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Chocolate testing for chefs?
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chillinmango
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March 13, 2005 - 9:23 am
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Hi, I'm new to this forum. I was hoping to get some helpful information about different cocoa powders. I have been reading all about the Valrhona monopoly and I'm interested because I just obtained samples from them and am really excited because I really thought I was getting something out of this world. I'm not an expert when it comes to chocolate and I want to know whether when it come to baked brownies whether I am wasting my money with Valrhona and other expensive brands. I am also getting some Barry Callebaut samples too as well as Guittard. Could you reccomend a cocoa powder that would give great rich flavour for brownies? Really appreciate if. Thanks.

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Sebastian
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March 13, 2005 - 12:01 pm
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I'd recommend evaluating a variety of powders, and selecting the one you find most appropriate. In addition to those you mentioned, you may want to try blommer, adm, gerkens, and ocg. I'd suggest a moderately alkalized powder, but that's just my personal preference, in a 10/12 fat level.

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chocolatero
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March 13, 2005 - 2:22 pm
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Hi

From supplying UK restaurants, most of them use callebaut or valrhona
the first for price reason, the second because it is widely available
and "seen" as top quality and heavily marketed
the truth is that most chefs and pastry chefs know very little about chocolate and will buy what they hear is good.. thus the success of varhona. amedei etc tend to be far too expensive.
there are better and reasoably priced alternatives but chefs don't have much time and reach for the easy and safe options. very few understand the concept of origin, genotype etc
but that is the UK where the knowledge of ingredients in general is still very poor. that's why my partner who was originally a pastry chef decided to leave and re train in chocolate only.
that's also why we do not employ restaurant pastry chefs in our production because they are overpaid and know very little about chocolate and about food production.
to give you an idea of price, per kg callebaut might be at gbp 2-4 per kg, valrhona 6-9 and amedei 12-17.
As for the varhona discussion, we only use their gran crus and tropilia. Most of their other blends are very overprice for what they are.
Chocolatero

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Hayley
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March 28, 2005 - 8:39 am
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In New Zealand the most widely used chocolate is Calibaut and Valrhona(and other brands: Patis france, DGF etc). We only have the grand crus and Eqitoriale available at the moment. I have recently tried their pralines and almond pastes and they are to die for. Does Cluzeil pack chocolate for wholesale? Any feed back on the domain chocolate that Callibaut has released? I went to a Callibaut demo recently and was intro'd to some products. I have been using Valrhona mostly. We have had more Cluziel come into NZ recently, which has been great. aparrantly Amedei is on the way.

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Hayley
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March 28, 2005 - 10:58 am
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Can anyone give me info on other good quality chocolate that is reasonable in price, say in the Callebaut to Valrhona price range. I have noticved the prices of Amedei and Domori are very steep.

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