Cocoa Powder and Baking Soda

Discussion in 'Pastries & Baking' started by free rider, Aug 15, 2007.

  1. free rider

    free rider

    Messages:
    915
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    I Just Like Food
    I was perusing a few of my favorite books last night (McGee, Patterson) and now I can't remember in which one I read that one should not used "dutch-process" cocoa powder with baking soda. Apparently it leads to a soapy taste.

    So... does anyone have any experience with this? Used dutch-process cocoa powder with baking soda/baking powder as a levener?

    Anyone have any idea how much acidity is needed in the cocoa powder for the baking soda to work properly with it?
     
  2. chefraz

    chefraz

    Messages:
    275
    Likes Received:
    12
    Exp:
    Professional Pastry Chef
    I've never hear of that before but after hearing that I looked it up and found this.hope this is what your looking for FreeRider.
    Dutch process [email protected]
     
  3. free rider

    free rider

    Messages:
    915
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    I Just Like Food
    Thanks, ChefRAZ, but no, that does not answer my question.

    It basically repeats what I've said, but gives no personal experience with it. Not only that, but it clouds the issue further as baking powder is baking soda with something added, is it not?

    I'd love to hear from some CTers as to their experience with this dutch-processed cocoa powder and baking soda issue. I just switched to a dutch-processed cocoa and am wondering what I should expect.
     
  4. trulys

    trulys

    Messages:
    63
    Likes Received:
    12
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    In my learnings you want to add B.S or B.P to Dutch process cocoa recipes cause dutching removes much of the natural alkali in the cocoa. and adding soda etc. to natural cocoa which already has natural alkali in it is what reacts badly. Now i think your question is , is how bad is bad? That i don't know cause when i changed my cocoa product from fry's which is dutched to Cocoa Barry which i believe is not dutched ( unless there is a alkali added and is not labeled in the ingredient list) i didn't notice a difference. Now my recipe called only for soda at 2tsp. so maybe if i was making a larger version i would notice. I tend not to interchange my cocoas for the purpose of experiment when i'm dealing with leaveners, just when i want to try a new cocoa flavour between brands. I hope this helps youout somewhat.
     
  5. free rider

    free rider

    Messages:
    915
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    I Just Like Food
    That helps a little. Cocoa Barry is dutched, I believe, as is Callebaut cocoa powder and the one I just switched to, Valrhona. I'm switching from an all-too-bitter non-dutched cocoa powder.

    What do you use to leaven if not baking soda or baking powder? Just egg whites?
     
  6. trulys

    trulys

    Messages:
    63
    Likes Received:
    12
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    so i was looking on my package of Cocoa Barry and it doesn't state anywhere any alkali in the ingredient list or anything about being dutched yet my Valhrona has alkali in the ingredient list so i know it is, as well as my Callebaut, so i've been using my Cocoa Barry as natural for years and it's always worked in anything even the chocolate cake with the soda like i stated earlier. So i got curious and got out my "chocolate bible" and it states like i said earlier dutching takes out the alkalis which mellows the flavor and darkens the color so not to use alkali's on natural cocoa for it will react to a bad taste yet in her book she has 3 recipes back to back, 1st calls for natural and b.p and footnoting not to use dutch for it will react bad with the powder and olive oil( it's a chocolate olive oil marble cake) this i've made with cocoa barry great results. Next she has a pound cake using natual with soda this time again footnoting not to use dutch for the bad reaction it will have on the soda, but then the 3rd she uses dutched with both b.p & b.soda footnoting not to use natural for it will react badly with this leavener so now i'm totally confused like you (thaxs alot.... (sarcastic) ) and that is probably why my cake was fine on Fry's and also with cocoa barry cause it probably makes no difference even though in theory it should. Looking in my book again it does state that most of the time when a recipe states dutched or natural it is more than likely a preferance of flavor or brand that the author likes than it is for a reaction with the leaveners. And yes egg whites would be the only leavener used in theory for natural like a genoise. So Free Rider get out your favorite recipe and your favorite cocoa and bake away and let us all know how it was. I think i'm going to make a cake with the appearantly "wrong combination" and see what happens, I've got a ton of kids that will eat it if it goes sideways .i'll just slap on a ton of frosting and it'll be gone. Good luck sorry i wasn't more help.
     
