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BLOG: Baking Questions with Mama Cocoa!

Mama Cocoa of Mama Cocoa’s Delights, is a Pastry Chef with 10 years of experience. She has worked in fine-dining restaurants, luxury hotels, high end catering and gourmet markets.

Mama Cocoa of Mama Cocoa’s Delights, is a Pastry Chef with 10 years of experience.  She has worked in fine-dining restaurants, luxury hotels, high end catering and gourmet markets.  Mama Cocoa designed her career to constantly be acquiring knowledge.  Along the way she realized that she would like to share her knowledge of baking and sweets with others.  Hopefully this will encourage people to get back into the kitchen baking and sharing their own wonderful creations.

 

So every Tuesday Mama Cocoa will answer a few baking questions.  If you would like to submit a question message Mama Cocoa on FaceBook or email her at mamac@mamacocoasdelights.com.  

 

Have a sweet day!

 

How do I know if my baking powder is still good? Baking Powder and Baking Soda for that matter have a really long shelf life.  But if left in the cabinet for years they can get weaker or expire all together.  There is a really quick test for baking powder and soda.  For baking powder add 1/4 tsp of baking powder to a 1/4 cup of water.  If you get bubbles then your baking powder is fine.  For baking soda add 1/4 tsp of an acid (lemon juice, vinegar, cocoa, buttermilk, ect.) to your 1/4 of water, then add 1/4 tsp of soda.  Again if you get bubbles your soda is good.  If you only get a slight fizz, or nothing, then it is time to replace your powder or soda!

 

Does it matter whether you line your cookie sheets with aluminum foil or parchment paper? No not at all.  Use whatever is available to you.  Professional bakers tend to use parchment because it is always on hand and we use it for so many other things.  Do not however, use wax paper.  You will end up with one unpleasant mess.

 

If a brownie recipe calls for coffee, does it matter if it's decaf? No not at all.  The coffee in a brownie recipe is purely for flavor.  So use the coffee you enjoy the most.  Also make sure the coffee is brewed super strong.  Stronger than you drink it.  There are a lot of other flavors in brownies so the coffee flavor will be muted in the batter.  So start strong and you will end up perfect.

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Jenni Pompi May 15, 2012 at 06:44 PM
Welcome aboard, Mama Cocoa! I'm a home cook myself, so I'm really looking forward to your weekly posts.
Jenni Pompi May 16, 2012 at 10:07 PM
I have some questions about cocoa powder: What the difference between Dutch processed cocoa powder and natural cocoa powder? How much of a difference does it make in a recipe? Are they interchangeable?
Rsatteson May 16, 2012 at 10:32 PM
http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2010/02/cocoa-powder-faq-dutch-process-v/ The above web link can explain the answers to your questions with full descriptions.
Shannon Hoffman May 18, 2012 at 07:44 PM
Very helpful. Thanks! Welcome aboard to Patch!

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