Chemistry Question: Unsweetened Cocoa Powder

Decorating By lrlt2000 Updated 20 Nov 2014 , 6:45pm by camomama5

lrlt2000 Posted 22 May 2014 , 5:24pm
post #1 of 13

I have a batch of Fluffy American Buttercream (sort of a meringue buttercream - American buttercream hybrid) that I want to make into chocolate buttercream, but I don't have any more semi- or bitter-sweet baker's chocolate on hand. All I have is natural unsweetened cocoa powder. Presumably, it is not Dutched. 

 

How can I add it to the BC without getting a soupy oily mess? Do I have to add more fat along with it? Should I mix it with hot cream first? Should I add some baking soda to counteract the acidity? 

12 replies
mzteaze Posted 22 May 2014 , 5:47pm
post #2 of 13

Can you take out a small amount to test batch it?  I would do that first to figure out what tasted the best to me.

 

My other thought was to make a ganache out of the cocoa powder, let it cool then mix with the ABC.  I've seen a few recipes that take this approach to make a chocolate ABC.

-K8memphis Posted 22 May 2014 , 6:30pm
post #3 of 13

great idea, mztease --

 

here's another idea -- what i would do-- sift the cocoa powder with a little powdered sugar (to help avoid lumps) and just add it into some of the icing-- add the rest -- it will probably be too stiff though so i would just add some cream and mix it very very well --

 

in all my life i've heard about that cocoa powder dutch process whatever that is and i've never ever had an issue using whatever different cocoa powders i've ever used -- idk

lrlt2000 Posted 22 May 2014 , 11:04pm
post #4 of 13

Thank you both! Okay, so here's what I did. . . and it was SOOOOOOOO DELICIOUS! I wish I had measured ;) 

 

First, I heated up heavy cream. Then I added the cocoa powder until it was combined and creamy (almost like a melted chocolate bar, but when I mashed the chocolate against the side of the bowl, it stayed). Then, I tried it and it was gross--too bitter. So, I added regular cane sugar that I dissolved a bit by microwaving it with a tad of water. I mixed in a little more and little more until what I had tasted like melted bittersweet chocolate bar.

 

I added that all to my batch of BC and WOWOWOWWWEEEEEEE is it good! I actually think I'm going to do my chocolate BC like this from now on!

-K8memphis Posted 22 May 2014 , 11:06pm
post #5 of 13

oh measuring is for sissies--hahaha

 

hurray!! congrats

winniemog Posted 22 May 2014 , 11:18pm
post #6 of 13

Quote:

Originally Posted by lrlt2000 
 

First, I heated up heavy cream. Then I added the cocoa powder until it was combined and creamy (almost like a melted chocolate bar, but when I mashed the chocolate against the side of the bowl, it stayed). Then, I tried it and it was gross--too bitter. So, I added regular cane sugar that I dissolved a bit by microwaving it with a tad of water. I mixed in a little more and little more until what I had tasted like melted bittersweet chocolate bar.

 

 

Actually, you did precisely make a chocolate bar - these are made from cocoa solids (dry cocoa powder), cocoa butter (the fat which you replaced with cream) and then they have varying amounts of sugar added to make them more palatable - and then milk chocolate of course has milk solids added too.

Good job!

mzteaze Posted 23 May 2014 , 12:19am
post #7 of 13

Quote:

Originally Posted by lrlt2000 
 

Thank you both! Okay, so here's what I did. . . and it was SOOOOOOOO DELICIOUS! I wish I had measured ;) 

 

First, I heated up heavy cream. Then I added the cocoa powder until it was combined and creamy (almost like a melted chocolate bar, but when I mashed the chocolate against the side of the bowl, it stayed). Then, I tried it and it was gross--too bitter. So, I added regular cane sugar that I dissolved a bit by microwaving it with a tad of water. I mixed in a little more and little more until what I had tasted like melted bittersweet chocolate bar.

 

I added that all to my batch of BC and WOWOWOWWWEEEEEEE is it good! I actually think I'm going to do my chocolate BC like this from now on!

 

Awesome!!  This is exactly what I had in mind.  I'm glad it turned out like you wanted.

lrlt2000 Posted 23 May 2014 , 1:42am
post #8 of 13

Quote:

Originally Posted by -K8memphis 
 

oh measuring is for sissies--hahaha

 

hurray!! congrats

Yep :grin: Thanks, all!

MBalaska Posted 23 May 2014 , 2:28am
post #9 of 13

Quote:

Originally Posted by lrlt2000 
 

"..... All I have is natural unsweetened cocoa powder. Presumably, it is not Dutched. 

 

How can I add it to the BC without getting a soupy oily mess? Do I have to add more fat along with it? Should I mix it with hot cream first? Should I add some baking soda to counteract the acidity? 

 

Would you really add Baking soda to your ButterCream icing.........

Jenny BakesAlot Posted 23 May 2014 , 4:03am
post #10 of 13

I'm asking this in a sincere way.  Why would adding cocoa powder to buttercream make a soupy oily mess?  I just dump cocoa powder (usually sifted) right into my buttercream, add some half and half, and just mix.  It turns out delicious every time.

mattyeatscakes Posted 23 May 2014 , 5:29am
post #11 of 13

A

Original message sent by Jenny BakesAlot

I'm asking this in a sincere way.  Why would adding cocoa powder to buttercream make a soupy oily mess?  I just dump cocoa powder (usually sifted) right into my buttercream, add some half and half, and just mix.  It turns out delicious every time.

Yup me too, i was wondering about it too...

mzteaze Posted 23 May 2014 , 7:43pm
post #12 of 13

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jenny BakesAlot 
 

I'm asking this in a sincere way.  Why would adding cocoa powder to buttercream make a soupy oily mess?  I just dump cocoa powder (usually sifted) right into my buttercream, add some half and half, and just mix.  It turns out delicious every time.

 

There is a debate going on about different styles of cocoa powder (acidity vs "oil" content) which is one "issue".  But I thought OP was concerned about overcompensating for the addition of cocoa powder plus (maybe?) extra sugar/liquid and messing up her BC base.  Hopefully she will chime in with her thoughts.

 

For example, I've been looking for seriously chocolately-fudge like BC versus the cute light brown chocolate BC that comes from simply adding cocoa powder to BC.  That's how I found the ganache to BC approach.

camomama5 Posted 20 Nov 2014 , 6:45pm
post #13 of 13

AI'm just reading this now but I've done this and it works great. Add a little of your BC TO your cocoa (separate bowl)......whisk it good, then add it back into your BC. Sorry if someone else said the same thing. Don't have time right now to read all the comments.

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