• Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

  • product-image-quickten.png.a40203b506711f7664fc62024e54a584.pngDid you know that these all-volunteer forums are operated by the 501(c)3 not-for-profit Society for Culinary Arts & Letters? This holiday season, consider a tax-deductible Quick Ten Bucks to support the eG Forums and help us remain completely advertising-free. Thanks to all those who have donated so far!

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
KatieM

Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa Powder

18 posts in this topic

Yesterday I was in my local Meijer store, and I noticed a weird new product on the cocoa shelf. Next to the regular and "European Style" dutch processed Hershey cocoa powders was a new one called "Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa". It said it was a deep dark cocoa with a rich chocolate taste. I can't figure out what it might be. I didn't buy it because I usually only buy Hershey's dutch processed if I'm in a pinch and I can't get any Droste. Now, my hopeful side is wondering if it might be a black cocoa powder. If that's the case, I'll jump for joy, because so far I've only been able to get black cocoa powder from King Arthur Flour, and the shipping is killing me. Somehow I doubt it is, though. Maybe it's a blend like King Arthur's Double Dutch (still hopeful). Anyone tried it?


"First rule in roadside beet sales, put the most attractive beets on top. The ones that make you pull the car over and go 'wow, I need this beet right now'. Those are the money beets." Dwight Schrute, The Office, Season 3, Product Recall

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have been using the Hershey's Special Dark, however, I thought it was the same thing as their European Style and that they'd just changed the name. The European style said it was Dutch Process. If you look at the top of the Special Dark, it says it's Dutch Process as well.

http://www.hersheys.com/recipes/products/info/cocoa.asp

So again, I think they might be phasing out the "European Style" name. I could be totally wrong.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

do without hersheys and nestle whenever possible


Dean Anthony Anderson

"If all you have to eat is an egg, you had better know how to cook it properly" ~ Herve This

Pastry Chef: One If By Land Two If By Sea

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've used the Special Dark in a pinch, it is a different, better, product from their regular pale, insipid stuff. It had a different label and I think the version I used was also called European Style--I wouldn't be surprised if they are one in the same. And it was probably the best of the very commercial, very widely distributed cocoa powders, and I liked it much more than the Droste. I'd rate it at least "acceptable" if not fairly good. It's a little harsh to roll truffles in, and I wouldn't use it in an application with very subtle flavors, but in any basic chocolate baked good where you 1) were blending it in with some chocolate or 2) wanted a decently intense chocolate flavor and were pairing it with some other flavors, I think it'll work just fine.


Steve Klc

Pastry chef-Restaurant Consultant

Oyamel : Zaytinya : Cafe Atlantico : Jaleo

chef@pastryarts.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok, I feel like an idiot now. I went to another grocery store last night, and it looks like they are just phasing out the "European Style" name. I really don't use Hershey's very often, like I said - only in a pinch, but if they had started making a black cocoa powder, I would have at least tried it. I usually only use the Hershey's if I'm out of other cocoa and don't have time to order any, and even then only in things like Texas Sheet Cake for a church supper.

I don't use black cocoa powder that often, but it would have been nice not to have to order it. I order a million things from King Arthur anyway, but for some reason adding that cocoa powder usually doubles my shipping cost. Anyone know a source other that KA?


"First rule in roadside beet sales, put the most attractive beets on top. The ones that make you pull the car over and go 'wow, I need this beet right now'. Those are the money beets." Dwight Schrute, The Office, Season 3, Product Recall

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't use black cocoa powder that often, but it would have been nice not to have to order it. I order a million things from King Arthur anyway, but for some reason adding that cocoa powder usually doubles my shipping cost.  Anyone know a source other that KA?

I really like Valrhona's Cocoa powder, which I buy in 6kg. boxes (3-1kg bags/box) for $39.26 from Assouline and Ting in Philadelphia. They would probably sell smaller quantities as well, if you ask nicely.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i've used it before and thought it tasted pretty darn good! then again, it could have been a really good chocolate cake recipe, who knows! :biggrin:

i just bought a 15 pound bag of cocoa from Gordon's food, it was pretty cheap so i couldn't resist. i never tried the black cocoa before, do you think there really is a noticable difference? thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use the Hershey's Special Dark because it's inexpensive, readily available and works well in cakes and baked goods. I haven't tried rolling truffles in it and probably won't do it based on Steve's assessment.

Does anyone have an opinion on Penzey's Dutch Process? I had some and thought it was excellent. My stash is gone now and I'm debating as to whether I should stock up on more Penzey's or splurge and buy Valrhona.

I've grown accustomed to using Valrhona and Scharffen Berger bittersweet chocolate, but have never tried their cocoa powders. If their cocoa powder is as good as their chocolate, it will be worth it. However, Penzey's was very good too.....and a little cheaper.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

remember, dutch proocessed is a very dark cocoa but its not black cocoa. An extremely dark cocoa powder called "black cocoa" does exist. But its an extreme specialty item.


