I think I discovered what a little bit of heaven would be like when I visited the King Arthur Flour store in Norwich, Vermont. Holy cow, you would have laughed if you saw me. I spent an arm and a leg and didn't care one bit. I actually did have some discipline--I had a really funny method of shopping. I started out going through each isle and corner of the store grabbing whatever I thought I would want. Then at the end of the trip I played "this vs. that" and eliminated about 50 percent of the items in my cart to fit my pre-planned King Arthur Flour Baking Store budget. It was awesome!
One of the items I came across was black cocoa powder. I had heard about it from my Baked: New Frontiers in Baking cookbook, but had never really seen it on any specialty store shelves in my local stores. Naturally I had to purchase it.
So what the heck is black cocoa powder? Black cocoa powder is exactly what it sounds like black, cocoa powder. To be more exact, it's a super-rich, super-dark, Dutch-processed cocoa powder that is super-alkalized. You can use it in any recipe that calls for regular cocoa powder as long as you get your leavening agents down correctly. It's just much stronger and may possibly need more attention. (I highly recommend reading the links I provided below.)
King Arthur recommends that you use black cocoa powder with regular or Dutch-process cocoa powder for best results. I think the main reason they suggest to mix black cocoa with another type of cocoa powder is because black cocoa powder contains a significantly less amount of fat than other types of cocoa powder. So use caution, because this could yield a drier product. If you do want to use straight black cocoa powder make sure to increase the fat in the recipe. However, I've seen that many blogging bakers who love use it as is, by itself, in many recipes. But using black cocoa by itself in any recipe is not for the faint of heart. You've got to be a dark chocolate lover to go straight.
The only problem is I can't decide what to make. I hear black cocoa powder is perfect for black forest cake, brownies and especially homemade Oreos. I'm thinking I really need to make something festive for Halloween! Something like chocolate cheesecake or Brooklyn blackout cake.
Help me decide what to make. Leave your ideas in the comments section. I'd love your input.
Other posts about or including black cocoa powder that you will like:
The Wonderful World of Unsweetened Cocoa Powder by Luna Cafe
Mostly Vegan Recipes using Black Cocoa Powder by Bunnyfoot
Cocoa Powder FAQ: Dutch-Process & Natural Cocoa Powder by David Lebovitz
Adventures with Black Cocoa by Jenny Bakes