Both chocolate and cocoa powder come from cocoa beans that grow in pods on the tropical Theobroma cacao tree. Dutch processed or alkalized unsweetened cocoa powder is treated to neutralize its acids. It has a reddish-brown colour, mild flavour, and is easy to dissolve in liquids. It is ideal in baked goods such as European cakes and pastries where its subtle flavour complements other ingredients.
- Cocoa powder does not react with baking soda because it is a neutral ingredient, so it must be used in recipes that requires baking powder, unless there are other acidic ingredients, such as buttermilk, sour milk or yogurt, in sufficient quantities.
- Dutch processed cocoa powder can be used in ice cream, chocolate milk, chocolate custard, glazing, bakery products, and chocolate centers.
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When stored under cool, dry conditions, shelf life is approximately 2 years.