cocoa question

countrygal_905June 22, 2012

If a recipe calls for cocoa, can you use either dutch-processed or hershey's cocoa? When can't you sub one for the other? I didn't even realize there were different kinds until the chocolate ice cream thread. Thanks your help.

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If the recipe has only baking soda as a leavener (no baking powder) and no acid to react with the baking soda, you should use Hershey's and not Dutch-process. Dutch-process cocoa is alkalized, that is, processed to make it less acidic.
That's the only time it really matters.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2012 at 12:35PM
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cc - thank you so much. I never knew. I have used Hershey's for everything.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2012 at 2:24PM
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countrygal, I've also used Hershey's almost exclusively because that's the only kind available here in my small independent grocery.

Then I went to Grand Rapids and found Rodelle dutch processed. Oh my, it's my favorite now, it's so much better than Hershey's.

I don't use cocoa all that much, I have a couple of cake recipes and frosting recipes that use it, my favorite brownie recipe calls for it, a couple of cookie recipes use it. I've not had any trouble subbing yet and I haven't used it to make hot chocolate, but I'm betting it's gonna be good!

It's more expensive than Hershey's but if you can find some, try it, it's very good.


    Bookmark   June 22, 2012 at 10:36PM
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I know purists prefer dutch process, but when I've used it, I've found there's a HUGE difference in the finished product. Hershey's seems to give a much better texture, and more moist product. Everytime I've tried the DP, my baked goods have come out dry and NOT with the great chocolate flavor I expect.

But, I'll be the first to say, it all depends upon what you grew up with. Mom always used Hershey's, it's the flavor I'm used to, and the one I still prefer.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2012 at 8:07AM
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The best use for Dutched cocoa is when it is a stand alone flavor in a beverage, frozen dessert (such as chocolate ice cream or frozen yogurt), or for dusting - due to the less acidic, but rich taste. The flavor of Dutched cocoa is easily lost in a mixture of other flavors, such as cherries or almond flavoring.

Dutched cocoa has a pH of 6.4-7.8 while Natural cocoa and chocolate comes in at 5.3-6.0. For general baking use regular (nonalkalized) cocoa powder.


    Bookmark   June 23, 2012 at 9:22AM
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annie, azzalea, & grainlady - thanks so much for the additional information. I truly appreciate it. I learn so much from this forum.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2012 at 11:24AM
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azzelea, I'm definitely not a purist and I grew up on Hershey's, but I am far more fond of dark chocolate than I am milk chocolate and that's why I like the Rodelle's. It's just darker and more chocolate-y, and seems far less sweet.

I haven't noticed a texture difference but I haven't tried in in a couple of my old "stand-by" recipes because I don't have it all the time and it isn't easily accessible, while Hershey's is just half a mile away, LOL.


    Bookmark   June 24, 2012 at 12:02AM
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