Dutch-process(ed) cocoa [duhch pros-es koh-koh] noun
Cocoa powder created from beans that have been thoroughly rinsed in a solution that reduces their acidity. This process makes the resulting cocoa powder darker in color and milder in taste. Most supermarket brands are natural cocoa, meaning cocoa that has not been Dutch processed, but always check the label. In the image above left to right: natural cocoa; Dutch-processed cocoa; black cocoa an on the bottom center are cacao nibs.
Dutch-processed cocoa and natural cocoa are not considered to be interchangeable in recipes. Their acidity is not the same and the rest of the recipe, particularly the leaveners, might not be correct for the substitution. The result can be a baked good with a dense texture and/or off flavors. As always, we suggest using what the recipe calls for. Read more about cocoa comparisons: The Different Types of Cocoa.