Black Cocoa, Black Gold
Last week, we tested a chocolate cake that practically defied logic, let alone gravity. It ingeniously used an extra layer, cut into little mosaic bits, to "tile" the outside of the frosted cake. It was an absolute showstopper. My only quibble was that the flavor wasn't nearly chocolate-y enough. Which prompted me to dig out my stash of black cocoa powder and try it again. The result was a deep-black-brown cake that delivered a deep-dark chocolate flavor.
Since the color of the cocoa is almost as black as finely ground espresso and the flavor is intensely cocoa-y, it's best to substitute only 2 or 3 tablespoons of regular cocoa in a recipe with black cocoa to boost the chocolate flavor. A straight substitution would be way too strong. Try it with these cupcakes or butterscotch sandwich cookies and see the difference.