Thursday, February 26, 2009

cocoa powder

A couple of weeks ago I told you about our Black Velvet Cupcakes and explained that we use the mother of all cocoa powders... Valrhona. Actually, we exclusively use Valrhona cocoa powder in all our recipes that call for cocoa powder. I also promised to give you a little more information on the topic. You see, not all cocoa powders are created equal. There are actually two types: natural and Dutch-processed.

Most of the cocoa readily available in the grocery store (Hershey's, Nestle, Ghirardelli) is unsweetened natural cocoa powder.

Unsweetened Natural Cocoa Powder

The Dutch-processed cocoas (Valrhona, Lindt, Droste) are treated with an alkali to neutralize the acids, making them perfect for baked goods. Valrhona cocoa powder is quite a bit more expensive, but we think it's worth it for the superior quality and flavor. Everything is just a bit more, well, chocolaty!

Valrhona Cocoa Powder

Notice the difference in color. This difference carries over into the baked goods you make. Now, take a look at the cocoas below, side-by-side.

Valrhona, Hershey's and Nestle Brand Cocoas

1 comment:

Kristin said...

i use valrohna too and my chocolate cupcake come out almost black! and my red velvet come out looking blood red. it has such good flavor though. Black Velvet - cute name! It's perfect.

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