Every week, baking expert Alice Medrich is going rogue on Food52 -- with shortcuts, hacks, and game-changing recipes.
Today: When a recipe calls for premium quality cocoa powder, what does that even mean? And how do you find it? Alice tells all.
To get the best flavor from any cocoa powder (natural or Dutch-process), buy the good stuff. Premium cocoa powder is 22% to 24% fat, twice the amount of regular cocoa powder. Since we use so little cocoa in recipes, the fat difference is negligible in the scheme of things and it is worth buying the higher fat cocoa for its quality. The fat percentage is not found on cocoa labels, but you can find it yourself by looking at the nutritional panel: look for cocoa with 1 gram (instead of .5 gram) of fat per 5 to 6 gram serving.
Alice's new book Seriously Bitter Sweet is a complete revision of her IACP award-winning Bittersweet, updated for the 54%, 61%, and 72% (and beyond) bars available today. It's packed with tricks, techniques, and answers to every chocolate question, plus 150 seriously delicious recipes -- both savory and sweet.
Photos by James Ransom
A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).
My career was sparked by a single bite of a chocolate truffle, made by my Paris landlady in 1972. I returned home to open this country’s first chocolate bakery and dessert shop, Cocolat, and I am often “blamed” for introducing chocolate truffles to America. Today I am the James Beard Foundation and IACP award-winning author of ten cookbooks, teach a chocolate dessert class on Craftsy.com, and work with some of the world’s best chocolate companies. In 2018, I won the IACP Award for Best Food-Focused Column (this one!).