Fortunately, as time passes and the globe changes, so do the foods and ingredients accessible to us! Is this a good thing? Yes! That implies that we are continually exposed to new flavors, recipes, and culinary techniques. Is this making things even more perplexing? Yes, once more! But don’t worry, today I’ll answer a topic that may have you scratching your head: should I use cocoa powder or baking cocoa?
You may not have realized that these were two distinct things. That’s reasonable and probably typical, but if you want to truly enhance the flavors of your chocolatey products, differentiating between the two might get you one step closer to that delectable, desired treat.
Let’s start with the fundamentals.
What is cocoa powder?
Cocoa powder is a bitter, flavorful powder made from powdered cocoa beans and cocoa butter obtained from the cacao plant. It is often labeled as natural cocoa, unsweetened cocoa, or just cocoa in stores.
The beans are fermented and processed at very high temperatures, causing them to roast and provide a highly acidic and bitter flavor. Because of this flavor, recipes that call for cocoa powder often ask for bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) to neutralize the acidity. The baking soda interacts with the acidity of the cocoa powder, causing the baked products to rise.
Because of its inherent texture and bitter flavor, cocoa powder is seldom used in traditional, sweet sweets or instant chocolaty pleasures like hot chocolate, since it would take a lot of sugar to make the flavor more agreeable.
Sometimes, recipes will ask for cocoa but will not specify the kind. In these cases, they are most likely referring to ordinary, natural cocoa powder. Since this was the only kind of cocoa powder accessible historically, many older recipes do not specify, although they often need additional sugar to heighten the sweetness.
What is baking cocoa?
We have produced a more processed form of cocoa powder called as baking cocoa throughout time, as we have with many other things. This is also known as Dutch Process Cocoa because the cocoa powder has been alkalised by washing it in a potassium carbonate solution. Without getting too technical, the main thing here is that the process neutralizes the acidity and produces a sweet, rich flavor, and the smoothness outweighs the harshness of the raw cocoa.
Since it adds additional flavor, this is often used in baking, thus the term baking cocoa. As a consequence, the powder is much more soluble and pleasurable, and it is utilized in products such as hot chocolate, frosting, and fondants.
Unfortunately, since it removes the rising agent, it must be used in conjunction with baking powder for cakes, but it works great in other dessert recipes that do not need much rising, such as brownies and chocolate pudding delicious!
What happens when you substitute baking soda for baking powder in a cake? Further information may be found here!
Can I substitute baking cocoa for cocoa powder?
So, I’m sure you’re wondering whether you can swap baking cocoa for cocoa powder. The answer is yes, however your leavening and sweetening chemicals may need to be adjusted.
To substitute in natural cocoa instead of baking cocoa:
For every 3tbsp cocoa powder, use 8tsp bicarbonate soda. Natural cocoa may be substituted for baking cocoa and baking powder in recipes that normally call for both.
To substitute in baking cocoa instead of natural coca:
For recipes that do not call for a rising agent, you may switch from baking to natural, but be wary of the bitter taste.
Baking Cocoa vs Cocoa Powder – The Bitter Sweet Symphony
To summarize, both are wonderful and offer advantages, but they are quite different. Remember to use Dutch process cocoa if a recipe asks for baking powder. If a recipe asks for bicarbonate of soda, use natural cocoa instead. If you follow these easy procedures, you can’t go wrong with your gooey, chocolatey goodies!