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Store brand cocoa powder?

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 

I have a question. I am new to baking and I am focusing on pastries and such.  My new venture is a red velvet cake and I know I have to use cocoa powder and I just bought a random Aldi store brand bakers corner cocoa powder.  I am not sure if its any good. its sort of of chalky looking and it has a lot of lumps in it. its bitter like its suppose to be but is this how cocoa powder is supposed to look? and how is it suppose to feel? also if anyone can recommend an all around good baking powder for cakes I would appreciate it.

post #2 of 2

Basically, cocoa powder can be divided into two groups:  Dutched, and non-Dutched.  "Dutching" is a process invented by Van Houten almost two hundred years ago in which cocoa beans are treated with alkalai.  The process removes bitterness from the beans, and the resulting cocoa powder is dark brown.  It also reacts with baking soda, forming gas, which can be used to leaven cakes.

 

Non-dutched is usually reddish brown, and is usually more expensive.  It is also usually never found in supermarkets

 

On some packaging and on the bulk quantities of cocoa powder you might find a percentage number.  This refers to the amount of residual cocoa butter remaining in the powder.  It is usually around 10-12% but can be higher.

 

Stay away from buying cocoa in the bulk or self-serve sections of the store.  It picks up humidity,picks up foreign odours, loses flavour, an can be contaminated with other bulk food items.

 

Hope this helps

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