I'm making a chocolate Orange flavour cake later today. It will have 3 layers of cake inside so I thought it would look good if I had a black layer and 2 red layers as its a twilight themed cake. Can I make the chocolate cake red with food colouring? She has already picked a recipe cakecentral.com/recipes/7507/chocolate-orange-cake does buttermilk and dutch process cocoa produce a red colour? My problem is with that I have no idea which English brands are dutch processed! None of them mention it on the tub.
joy of baking . com has a great listing in their ingredient section. They also mention specific brands for each style.
Regular Hershey's cocoa is natural.
If it doesn't say on the label, it is probably natural. The dutch processed cocoas usually list it on the label. Each manufacturer would also list it on their website
When I was developing a red velvet cake I experimented with adding red food color to my chocolate cake (made with Hershey's cocoa). It gave the cake a barely perceptible red glow - more like a devils food cake. And I used a lot of food color, two tablespoons for a 9x13 cake.
I would make a red velvet cake, I prefer CakeMan Raven's, with an extra 1 or 2 teaspoons of cocoa. My girls prefer Martha Stewarts RV or RV with a History because they do have a considerable amount of cocoa in them.
Cocoa powder is acidic and when neutralized with an alkali (baking soda) it changes it's color to red. However, dutch-processed cocoa powder already treated to become alkaline so it won't react with baking soda to give a red color.
However, this change is very slight, especially in chocolate cakes which have a high ratio of cocoa powder to baking soda. I would suggest making red velvet cake if you want true red.