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Can I Use Cacao Instead Of Cocoa Powder For The Chocolate Olive Oil Cake?

Asked by RoseM1974. Answered on 21st May 2022

Full question

Will the Chocolate Olive Oil Cake work just as well with cacao instead of cocoa?

Chocolate Olive Oil Cake
Photo by Petrina Tinslay
Chocolate Olive Oil Cake
By Nigella
  • 14
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Our answer

Nigella's Chocolate Olive Oil Cake (from NIGELLISSIMA) is a moist cake that is made from a combination of ground almonds (almond meal) or plain (all-purpose) flour and unsweetened cocoa powder. Unsweetened cocoa powder and cacao powder are slightly different due to their production methods. Cocoa powder is made from cocoa beans that are fermented, roasted, pulverized to cocoa liquor and then the cocoa fat is separated out and the remaining solids can be used, amongst other things, for cocoa powder. Cacao powder is made from cocoa beans that are fermented, dried at low temperatures and then can be ground into a powder.

Cacao powder is generally more bitter than cocoa powder and can absorb a little more liquid than cocoa powder. For some recipes they are completely interchangeable. For baking it can depend, as the bitterness of cacao powder can make the recipe taste different. For the Chocolate Olive Oil Cake, using cacao powder should not affect the moistness of the cake (if ground almonds are used) and the acidity will help slightly with the bicarbonate of soda i(baking soda) in the cake batter. But we are concerned that the bitterness of cacao powder will affect the flavour of the cake and our preference would be to stick with unsweetened cocoa powder.

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