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Natural And Dutch Cocoa Powder- The Prominent Differences Between The Two Varieties
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The natural Cocoa is made from the ground roasted cocoa nibs from which most of the cocoa butter have been particularly extracted. It is naturally acidic with a pH of about 5.4 and is beige in color. The Dutch cocoa powder is further treated with an alkalizing agent in order to neutralize its overall acidity and bring the pH to about 7 and has a particularly rich, dark brown color.
Most of the American cocoas are indeed very natural in form and most of the European cocoas are being actually Dutch processed.
Many of the "baking experts" from around the world and the cookbooks report that it's important to use the type of the cocoa specified in a particular recipe in order for the baked goods to rise quite properly, and that Dutch cocoa powder and natural cocoa cannot be used interchangeably.
But is it really necessary for the home cook to stock both the kinds of the unsweetened cocoa in his/her pantry? This is a very frequently asked question among the masses. Since I wasn't sure of the particular answer and have gone back and forth in my own baking, I decided to do some extensive research on the topic.
Back in the year 2005, the folks at a very respected cooking magazine tested five Dutch cocoa powders and the five Natural cocoas in side-by side comparisons of the hot chocolate and the chocolate shortbread. The top two scoring Dutch processed and the natural cocoas were then very well compared in side-by-side comparisons of the hot chocolate, shortbread, low-fat chocolate pudding, devil's food cake, and also in the chocolate pudding cake.
The tests very well concluded that there was no discernible difference in the overall leavening results and the two Dutch cocoas beat out the two natural cocoas in terms of both the flavor and texture as well. The Dutch process cocoa won every test hands down.
I don't know about you, but that is the sufficient evidence for me to stock only the Dutch process cocoa in my baking cupboard from now on.
High scoring Dutch cocoa powders include Callebaut, Droste, and Mercken's. I have also had success using Hershey's Dutch processed brand, when that's all I could find on my grocery store's shelves.
While the chocolate is something every parent frequently promises as a reward or as a motivator for the good behaviour to their children, it is also one of the most loved reward or the most sinful indulgences that the adults treat them with very often to satisfy themselves and the Dutch cocoa powders play a major role. The Chocolate lovers may also share one common passion; the love for the chocolate but this does not necessarily mean that they love the same kind of chocolates. The recipes that are prepared from the coco powder are always appreciated by the adults.
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