Trader Joe’s Brownie Mix
I won’t keep you in suspense: Trader Joe’s Brownie Truffle Baking Mix makes a very good brownie. My friend Candy is a gourmet cook, and swears by this as a brownie you could make for guests at a nice dinner party, and not feel like you slighted anyone, at least on the dessert.
I like it very much, too, but not quite as much as she does. Just as I wrote when reviewing Trader Joe’s sister brownie, the Blondie brownie (coming up soon!) it annoys me to find out that the box is only half full of mix! Hey, TJ, we’ve come to expect a fair deal at Trader Joe’s, and this exaggeration bugs!
What’s dutch cocoa, anyway?
Trader Joe’s describes the brownies as “made with Dutch Cocoa and Chocolate Chips”. That reminded me: I have a recipe for brownies I’ve been meaning to make again, but I can’t find Dutch cocoa anywhere. Is this considered some kind of gourmet item now? Trader Joe’s itself carried dutch cocoa in blue or pink tins for a long time, not that product history means much to Trader Joes’ head buyers..
I knew dutch cocoa had something to do with baking powder, but David Lebovitz explains it better than I can:
Because natural cocoa powder hasn’t had its acidity tempered, it’s generally paired with baking soda (which is alkali) in recipes. Dutch-process cocoa is frequently used in recipes with baking powder, as it doesn’t react to baking soda like natural cocoa does.
He adds that you can’t really substitute it in place of regular cocoa with cakes or cookies, just in sauce. (Who makes dutch cocoa sauce??) :/
Also, I didn’t know that dutch-process cocoa is darker. I do like the idea that it has less acidity, although I’ve never thought cocoa powder, which I actually prefer to melted chocolate, is acidic at all.
Word of advice: It’s not a truffle like chocolate candy. it’s a brownie, so they should have called it truffle brownie, not brownie truffle. Don’t make me come to Pasadena, Trader Joe.
What others are saying
Baking Bites likes it, but suggests adding more chocolate chips to it. (Dutch chips?)
Wow, Consumer Reports rated it one of the 2 best out of 100 brownies!!
Sprinkle Joy likes them, too. She has pictures there, in case you get confused by how to add butter and eggs.