Baking with hot chocolate?

Discussion in 'Baker Banter' started by Becky, Mar 24, 2018.

  1. Becky

    Becky Administrator

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    I always seem to get gifted a lot of hot chocolate at Christmas, more than I can ever drink. I don't want it to go to waste, so it got me thinking about what else I could do with it and I discovered that there are loads of recipes online for just this purpose. Has anyone here ever tried baking with hot chocolate? I'm thinking that perhaps brownies or cookies would be a good option.
     
    Becky, Mar 24, 2018
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  2. Becky

    -Daniel- Well-Known Member

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    -Daniel-, Mar 25, 2018
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  3. Becky

    Becky Administrator

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    Thanks for that @-Daniel- :) I don't mean cocoa powder though, I mean hot chocolate mix - cocoa powder is 100% cocoa solids, whereas hot chocolate mix typically contains cocoa powder, sugar, flavouring, milk powder, etc. That cake looks lovely though!
     
    Becky, Mar 26, 2018
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  4. Becky

    -Daniel- Well-Known Member

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    Oooow you know I didn't even really think they were that different, I don't drink hot chocolate so never had it. Hmmm I'm out of ideas! Hope you find some :)
     
    -Daniel-, Mar 27, 2018
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  5. Becky

    Rebecca Elizabeth Active Member

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    Sounds like a good idea to me
     
    Rebecca Elizabeth, Jul 23, 2018
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  6. Becky

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    Good Morning Rebecca,
    Unfortunately it is not a good idea to bake with hot chocolate mix. As @Becky pointed out, hot chocolate is not the same as cocoa powder.

    The first issue is leavening. There's two types of cocoa powder, natural and Dutch. Natural cocoa power is naturally acidic. Dutch cocoa powder has be treated to make it darker and richer in flavor. That process makes the cocoa very dark in color and it changes the ph level from acidic to alkaline.

    • Baking powder is acidic so it needs Dutch cocoa powder (alkaline) to activate
    • Baking soda is alkaline, so it needs natural cocoa powder (acid) to activate

    There's not way to tell what type of cocoa powder is in the hot chocolate mix. So there's not way to know what type of leavening to use.

    Well formulated recipes that use cocoa powder will designate the type of cocoa powder and the correct type of leavening to correspond with that specific cocoa powder.

    The other issue is hot chocolate mix usually contain whey proteins, mono and diglyderides. These ingredients can really effect texture and structure because of the water binding and thickening properties. Whey is very high in protein, so it can make your baked goods very tough if you are adding other high protein ingredients like dairy.

    Cocoa powder is also a powerful binder; together these ingredients can potentially cause your baked good to be a thick heavy blob. The only way to counter the binding qualities is to adjust the liquid and reduce the amount of flour. But not knowing the percentage of whey and mono and diglyderides in the chocolate mix, there's no way to calculate the needed adjustments.

    The last issue is hot chocolate mix will add very little chocolate flavor to baked goods because the cocoa powder is diluted with so many other ingredients.
     
    Norcalbaker59, Jul 23, 2018
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