More than any other time of year, we all love to bake at the Holidays. And although not all of us may love to bake, we bet everyone can agree that this is the time of year we hope to eat homemade baked goods. Today our tips is for taking your chocolate baking to the next level with one of the best cocoa powder brands.
This cocoa is one of the best money-saving baking tips
Believe it or not, our tip for transforming any recipe calling for the aphrodisiac of chocolate into a gourmet treat comes from Hershey’s. Yes, the all-American chocolate brand, Hershey’s! Their Special Dark cocoa powder is without question the best Dutch processed cocoa powder for the money.
We’ve tested all the major cocoa brands from generic to the premium products. And although there are brands we like just as much, for the price, nothing can compare to Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa. However, there are a few things you need to know about this high-quality cocoa powder before you start baking.
What is Dutch processed cocoa powder?
As I mentioned, this is a Dutch-processed cocoa. That means it was processed with an alkali. It is less acidic than a natural cocoa powder and that means it will react differently with lea. More specifically, it doesn’t react at all with baking soda? If you’re feeling confused, don’t worry. Many recipes specify what kind of cocoa powder to use and if you aren’t sure, refer to this excellent cocoa powder guide from the Los Angeles Times test kitchen.
What to look for in a great cocoa powder
The Special Dark Hershey’s Cocoa is also higher in fat than regular Hershey’s cocoa powder, which is part of what makes it such a desirable baking product. A cocoa with a higher percentage of fat will give your baked goods a more rich, chocolate flavor.
Health benefits from cocoa powder?
Now, if you’re looking for the best cocoa powder for health, you’ll probably want to get a product that’s pure cacao, not cocoa powder. (Here’s one I like from Navitas.) However this product, as with all good cocoa powder, offers significant antioxidants. Which really is a bonus of baking with chocolate.
Choosing the right cocoa for flavor
Although we think this is the best quality cocoa powder for the price, we will say it isn’t always the right choice of cocoa if you’re super serious about your chocolate baking. It is an extremely dark, intense and fairly one-note cocoa.
And, depending on what you’re baking, like a chocolate loaf cake for example, you might miss some of the fruitier notes and complexity of a premium brand like Callebaut. Or from a premium, organic product. (Whole Foods 365 brand makes a pretty good fair trade, organic cocoa powder.) But for something like my Double Chocolate Seduction Cookies, it just doesn’t get any better than this rich, dark Hershey’s brand cocoa.
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