The best cocoa powders for baking

Written by kristen hampton
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The best cocoa powders for baking
The best cocoa powders will give your bakes an intense chocolate taste. (Larisa Bozhikova/iStock/Getty Images)

Cocoa powder is essential when baking chocolate cakes and other chocolatey desserts. To improve the flavour of your cakes and sweet treats, always use high-quality cocoa powder made from fresh cocoa beans. Here's a list of some of the finest cocoa powders available.

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Callebaut

Used frequently in professional kitchens, Callebaut offers a selection of high-quality cocoa powders that elevate chocolate-based baked desserts, such as chocolate cakes and brownies, to delicious levels. The powder can also be used to create indulgent hot cocoa, chocolate drinks and desserts such as chocolate mousse. Quality beans are the reason for the rich taste of this cocoa. Callebaut hand-picks premium rare cocoa beans before roasting them to perfection and using them as the base for their cocoa powder.

Sharffen Berger

Sharffen Berger, another trusted high-quality name in the world of chocolate, offers both sweetened and unsweetened versions of its lauded cocoa powder. In the sweetened version, the only added ingredient is pure cane sugar, a natural sweetener. The unsweetened version contains 22 per cent natural cocoa butter, resulting in a luxury chocolate flavour. The cocoa may also be used to make decadent hot cocoa or chocolate milk.

Pernigotti

Famed Italian chocolatier Pernigotti created an unsweetened cocoa powder that imparts pure, natural flavour to desserts and beverages. Pernigotti Coca Powder has a higher fat content -- the manufacturers remove less fat from the cocoa bean -- resulting in a richer flavour. Pernigotti also adds a dab of real vanilla to its cocoa powder to give the flavour depth.

Droste

Droste has been making chocolate in Holland since 1863. They consider their cocoa powder an "affordable luxury." The iconic brand is now widely available and can be found in most supermarkets. Droste cocoa is Dutch-processed, meaning it has been treated with an alkali to neutralise acidity. Dutch-processed cocoa does not react with baking soda and should only be used in recipes that call for baking powder.

Ghirardelli

San Francisco chocolate company Ghirardelli deep-roasts cocoa beans before adding them to their Premium Baking Cocoa. Ghiardelli's cocoa powders come in a variety of flavours and intensities. Sweet Ground Chocolate and Cocoa is Dutch-processed, and Unsweetened Cocoa evokes the flavour of whole roasted cocoa beans.

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