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What kind of cocoa powder works best in a recipe that uses both baking soda and cream of tartar?

I know natural cocoa powder works best with baking soda, and Dutch-processed works with baking powder due to acidity levels, but what cocoa works best in a cookie recipe that calls for both cream of tartar and baking soda, which sort of works like baking powder when used together?

asked by txc84 12 months ago
2 answers 658 views
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added 12 months ago

Definately use a Dutch processed cocoa. It is neutral and wont react with baking soda. Natural cocoa will and make it taste soapy.

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Shuna Lydon

Shuna is a pastry chef in New York City and author of the acclaimed blog Eggbeater.

added 12 months ago

In my experience, natural cocoa powder does not work in recipes that need to "rise" or "grow." As natural cocoa is increasingly difficult to find, barring Hershey's brand, I use European/dark/"Dutch" cocoa for most everything.

How cocoa reacts in a recipe is not solely chemical leavener dependent. There are many factors. But in a cookie that does not need a rise, I could see using either cocoa. I don't have any cooke recipes that call for baking powder, though, as I am not a fan of it unless it is absolutely necessary.

Does this help? I fear this is all a bit confusing... Often times I set aside "baking science," using instinct and taste instead.

I will say that I find it annoying that recipes that tell you exactly what kind of ______ to use, don't specify what kind of _____. Ingredients are not the same, the world over - that's for sure!