But, like so many food products and ingredients, the choices can be confusing. What, for example, is the difference between Dutch-process and natural cocoa powder?
Simply, Dutch-process cocoa powder is made from cocoa beans that have been washed with a potassium solution, while the beans in natural cocoa powder have simply been roasted and ground into a fine powder.
The potassium wash, also known as ‘Dutching’, neutralizes the acidity in the powder. It also makes the product darker and can help mellow the flavour of the bean.
As well as reducing the bitterness and acidity of the chocolate, the Dutch-process increases the powder’s solubility and improves the stability of its reaction to baking powder.
Most recipes will specify which cocoa powder to use and although substitutions are sometimes possible, due to the differences in chemical composition and in taste, we recommend adhering to the recipe.
Naturally, whichever cocoa powder you need for your latest chocolate creation, The Essential Ingredient is your one-stop shop. We stock both natural and Dutch-process cocoa powder, and we only stock products that are of the highest quality.
For cocoa powder, baking equipment and advice, visit your nearest The Essential Ingredient store today.