Recipe for Chocolate Silk Pie calls for unsweetened chocolate bar. Can I sub cocoa power? How? and How much?

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10 Comments

sonya August 10, 2015
Cook's Country magazine answered this question and I thought you might find it helpful:

"Can cocoa powder be substituted for unsweetened chocolate?

Cocoa powder is unsweetened chocolate from which 76 to 90 percent of the cocoa butter has been removed. It is generally called for when a big hit of chocolate flavor is desired without any additional fat, usually in recipes that already contain a lot of butter, such as cakes and cookies. Some cocoas are packaged with instructions indicating that 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder combined with 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil can be substituted for 1 ounce of unsweetened chocolate. To find out if this substitution works, we prepared batches of brownies made with the 6 ounces of unsweetened chocolate called for in the recipe and with the cocoa and oil substitution. To our surprise, tasters found no textural differences between the two batches." (2006)

It's always risky to substitute this in baking, because of textural differences, though, so keep in mind that although it worked in brownies, you'd have to re-test it in all recipes to know for sure. Hope it worked out for you!
 
boulangere August 5, 2015
@POLC isn't it Oy?
 
PieceOfLayerCake August 4, 2015
It is not a seamless transition since they wouldn't have the same set, which is generally key in a silk pie. I would recommend just running to the supermarket.
 
PieceOfLayerCake August 4, 2015
It is not a seamless transition since they wouldn't have the same set, which is generally key in a silk pie. I would recommend just running to the supermarket.
 
MartiC August 4, 2015
The question was on behalf of a friend who is living in South America and did not have easy access to the unsweetened chocolate bar so running to the supermarket wasn't a viable option. She's going to try the conversion recommended on Joy of Baking and see how it turns out.
 
boulangere August 4, 2015
Well aren't you kind, MatriC. As long as your fried uses butter, the set will in fact be nearly identical, especially given that good cocoa powders can be approximately 24% fat. Besides the big picture is that your friend wants to make a lovely dessert with ingredients available to her. I have no doubt that her guests will be both impressed and grateful that she went to some trouble for them. And isn't that the point of entertaining? It isn't a performance; it's sharing of oneself and one's home. I hope she will let you know how it turns out so that you can let us know. Please wish her Bon appetit.
 
PieceOfLayerCake August 5, 2015
Oi
 

Voted the Best Reply!

boulangere August 3, 2015
You certainly can! Here is a link from Joy of Baking which gives you lots of other extremely useful subs. Scroll down to Unsweetened Chocolate: http://www.joyofbaking.com/IngredientSubstitution.html.

For EACH OUNCE of unsweetened chocolate called for in your recipe, you'll sub "3 tablespoons (20 grams) natural cocoa powder (not Dutch-processed) plus 1 tablespoon (14 grams) unsalted butter, vegetable oil or shortening." Definitely go with the unsalted butter. I've done this often in a pinch, and it works like a charm.

Read more: http://www.joyofbaking.com/IngredientSubstitution.html#ixzz3hmwXFvY5
 
MartiC August 4, 2015
Thanks for the info and the link - super helpful.
 
PieceOfLayerCake August 3, 2015
No sir, unsweetened chocolate and cocoa are never interchangeable (that I can recall). One adds moisture while the other absorbs it. I went searching and found some recipes that use only cocoa powder, but since I've never made them I wouldn't want to recommend one.
 
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