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Pair Black Cocoa Powder With An Acid For Fluffy Baked Goods

Blackout cake on plate
Blackout cake on plate - johnlck/Shutterstock

Whether it's hot cocoa, brownies, or a rich chocolate cake, we reach for cocoa powder whenever we want to make one of our favorite desserts. Although many of us probably have that one can of unsweetened cocoa powder that we add to every recipe that requires it, it's easy to forget that there's no one-size-fits-all solution. Dark cocoa powder may be the secret ingredient for bringing a classic chocolate cake to the next level, but if you don't have it in your cupboard, you're probably not running out to the store to pick it up. (Regardless, you should get some on your next trip.)

Black cocoa powder isn't just for Oreo cookies. It's also a key ingredient for many brownies, muffins, and cakes. While you can use black cocoa powder in recipes that don't contain baking soda or other leavening agents, you'll avoid ending up with flat baked goods if you add an acid, such as baking powder, vinegar, buttermilk, brown sugar, or even coffee.

The reason is simple. Natural cocoa powder contains acid; Black cocoa powder doesn't. Black cocoa powder is similar to Dutch-process cocoa powder but is more heavily alkalized. Potassium carbonate is added much later in the process, which results in giving black cocoa powder its signature color. Carbon dioxide is released when baking powder or another acid chemically bonds with alkaline ingredients. This causes dough to rise and makes baked goods soft and fluffy.

Read more: 12 Popular Ice Cream Brands, Ranked Worst To Best

Black Cocoa Powder Is Essential For Authentic Oreo Desserts

Oreo cupcakes
Oreo cupcakes - Alena Popova/Shutterstock

Now that you're considering picking up some black cocoa powder on your next grocery run, you need to find some recipes to use it with. Whether you want it to contrast or complement your food is up to you. When used in our chocolate peppermint cupcake recipe, black cocoa powder provides an appealing contrast between the white and pink frosting and the deep, dark chocolatey cake. Thanks to the addition of both brown sugar and baking powder, you'll create the softest, most pillowy cupcakes.

Black cocoa powder is essential for practically any authentic Oreo copycat recipe as well. Don't hesitate to use it to create the best-looking Oreo cupcakes and mug cakes, and to make your own homemade Oreo-style cookies.

Of course, Halloween is an excellent time to use black cocoa powder. Whether making spider cookies, bat truffles, or a decadent black velvet cake, using black cocoa powder will bring your spooky treats up a degree — as long as you remember that acid is always essential to get the most tender and fluffy results.

Read the original article on Mashed.