Processed and powdered nibs from the cocoa plant; this is the primary ingredient of chocolate. There are two different types of cocoa powder: Dutch-processed and natural. Dutch-processed cocoa powder has been treated with alkali to lower its acidity and bring out a more intense flavor than natural cocoa powder. Dutch-processed cocoa powder will not react with baking soda the way natural cocoa powder will, so it must be used along with powder; the combination of basic baking soda and acidic natural cocoa powder will cause the recipe to rise.
A fine powder that ranges in color anywhere from a tan to a dark chocolate brown. It comes in sweetened, and unsweetened varieties as well as milk, semi-sweet, bitter, and various percentages of true cocoa.