Buying cocoa powder

Just a quick consumer watch note here.

Yesterday I made a horribly unhealthy and amine-overloaded chocolate fudge cake (sometimes this is the only way to get other people to eat one’s baking! but I still managed to cut down the sugar by two-thirds!).

I finished off the remaining cocoa powder from my tin of Van Houten’s, the tall, white, retro-styling tin that’s available in all the supermarkets, then I opened a bottle of cocoa-poweder I’d just purchased in Phoon Huat. Both types were manufactured in Malaysia, but the Phoon Huat one, despite being much fresher, had a distinctly less fragrant aroma than the supermarket Van Houten’s.

Also, having read recipes calling for ‘Dutch-processed cocoa powder’, I asked in Phoon Huat, but they only sell one kind – the disappointing one I bought.

Since Van Houten is originally a Dutch brand, does it mean that all their cocoa powder is ‘Dutch-processed’? After all, it was Coenraad Johannes van Houten himself who invented this process of akalinising cocoa powder to make it more easily soluble in water and produces a milder taste. The alkaline neutralises the acidic cocoa so that it doesn’t react with baking soda (read more here.)

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