I have a confession to make. I am cheap. I don’t like to spend more than I have to, I always look for the best deals, love coupons and the words On Sale. Being cheap is not always easy mind you. Sometimes you have to make sacrifices on things you like for things you like not quite as much. Lately I have been trying out some new ingredients in my cooking, and they aren’t of the cheaper variety I am sad to say. With that said however, I have been very pleased with the results.
I recently read a couple different articles in a cooking magazine about cocoa powder and their recommendations. They felt that Scharffen Berger cocoa was the best rated and had it listed at a hefty $7.5 – $8.5 a canister. Now, when you are used to Hershey’s cocoa for baking at $3 a canister it can be a bit of a shock to your system. At a recent shop though to Wegmans I came across some of the Scharffen Berger cocoa and also a canister of Ghiradelli cocoa powder and picked both up, despite the fact they cost more than I would have liked to pay for them.
So I proceeded to try them both out the next day in a cake and did a bit of taste testing by bringing them into the office and seeing which one was liked best. To my somewhat pleasant surprise the Ghiradelli won, hands down, and I happened to agree with the findings of my colleagues. Not only did I like it better, it was cheaper as well. That is not to say I didn’t like both of them because they were both very good. The Scharffen Berger was a bit heavier of a chocolate flavor, still sweet enough though, while the Ghiradelli has a nice rich chocolate flavor and was sweet, but not overly. They both beat Hersheys in my opinion easily though, so you can’t really go wrong either way, just a matter of taste.
The other ingredient I have been trying out is King Arthur’s unbleached regular flower. Ok, so it costs almost double the generic brand and other cheaper flowers, but I will say it right now, it is way worth the cost. My cookies have never been as good, my cakes and pancakes have more volume, are fluffier and just seem to hold up better. The fact that it is a unbleached flower is a added bonus to me. I am not the biggest person in the world when it comes to being all natural ect… but having bleached flower when there is a alternative just sounds, well, not so good anymore considering I know what bleach does in our house for cleaning.
I will try and keep you all updated as hopefully I get to test out more ingredients as my budget allows and let you know the results, but on a whole, it’s good to try new things sometimes, just don’t go to crazy when you do.