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Dutch Process Cocoa Powder

By Brad Fitch | January 15th, 2019

There seems to be a lot of chocolates named after places in Europe. Swiss, German, Dutch…

While Swiss and German are types of chocolate, Dutch is a process that has been applied to cocoa that neutralizes the natural acidity and gives it a milder taste compared with natural cocoa.

Cocoa powder is derived from cocoa beans. Once the beans are harvested, they are cleaned and roasted. Upon desired doneness, the beans are shelled, revealing the cocoa nibs. The nibs are then milled to create cocoa liquor. The liquor is pressed to separate cocoa solids extract cocoa butter. The remaining solids are where we get cocoa powder.

Most of the cocoa powder in the US is called “natural cocoa” and follows the above process called the “broma” process. The Dutch Process differs from Brome with one extra step: the cocoa nibs are soaked in an alkaline solution in order to make them chemically neutral.

The purpose of the alkalization step is to develop the flavor and color of the cocoa that is pH balanced. Bitterness is reduced and the robust chocolate flavor is enhanced. The result is a smoother, more mellow flavor that brings out the rich undertones and earthy notes of the delicious cocoa bean.

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