The Dutch process results in a cocoa powder with a neutral pH (not acidic like natural cocoa). This means it cannot be used in recipes that use baking soda as the leavening agent, which relies on the acidity of the cocoa to activate it. Rather, Dutch process cocoa can be used in recipes that use baking powder for leavening.
Why is it called the dutch process?
The Dutch process was developed in the early 19th century by a Dutch chocolate maker Coenraad Johannes van Houten. This development greatly expanded the use of chocolate, which had been mostly used as a beverage in Europe until that time.
What does the Dutch or alkalise process do?
Dutch Process Cocoa or Alkalized Unsweetened Cocoa Powder has been treated with an alkali to neutralize its natural acidity. Due to this neutral nature it will not react with baking soda, it must be used in recipes calling for baking powder, unless there are other acidic ingredients in sufficient quantities used. It has a dark reddish-brown colour and is easy to dissolve in liquids.
In short the Dutch process has the following effects on the product:
1. Lowers the acidity levels
2. Increases solubility of the product
3. Enhances the overall color
4. Presents a smoother flavor