I have always used really great products when baking. It is my personal belief that I can taste it in the finished product. My Nana always told me that your ingredients dictate the finished product so no shortcuts. Go fresh. Go good. Cocoa powder is one of those things that you can’t really skimp on. If you choose to go the cheaper route, it shows not only in the taste, but in the color. Cheap cocoa powder is almost darker than normal and your batter will look almost fake. Take Hershey’s cocoa powder, the specialty dark variation, I used that one time in desperation when making Oreos (not for a client, for my brother, which of course grants him a free ride) and the result was a bit pitiful. He was not too happy but you know how it goes, when you don’t pay, sometimes you get the shaft. 🙂 My long time product of choice has been my faithful standby. I have used it for years. It produces consistently delicious treats. And, I am sorry that I am kicking it to the curb. It’s been a difficult decision, but it’s time to part ways. My old friend, has been replaced.
One day while browsing through the micro aisles at Rosemont, I decided to take a peak at the small, but well stocked, baking area. On the shelves were bits of different flours, an array of interesting sugars (which I bought way too many of) and this little can of cocoa powder which I had never seen before. Now usually, I use only Dutch Cocoa Powder, because of its rich complexity, it adds depth to all of my desserts. This package had no noting of that and initially, I was nervous. But I trust most if not all of the products I purchase at this wonderful place and decided to give it a go on some brownies for my kids as well as some people I work with. When I got it home, I instantly opened the package and could not believe the enticing smell that rose right out of it. That little powder like cloud that pops out of this can is true heaven and I just sat there for a minute taking it all in, happy amongst the scent. That alone, made me eager to begin working with it. I knew, it was a feeling, that it was going to be brilliant.
Now you may be thinking, brownies, really? A brownie is a brownie. Well, no, it’s not. A brownie is a very serious item and the foundation of my recipe is extremely important. My brownies begin with unsweetened chocolate, broken up, melted alongside this luscious cocoa powder and lots of butter. After I beat my eggs and sugar to pure perfection, I sift in flour and other necessary items (salt, baking powder, etc) and then I slowly fold in the gorgeous chocolate mixture. Why fold? Well, I just established all this air in my eggs and sugar and I would hate to deflate it. When completed the batter is splendid. Creamy, light, amazing.
The finished product, ended up being the best brownies I have ever made. The color of the cocoa powder is light, which is deceiving because it is so flavorful and, in a more natural fashion, if that makes sense. I have been using this product in everything since: macarons, brownies, cakes, you name it, it has made its way into it. I am in love with what it produces. Truly, it is a wonderful thing to discover little gems like this.