture.

sift the flour and soda together twice then gradually sift it into the batter, continue beating until flour is completely blended.

Turn out onto plastic wrap, flatten to about 1 inch thick, wrap dough tightly and refrigerate at least overnight.

I find that the flavor deepens as the dough is stored longer in the fridge.

to bake, preheat oven to 350°

Allow dough to come to room temperature.

Dough can be rolled out between 2 sheets of wax paper to less than 1/4 " thickness. Cut into 2 " rounds, dust with powdered sugar (or vanilla sugar) and bake on baking parchment, or on greased baking sheets. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes but watch carefully, some ovens bake quicker than others - in my convection oven, they bake in 7 minutes-maximum, but often are ready at 5 minutes. Using baking parchment is much easier - just slide the paper off the sheet and allow to cool then ease the cookies off the paper - they should be crisp as soon as they cool

Otherwise you have to be very careful removing them from the cookie sheets and the sheets have to be washed and re-greased before the next batch.

Option #1 This is the easiest for novice bakers....

Form dough into a rope 3/4 to 1" (Tootsie-roll size) in diameter. cut into 1" sections, roll into a ball, roll in powdered sugar (or vanilla sugar), place on baking parchment, flatten with bottom of a hobnail glass dipped in powdered sugar or the vanilla sugar,

bake as above.

Option # 2

roll out very thin right on baking parchment. Using a pizza cutter, pie-crust cutter, crimping roller, etc. cut into strips, straight or wavy, or into squares, triangles or diamonds. Slide baking parchment onto a cookie sheet and bake as above. Slide parchment onto a cooling rack. when cookies have cooled enough to touch, roll into cylinders and dust with powdered sugar or let cool and dip one end into melted white chocolate.

These wafers can also be broken up and sprinkled over vanilla ice cream.

Also can be rolled between sheets of baking parchment to make crumbs that can be used to coat cakes that have been smoothly frosted with buttercream or sour cream or even the old faithful "7-minute" frosting.


Edited by andiesenji (log)

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I've used their black cocoa in a few recipes and it can be a nice addition. What makes it so dark is that it's actually "super alkalized", or dutch processed more than most other cocoas. This makes it smoother than non-dutched cocoa, but also a little dull tasting by itself, so I still prefer to use mostly regular dutched cocoa and sub out a small portion with black cocoa for the color and deeper flavor.

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Hershey's new Special Dark cocoa is also "super alkalized" and very dark. This is replacing their European Style dutched cocoa. According to Cook's, the change is not for the better. That's really a bummer, because the original Hershey's dutched ("European style," in the silver container) was not bad at all.

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Andiesenji, that looks like a great recipe. I am going to try it asap - probably after my whole Christmas cookie extravaganza is over. Is the flour you use for this recipe bleached flour? I use Callebaut Dutch cocoa, but I suspect that will work as well as the KA dutch stuff. Thanks so much!

Nightscotsman - (I just LOVE that name!) - do you notice any difference in the texture of the things you have used it in? Do I need to allow for the lower acidity in my recipes over and above what I would allow for regular dutched cocoa?

And thanks to everyone who responded. I always buy things impulsively and then have to figure out what to do with them. Super-alkalized. Hmmmm.

Eileen

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Yes, I've used it before and I didn't like it. Makes things taste bitter. I ended up throwing the two bags I bought away.

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I use it quite frequently. I actually really like the flavor it produces, although I never use more than 50% black cocoa powder in a recipe because I find that it has a bit of an anise flavor in large quantities that is not particularly desirable in chocolate. I use it for my chocolate butter cake all the time as a chocolate "blackout" cake, which is ironically for my customers who like a milder chocolate flavor (like those who prefer milk chocolate to bittersweet). It pairs extremely well with vanilla anything. I like it with a whipped cream icing or a vanilla meringue buttercream. It makes a sort of inside out oreo cake! Kids really like it, so I make it for kids birthdays all the time.

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I haven't adjusted any recipe particularly with using the black cocoa.

The main thing is that it really reacts well with buttermilk and with sour cream and you get a better rise.

regular cocoa requires the use of baking powder, instead of just a little baking soda.

I have never used the stuff by itself, it never occurred to me, I wanted something with more of a bittersweet flavor and this works well - it particularly complements cherries, raspberries, etc.

