A couple of random thoughts on Cocoa Powder

An interesting thing about cooking: sometimes you have been making certain dishes for years, and never knew or even heard about a particular ingredient or a singular brand name.  Think, for example, about cocoa powder.  It shows up in various recipes for hot fudge sauce, chocolate cakes, hot chocolate and the like, and is, in its most basic form, widely available in any supermarket.  What I never knew, until a few years ago, was the existence of “Dutch Processed” cocoa powder.


The book that put me on the path!

I think the first time I ever saw it mentioned was in a book by Maida Heatter called Great Chocolate Desserts.  What a revelation!  The sheer depth and intensity of flavor was something I’d never even imagine could be attained.  What I discovered subsequently is that any recipe calling for cocoa powder will be dramatically enhance by the use of Dutch Processed variety.  It’s not all that easy to find; a Bristol Farms or Whole Foods market will carry it as a matter of course, but it may or may not be available at your neighborhood supermarket.  Cost Plus carries it, but only during the Christmas holidays.  Still … no problem: it’s readily obtainable on the internet.

Droste Cocoa Powder

Droste Cocoa Powder

The most commonly available brand in these parts is “Droste,” but look for others.  Somewhere on the box label, you’ll find something like “Dutch Processed,” or “Processed with Alkali,” or both. On the Droste box is a recipe for hot chocolate.  Wow … this is so good and so rich it will require a Clearasil chaser.  Go for it.

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