What is dutch processed cocoa powder?

Hey Janet,

I found a great recipe that calls for dutch processed cocoa and I’ve never used it. Is it different that regular cocoa powder?

Fran in Nashville

What is dutch processed cocoa powder
Cocoa powder is made from chocolate liquor, which is a paste made from the beans in the pods of the cacao tree. The beans are roasted and ground into a paste which is hardened in molds. A large portion of the fat is removed and it’s then pulverized into natural cocoa powder. Dutch processed cocoa powder has an extra step in this process. Before the beans are ground, they are soaked in an alkaline solution. This solution neutralizes much of the acidity normally found in cocoa powder and dutch processed¬†cocoa powder is born.

Dutch Processed Cocoa and Natural Cocoa Powder

What does this mean to you?
Dutch processed cocoa has a stronger chocolate flavor without the harshness you get from natural cocoa powder. Most cookbooks warn that dutch processed cocoa powder and natural cocoa powder can’t be used interchangeably. The acidity in natural cocoa powder helps leaven baked goods. If you use dutch cocoa powder in a recipe that calls for natural cocoa powder there needs to be some other leavener like baking soda. To be safe, use the type of cocoa that the recipe calls for to get the desired results.

Where can I find dutch processed cocoa?
You should be able to find it at your local grocery stores, but it’s definitely easier to find during the holiday’s.

Check out my recipe for Dulce De Leche Brownies using dutch processed cocoa.

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