Experts and BHG readers answer.
Can I substitute regular chocolate pieces for unsweetened cocoa powder in a brownie recipe?
Can I substitue regular chocolate pieces for the unsweetened cocoa powder in a brownie recipe and just eliminate the added sugar? Or will it change the taste of the brownies?
Great question! If you use 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder plus 2 teaspoons sugar and 2 teaspoons shortening, it is equivalent to 1 ounce semisweet chocolate. Or, 3 tablespoons cocoa powder plus 1 tablespoon oil or shortening is equivalent to 1 ounce unsweetened chocolate. So, whichever equivalent is easier to figure would be fine. It might be easier to use the unsweetened chocolate in place of the cocoa, leaving out some of the oil, then you wouldn’t have to adjust the sugar. Here is our fudge brownie recipe:
Prep: 20 minutes Cool: 15 minutes Bake: 30 minutes Oven: 350°F
Makes: 16 brownies
1/2 cup butter
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)
1 recipe Chocolate-Cream Cheese Frosting (optional)
1. In a medium saucepan heat and stir butter and unsweetened chocolate over low heat until smooth; set aside to cool. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8x8x2-inch baking pan with foil, leaving about 1 inch of the foil extending over the ends of pan. Grease foil; set pan aside.
2. Stir the sugar into the cooled chocolate mixture. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating with a wooden spoon just until combined. Stir in vanilla. In a small bowl stir together the flour and baking soda. Add flour mixture to chocolate mixture; stir just until combined. If desired, stir in nuts. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan.
3. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Cool in pan on a wire rack. If desired, spread Chocolate-Cream Cheese Frosting over cooled brownies. Remove brownies from pan, using the overlapping foil to lift brownies. Place on cutting board; cut into brownies.