Black cocoa powder is a form of cocoa powder that has been "Dutched." It's also referred to as Dutch processed cocoa powder. That means the natural cocoa powder is treated with an alkaline solution to reduce the acidity, make it super smooth and super dark.
What Is Black Cocoa Powder?
The best example of the dark magic of this powder is an Oreo cookie. That beloved creme filled sandwich cookie dipped in milk leaves little black speckles floating around all thanks to the black color of black cocoa powder. There's no black food coloring used at all.
In addition to Oreos, this ingredient is most often used for a unique presentation. Black frosting details on a spooky Halloween cake or a black buttercream checkerboard design for an elegant wedding, alkalized cocoa has an important place in a baker's arsenal.
You can get the dark chocolate color you want without using artificial food colorings. Make homemade black and white ice cream sandwiches by using dark cocoa powder in your chocolate cookies.
How To Use Black Cocoa Powder
Black cocoa powder is usually an even exchange for regular cocoa powder. If you don't want a super dark frosting or baked good, combine both types of cocoa powder for a darker brown or espresso color. Also, combining the two types of powder makes sure you keep the chocolate flavor of regular cocoa powder.
Black cocoa powder has almost no fat content. So, the final product may be drier. Add some sour cream or yogurt for moisture. Even mayonnaise does the trick as a mystery ingredient.
Baking soda does not work with this powder. Substitute baking powder as a leavening agent or your cake won't rise.
Black food coloring gel can be added to your frosting for an even darker black color. With black cocoa powder, you'll use way less coloring since you're starting so dark already.
Can You Substitute?
This cocoa substitute has a strong flavor but not quite a true chocolate taste. The alkali processing takes away any bitterness but there are flavor differences. So, before you bake an entire cake or brownies with black cocoa powder because of the cool dark color, keep in mind it won't taste exactly the same.
Black cocoa powder isn't always easy to find. Save some legwork and order from Amazon to get baking right away. King Arthur brand flour makes a black cocoa powder.
Black Cocoa Powder Recipes
This cake recipe is made with hot strong coffee and dark cocoa. Much less sweet than regular chocolate cakes, the coffee gives a depth of flavor that screams for fresh whipped cream.
Pro Tip: Use brown cocoa instead of white flour to coat your cake pans. You'll get some extra chocolate flavor and no white spots on the outside of your chocolate cake.
Black brownies with pockets of brown chocolate chips make these look almost as good as these taste! This recipe calls for instant espresso powder too. Chocolate? Coffee? Perfect! Pour some dark red wine and enjoy this antioxidant filled treat!