Top positive review
3 people found this helpful
Tastes good, a little different from dutch process cocoa powder
on March 14, 2018
First I want to say that this is pure, unsweetened cocoa powder and it is bitter. It is not a hot cocoa mix, in case anyone looking at this item didn't realize it was cocoa powder for baking. You can use it to make hot chocolate but you have to add sugar to it.
I like this cocoa, I think it tastes great, certainly very chocolatey, but taste of coarse is subjective. When I mix it with vanilla ice cream, besides turning it into chocolate ice cream it makes the ice cream seem sweeter to me so, to me it tastes good.
The Hershey’s “Special Dark” label says it’s a “blend of natural and dutched cocoas”. The natural (untreated) cocoa is more acidic and the dutch processed cocoa is treated to make it alkaline. Natural cocoa is stronger and more bitter in flavor, dutch processing it (alkalizing it) decreases the bitterness and gives it a (relatively) milder flavor. I think the reason Hershey’s blended the two types of cocoas is that natural cocoa has flavonoids in it and “dutching” the cocoa destroys (and reduces) the flavonoids so they mixed the natural cocoa with the dutched cocoa so they could make health benefit claims about their cocoa. In other words, it’s kind of a marketing gimmick I had been using a 100% dutch processed extra brut cocoa powder (before I got this Hershey’s) and that had what I would call a purer or truer chocolate flavor.
I don’t know this for a fact but baking with this Hershey’s blend might be a little tricky because the combination of the acidic natural and alkaline dutched cocoas might make a ph neutral cocoa powder meaning, you might…and I emphasize might… have to use different amounts of baking powder or soda than what your recipe calls for to get the desired effects (such as proper rising), you might have to experiment a little. There are recipes on the label for chocolate cake, frosting and mousse.
So far I’ve only made one batch of brownies (and they turned out fine) but mostly I’ve used the Hershey’s to sprinkle on vanilla ice cream or mix into vanilla pudding to make them chocolatey. I think the two cocoas in this blend gives it a flavor a little more like a hot cocoa mix (which is ironic considering what I wrote about it not being a hot cocoa mix) instead of a truer chocolate flavor that a 100% dutch process cocoa would have.
Also, some of the negative reviews said their containers had busted open and spilled cocoa powder in the delivery box so I was a little worried about that when I was considering buying this but everything turned out ok, I didn’t have that problem and all the containers delivered to me were intact and sealed… just thought i’d throw that in there…no but seriously I like this cocoa powder.