I have a question about the recipe "Beurre & Sel's Port Jammer Cookies" from doriegreenspan. Do you suggest using natural or dutch-processed chocolate?
Natural. Even though it is frequently darker in color, the "dutch processing" (or, actually, the alkali used in the processing) removes chocolate flavor. Especially something from Dorie -- you'll want all the wonderful chocolate flavor you can get. :)
Dorie is a food writer and award-winning author of ten cookbooks, her most recent being Around My French Table: More Than 300 Recipes from My Home to Yours.
Maddogoday and SeaJambon, I use Valrhona cocoa, but at Food 52 we used a lighter cocoa and, in both cases the streusel had good flavor. Thanks for being so interested ... and so smart :)
I believe Valrhona is technical dutch processed, is it not?
Great question on Valrhona -- don't know. Recently learned, however, that if you are using Dutch processed cocoa you should also be using baking soda; natural requires baking powder (soda to powder ratio: 1 part bkg soda = 3 parts bkg pwder). In this particular recipe, there isn't a leavening component in the streusal which is where the cocoa is used, so either type of cocoa should work fine without needing to further adjust the recipe. Personally, I lean toward natural simply because I like all the chocolate flavor I can get!
Like most European cocoa, Valrhona is alkalized. While it's true the process lessens the intensity of chocolate flavor, it's probably more correct to say it changes the flavor profile, reducing astringency and bitterness while adding complexity. Personal preference really. Just to confuse the issue, consider Hershey's Special Dark cocoa -- a blend of the two types.
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