Do you suggest using natural or dutch-processed chocolate?



ChefOno October 19, 2012

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.

SeaJambon October 19, 2012
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!
ATG117 October 19, 2012
I believe Valrhona is technical dutch processed, is it not?
Dorie G. October 17, 2012
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 :)
SeaJambon October 16, 2012
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. :)
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