Cocoa powder, the ground cacao powder that comes after you remove some of the cacao butter from the processed cacao bean, comes in two forms: natural and Dutch-process.

Natural cocoa powder is lighter in color, has a higher acidity of about 5 pH, and because of that acidity, has a sharper chocolate flavor.

Dutch-processed powder is natural cocoa powder that has been treated with an alkalizing agent, changing the pH from a more acidic 5 pH to a neutral 7 pH. The process was invented by Coenraad Johannes van Houten, a Dutchman (thus the name “Dutch-process”).

Dutch-processed cocoa powder is milder on the palate, though it can, paradoxically, have more chocolate flavor because more cacao butter is left in the powder. (Fat is a carrier of flavor, remember!)

Dutch-Process vs Natural Cocoa Powder

Dutch-process cocoa is often darker in color than natural cocoa,…

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