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[Product Review] FineNaturals Ultra Dark Cocoa Powder + Cocoa Carrot Cake Recipe

Have you ever craved for chocolate? Dark, rich chocolate where you can taste the creaminess of it, and so rich that you feel intoxicated? I had one of those cravings. I was craving for it so badly, yet I fighting to get away from it. Wind the clock back 4 years, and I’ll be the first to pop it in my mouth. Now? I have a fear of chocolates. Lactose intolerance plays a huge role in how I choose my food now. The 5 min joy of satisfying my sweet tooth is not worth the pain I have to face later in the evening when I hit the toilet.

I have the worst food cravings, its almost an addiction. I get faint and giddy when I don’t satisfy that particular craving. I had a wee bit of chocolate in a bun that a friend baked for me a while back, and it led to hours in the loo due to the milk content that is mostly found in chocolate chips. So I decided to go the other way around. I was looking for pure cocoa powder that does not have added ingredients that might lead me to the whole lactose intolerance issue. I knew the only way to do it was to bake something on my own to satisfy my craving while making sure what goes into it is safe for me.

I had the opportunity to receive this Cocoa Powder, Pure Unsweetened Certified Organic Cacao at its Best by FineNaturals recently and I seriously am very thankful for it. I have tried a few different cocoa powders in my last 4 to 5 years of enthusiastic baking and playtime in the kitchen, and this, my gosh, is truly yummilicious.

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FineNaturals Ultra Dark Cocoa Powder

I need to add this disclaimer that while I was given these products heavily discounted in exchange of a review,  I believe in writing in honesty and integrity. If I didn’t like something, I would not have written about it, or if the company was not upholding its claims, it will not be on my list of recommendations. I am known for my strict requirements before I am willing to put my money or words down on  a product, so unless it works to its claims, I will not talk about it. It is very important to me to stay true to myself while writing these out or it will just become an advertising blog and this is not what I want. I have tried all these products personally and put them to the test over time before writing these reviews. 

From the moment I opened the bag, to mixing it for baking, and while baking, the aroma of the cocoa just filled the air.  The powder was fine and properly milled. I had no issues with mixing it into my batter. I wasn’t even using a machine to mix, I did the entire cake with just a whisk and spatula and it came out great. It was one of those moments where I was craving for a spiced cake/bread but I couldn’t decide between a carrot cake or a pumpkin bread. Both had my favorite cinnamon, and with the weather getting cold here, I was craving for it. I decided to go with carrot cake because I went through a series of pumpkin crazed bakes last month, and I had a huge 5kg bag of carrots that I needed to use.

What I liked about the cocoa powder:

  1. It smells good. I can’t stop raving about this because smell does play a part on the food that we eat. This is mighty important to me!
  2. It is really high quality cocoa powder, the flavor is rich and it is evident in the recipes I have tried using this powder.
  3. Its organic, raw, unprocessed and unsweetened. Totally going with the rules of my kitchen. I like knowing exactly what goes into my food, so this being a 1 ingredient item, in its most nutrient dense state, is perfect for me. I can sweeten it to my own preferences.
  4. It is a fine powder and very easy to mix/blend into other ingredients.
  5. It tastes like dark chocolate and helped me get over my chocolate cravings without the lactose issues.

Snippet from their product description:

ORGANIC COCOA POWDER; forget cheap cocoa powders with sweeteners and additives, our Organic Cacao Powder is completely free from sugar and other fillers for great health and taste!


CERTIFIED ORGANIC; low temperature processed at below 45 degrees C to achieve a pure, rich Cacao Powder perfect for raw food recipes, hot chocolates, smoothies and baking!

PURE CHOCOLATE FLAVOR; Premium Single Origin Arriba Criollo Cocoa Bean, with a distinct floral and nutty flavour, great smooth texture with no bitter mouth feel.

RICH IN VITAMINS AND MINERALS; excellent source of magnesium, iron, fatty acids and antioxidants, a mood enhancer, perfect for helping support healthy blood pressure, relaxation, circulation and natural energy!

1 LB LONG LASTING SUPPLY; extra large resealable pouch, perfect for everyday use for healthy living! 

I baked this Chocolate Carrot Cake to share with friends over dinner, and I totally loved it. It wasn’t overly sweet and ingredients of the cake brought out the flavor of the cocoa. I’m sure there are areas where it could be improved but it was enough for me to get over my cravings and have my cake at the same time!

