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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.
3 people found this helpful
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on July 22, 2016
I use this to make my own mocha mix: 1 cup Hershey's Cocoa, 1 cup dried milk, 1 cup instant coffee, 1 cup sugar and process in food processor for 3 minutes, using blade, or a good blender. Add to mug with half heated milk and half boiled water. Add heaping tablespoon for large mug or heaping teaspoon for small mug.
10 people found this helpful
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on January 22, 2015
I purchased this cocoa on a lark. I was looking for cocoa in bulk and saw the special dark version and thought it sounded good. I was pleasantly surprised after making my first pan of brownies. The brownies were very dark, almost black, and the flavor was somewhere between Devil's Food chocolate and Oreos. I joked that the brownies looked like black tar heroin. This is truly pharmaceutical grade cocoa.

Many of the other reviews complained that this wasn't as good as the silver can Hershey's cocoa and if that's so, I can't imagine how good it must be.
14 people found this helpful
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on November 9, 2017
I LOVE THIS!!!!!!! I add this to my coffee for extra flavor and it’s fantastic!! Guilt free drinks since no sugar added.
Delicious!!!Rich Flavor!! Perfect for bakings as well.
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VINE VOICEon January 16, 2014
This is cocoa. It is not chocolate, it is a component of chocolate. You need to learn to work with cocoa to achieve maximum enjoyment.
Cocoa is bitter and a bit gritty.
How you proceed depends on your desired results.
Hot Chocolate is a good place to start. If you like the packets, then you want sweet and creamy. About 2 1/3 to 1 ratio of sugar to cocoa is about right.
Try 2 tablespoons plus one teaspoon of sugar mixed with one level tablespoon of cocoa. One cup of hot (NOT boiling) milk and 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract, plus a dash of salt. Mix well in a mug and enjoy.
Hershey's is a good cocoa and a good value in this offering.
Cocoa can also be used in baking (brownies, chocolate/devil's food/mocha cake, for example,) and chocolate or fudge confections and candies.
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on August 8, 2012
I'd never used this before, or heard of it, so compared to regular Hershey's cocoa (which I managed to run out of) this had a noticeably stronger and better chocolate flavor to it when I made a "Hershey's Collector's Cocoa Cake" recipe from a Hershey's cocoa package around 1988. I've made that recipe dozens of times. This time I tried some and was surprised at how good it tasted, and I'd been buying Penzey's cocoa for several years. I liked this product just fine, no complaints at all!
We made the chocolate mousse recipe printed on the back of the container and it turned out GREAT. It's basically cream and gelatin with cocoa and sugar. Totally easy and more importantly COOL to prepare in the summer months. Serve it in wine glasses and it looks really fancy. The cocoa, again, carried the day. Deep, intense chocolate flavor. Pleased but puzzled to find a top-quality chocolate product from Hershey's, for some reason. Exceeds my expectations by a noticeable measure.
3 people found this helpful
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on April 7, 2015
I bought six 8oz containers of this to mix with my protein shake each morning. First morning I went a little heavy on it and spent the day in chocolate nirvana. Spoke with the grand high puba of all things cocoa. He said limit it to a single heaping teaspoon of this powder and I've been enjoying it since. Good stuff. Taste great for what I need it for. Thanks Hershey! Also, to anyone in the north east or traveling through there... VISIT THE HERSHEY'S PARK! Just saying.
5 people found this helpful
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on March 3, 2016
This cocoa, for me, is the best you can buy, and can be yours as well for an unbelievable Amazon price through this offer. It makes an excellent hot chocolate in the winter, and I use it primarily as a nutritional supplement, mixed in with my morning coffee. Highly recommended.
2 people found this helpful
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on October 24, 2017
I love Hershey's. I don't know if there is any better but it's the best as far as I'm concerned. It may be because it's what I grew up with in my mother's kitchen. A staple for any baker's kitchen. I love that the label hasn't changed, either. I look at it and it reminds me of my childhood and then I taste it and it brings back even more memories. Flavorful and versatile.
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on June 13, 2017
Its Hersheys so we all know the brand. This real unadulterated, undutched cocoa that our mothers used to cook or bake with. Excellent value and supremely flavorful! A very good product and highly recommended.
One person found this helpful
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