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July 08, 2018

Now that you have a background of the science of cocoa powder, Here are few tips when you are trying to bake with cocoa powder.


1.Sifting or Whisking

Imagine the sand at the beach; what do you observe when it gets wet by the approaching waves on the shore? It tends to clump, right? Like the sand, cocoa powder, though much finer, has a tendency to form hard lumps which make it hard to mix. Hence, to avoid this, you could whisk or sift first the powder with other dry ingredients (i.e., baking powder, sugar, flour, etc.) before adding it to the recipe.

2.“Blooming”

You might be thinking that this is something about making the cocoa powder look or taste better. Well, yes it is. If you are quite a good observer or have had enough experience in baking with cocoa powder, you might have noticed a trend in lots of instructions asking you to add boiling or hot water to cocoa powder before adding it to the recipe. This is simply called “blooming.” 

Blooming intensifies the cocoa’s flavor through extraction. When hot liquid and cocoa powder are mixed together, the powder dissolves and thickens quickly. In this process, you could use water, milk, coffee, or whatever liquid substance you could think of that might be helpful to enhance the flavor.

In cases where blooming is not necessary but you wanted to enhance the chocolatey flavor of cocoa powder, you could warm the liquid ingredients indicated on the recipe and mix it with cocoa powder. Let the mixture cool first before adding other ingredients.

3.Coffee and Cocoa: the Perfect Combination

Reading the heading might raise some eyebrows. You might be wondering, “how could coffee and cocoa complement each other when they are the same because both of them share caffeine?” 

However, in contrary with this first impression, coffee and cocoa could actually be a good fit for each other. If you are a coffee lover, you might binge more; and if you are someone who does not like coffee that much unlike anyone else does, you might like it now because cocoa could make it tastes more chocolatey!

4.Storing of Cocoa Powder

Store the powder in a cool, dry, place and never refrigerate it! No one wants to let cocoa powder spoil. When stored properly, it could last long up to 3 years.


5.Sample Baking Recipe


Dark Chocolate Butterscotch Cookies
Yield: 15 cookies
Total Time: 30 minutes

Irresistibly soft and chewy, you might not control yourself from satisfying your sweet tooth with this.

Ingredients:

- 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup natural cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1/2 tbsp coffee powder
- 3/4 granulated sugar
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 large egg
- pinch of kosher salt
- 1 cup butterscotch chips

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 375F
2. In a large bowl with hand mixer, mix butter and sugar until fluffy. Combine coffee powder, egg, and vanilla well.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk flour, cornstarch, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder. Set the mixer on low speed. Add slowly the dry mixture to the stand mixer. Mix well and fold in butterscotch chips.
4.Scoop dough to the baking sheets. Put around 7 cookies per sheet.
5. Bake until edges are cooked and the middle slightly cooked. This will keep the cookie soft after cooling.

Share with friends and family and enjoy!


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