Most chocolate cakes with chocolate filling and chocolate icing have one important ingredient, cocoa powder. Cocoa powder on its own is simply pulverized cocoa solids of chocolate without cocoa butter and it is not that appetizing. When added to cake batter cocoa powder makes for delicious desserts. It is used to add a chocolate flavour without adding to the high fat content that is already found in cake recipes. In the event that you are out of cocoa powder there are other alternatives you can use in place of cocoa powder. Some of them include chocolate, carob powder and cocoa mix.
One of the best alternatives to cocoa powder is carob powder. Carob powder has a taste that is similar to chocolate with a bit of a honey aftertaste. To use it in place of cocoa powder substitute an equal amount of carob powder for cocoa powder in your cake recipe. The good thing about carob powder is that it is not as potent as cocoa powder. With that in mind you might want to use more of it if you like a strong flavour in your cakes. You can also enjoy some of your favourite sweet treats such as fudge, chocolate milkshakes, and brownies with carob powder. It is mostly used in food plus it also makes a good substitute for chocolate in addition to cocoa powder. Carob powder has a lot of fibre, antioxidants, low levels of fat and sugar, no caffeine plus it is gluten free.
Another great substitute for cocoa powder is chocolate. Whether it is melted, sweetened or unsweetened, chocolate is one of your best alternatives for cocoa powder. If you have melted chocolate to substitute for cocoa powder, make sure that you reduce the amount of fat in your recipe to make up for the added fat in chocolate since cocoa powder has a low fat content. One tablespoon of cocoa powder can be replaced by a square of melted chocolate plus ensure that you reduce the fat by one teaspoon and your sugar by a tablespoon if your chocolate is sweet. If you want to, you can leave the extra fat and sugar if the difference is minimal and your cake will come out much richer, but that is optional. Chocolate is easily accessible and it can make your cake tastier.
Hot Cocoa Mix
Hot cocoa mix can be a good substitute for cocoa powder. Commercially produced hot chocolate mix actually has some cocoa powder in it. The already sweetened cocoa mix also includes some milk or cream powders, sugar as well as flavouring. As such, hot cocoa mix makes a great cocoa powder alternative. When substituting cocoa powder with hot cocoa mix make sure that you account for the extra ingredients. You should reduce the amount of sugar and milk in your recipe based on the percentage of cocoa powder in the hot cocoa mix which you can find on the label. Since it already has cocoa powder in it, hot cocoa mix can make a good substitute plus the added ingredients can enhance the taste of your cake.
Dutch Processed Cocoa Powder
Dutch processed cocoa powder, is another great substitute for cocoa powder. This cocoa powder is darker and richer than cocoa powder. It is basically cocoa powder without any acidity. To use it in place of cocoa powder use one tablespoon of Dutch processed cocoa powder for one tablespoon of cocoa powder. To replace the acidity in the Dutch cocoa powder add a pinch of cream of tartar or baking powder or a drop of lemon juice to your mix. Dutch processed cocoa powder comes in handy when you are out of cocoa powder to add in your cakes.
Unsweetened Baking Chocolate
Also a good substitute for cocoa powder is unsweetened baking chocolate. Just like any other chocolate unsweetened baking chocolate can make a good replacement for cocoa powder. To replace cocoa powder with unsweetened baking chocolate swap an ounce of unsweetened baking chocolate for three tablespoons of cocoa powder. You should then leave out one tablespoon of butter, oil, or shortening from the recipe so that you account for the higher fat content in the baking chocolate. In order to make this substitution work, simply melt the unsweetened chocolate and add it to your recipe when you add your sugar and butter. That way you can make sure that it is well integrated with the other ingredients. It is important to note that your recipe will change the taste of your cake or other baked goods. Cocoa has more cocoa solids, that add flavour to your baked product. Your cakes or baked goods will taste good if you make it with unsweetened baking chocolate, but they will not have that nice chocolate flavour. You will also notice that there are other subtle differences in the texture of your cakes if you use unsweetened dark chocolate as a substitute.
Benefits Of Cocoa Powder
Cocoa powder is said to be rich in theobromine, and that helps in reducing inflammation. Also, consuming cocoa or dark chocolate is believed to help fight against diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. This is because cocoa is rich in phytonutrients but low in fat as well as sugar, plus the calories you can get from cocoa or foods containing cocoa are packed with healthy chemicals. Interestingly, these benefits can also be found in some of cocoa powder’s substitutes such as baking chocolate, and milk chocolate. In fact, cocoa powder is considered the best from of chocolate. The risk of heart disease has been recorded to have reduced in people who consumed dark chocolate. Cocoa has also been shown to be beneficial in so many ways and the eating of cocoa-containing foods is encouraged over other chocolates. Also, cocoa has valeric acid, which acts as a stress reducer. In addition to that, cocoa helps to promote the production of serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter believed to have calming effects.