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    Dutch Process Cocoa Powder

    neapolitan cupcake, dark cocoa cupcake, strawberry ice-cream butter cream, *freeze dried ice-cream 

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    There is something about dark, dark chocolate cake that evokes a sense of "decadence" the promise of "rich flavour" before you even take that first bite isn't there? 

    It's all in the cocoa powder, dutch process cocoa powder in fact. What is dutch process cocoa/chocolate? Well, to start with in Australia you are probably already using it as the most popular brands are dutch processed.

    Dutch processed cocoa has been treated with an alkali to neutralize its natural acidity resulting in a cocoa powder with increased solubility, lower acidity, milder/smoother flavour and enhanced colour; the more heavily Dutched the cocoa, the darker the resulting colour. 

    Dutch processed cocoa powder cannot be used with recipes that contain baking soda (bi carb) where the cocoa is the only form of acid and you usually find it used in recipes that contain baking powder instead. *Explained more fully at the end of todays post.

    I prefer the milder flavour this type of cocoa offers, however some cooks such as Alice Medrich author of 'Chewy, Gooey, Crispy, Crunchy' prefer the full flavour of unadulterated natural cocoa. Natural cocoa also contains higher levels of flavonols (antioxidants).

    Six popular Dutch processed cocoa powders:

    top to bottom 1.Rexim 2.Droste 3.Valrhona 4.Cadbury 5.E. Guittard 6.Nestle

    All these cocoas have distinct individual flavours, with Cadbury probably being the most well known cocoa in Australia containing an artificial flavouring agent to give it the unique "Cadbury" taste.

    My favourites to bake with are Valrhona, Rexim, Droste.... and Cadbury when I'm after a retro Australian flavour. 

    Back in a couple of days with an old school Aussie classic, until then happy Baking :)

    *freeze dried ice-cream or astronaut ice-cream is freeze dried ice-cream slices... mine came from The Professors an Australian online lolly shop. When using it on cakes it's an "eat and serve" product... you have around 30 minutes until the product softens... but worth it for a fun talking point value... tastes like ice-cream with a malteser/whopper like texture. I broke mine into pieces and dipped them in dark chocolate.

    In the US? Think Geek has astronaut ice-cream in assorted flavours.

    UK Amazon has a range of freeze dried ice-creams. 

    *cocoa's such as Cadbury and Nestle Baking cocoa were not marked dutch process, however when I rang the companies they confirmed they were. 

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    Reader Comments (28)

    I love the photo of the cocoa powder, does that mean you have six different brands of cocoa powder in your pantry?

    August 31, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRachel

    Hi Rachel, yes I have these six and one organic natural cocoa powder... I do like the nuances of ingredients... and I'm sucker for "the one I haven't tried yet" ;)

    August 31, 2011 | Registered CommenterThe Lone Baker

    LOL! I can't believe you have 6 different types of cocoa powder in your pantry! That takes baking to a whole new level! ;) I'm still drooling over your mashmallow choc cupcakes above. When i do visit, please remember to make these for me ok? :D

    August 31, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterfaithy

    Well Faithy you never know when you will need a particular "cocoa flavour/colour"... wait... that might only be me!!! Less expensive than shoes ;)

    August 31, 2011 | Registered CommenterThe Lone Baker

    So good you are back and posting. Absolutely wonderful. I am such a big fan because I find you to be talented, creative and I learn so much. Like this post. I never quite knew which Australian cocoa powders were dutch processed, and also the diffference in baking. Does that mean you must always add baking powder with the bicarb so as to use the dutch processed cooa? Sorry this is a revelation about the bicarb only.
    Thanks again,

    September 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAngela

    Hi Angela, I've had a few queries about the exact same thing... I've added a clarification (at least I hope it is!!) at the end of the article.

    To answer your question, most modern recipes use baking powder. Baking powder can be used with both natural and dutch processed cocoa powders.