Dean Anthony Anderson

"If all you have to eat is an egg, you had better know how to cook it properly" ~ Herve This

Pastry Chef: One If By Land Two If By Sea

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've tried to Penzey's Dutch Process and I really liked it. It has a darker, richer flavor and fragrance than the Droste. I only used it in cakes and cupcakes, never tried rolling truffles in it. I've never used Valrhona; I'd like to give it and the Scharffen Berger a try sometime.

Is the Scharffen Berger natural cocoa considerably better than Hershey in baked goods? I'm kind of on a budget, and not ready for the big splurge unless it's a noticeably difference.

Call me a big cheapo.

Does anyone have an opinion on Penzey's Dutch Process?  I had some and thought it was excellent.  My stash is gone now and I'm debating as to whether I should stock up on more Penzey's or splurge and buy Valrhona.

I've grown accustomed to using Valrhona and Scharffen Berger bittersweet chocolate, but have never tried their cocoa powders.  If their cocoa powder is as good as their chocolate, it will be worth it.  However, Penzey's was very good too.....and a little cheaper.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
remember, dutch proocessed is a very dark cocoa but its not black cocoa. An extremely dark cocoa powder called "black cocoa" does exist. But its an extreme specialty item.

Sorry, I should have clarified this earlier. Black cocoa powder is what Oreos are made out of. I use it occasionally for a chocolate "blackout" cake that is paired with a cookies and cream filling. I haven't used it for much else, but I love the flavor and color of it so much that I'm experiementing with a few other things. I suppose it would have said black cocoa powder on the label if it was indeed black cocoa powder. Duh.

Is the Scharffen Berger natural cocoa considerably better than Hershey in baked goods? I'm kind of on a budget, and not ready for the big splurge unless it's a noticeably difference.

If it is a natural cocoa, but not a dutch processed, your method for using it will be slightly different. Dutch processed is treated with alkali, so it is less acidic. This makes it more palatable for eating without baking, like in hot cocoa or for rolling in truffles. It is also wonderful baked. Cocoa that has not been treated with alkali needs (in my opinion) to be balanced with a bit of baking soda (base) in baked goods.

There was another thread about cocoa powders somewhere if I recall correctly. If anyone can find it and link to it, that would help those who have more questions.


"First rule in roadside beet sales, put the most attractive beets on top. The ones that make you pull the car over and go 'wow, I need this beet right now'. Those are the money beets." Dwight Schrute, The Office, Season 3, Product Recall

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Is the Scharffen Berger natural cocoa considerably better than Hershey in baked goods?  I'm kind of on a budget, and not ready for the big splurge unless it's a noticeably difference.

Its a matter of personal preference, but I've tried pretty much every type of cocoa in cakes and found that I do not like the flavor Scharffen Berger or Ghirardelli or other natural cocoas very much. Incidentally, when Cook's Illustrated did their cocoa tasting a couple of months ago, Scharffen Berger came in dead last of all cocoas, while Hershey's, which sells for 1/3 the price, came in second among the untreated cocoas. So I say, if you need to use an untreated cocoa, you could do alot worse than Hershey's!


"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
My stash is gone now and I'm debating as to whether I should stock up on more Penzey's or splurge and buy Valrhona.

Anna, buy some Valrhona cocoa! I have used it for several years now and will never go back to Hershey's or Ghirardelli, etc. I have never tried Penzey's though, so I cannot compare it to that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Laura, I almost bought some Valrhona yesterday, but it was $13.99 a pound and I didn't have a particular recipe in mind. It's easier for me to splurge when I know exactly how I'm going to use the ingredient in question. Of course, I think I could come up with a way to use cocoa powder this weekend.

Patrick, I love it when every-day grocery store products get high ratings from experts. Go Hershey! Do you happen to remember what cocoa came in first?

Hopefully, it was Valrhona. If their cocoa is anything like their semi-sweet chocolate, I'll be happy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Patrick, I love it when every-day grocery store products get high ratings from experts.  Go Hershey!  Do you happen to remember what cocoa came in first?

Hopefully, it was Valrhona.

Among the dutched cocoas (which were judged to be best-tasting in all the taste-tests: shortbread, devil's food cake, pudding, pudding cake, and hot chocolate), the top-rated was Callebaut, which you can order online for about half the price of Valrhona. Valrhona actually was ranked lower in preference than Callebaut, Droste and Schokinag. Possibly that reflects that most people prefer a simpler chocolate taste. I've used Valrhona cocoa in lots of things, and its clearly one of the best. But I personally don't think it is superior to the extent that I would twice as much for it on a regular basis.


"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Among the dutched cocoas (which were judged to be best-tasting in all the taste-tests: shortbread,  devil's food cake, pudding, pudding cake, and hot chocolate), the top-rated was Callebaut, which you can order online for about half the price of Valrhona. Valrhona actually was ranked lower in preference than Callebaut, Droste and Schokinag. Possibly that reflects that most people prefer a simpler chocolate taste. I've used Valrhona cocoa in lots of things, and its clearly one of the best. But I personally don't think it is superior to the extent that I would twice as much for it on a regular basis.

Thanks! I buy Callebaut semi-sweet chocolate in bulk all the time and love it. It's less expensive than Valrhona and has an excellent flavor. Glad to hear their cocoa is good too. I didn't notice if my store had the Callebaut cocoa powder, but I'll pick some up if they do. Otherwise, I'll order it.