  7. prince

    prince

    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    Professional Pastry Chef
    OK, so I don't think I've ever heard of that soapy taste you mentioned, but then again I've never known a super taster. I have plenty of recipes that use the dutch and soda. Now on the other hand with all the hype of the natural (and bitter) brut cocoa from all the new organic chocolate companies sharf and dagoba to name a few all would like to see the dutch proccess eliminated. What I know is after 12 years of working with the stuff is there's a place for brut cocoa however dutch works well with soda and if all you have is natural or brut you should substitute baking powder although it's not the same it will get the job done. I'm lucky to work in a well equipt kitchen and if you're at home dutch is the cocoa for you. It will prove to have the most applications. It's rich and smooth, a nice balanced flavor. Unless you oppose modern food stuff. Unfortunatly, even though I love organics some food products are simply a blessing, and making awesome desserts is my game.
    Last I knew I shower everyday, shave, and love new advancements.
    GO TECH
     
  8. prince

    prince

    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    Professional Pastry Chef
    Check out the cocoa episode of Alton's good eats. I haven't seen it for a couple of years but I think he answers all your questions.
     
  9. siduri

    siduri

    Messages:
    3,599
    Likes Received:
    46
    Exp:
    At home cook
    I remember reading this too, and i think it was eitehr in beranbaum's cake bible or possibly corriger's cookwise.
     
  10. luc_h

    luc_h

    Messages:
    1,086
    Likes Received:
    39
    Exp:
    Home Cook
    (empty)
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2015
  11. free rider

    free rider

    Messages:
    915
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    I Just Like Food
    Ooh, Luc, that really helps. I keep yogurt and buttermilk around, so that should be an easy fix. I thought that BP was baking soda with something added, but I didn't realize it was heat-activated. I thought it was moisture-activated. I did notice that this new dutched Valrhona melts easily (the first thing I did was make ice-cream with it and it was fantastic).

    Prince, I'd love to do that, but I don't have a TV. I may have the episode on CD and will see if it will play on my computer.

    Trulys, I can't wait to see the result of your experiment. I don't have time to bake for about two weeks and then my baking can't be an experiment. I'll be able to experiment in about a month. As for Cocoa Barry and Callebaut, I looked on several websites that sell the products and they say they are both dutched. Is the color of what you have dark or light?
     
  12. luc_h

    luc_h

    Messages:
    1,086
    Likes Received:
    39
    Exp:
    Home Cook
    (empty)
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2015
  13. free rider

    free rider

    Messages:
    915
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    I Just Like Food
    Aha, that's the acidity that is needed for the acidity lost during the dutching proces. :) Now I get it. The buttermilk and yogurt probably do the same thing... provide acidity. I had thought about adding a bit of orange juice to add acidity, but BP may be better because it won't affect the flavor. Either that or I have to get better with my sponges. In fact, this may be a good time to do that. Less fat too. ;)
     
  14. luc_h

    luc_h

    Messages:
    1,086
    Likes Received:
    39
    Exp:
    Home Cook
    (empty)
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2015
  15. trulys

    trulys

    Messages:
    63
    Likes Received:
    12
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    Free Rider what Luc says is totally right, i totally forgot about the added acid. That family cake recipe that i was mentioning has buttermik in it . My mind was totally on flavour not the whole leavening thing. Also we are seeing more high-end chocolate companies making dutched process cocoa because it is much easier for home bakers to use as well as busy chefs and our pallets are a lot more accustomed to it's taste so they are trying to get that market . Thanxs Luc H for clearing all that up,I'm going to have to see that program as well. The weird thing is in Alice Medrich's book Bitter Sweet which has everthing about high% chocolates,
    those recipes that i mentioned before do not use any acids in any of the combinations which contadicts her whole discussion on leaveners and the different cocoas
     
  16. prince

    prince

    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    Professional Pastry Chef
    the addition of buttermilk, yogurt, or lemon juice to most of my recipes eluded me and I'm sorry for the misinformation. late night bloging can be to from the hip. Cheers all
     
  17. luc_h

    luc_h

    Messages:
    1,086
    Likes Received:
    39
    Exp:
    Home Cook
    (empty)
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2015