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Which type of cocoa do I have--dutch process or natural??

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Which type of cocoa do I have--dutch process or natural??

jayaymeye | May 6, 2010 04:35 AM

So, I bought a bit of what was labeled "dutch process" cocoa in bulk at my bulk food/spice shop. The color was a bit on the light side and seemed to resemble natural cocoa.

I wanted to test it out, so I did some research and I saw you can generally tell in recipes which it calls for (if it doesn't specify) by looking to see if it calls for baking soda (natural cocoa) or powder/cream of tartar (dutched)--alkalinity factor.

To test, I made Dorie Greenspan's World Peace Cookies, unsure of which type it calls for (she later says it doesn't necessarily matter, though it might affect the texture of the dough), but I assumed that it meant natural cocoa as the recipe calls for baking soda (which I eliminated/subbed cream of tartar). Verdict: cookies were hard and not very tasty (my guess: soda wasn't there to tenderize the cookie).

So, can you tell me how I know whether I have (more) natural cocoa or dutched? Could this cookie need extra soda to tenderize regardless of the type of cocoa?

Is there a way to tell (simply) the alkalinity of cocoa? (I'm not a food chemist!)

Thanks!!

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