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Chocolate Carrot Cake

Recipe adapted from Joy of Kosher:

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup hot water
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon himalayan salt
  • 2 cups shredded carrots, about two large carrots or three medium carrots
  1. Combine all the wet ingredients in a mixing bowl. I used a whisk for this. A mixer will be great for this.
  2. Combine all the dry ingredients in another bowl. Mix well with fork.
  3. Pour dry ingredients into wet ingredients in batches and fold to mix with a spatula.
  4. Add in shredded carrots after all ingredients are well mixed.
  5. Pour in 9 inch loaf pan and bake at 350F until toothpick poked in the center comes out clean. It took me around 40 mins.

I did not make the glaze and halved the sugar required for this recipe because I’m trying to cut down on sugar, but feel free to double it up if you have a really sweet tooth.

Would I get more of this cocoa powder to use in my recipes. Heck yes. I loved the taste of it.

The only thing I didn’t like was the packaging. As many other reviewers have mentioned, the resealable bag did not seal well. I was worried that it would go rancid after opening and had to pop the entire bag into another Ziploc Gallon bag just to keep it airtight.

Try out the cocoa powder here:

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kombucha tips 12

Day 12: Make the fluffiest cake

This is the 12th post to the 30 ways with kombucha in 30 days that I have decided to take up for the month of September. You may read more about the ‘challenge’ I gave myself here. 

I love cakes, I can eat cakes all day long, and if I had a choice, I would replace all meals with desserts and cakes. I call myself a cake addict. However, my current issue with gluten does not like my current addiction with cakes. I don’t bake as often as I used to, and I try to bake as much gluten free as possible.

I had some leftover wheat flour in my cupboard and decided to try out an adaptation of the red velvet cake.

Its no secret that the only thing that sets Red Velvet apart from a regular chocolate cake is the bright red coloring in the cake itself.

Another thing is the fluffiness of the cake which is mostly created by a vinegar reaction with baking soda.

Since the coloring is there just to make the cake itself visually appealing, I left it out. My diet now is to keep things simple, make things from scratch, and to omit whatever that doesn’t add to the end product.

In some of the celebrity cakes shows, they reveal that the secret to their very soft and light cupcakes is to use Apple Cider Vinegar.

I find that when we use Apple Cider Vinegar, sometimes you can still taste the vinegar even after the cake is baked.

I experimented with using kombucha, which is not to harsh on the taste buds, and good enough to make the baking soda fizz.

kombucha tips 12

Note: Recipe not shared as I have not perfected the amount of baking soda. The center of the cake is a bit cracked. That’s why the heart is there to ‘cover up’.  Allow me to experiment with it again and I will post an updated recipe. It does not affect the taste though. Its probably one of the fluffiest cake I have eaten since I started baking. Yums!

How to use:

I replaced half the water with kombucha.

Eg. If a recipe calls for 2 cups of water, I switch to 1 cup water, 1 cup kombucha. Pour both liquids into 1 container and set aside.

Mix the baking soda thoroughly with the remaining dry ingredients.

Pour the mix liquids slowly into the flour mix. You’ll see light fizz occuring in the flour as the liquid reaches them.

That is the kombucha’s acidity reacting with the baking soda, helps make cakes light & fluffy.

What I really love is that kombucha is acidic enough to cause a reaction, yet is not as tart as ACV to change the taste of a cake.

When I baked the muffin in the picture, I could lower the amount of sugar and it still did not affect the taste. With ACV you would probably need to add more sugar to make it still like a sweet treat.

Have you used vinegar in your baking? What are your favorite cakes?


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Previous articles in the challenge: 

Day 1: All Purpose Spray

Day 2: Soak Produce to Remove Dirt & Bugs

Day 3: Kombucha Coleslaw

Day 4: Hair Rinse

Day 5: Facial Toner 

Day 6: Fermenter’s Overnight Oats

Day 7: All Natural Shower Cleaner

Day 8: Kombucha Vinaigrette

Day 9: Remove the smell our of food jars

Day 10: Using Kombucha to Marinate meats

Day 11: Clean your shower head