Can I dutch my own cocoa?
September 16, 2015 12:39 PM   Subscribe

I've gone keto, and mix small amounts of cocoa powder and heavy whipping/double cream to satisfy my sweet tooth. I bought natural, unsweetened cocoa powder (both a Whole Foods brand and Hersey's), but find them both too acidic/harsh. Can I "dutch" them myself by adding some sort of base?

I had previously used Cadbury's Bournville Cocoa Powder in the UK, which tasted much milder.
I know that the "dutch-ing" process occurs at the bean state, but was thinking I could some baking soda or such.

Or is there another way to milden the taste?

Keto friendly suggestions preferred! (low carb)
posted by troytroy to Food & Drink (12 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
I wonder if a little coconut oil would help (if you like the flavor of coconut). This is pure conjecture but wouldn't hurt to try.
posted by amro at 12:46 PM on September 16, 2015

Best answer: Google search results say this can be done by adding a pinch (1/8 teaspoon) of baking soda for every 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder. Good luck!
posted by Majorita at 1:08 PM on September 16, 2015

Sure, try mixing a small amount with a very small amount of baking soda, if the aim is just to reduce the acidity. It won't help with the bitterness. That may or may not satisfy you as far as taste, but it won't hurt to try. It's an experiment!

Otherwise, perhaps mixing half-and-half it with some dutch-process cocoa would be good enough for you.
posted by ssg at 1:10 PM on September 16, 2015

For grocery store cocoa, the Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa isn't bad at all. Milder tasting than you might expect. (They have it on Amazon but the price is ridiculous.)
posted by 26.2 at 1:23 PM on September 16, 2015

Best answer: I don't think so. Not for drinking, anyway. Or for making fat bombs or cocoa and coconut oil bark. For baking, maybe a bit but it could throw the recipe off.

What are you using to sweeten with? That could be a greater factor here. Cocoa and chocolate are hard to sweeten without sugar. Using Splenda/sucralose makes cocoa bitter, but it can be used as part of a sweetener blend. Simplest is to use Truvia. Next level is erythritol or xylitol with sucralose or stevia. Even better if you add a FOS (Just Like Sugar). I could go on and on about low carb sweeteners, but no one wants that.

After trying several cocoa powders, I found that my local Winco has Callebaut dutch-process cocoa powder in bulk. And I like it better than anything else I've tried. It is a nice bonus that it is a lot cheaper there. It is very mild.

Maybe stick them on a shelf and get some dutch-process for now, it'll be fine for years and you'll find uses for the natural stuff. You could also blend the natural cocoas into dutch-process cocoas over time. I've got a jar that is part Hershey's, part Callebaut and part Black cocoa, for the best of all worlds!

Been LC for over 4 years. Lots of experimenting, lots of exotic ingredients, a few truly inedible messes.
posted by monopas at 1:25 PM on September 16, 2015

Just guessing, but maybe if you mix it with a little baking powder and a pinch of salt, and then mix it into the cold cream and scald the mixture? (And then you could chill it if you want.)
posted by chickenmagazine at 1:35 PM on September 16, 2015

When it comes to sweetening Cocoa without sugar, I haven't found anything better than Canadian Sugar Twin. Due to FDA non-approval US Sugar Twin is different, and is more like Sugar Cousin Twice Removed so far as cocoa goes. I tried Stevia, Sweet'n'Lo, but they all have a sweetener-y aftertaste. Your particular tastebuds may vary, of course.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 5:08 PM on September 16, 2015

I've heard that cyclamate was an excellent sweetener, but haven't had any. My mom remembers it fondly. The FDA is often more hinderance than help these days (also applies to sunscreens).

Tagatose was also great with chocolate, but the only US vendor lost their supplier several months ago. I highly recommend it if you can get it. It caramelizes!

Stevia glycerite is the only form of pure stevia that doesn't give me an unpleasant aftertaste. I can also taste saccharin, so I don't use it. Same for aspartame, plus it is unsuitable for high heat applications. And Diabetisweet (isomalt & ace K) is downright nasty, though I've thought about hunting down some plain isomalt to try sometime.
posted by monopas at 6:05 PM on September 16, 2015

Another option is the sugar-free Torani syrups. There's a chocolate flavor. I get mine at World Market in the US. I'm an ice cream buff, so I switched to almond milk + heavy cream + syrup for flavor. Note that sugar alcohols (xylotol) can give you gas! Also check out the keto and ketorecipes subreddits on reddit.
posted by wwartorff at 6:43 PM on September 16, 2015

Response by poster: Thanks for all the suggestions everyone! I tried adding varying amounts of baking soda to cocoa+butter fat bombs, and with some coarse salt, it made a HUGE difference. There was a very fine line between ideal and too much though. (same can be said for the stevia drops I added)
posted by troytroy at 7:15 PM on September 16, 2015

Check out Big Tree Farms. It's a one stop shop for your needs.
posted by myselfasme at 5:38 AM on September 17, 2015

Another source of unpleasant aftertaste may happening if you are using stevia as a sweetener. Most people use way too much, and it can have an unpleasant, metallic bite in larger quantities. Cut the stevia in half, and if there is still an aftertaste, cut it in half again. Some people find that reducing stevia eliminates the harsh taste, but still leaves the sweetness in the food. Of course YMMV.
posted by seasparrow at 6:46 AM on September 17, 2015

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