Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The "Other" Cocoa Powder.....Black Cocoa Powder/Black Onyx Cocoa Powder

I've been searching for some inspiration to get me back into a cooking mood and I think I've found it in the "other" cocoa powder.... Black Cocoa Powder or otherwise known as Black Onyx Cocoa Powder. It's super dark, really dark and almost black or charcoal like in colour and gives that something special when you're making that super rich chocolate cake or a real chocolatey double chocolate cookie. 

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 egg
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. 


  1. Cinda
    those cookies look outrageous!! wow , how that's chocolate! I have to look for that cocoa!

  2. Wow... I wish I could find the black cocoa powder. Great post.

  3. Hubby says that the cookies taste better than the regular cocoa powder so I'm going to add a little bit of that special black "magic" powder to all things chocolate..... Chocolate Fudge Cake next!

    I bought it from a specialty cake shop so I hope you can both find it out there.

  4. Wow... love how it makes the cookies look super-dark and super-chocolatey. I think I'm going to have to hunt down a source for this magical ingredient. :)

  5. You learn something new every day - I've never heard of Black Cocoa powder but now that I've seen it, I want some!

    Thanks for visiting the Fibro today - I laughed at your Dad's encore to the Concert Face. Hilarious. :-)

  6. TQ :)

    .... my dad's encore (Zzzz)brings a smile to my face looking back now.

  7. I just saw this black cocoa powder yesterday when I went to the bakery supplies shop.
    I'm definately going to get a pack of this the next time I go there.

  8. I'm so glad you could find it. All you need is just a little and it makes such a difference to a chocolate cake or cookies.

  9. Nice article and great knowledge. Thanks for the share. I love this story and enjoy with your words!
    honey onyx

  10. Bit of a late reply to this post. But where exactly did you buy this powder from? if you dont mind me asking. It makes the food look so interesting !!! Really want to get a hands on some of this magical powder



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