Quick Cooking Tip
- There are two types of cocoa powder available in supermarkets today: alkalized and non-alkalized, or natural. The latter is lighter in color and bolder in flavor, but both types have their roles in cooking and baking -- one is not better than the other. Use the type of cocoa powder specified in the recipe; if none is specified, it's okay to use either.
- Cocoa powder can be added to baked goods for a chocolatey flavor, whisked with hot milk or water for hot chocolate, and used in a variety of other ways, depending on the taste of the cook.
- Dutched cocoa powder or Dutch cocoa is produced by adding an alkali to the press cake to mellow the flavor and make the color less intense. Dutch cocoa is alkalized to remove the natural acidity so it is important to read baking recipes that call for cocoa carefully, as replacing natural with Dutch cocoa can cause a baked good to rise poorly or unevenly.
Quick Cocoa Tip: When you haven't any unsweetened chocolate in the house, make one ounce by adding one-tablespoon fat to three-tablespoons cocoa.
See also: Toasting Nuts