I just bought some unsweetened coca powder. I can never remember the difference between dutch-process and "regular." Can I use them interchangeably?



Sadassa_Ulna October 6, 2010
Thank you so much! Chocolate cake tomorrow, I love food52!
betteirene October 6, 2010
Totally by carelessness or ignorance, I've used one for the other a couple of times and things turned out fine, possibly because the recipe called for both baking powder and baking soda. But a few times, with brownies, wafer cookies and a cake, the results weren't so good and they couldn't be repaired--a bitterness that wasn't at all tasty or a gooeyness like an overdone lava cake.

Do as I say, not as I've done!

Substitution for 3 tablespoons Dutch-processed cocoa: 3 tablespoons natural cocoa powder plus 1/8 teaspoon baking soda

Substitution for 3 tablespoons natural cocoa: 3 tablespoons Dutch-processed cocoa plus 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar (or 1/8 teaspoon lemon juice or vinegar)

TheWimpyVegetarian October 6, 2010
Dutch-processing of chocolate was developed to improve natural cocoa powder. Both are unsweetened but there are big difference in color and some say in flavor. Natural cocoa is quite acidic; dutching involves treating the cocoa with chemical alkalis to make it less harsh and acidic. I have used them interchangeably with great success only in recipes like cookies that don't call for leavenings like baking soda and/or baking powder. Leavenings react with the acidity of the cocoa. The alkalinity of Dutched chocolate can make a batter so non-acidic that the proteins in the batter will not set during the baking process. So instead of a baked cake, you could end up with a very large cup of hot chocolate. It'll taste good I'm sure, but maybe not what you were looking for :-)
LBurt October 6, 2010
Oops, I said it backwards!

If the recipe says Dutch and you want to use unsweetened, add the baking soda.

If the recipe says unsweetened and you want to use Dutch, leave out the baking soda in the recipe.
LBurt October 6, 2010
Dutch processed is alkalized to neutralize the acids which makes it unable to react with baking soda so you can only use it if baking powder is in the recipe or you can add about 1/8 tsp per oz if substituting for unsweetened.

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