Will a recipe that calls for Dutch process cocoa not work or taste like crap if Hershey's cocoa is used instead? What's so special abt. Dutch process?
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Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.
Dutch process cocoa is treated with an alkali to neutralize the acids, resulting in a milder cocoa powder. Regular unsweetened cocoa is more bitter and more complex. Not sure what you're using it for but if you're concerned about flavor, I think Hershey's should be ok, maybe just stronger in flavor.
Natural cocoa powder like regular Hershey's is acidic,Dutch process is neutral, that is the main difference. Because of that, you can't really substitute one for the other in recipes. Recipes for natural use baking soda as a leavener, recipes for Dutch use baking powder, which contains an acid, unless there is another acid in the ingredient list, like molasses. Regular cocoa powder is more chocolatey tasting, Dutch is more subtle.
The alkali difference becomes important with the leavener used. David Lebovitz has a good explanation at http://www.davidlebovitz...