I do a ridiculous amount of baking and although I hate to say it — I'm cheap. I'm not into spending major bucks on Dutch processed cocoa powder for every recipe involving chocolate that goes through my kitchen. My solution? A cost effective ph-balanced hybrid that has proved its worth time and time again.
Now I know that most people get excited about things like new clothes or shiny cars, but I'm more of a simple gal. All it takes is a good pantry staple that doesn't break the bank and I'm a happy. This cocoa powder has found a home in my pantry and has in indefinite shelf life. So what makes it so awesome?
Although it's tempting to boost a generic recipe by adding Dutch process cocoa (when it's not called for) you can actually alter the baked good by more than just the taste. Dutch process is a bit richer and darker in color but it also has a different acidity level which changes how your good rise and bake up in the often. The folks over at SACO do a good job of explaining a bit of this science:
The acidity level in cocoa is based on a scale of 0 to 14 (0 being acidic, and 14 being less acidic, or alkali). A totally Dutched cocoa comes in at a level of about 7.5 on this scale. The problem with a fully Dutched cocoa is that most American recipes are based on using a natural cocoa, with a higher acidity level. The acidity in the natural cocoa (which scales in at about 5.8) contributes to the leavening of the baked product. If using a fully Dutched cocoa in these recipes, the acidity level may not be high enough to provide proper leavening. We blend the two cocoas to have the best of both worlds. We use enough Dutched cocoa to create the color, flavor, and texture advantage, but blend in enough natural cocoa to bring the acidity level back up to where it will work properly in all recipes (ours scales in at a level of about 6.4). In fact, since SACO Premium Cocoa is a blend, it can be used even in recipes calling for a fully Dutched cocoa.
The SACO cocoa comes in a 10oz canister, which is more than most cocoa powders available from local grocers and I've yet to find it at a price more expensive than most store brands. You can buy a 3-pack (30oz total) for $7.47 online which is far more reasonable than some of the pricier Dutch process options out there.
Apartment Therapy Media makes every effort to test and review products fairly and transparently. The views expressed in this review are the personal views of the reviewer and this particular product review was not sponsored or paid for in any way by the manufacturer or an agent working on their behalf.
(Image: Sarah Rae Trover)