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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 about 1 year ago
2 answers 658 views
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added about 1 year 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 about 1 year 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!