Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >
Mar 9, 2008 03:26 PM

Dutch Processed Cocoa

My best chocolate baking recipes use Dutch processed cocoa. A little while ago I heard that Hershey's had stopped making it. Now Stop & Shop has none of any brand (I think there's still Droste's?), neither does Price Chopper, and even the "gourmet" grocery store of the Berkshires, Guido's, didn't have any. What brands do chowhounds use, and can you find them in your local grocery? Is there some product I'm ignorant of? Please don't say Trader Joe or Whole Foods, they're an hour and a half over the mountain away from us!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Here is a link to Dutch processed chocolate mfg. by Ghirardelli.

    3 Replies
    1. re: sueatmo

      The Ghirardelli is a blend of natural and Dutch processed; I'm sure it makes really good drinking cocoa, but what I need is Dutch processed for baking. (The difference is all about chemistry, evidently.) Hershey's made a wonderful one ("silver label") and then in their infinite wisdom took it off the market in favor of a new and improved product that gets thumbs down from everybody. So I wonder who else actually makes Dutch processed, and which brands people like best. Maybe there aren't any? What will happen to my Cockeyed Cake!

      1. re: sueatmo

        I use Ghirardelli in my baking and love it. I make chocolate cream pie with it. Yum!

        What difference do you guys find in using 100% Dutch processed? Is it more chocolately? More rich? etc?

        1. re: GenieinTX

          I've never used Dutch process, but here's what the Joy of Cooking (1991) says: "Nonalkalized [i.e. natural] cocoa is light in color and somewhat acidic with a strong, assertive chocolate flavor. Alkalized, or Dutch-process, cocoa has been processed with alkali to neutralize its natural acidity by raising its pH level. It is darker, milder in taste, and less acidic than nonalkalized cocoa."

          If Dutch-process is darker, then baked goods will look darker and thus have a more appetizing (and more "chocolatey") appearance.

          As for the taste, it's a matter of personal preference. For eating chocolate, I prefer a fairly high acidity, which leads me to believe that I probably wouldn't like Dutch-process cocoa as well as natural. But if you like a warmer, maltier eating chocolate, than you'd probably like the Dutch-process better.

      2. I've had difficulty finding Dutch processed as well. The only brand I've been able to find here in Denver is Droste. I've found it both at Whole Foods (sorry) and Cost Plus World Market. Next time I need it though, I will probably buy online from Penzey's. Their price for a pound is about the same as CP/WF for 8 oz., and shipping is fairly reasonable.

        1. You can make your own by adding a pinch of baking soda to every 3 tablespoons of regular non-alkalized cocoa you use.

          1. According to "Essence of Chocolate," natural cocoa powder works fine for baking, and in their opinion tastes better. The main problem is that it's lighter in color, so your final product won't have a deep, dark chocolicious color.

            1. i'm fairly certain that hershey's special dark cocoa powder is dutch processed, although it isn't noted on the container... oops, just checked their web site, it, too, is a blend of regular & dutch. regardless, it's what i use, with good results, when in a pinch.

              if i have time to plan, i order it from penzey's.

              that said, i don't think it's really that critical of a difference. as i recall, and this is coming from the depths so may be a bit mixed up, regular cocoa produces a more reddish color, and dutch a truer chocolate flavor. they can be substituted by adding a bit of baking soda to regular as a replacement for dutch, or adding a pinch of cream of tartar to dutch to replace regular.


              1 Reply
              1. re: mark

                I think the Special Dark is a blend. Hershey's had a dutch processed cocoa in a silver container, but I believe that was discontinued in favor of the Special Dark.

                I'd also agree with the recommendation of Penzey's if you can't find something locally. I seem to recall seeing a dutch process cocoa, don't know which brand, at Whole Foods.