Trader Joe’s frequently rotates their inventory, dropping products that aren’t particularly popular with consumers and replacing them with new and different things. Lately, their baking line has been getting a little bit bigger and one of the newest introductions is Baker Josef’s Elegant Cocoa Pearls. These tiny cocoa and off white pearls are small sprinkles that are intended to give home bakers a natural option to finish off their baked goods with a more festive look. They look chocolate and they look very “gourmet” when they’re adorning a cake.
The Cocoa Pearls may look like sprinkles, but they are a little more substantial than your average bit of waxed sugar. At the center of each of these balls is a piece of puffed rice or puffed corn cereal. This gives them a little crunch and a lot of lightness, much moreso than you would get from little balls of chocolate alone. It also means that there is something very reminiscent of a bowl of cereal to them if you decide to eat a handful on their own. Once they’re sprinkled onto a cupcake, however, any trace of cereal is lost and you’re left with crispy, slightly sweet Pearls that visually dress up the cake and add a pleasant crunch at the same time. I’m not going to be snacking on these alone, but a couple of jars have already found a home in my pantry and will be put to good use decorating cakes!