    If you do have a recipe that has bicarb and cocoa without an added acid such as sour cream, yoghurt or buttermilk. I would seek out the natural cocoa powder which is available in health food stores or online in Oz

    You shouldn't come across many chocolate cakes that just use bicarb alone nowadays... occasionally perhaps in old school/classic recipes.

    Thank you so much for your lovely comment and your question :)


    September 5, 2011 | Registered CommenterThe Lone Baker

    Thank you. Your reply is so helpful. I really learn so much from you.
    Also on another note, I subscribe to a blog called Paris Pastry, and the latest post is about the book "Little treats". I was very excited and proud, to see your name listed as a contributor. It is simply wonderful that your talent is being recognised by others.

    September 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAngela

    Thank you Angela :) I'm very excited about being included in the book, even more so for my step son Daniel who has one recipe within it's pages. I just went and looked at the 'Paris Pastry' you spoke of.... what a lovely blog :)

    September 6, 2011 | Registered CommenterThe Lone Baker

    Is the recipe that is included in the "Litte Treats" book here on your blog? If not, will you post it sometime?
    thanks again,

    September 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAngela

    Hi Angela, I have five recipes in the book... four are on the blog :) was there a particular recipe you were after?

    September 8, 2011 | Registered CommenterThe Lone Baker

    I just wanted to say thank you so much for posting this! I was always confused about Dutch-process cocoa powder and shied away from recipes that used it. This post has cleared so much up for me and I've made some delicious things now! So thanks again :) much appreciated.

    May 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAngie

    Thank you so much Angie for the feedback :) I'm glad I could help.

    May 6, 2012 | Registered CommenterThe Lone Baker

    Thanks so much for the explanation of what dutch processed cocoa powder is. A recipe I have mentioned it and I was very confused. I've since found I can substitute an ingredient in it for buttermilk to react with the baking powder so I'll be able to just use the cadbury cocoa powder I have in my pantry. Thanks again!! :o)

    June 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda

    You're welcome Amanda :)

    June 5, 2012 | Registered CommenterThe Lone Baker

    Hi there,

    I'm making red velvet cake for my daughters birthday and the recipe I got says to use Dutch-processed cocoa powder and baking soda? Should I just sub the baking soda for baking powder?

    June 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRhiannon Harris

    Thank you! Such a clear and simple explanation of the mystery of cocoa powder. Completely explains why my usually failsafe one-bowl chocolate cale, which I recently made with Cadbury's cocoa, was so insipid. Off to find Droste...

    October 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJess

    I just tried to make chocolate mud cake with the Cadbury brand cocoa and they didn't turn out so well I'm not a big fan of the Cadbury cocoa. Is there a brand you would recommend?
    Great post by the way I think it will help me in the future

    March 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMegan

    Hi Im wondering were to purchase Red Cocoa powder from. lve found a suppler in Melbourne however he will only sell in large quantities. I tried amazon they wont ship to australia. hopeing you can throw me a bone.


    March 10, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermaria

    Hi Maria, am I reading you right... you want "natural cocoa powder" that hasn't been *dutched? Is so... try your local health food store, fair trade store, retail brands Hershey's, Ghirardelli, and Scharffen Berger do market natural cocoa powders... difficult to get in Australia. Umm, the health food supplier online like Power Super Foods stock natural cocoa powder.
    Keep in mind the flavour difference when baking... the raw cocoa is more bitter.

    *The potassium wash, also known as ‘Dutching’, neutralizes the acidity in the powder. It also makes the product darker and can help mellow the flavour of the bean.

    Hi Megan, brands I most use in cocoa powders; Valrhona, Rexim, Droste... with Droste and Rexim being the ones I run across the most in the supermarket. Valrhona is my favourite but most European cocoa powders are good quality. Happy Baking :)

    May 1, 2013 | Registered CommenterThe Lone Baker

    This was a very helpful post! Thank you! :)

    June 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAmy

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