Can I be honest for a second?
I hate using cocoa powder in my baking.
Don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing wrong with it, per se. Especially not if you use a good kind. But I just don’t like it. It’s not just a flavor-er, but it’s also a thickener. And it’s notoriously and problematically lumpy. And it’s messy. I don’t know if it’s just me or if this happens to everyone, but whenever I use cocoa powder, I get it all over my counter and my mixer and my hands and my clothes and my floor… It doesn’t happen with flour or powdered sugar. Just cocoa.
But I digress…
I always keep some on hand. And it’s always always always Ghiradelli because it’s my favorite brand of any chocolate to use. I just think that it is generally overrated. Even if it takes an an extra step (which, in all honesty, takes less than two minutes, but whatever…), I would much prefer to melt down some good quality chocolate and mix it into whatever batter I’m preparing. The difference is magnificent. Cakes are richer and silkier. Frostings are more luscious. But the deliciousness and the decadence is amplified
There are instances, of course, where cocoa powder would still be preferred. Red Velvet, for example, is not meant to be super dark and chocolatey. It’s supposed to have just a hint of chocolate flavor with buttermilk being the star. And that’s great. But when chocolate is meant to be remembered, then I feel like it needs to be the real deal.