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Cocoa powder

Posted by Svetlana Tokunova
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Cocoa powder is an unsweetened powder produced by grinding cacao beans and pressing out the cocoa butter (fat). The resulting cocoa powder is low in fat, but has an intense chocolate taste. It is most commonly used in baked goods, where it is mixed with sugar and other fats, like butter, margarine, or coconut oil.

Cocoa powder is commonly available in two varieties: natural cocoa powder, and alkalized, or “dutch-processed,” cocoa powder. Dutch-processing cocoa powder involves treating the cocoa with an alkali to reduce the acidity (and thus, remove sour flavors). Dutch-processed cocoa often has a deeper or redder brown color, and a more palatable flavor, since some of the acidity has been removed.

For candy making, the types of cocoa powder can usually be used interchangeably, and you should use whichever cocoa you think tastes best. For baking, the type of cocoa can matter, since the acidity of the cocoa powder can react with whatever leavening agent the recipe calls for. If the recipe calls for baking soda, natural cocoa powder is preferred, since the acidity in the cocoa will react well with the baking soda. If the recipe calls for baking powder, then Dutch-processed cocoa powder can be used.

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