Black Cocoa Powder and How to Use It

You may have noticed that some chocolate desserts are daringly dark. Some are almost black, like my Black Cocoa Oreo Cake. So, how do they get this dark in color without using food coloring? So I’m talking about black cooca powder and how to use it today.

Black cocoa powder is most likely the star when you see these daringly dark black desserts. So, what is black cocoa powder? What can it be used for? What is the difference between black cocoa powder and regular cocoa powder? We’re going to cover all of that today so you can learn about black cocoa powder and how to use it in your favorite desserts!

what is black cocoa powder, black cocoa powder and how to use it
what is black cocoa powder, black cocoa powder and how to use it

What is black cocoa powder?

Black cocoa powder is a cocoa powder that has been heavily alkalized. This means that it’s been more stripped of acidity that is naturally occurring in cocoa. Removing acidity from cocoa powder creates as sweeter cocoa, and the more acidity that is removed, the darker the cocoa becomes.

What is the difference between black cocoa powder and regular?

There are actually three main types of cocoa powder: black cocoa, Dutch cocoa, and natural cocoa powder. While both black cocoa and Dutch cocoa have both been alkalized, natural cocoa has not been (hence the name, natural).

Natural cocoa powder is the least sweet of all the cocoas because it is cocoa in its natural state. Dutch cocoa powder has been alkalized, which means that acidity has been reduced, making it sweeter in flavor. Black cocoa powder is heavily alkalized, meaning even more acidity is removed than Dutch cocoa powder. This makes black cocoa powder even sweeter, and it creates an even darker color. This can also translate to a “more chocolatey” flavor.

So, while natural cocoa will be the most natural cocoa powder, it is also the least flavorful. Dutch cocoa powder is your middle ground, and the one that most recipes will commonly call for. And black cocoa powder is the sweetest and darker cocoa powder you can use.

what is black cocoa powder, black cocoa powder and how to use it

Can you interchange one black cocoa powder for Dutch cocoa or natural?

Yes, and no. The short answer is you can use black cocoa powder and Dutch cocoa powder interchangeably in a recipe because they have both been alkalized. You cannot substitute Dutch cocoa or black cocoa for natural cocoa powder.

Natural cocoa powder has not been alkalized, so when using it in recipes, it does react with baking soda. So, those recipes using natural cocoa could have baking soda. However, because Dutch cocoa and black cocoa powder have been alkalized, it does not react well with baking soda and baking powder is needed instead. This is why you can substitute black cocoa for Dutch or vice versa, but not for natural.

One other thing you must be careful of is black cocoa powder and Dutch cocoa powder do not weigh the same in volume. So, if substituting one in a recipe be sure that you are using the right amount. This is why I weigh all my ingredients, and I will use weight (and not cups) when subbing one for the other. Use my cheat sheet below.

Black cocoa powder

1 cup = 127 grams

Dutch cocoa powder

1 cup = 85 grams

what is black cocoa powder, black cocoa powder and how to use it

What can black cocoa powder be used for?

Black cocoa powder can be used for anything that you use Dutch cocoa powder for. Because they both have been alkalized, you can use them interchangeably in recipes (as longs you measure properly).

Black cocoa powder is a rich, dark, and sweet cocoa powder that can be used in cakes, cookies, brownies, puddings, hot chocolate, and more! Try using black cocoa powder when you want a sweeter, darker, or richer dessert!

So now that you know about black cocoa powder and how to use it, try it out in some dessert recipes when you want a daringly dark dessert. Try my Black Cocoa Oreo Cake or my Black Cocoa Biscotti, which are two of my favorite black cocoa recipes!

what is black cocoa powder, black cocoa powder and how to use it

Why Organic

Why use organic ingredients in this recipe? You all know I’m a huge organic advocate, and I bet you may be thinking sometimes, Why would I even bother to use organic ingredients in something that is so sweet and indulgent? But, that is the exact reason why you should use organic ingredients! Sweet things need to have flavor in order to be good, otherwise they are just sweet and they don’t taste like much else. Organic ingredients are more pure than conventional ones, therefore they actually have more flavor than the non organic options. Say it with me, organic means more flavor! And not just more flavor but a more true and pure flavor. And organic ingredients are much healthier for you to eat in general as they do not contain GMOs or anything artificial. Plus, you are being environmentally friendly when you choose organic ingredients!

So, I highly recommend that you buy the best organic ingredients for this recipe! You can also shop my Amazon Storefront for all my favorite organic ingredients here. Tip – hover over each ingredient to see the name. And if you want to learn more about organic foods and the difference, read my post here on Food Labels and What They Mean.

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