The results are in! Each batch of cupcakes was baked the same way. Same recipe. Same quantities. Same baking time. The only difference was the brand of cocoa powder added in each batch of cupcake batter. Even before the tasting, you can see the subtle differences!
Since this was a blind taste test, I assigned each brand a letter. So, the brands ended up being lettered as follows:
- A – Valrhona
- B – Callebaut
- C – Ghirardelli
- D – Guittard
- E – Scharffen-Berger
- F – Droste
- G – Pernigotti
Tasters were asked to rate them on scale from 1 to 10. After adding up all the scores, I was able to see the standings. Blogger didn’t like my HTML table, so you get a jpg table instead, sorry. Guess there’s a reason why it’s free.
The results were surprising to me. Going into this taste test, Valrhona was one of the front runners. After all of the dazzling reviews online, and having used Valrhona melting chocolate with stellar results, I was convinced that it would be one of the top ranked. However, some of the tasters remarked that Valrhona smelled burnt, a complaint that I saw some bakers report in online forums. Callebaut was another favorite, after sampling their white baking chocolate and falling in love. Droste, which had been my dutched cocoa of choice prior to the tasting, came out on top. Between the two natural cocoa powders, Ghirardelli beat out Scharffen-Berger (which, again, is what I was using all along). So, the conclusion is for me to keep using what I had been using all along. I wish it hadn’t taken me $75 worth of cocoa powder to figure that out! Thankfully, some of my textbooks sold on Half.com, so I absorbed the expense.
In the end, this was a great experiment. It’s ironically hilarious that I had been using the best cocoa powder the entire time. The best part is, they are readily available at my local supermarket. So, no dealing with online ordering and such. Now to figure out what to do with 5lbs of gourmet cocoa powders…
I would like to once again thank the members of MangAnime Depot for volunteering to be my test subjects. Without you guys, this definitely wouldn’t have been possible. Expect lots of chocolate goodies in the near future, as I try to whittle down my newly acquired supply of cocoa.