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Andie, when you say that regular cocoa "doesn't work", what do you mean? Does it change the texture, taste, shape, what? Could you add a bit of baking powder to compensate? I'd like to try your cookies, but it's a bit pricey to buy a $9 can of Dutch process for one recipe--I've used it before and not liked it at all. It just doesn't taste chocolate-y to me.

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Andie, when you say that regular cocoa "doesn't work", what do you mean?  Does it change the texture, taste, shape, what?  Could you add a bit of baking powder to compensate?  I'd like to try your cookies, but it's a bit pricey to buy a $9 can of Dutch process for one recipe--I've used it before and not liked it at all.  It just doesn't taste chocolate-y to me.

If you use regular, "non-Dutched" cocoa powder, you must use a little baking powder. Otherwise they don't have the little "spring" that is desirable. Although they do not rise as much as some cookies, they do puff a little and then develop a "crackle" top, which shows up nicely with the powdered sugar sprinkled on top.

Also, the cookies do not have the same texture and are not as dark, even plain "Dutch process" cocoa turns out a darker cookie (almost as dark as Oreos) than regular cocoa.

This is a very old recipe from before baking powder was around.

Actually, the original "receipt" listed baker's ammonia powder, however, because it is so difficult to find for most people, I changed the recipe many years ago. I do use baking ammonia for a couple of cookies but have not altered or published those recipes.

I didn't realize that Dutch process cocoa was so expensive.

I saw a display of Hersey's Special Dark Dutch process cocoa at one of the markets here for 2.69 for an 8-oz can.

If I didn't already have a good supply of the stuff, I would have stocked up. I think the Special Dark is an excellent product.


Edited by andiesenji (log)

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If I didn't already have a good supply of the stuff, I would have stocked up.  I think the Special Dark is an excellent product.

Did you also try the "European Style" dutched before Hershey's stopped making it? If so, how does the Special Dark compare to it? Like I said, I thought the "European Style" was very good for the price.

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LaurieA-B, Thanks for the link. It was a really interesting conversation, and quite helpful. I am going to try out the black cocoa as soon as I finish up with my christmas cookies.

Eileen

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If I didn't already have a good supply of the stuff, I would have stocked up.  I think the Special Dark is an excellent product.

Did you also try the "European Style" dutched before Hershey's stopped making it? If so, how does the Special Dark compare to it? Like I said, I thought the "European Style" was very good for the price.

Yes, I have tried just about every kind of cocoa ever offered in the U.S, including some terrible stuff sold under the old "Springfield" name quite a few years ago that I will never forget. It had little cocoa flavor, it tasted like cardboard - really weird.

Right now I have all four of the ones carried by King Arthur, plus various amounts of Ghiardelli, ScharffenBerger "natural", Callebaut, Droste, Schokinag, and three or four kinds of Cargill/Gerkens (which should probably be tossed because it has been around a long time.)

This article has an excellent (and only slightly technical) explanation of why different cocoa products react in different ways.

I think I included this link in a post a year or so ago when we had a previous discussion about cocoa powders of various types.


Edited by andiesenji (log)

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While I was in Europe this summer studying chocolate manufacturing, I had the privilege of getting to know someone who works for the largest cocoa powder producer in Spain.

Since she was clearly an expert on all things cocoa-powdered, I asked her about black cocoa powder since I had never used it myself. She told me that there is nothing special, it is simply treated to make it black. In fact, she went on to say that much of the black cocoa is not of the same quality as that which has been left in its natural color state.

I did a quick check just now in E.H. Meursing's book Cocoa Powders for Industrial Processing and he states "Depending on the reaction conditions, it is possible to influence the color strength and hue. Very dark colors, up to an almost black, can be obtained an red tints can also be made." However, Beckett's book "Industrial Chocolate : Manufacture and Use" seems to imply that the color is simply a byproduct of the alkalization process (p. 111).

Not being a black cocoa powder expert, I'd say from all this that some good cocoa powder is black and some bad cocoa powder is black. If I were you, I would simply use it in recipes where you feel that color is an important criteria or if the taste is particularly well matched for what you are trying to make. In other words, I'd treat it just like any other cocoa but it just happens in this case to be black.

So, all that being said, I'm not sure that I've answered your question or shed much light on black cocoa powder but I hope it helps a bit.

-Art

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