I am going to try out a choc cake recipe which calls for 70% cocoa chocolate to be used. All I could get in the store was 85% cocoa chocolate. Will this make a difference to the recipe?- i'm imagining that it will be more bitter that the 70% and am wondering if I should make the mix sweeter (scratch mix) or whether just to leave the original recipe as it is. I don't usually make choc cake as my friends and family (i'm a hobby baker) always ask for my lemon cake. My friend wants me to do her wedding cake next year and would prefer it to be a choc cake so over the next few months i'm going to try a few different recipes to see which is best.
Any advice from choc cake heroes would be most welcome.
It'll be fine... and no need to sweeten the mix. The only difference you need to pay attention to when purchasing cocoa powder for a specific recipe is whether it specifies natural or dutch process cocoa powder, as that will affect the chemistry of the recipe. Your cake will have a slightly stronger chocolate flavor but it won't be bitter, so no worries.
Thanks for that Tara can I ask another question based on your info re cocoa powder. The cocoa powder I got (no choice) doesn't say which it is, do I assume it is the Dutch processed rather than natural, which I am assuming is better, or is Dutch processed what we would term 'drinking chocolate or hot chocolate' in the UK. Also could you enlighten me as to what the difference is and how a recipe is affected please. The recipe I am going to try doesn't require cocoa powder ( presumably as it has chocolate instead) but I have seen others which call for either of these.
OOOPS that's more than one question
Dutch-Process Cocoa has been treated with an alkali to neutralize its natural acidity. Because it is neutral and doesn't react with baking soda on its own (as natural cocoa does), it must be used in recipes calling for baking POWDER, unless there are other acidic ingredients in sufficient quantities used. It has a reddish-brown color, milder in flavor than natural cocoa, and it's easy to dissolve in liquids.