Here are five common substitutes for cocoa powder in New Zealand that you can use to add a chocolatey flavor to your recipes.
If you love baking, you probably use cocoa powder in all recipes. It is a great addition to cookies, cakes, bread, and brownies. Apart from traditional baked goods, cocoa powder is also used for making milkshakes, chocolate frostings, tiramisu, and the list goes on.
However, the only drawback of cocoa powder is that it has a lot of caffeine. If you want to avoid consuming that much caffeine, you can use a substitute for cocoa powder.
What is Cocoa Powder Made Of?
Cocoa powder is made from the drying and milling of cocoa. It is made by removing the fat or cocoa butter content of cocoa.
Cocoa beans are found in the pods on the cocoa tree, and they are used to make chocolate, cocoa powder, and cocoa butter.
Substitutes of Cocoa Powder in New Zealand
The following are the five best substitutes for cocoa powder in New Zealand that you can use in your recipes.
1. Carob Powder
Carob powder is the closest substitute that you can use in place of cocoa powder. In New Zealand, it comes in two forms – sweetened, and unsweetened.
The sweetened powder contains honey, sugar, or some form of sweetener. Carob powder is made from grounding carob pods that are first dried. Its nutty flavor compliments brownies, cookies, and ice cream.
2. Cooking chocolate
Cooking chocolate is a common ingredient used in baking that contains a high content of chocolate liqueur and cocoa solids.
It typically does not contain any sugar and is unsweetened. Make sure to melt cooking chocolate with butter in your recipes.
Since cooking chocolate does not contain any milk, it provides a more intense color and chocolatey flavor to desserts.
As a substitute, you can use it in a 2:3 ratio (for every 3 tbsp of cocoa powder, use 2 tbsp of melted cooking chocolate).
3. Hot cocoa mix
Hot cocoa mix contains cocoa powder, sugar, milk powder, and spices. It offers the best chocolatey flavor in your desserts.
However, as it contains sugar, you will need to adjust the overall sugar in your recipe. Use 2 tbsp of hot cocoa mix for 1 tbsp of cocoa powder.
You can use it in smoothies, chocolate tea, and baking. The best part about the hot cocoa mix is that it comes in different flavors like mint, strawberry, and more. You can use any hot cocoa mix brand in New Zealand.
4. Chocolate Chips
The next substitute is chocolate chips. They are made from cocoa fat, sugar, milk, and other flavors. You can find unsweetened chocolate chips too, but most commonly, chocolate chips contain sweetener.
This is the most-used substitute for cocoa powder and can be used in cookies, cakes, smoothies, and other desserts. You can get them in various flavors like peanut butter, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, white chocolate, and more.
Because chocolate chips are sweet, you cannot use them in savory dishes, and unlike baking chocolate, they only offer a mild flavor.
Use half a cup of ground chocolate chips to substitute 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder.
5. Dutch-process cocoa
Dutch-process cocoa is a great substitute for cocoa powder as it dissolves easily. However, it is less bitter and acidic as compared to cocoa powder, so if you are using it in baking, you will need to add baking soda for the leavening process.
If you want to use it in a recipe without baking soda or powder, add 1 tbsp of Dutch-process cocoa in place of 1 tbsp of cocoa powder.
What can I use instead of Cocoa Powder in Cake?
If you are out of cocoa powder, the best substitute that you can use in the cake would be chocolate chips. Just like with baking chocolate, the chocolate chips need to be melted before adding to the recipe while baking a cake.
Chocolate chips ensure you get the best consistency in the batter while making a cake. It’s best to use chocolate chips with a high percentage of cacao so you get the best taste and texture.
Can I substitute hot chocolate for cocoa powder?
Yes, you can use hot chocolate powder as a cocoa powder substitute in recipes, but you will not experience the same depth of flavor. This is because most brands of hot cocoa use more sugar and have a low percentage of cocoa.
If you still wish to use it, you may want to reduce the overall amount of sugar in the recipe because hot chocolate powder already includes a lot of sugar.
If you need a substitute for cocoa powder in a recipe, there are several options depending on the specific flavor and texture you want to achieve. I have mentioned some of the closest substitutes available in New Zealand that you can use.
When using these substitutes, keep in mind that they may slightly alter the flavor and texture of your final dish. Experimentation may be necessary to achieve the desired results, especially in more complex recipes. Additionally, consider any dietary restrictions or allergies when choosing a substitute.