Friday, January 29, 2010

Scharffen Berger Sweetened Natural Cocoa Powder

Manufacturer: Scharffen Berger
Manufacturer Website

Although the purist in me was strongly considering the unsweetened cocoa powder, I realized that most of the time I would be using this to make hot chocolate so I decided to go with the sweetened cocoa. The Scharffen Berger cocoa powder is brownish-red in color. It looks similar to red clay soil. The tiny flecks of sugar are visible and look like diamond powder mixed in with the cocoa.

I followed the directions on the package to make both hot cocoa and cold chocolate milk. The first step is to mix the dry cocoa powder with a small amount of water to make a paste, which is to help the cocoa mix evenly and easily in the milk. Mixing the paste both looks and smells like mixing up a batch of brownie batter.

My first cocoa tasting was made by mixing the paste with cold 2% milk. The chocolate milk had a deep brown color, similar to a good chocolate ice cream. The aroma was rich and chocolatey. The flavor was initially very rich like a chocolate milkshake. As initial creaminess dies down, more complex chocolate notes such as bitterness and slight fruitiness were noticeable. The finish showed the bitter notes of a good dark chocolate. Heated, the hot chocolate had a very similar flavor profile, but the aroma was much more intense with a deep, rich chocolate aroma. The strong dark chocolate flavor lends itself more to sipping than chugging, but this is a very tasty cocoa either hot or cold. Dark chocolate fans should definitely give this a try.

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