Natural process cocoa powder is directly processed and ground from cocoa beans without adding any chemicals. It has a pH value of 5.3-5.8 and is a weak acidic substance. It has a fresh and natural aroma. Alkalised cocoa powder adds alkali during production to remove the acidity and bitterness of natural cocoa powder. It has a pH value of 6.8-8.1 and a stronger and heavier aroma.
Cocoa powder can be classified into high, medium, and low-fat cocoa powders based on its fat content. Natural high fat cocoa powder has a cocoa butter content of more than 20%, medium-fat cocoa powder has a content of 14%-20%, and low-fat cocoa powder has a content of 10%-12%.
Cocoa powder mainly comes from two origins: West Africa and Indonesia.
Appearance. Good quality cocoa powder has low water content and no caking. Its color is light brown or reddish-brown. If the color is too dark, it may have added food coloring (except for black cocoa powder).
Texture. The finer the powder, the better the quality. Rub cocoa powder in your palm. If your palm is dry, it indicates a low-fat content. If it feels oily, it indicates a high-fat content.
Taste. Good quality cocoa powder has a light and lasting fragrance after brewing. Poor quality cocoa powder may have a burnt smell or a strong aroma, which may be due to the addition of flavorings.
Cocoa flavanols. The alkalization process may destroy the cocoa flavanols. If the outer packaging is marked with "natural cocoa," the product has not undergone alkalization and should have a higher cocoa flavanol content.
Use 60g of cocoa powder instead of 30g of flour in baking nut bread.
Use a quarter of cocoa powder instead of flour when making chocolate cake. Mix it evenly and add it to the beaten egg whites to improve the texture of the cake.
When making chocolate cake, sprinkle a mixture of cocoa powder and flour in an oiled baking pan to prevent the dough from sticking to the rolling pin or pan.
To neutralize the acidity of natural cocoa powder, add a small amount of baking soda when making acidic desserts. Baking soda can also create a foaming effect that makes the cake lighter.
Alkalized cocoa powder is recommended for desserts that don't require leavening, such as truffles, cookies, sauces, and pastries. It has a softer texture.
Cocoa powder is not only used for baking but also has health benefits. It can improve mood, relieve depression, lower blood pressure, enhance cognitive and memory function, and has a powerful antioxidant ability. It is recommended to consume about three teaspoons of cocoa powder per day, mixed with milk.