I have a question about the recipe "Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Cupcakes" from AllisonRobicelli. How long will these stay at room temp? Also - for cocoa powder - dutch process or regular? Thanks!
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The big concern is the buttercream. According to http://www.wilton.com/decorating/icing/icing-chart.cfm, buttercream can handle 2-3 days at room temperature before it's better off not eaten. Humidity and higher heats can also affect the texture of buttercream at room temperature, resulting in a melty mess.
"dutching" cocoa tends to darken the colour and mellow the flavour of the cocoa, and it neutralizes the acidity of the cocoa. Because this recipe contains baking soda as a leavener and acid-neutralizing agent, you're safe using regular cocoa powder. It also has baking powder in it, is more typically used as a leavener with dutch process cocoa, so you're also safe using dutch process cocoa.
You can substitute ordinary cocoa powder with dutch-process in most recipes, though taste and texture can be affected, but generally not unless you're using 3/4 of a cup or more. Dutch process cannot be substituted for ordinary cocoa in most recipes, because most recipes include acid neutralizing agents to counteract the acidity in natural cocoa. In this case, because it doesn't specify "dutch process" cocoa powder, err on the side of using regular cocoa powder, as chances are that the recipe was developed and tested with natural cocoa powder.