I still plan to pick up a small amount of Valrhona.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Extra Brute~ Cacao Barry 2.2lbs. I pay $11.45...........excellent

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm with Mignardise on the Cacao Barry. I've used (and liked) both the Extra Brut and the Plein Arome, which I can get for about $9 per 1kg bag through a local gourmet distributor. Makes some amazing brownies. And cakes. And meringues. And... :biggrin:


"I just hate health food"--Julia Child

Jennifer Garner

buttercream pastries

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Similar Content

    • By Loubika
      Hi everyone,
       
      I'm a little pastry chief in France, still learning and really passionate. It's been five months that I did'nt studiy or practise and I miss that so much. I never stop talking about this. I decided to travel in south america to learn everything I can. I'm actually in Central Colombia, and I will travel to Ecuador, Galapagos, Peru, Bolivia and maybe a little bit more if I want to. I have time until march, more or less.
       
      My project is to go in the farms and meet the people who grow up the raw material I use for make my pastries, Talk to them and see the plantation would be really helpfull for me to understand how does it works. If people need, I'm volunteer for work in exchange with accomodation and food for a few days. My spanish is not good yet, but I'm learning and sometimes it's more funny to not speak the same language. I'm interested about everything, exotic fruits, citrus, coffee, cacao, sesame, pepper, spices...
       
      If some of you is, knows or works with farmers or pastry chiefs in those countries, I would be glad to meet you/them and learn everthing about the work. We can exchange good recipe too.
       
      Thank you very much,
      Loubna
       
       
    • By Darienne
      Yesterday I made my familiar go-to simple lime/cream cheese pie with one egg, some milk, lime juice & zest, etc, covered with a dark chocolate ganache: heavy cream, a dollop of butter.  It's in the fridge covered with a plastic topper but I can cover it with plastic wrap or aluminum foil.

      Today's lunch guest is not coming...onslaught of sleet, freezing rain, and now snow...oh goodie...winter's here...  Now she is slated for next Thursday.  Is there any possibility that the pie can last that long and not poison or at least revolt us?

      Thanks.
    • By LucyInAust
      Hello,
       
      I've been asked to make a cake with an edible film strip style ribbon (NOT made of fondant) and I'm trying to work out a solution given limited time (2 weeks) and limited skills (a lifetime's worth of lack of decorating skills and attention to detail!).
       
      Ideally I'd love to use a chocolate transfer sheet ... but the only ones I can find are in the USA (I'm in Australia) and the shipping time makes that impractical.  I've been googling and not seen a decent alternative that I think I can do (actually I haven't even found something that is edible that I think looks good, even from professionals!!)!  Fondant would be the most obvious solution but I've been given the instructions of no fondant (but maybe they wouldn't notice a strip?!) ... but chocolate seems possible.
       
      Some ideas I've thought of and would love feedback ...
      Could I use old film negatives as a transfer?  Cut out the frames and then use the strips?   (am I going to kill anyone with chemicals?!!) Could I create acetone strips by trying to stamp/cut out something that sort of looks like a film strip?  Use it as a stencil instead? Piping on to acetate using an image behind as a guide?  I can't say I have very steady hands so am thinking it would be very wonky?!!! If I did the outline in dark chocolate would I need a white chocolate layer to make it transfer onto a buttercream cake?  
      I have a chocolate tempering machine, most likely to be using Callebaut 54% but could use Lindt 70%/85%/90%.
       
      I've really only used transfer sheets directly on to dipped chocolate, and acetate to create random curls for decorations ... I'm wondering about the logistics of getting the chocolate on the strips, keeping it shaped for the cake (I think the cake is square ... but maybe it might be round?!) and also transferring them on to the cake?
       
      (back up plan ... plain ribbon!!!)
       
      Would love any advice!  Thanks!!
    • By curls
      Looking for your opinions and experiences... I am planning to put some wire shelving in my chocolate & confections kitchen. The kitchen has a concrete floor. This shelving will hold ingredients, colored cocoa butters, and packaging. Wondering if I should get casters for this shelving... what are your thoughts on this oh so important question?  ;-)
    • By DianaB
      I've used Valrhona Ivoire white chocolate as a base for various ganache recipes for some time after failing to create a good ganache with other white chocolate including Callebaut, a brand I otherwise like.  Valrhona is expensive compared to other brands available here in England but Vente Privée offers it at a good discount several times each year.  There is a Valrhona sale this week: 
      https://secure.uk.vente-privee.com/ns/en-gb/operation/57934/classic/3642874/catalog
       
      That link is to the English site but I know the company operates in other countries. You need to become a member to buy from the site, not sure why but it is free and you aren't obliged to buy anything.  
       
      I've already placed an order, popular products sell out fast.  Since ordering I have read various posts in the Pastry and Baking thread that have left me wondering if I should be using Opalys as my white chocolate rather than Ivoire.
       
      Do any of you have experience of both variants of Valrhona's white chocolate?  I would be grateful for any advice you can provide on using them in baking or chocolate making.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.