Hi, I'll be attempting to make Nigella's Devils Food Cake and I have some questions: - Our only good quality dark chocolate available here in Dubai is either Marks and Spencer 72% Organic Dark Chocolate or Lindt 70% Dark Chocolate. All of them are in Bar form and not in Buttons or Chips. Can i use them in the Chocolate Frosting for the Devils Food Cake? What brand of Cocoa powder does Nigella usually use for cakes? Unfortunately, the only brand of cocoa powder available here is Hersheys and I was wondering if that's good enough. Thank you so much for answering these, Brandon.
Both the chocolate bars mentioned would be ideal for the frosting. The 72% and 70% mentioned in their names are the percentage of cocoa solids in the chocolate - these solids are the dry solids from the cocoa bean and give chocolate deep flavour and colour. The remaining ingredients in the chocolate are fat (cocoa butter from the cocoa bean and in some cases vegetable fats), sugar and stabilizers. So chocolates with a high proportion of cocoa solids will have a stronger and purer flavour. Nigella likes to use a chocolate with a high content of cocoa solids, preferably 70% or above (for the US 62% or above).
For cocoa powder the most important thing to check on the packaging is that the cocoa powder is unsweetened (and not the sweetened type which would be used in hot chocolate drinks). The Hershey's cocoa powder should be unsweetened and so would be suitable. Green & Black's is another good brand of unsweetened cocoa powder which is available several countries.