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Cocoa In Chocolate Guinness Cake

Asked by AbbeyRoad. Answered on 17th April 2018

Full question

I'd like to make the Guinness Chocolate Cake from your site, but I'm not sure whether to use natural cocoa, or Dutch processed. Which does the recipe call for?

Chocolate Guinness Cake
Photo by James Merrell
Chocolate Guinness Cake
By Nigella
  • 14
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Our answer

Nigella's Chocolate Guinness Cake (from FEAST) is a moist, almost gingerbread-like, cake. It is made with cocoa powder and Guinness and the two compliment each other to give a rich, chocolate flavour. The cocoa powder should be unsweetened and a good quality brand. In the UK there is no specific labelling of natural cocoa powder and Dutch processed cocoa powder and both types will work for this cake.

Dutch processed cocoa has been treated with an alkali, which reduces the acidity of the cocoa and gives a darker brown colour and a slightly richer, smoother flavour. Natural cocoa is more reddish-brown in colour and tends to have a slightly more floral, sharp flavour. As natural cocoa is more acidic than Dutch processed, it is often recommended for baking when bicarbonate of soda is the leavening agent, as the acid in the cocoa will react with the bicarbonate of soda to help the cake to rise. But as this recipe also includes sour cream, the cake batter already has enough acidic ingredients for the cake to rise well. So we would suggest you use the type of cocoa powder that you prefer, or have on hand in your store cupboard.

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