chocolate tasting on a budget
Posted: 07 August 2009 06:29 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Howdy everbody!


...........I am on a budget with some flexibility. I’d like to do a chocolate tasting, but I would like to keep the cost at no more than $100.  here are some specifics

1. Cocoa powder 2-3 brands

2. chocolate chips 3-4 brands

.........I don’t think that bar chocolate would be necessary if I have these other two in the same brand

........The main idea is if I am willing to spend a little more to get a better chocolate, I want to be able to tell the difference.

Any special tips for bringing out the best in chocolate? Pairings?

Any ideas on how to hold the tasting and compare? I normally use ghiradelli and like it.

thanks

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Posted: 07 August 2009 07:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Cook’s Illustrated did a chip tasting back in 1998.  The article said they tested 7 brands that were available nationwide.  The chips were eaten plain, and in a traditional Toll-house type cookie which had been fully cooled to room temperature.  Tasters rated the chips on flavor (degree of chocolatiness, sweetness, off flavors and overall flavor), mouthfeel (gritty or smooth),and over-all liking.

These things are always fun, in the end, you go with what you like and can afford.

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Posted: 07 August 2009 12:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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What a fun idea! Here’s a link from David Lebovitz site http://www.davidlebovitz.com/archives/2007/03/chocolate_tasti_2.html Hopefully you will find some useful tips.

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Posted: 07 August 2009 05:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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the best cocoa is Green & Blacks!

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Posted: 07 August 2009 11:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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hector where can green & blacks be purchased in bulk? I love it too but can only find in the tiniest containers? I also love their bars. For natural/non-dutched, I really like Scharffen Berger. Also Valhrona & Guittard.

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Posted: 08 August 2009 01:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Try check your local reataurant supplier or supermarket chain distributor.  I get GB cocoa from Chocosphere, their wholesale price is reasonable.  Still comes in tiny cans, but per pack of 12.  It is SUPERIOR to anything else.  It is the one used for Rose’s new glaze!

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Posted: 08 August 2009 06:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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hector,

have you tried the cakes listed on your site with green and black as well? how did it contrast to valrhona?

or is one better for cocoa powder and the other better for solid chocolate?

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Posted: 08 August 2009 12:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Most of my cakes use chocolate, and the brand is strictly personal taste.  I use my Hawaiian chocolate, also Valrhona Caraibe and Palmira, and also Dagoba Milagros.  For white chocolate I use any brand containing cocoa butter.

For cakes that use cocoa powder, I stick to GB.

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Posted: 08 August 2009 02:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Oh dear, I am reading your first posting and realize you are doing this for yourself to choose a chocolate for baking?  If so, my choices of chocolate really depends on how it is presented on the cake.  For a cake like the oblivion or a plain mousse or ganache, where the chocolate really shows, I like the chocolate that tastes best when eating it alone, currently valrhona not higher than 66 percent.

For a preparation where flavors are added, like on the grand marnier ganache, the moist chocolate genoise with frangelico, I like a more single dimensional chocolate like my Hawaiian chocolate, this chocolate tastes like chocolate from the cacao tree and it is perfect to receive a flavoring.  See, most other chocolates contain added flavors, and it is the synnergy with added flavors which makes chocolate popular to eat.

Regarding cocoa, for something like a finishing glaze or baked in a cake, GB.  For fondant, any cocoa would do since there is so much sugar and little is eaten.

Have fun in your search, it is ongoing and always changing.

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Posted: 08 August 2009 07:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Thank you all for the input!!

...........This will help me finalize my hazelnut chocolate biscuit. Planning to add great cocoa and minced hazelnuts to the dough, with a hazelnut chocolate ganache striped on top. My friends and coworkers will be the beneficiaries of my experimentation.

............My specialty is my own variation of angel biscuits. Hazelnut chocolate is among the chief flavors, other than the classic dough. I mean to branch out and try some other types of bread eventually, but I want to perfect this first.  Expanding into gluten- free and diet- sensitive varieties to test myself and my creativity.

. ........... Getting ready for a cooking show is exciting and challenging, and I want to leave people speechless in a positive way. To “kick it up a notch” so to speak. So, I am looking at ways to enrich what I have already done. ( I have a following already.)

.............That way, they’ll always remember having had my biscuits. And want more. smile


P.S. I have definitely enjoyed seeing some of what other members have made on this site!

P.P.S.  I am getting ready to exhibit at the DC MCES -Metropolitan Cooking and Entertaining Show- in November
http://www.metrocooking.com        (in case anyone was curious)


merci beaucoup, mes amis !!

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