Dutch-processed cocoa beans are treated with alkali during the production process. This neutralizes the powder’s pH level to 7 and changes the appearance and flavor. The balanced acidity gives the cocoa a smooth, earthy flavor and leaves the color ranging from light or reddish-brown to a deep dark black.
Dutch-processed cocoa or Dutched cocoa are being treated with an alkalizing agent to modify its color and give it a milder taste compared to “natural cocoa” extracted with the Broma process. It forms the basis for much of modern chocolate and is used in ice cream, hot chocolate, and baking.
This unsweetened cocoa powder contains 20-22% cocoa butter which makes it a rich and aromatic cocoa powder. This Dutch cocoa powder gives a strong and intense cocoa taste to anything you bake. Moreover, this is the best cocoa powder for a strong hot chocolate.
The Dutch process was developed in the early 19th century by Dutch chocolate maker Coenraad Johannes van Houten, whose father Casparus was responsible for the development of the method of removing fat from cocoa beans by hydraulic press around 1828, forming the basis for cocoa powder. These developments greatly expanded the use of cocoa, which had been mostly used as a beverage in Europe until that time.
Dutch-processed cocoa has a neutral pH and is not acidic like natural cocoa, so in recipes that use sodium bicarbonate (often known as bicarbonate of soda, baking soda, or bicarb) as the leavening agent which relies on the acidity of the cocoa to activate it, buttermilk, yogurt or sour milk should be substituted for the milk in the recipe, or a dash of cream of tartar can be used to provide some acidity in the batter. There is no need to add acidity when Dutch-process cocoa is used in recipes rather baking powder should be used instead of soda for leavening.
Dutch-processed cocoa powder is often called European style cocoa, alkalized cocoa, or Dutched cocoa powder. Dutch doesn’t necessarily refer to the origin here, but mostly to the process which changes the natural cocoa powder to alkalized cocoa.
The dark-brown colored Dutch-processed cocoa powder contains cocoa butter for a rich flavor.
If you haven’t tasted Dutch cocoa powder before, you should try Oreos. Oreo contains heavily Dutch-processed cocoa powder which gives that dark appearance and cocoa taste.
There is a reason why this unsweetened cocoa powder is called alkalized cocoa. During the processing, the natural alkaline level increases. Also, the pH level of natural cocoa (usually around 5-6) increases to pH 7, which is a neutral, however, more alkalized level.
Have you noticed that whenever you read a chocolate recipe with baking soda, it usually contains Dutch cocoa?
It is for a good reason. Since Dutch-processed cocoa powder is less acidic, it lets the baking powder take care of the rise of your cake. In contrast with the natural cocoa which can prevent rising. Indeed, using unsweetened processed cocoa can change the outcome of your recipe greatly.
Best Brand Dutch Process Cocoa Powder
#1. Droste Cocoa
At 20% fat, Droste is a little leaner than some of the other Dutch cocoa powders known. Though it’s not fancy, there’s nothing to complain about in its earthy chocolate flavor. It is very much available in all stores.
#2. The Cocoa Trader Black All Natural Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
Like many cocoa powders, this one has many health benefits. It is rich in antioxidants, flavonoids, vitamins, and many beneficial minerals.
This alkalized cocoa powder has a strong black color and a mellow, earthly flavor that is perfectly suitable for baking. Because of its strong dark color, it is recommended that this cocoa powder be used sparingly if it’s being used as a coloring agent. If you’re aiming for a higher quality cake, you should combine this with another brown dutch-processed cocoa.
- Special Dutch-processed cocoa: 100% authentic cocoa beans is used for this black cocoa powder
- It produces the darkest chocolate one can ever come across
- Rich in flavors
- Comprised of healthy vitamins and minerals
#3. Guittard Chocolate Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
This product possesses a bittersweet flavor and wears a vibrant, deep rich color. Furthermore, with its robust fudge-like flavor and full chocolate essence, it is one of the best cocoa powders used by many professionals.
- Intense bittersweet character
- Possesses a deep red color, full of chocolate essence, and a robust fudge-like flavor
- Made out of specially processed cocoa in Dutch tradition
#4. Rodelle Organic Baking Cocoa Powder
It possesses a rich flavor and appearance. This highly versatile powder can be used for many recipes, which include hot chocolate, brownies and many more.
Having a history of over 80 years, Rodelle Organic Baking cocoa powder has been a choice of many professional chefs in the pastry industry. This 100% USDA certified Dutch-processed, and one of a kind alkalized powder which will ensure a consistent result in your recipes.
- 100% Dutch-processed cocoa powder
- Completely organic
- Highest quality certified by USDA
- Comes in 25 Oz. resealable bag
#5. Szafi Reform Dutch Processed Cocoa Powder
It is Dutch-processed, which means it has been treated with a solution of alkali. It is unsweetened and alkalinized cocoa powder; it is said to be the best cocoa powder for baking.
- It contains about 20-22% cocoa butter.
- It Contains 20% of fat (1 gram per serving), its acidity level is low.
- It is well suited for brownies, chocolate chips and more.
Advantages of Dutch cocoa powder
The Dutch-processed cocoa powder:
- Lowers acidity
- Increases solubility
- Changes color
- Smoothes flavor
- Dutch cocoa is packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals to let you indulge in your favorite treats guilt-free.
Benefits of Dutch-processed Cocoa Powder
Dutch Processed Cocoa may help to:
- Boost your immune system
- Promote a healthy cardiovascular system
- Increase mood and energy
- Combat toxins and free radicals in the body
- Promote overall health and well being