Cocoa powder, we all know it as powdered chocolate, but did you know that there are two main types of it? If not, stick around, we’re gonna dig deep into what those two cocoa powders are and how they differ. I promise that this will be quick!
Right off the bat, dutch-processed cocoa is darker in color — this has to do with the fact that it has been washed with a potassium solution that neutralizes it’s acidity. It is smooth, mellow, and deeper in flavor. It is used in the cookie part of the Oreo.
The most commonly seen dutch-processed cocoa powder is the Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa Powder.
Natural cocoa powder is basically the powder that comes from the roasted cocoa beans. Unlike its counter part, natural cocoa has not been alkalized thus keeping its light colored features. It is acidic and bitter by nature, but it is stronger in chocolate flavor.
The most commonly seen natural cocoa powder is the Hershey’s Cocoa Powder.
In baked goods, dutch-process cocoa is paired with baking powder. Since dutch-processed isn’t acidic, baking soda will not react with this cocoa powder.
Natural cocoa powder is often paired with baking soda. Since baking soda is known as a “base” it needs an acid to activate, which in this case, is natural cocoa powder.
In simpler terms, baking powder contains an acid and baking soda needs an acid.
Now keep in mind, these two cocoa powders are not interchangeable. I highly suggest sticking to the recipe’s ingredients, and you’ll have greater success. If it doesn’t state what cocoa powder is used, pay attention to the ingredients. If it calls for baking soda, use natural cocoa powder, and if it calls for baking powder, use dutch-processed cocoa powder.
I hope you guys learned something today, I tried my best to keep this easy and simple to understand! Now that you know the differences, go on and continue to bake!