How to Use Cocoa Powder

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When cocoa beans are ground and pressed to remove the cocoa butter, the remaining solids are dried and refined to form cocoa powder. Cocoa powder is used in the beverage cocoa or hot chocolate and is a common ingredient in a variety of desserts and baked goods. In addition to giving a deep, rich chocolate flavor to pastry, cocoa powder has been found to contain a higher concentration of antioxidants than either milk or dark chocolate, giving you all the justification you might need to increase your cocoa intake.

Things You'll Need

  • Boiling water Unsalted butter Sugar Milk
  • Learn the difference between Dutch processed cocoa powder and natural unsweetened cocoa powder. Dutch processed or alkalized cocoa has undergone treatment to neutralize its naturally occurring acids. Natural unsweetened cocoa has not undergone this neutralization and therefore will react when combined with baking soda, causing the product to rise.

  • Use cocoa powder in baked goods in combination with other types of chocolate. This can reduce the overall cost and frequently results in an end product with a deeper and more complex chocolate flavor. To do this, simply reduce the overall chocolate by 1 oz. and sift 1/3 cup of cocoa powder in with the flour. Alternatively, you can dissolve the cocoa in boiling water to create a thick paste, which can then be added to your recipe.

  • Replace semisweet chocolate with cocoa powder by making the following alteration to the recipe: For each ounce of chocolate called for, place 1 ½ tbsp. of cocoa powder into a bowl. Add 1 tbsp. of boiling water and stir. Mix in 1 tbsp. of sugar and 2 tsp. of unsalted butter until well blended.

  • Use cocoa powder in place of unsweetened chocolate in a similar manner. For every ounce of unsweetened chocolate the recipe requires, measure 3 tbsp. of cocoa powder into a small bowl. Add 2 tbsp. of boiling water and 1 tbsp. of butter.

  • Drink your cocoa if you'd rather not bake with it. Because there is no leavening agent, it doesn't matter which kind you use, although Dutch cocoa has a milder flavor than natural cocoa. To make a large mug, combine 1 ½ tbsp. of unsweetened cocoa powder and 1/8 cup of sugar in a small pan. Add 1 cup of hot water and cook over medium heat for three to five minutes. Stir in 1 cup of milk. Continue to heat, stirring constantly, until all ingredients are well blended and steaming.

Tips & Warnings

  • When exchanging cocoa powder for solid chocolate, 2 ¼ oz. of chocolate are equal to ¾ cup cocoa.

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