Black Cocoa/Black Onyx Cocoa Powder and Dutch Cocoa Powder in the background
I was doing some shopping at our local baking shop looking around for some cocoa powder and I came across this small packet of black cocoa powder. I had never heard of it before but then it occurred to me that this was the secret to the famous dark rich almost black colour to the "Oreo" cookies that the kids love to eat.... I always wondered how they got it so dark and now I knew how.
I found out that there are actually three types of cocoa powder; natural, dutch and black onyx. It all comes down to how they process the cocoa bean and how they treat it with alkali to neutralise the natural bittersweet taste in the cocoa powder. In the natural cocoa powder there is no alkali use to process the beans and the taste is much stronger and bittersweet. This flavour of the cocoa is usually used in the traditional Mexican dishes and baking where the taste is more intense and acidic. Dutch cocoa powder is usually used in things like chocolate drinks and it is processed using an alkali, giving it a milder taste but less bitter and it is more reddish in colour. Black cocoa powder is processed to the extreme with alkali and this gives it that almost black colour. It has an intense cocoa flavour but it has less cocoa fat in it so it can be drier when used so it is often recommended to use a 50/50 mixture of black and dutch cocoa to give it more fat content so that when you use it for baking it doesn't get too dry.... interesting!
Anyway I thought I'd give it a try today by baking some Chocolate Chip Cookies and transform them into Super Rich Chocolate Chip Cookies with a bit of help from my new discovery, the Black Cocoa Powder! I used as recommended a 50/50 mixture of the black and dutch cocoa powder and it produced a really intense black chocolate brown colour. I must admit I was a little startled by the colour when I was mixing it in and I was happy I didn't try to use just the black cocoa powder on it's own. Could you imagine how intense the colour would have been! .... It's is pretty surprising when you take it out of the packet because it actually looks like charcoal dust but it looks and smells like regular cocoa powder just the colour is something to get use to.
Super Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies
150 g butter
2/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 tbsp black cocoa powder
1 1/2 tbsp dutch cocoa powder
1 1/2 cup plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
150 g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
1. Cream the butter, sugar and egg. Add both the cocoa powders and mix until smooth.
2. Roughly chop up the dark chocolate into small pieces and add them into the mix. The colour is really intense when you mix it into the mixture and it almost looks like mud.
3. Sift the flour and baking powder together and add it gradually into the mixture to form a dough.
4. Preheat the oven to 180C. Using a dinner spoon, scoop out half a spoonful onto a baking tray and allow for room to spread. Bake for 12 mins and allow to cool. It can be a bit difficult to see if the biscuit is baked because of the intense colour but it will eventually cool and harden.