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What is your most favorite brand/kind of Chocolate?
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dadegroot



Joined: 25 Feb 2006
Posts: 81
Location: Cedar Creek, Qld, Australia

PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2006 9:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nine wrote:
I have an absolute weakness for Dutch Droste chocolate, both the pastilles and the powdered cocoa!


Oooh Droste that's it! My local grocery shop used to stock that in the imports section (at a ridiculous price mind you) but alas it is no longer there Sad

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David
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Donna



Joined: 14 Oct 2005
Posts: 827
Location: Oakland, CA

PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2006 11:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lilia Dignan wrote:

Had a wonderful tasting of three different "premier cru plantation - tablette de chocolat" by Michel Cluizel. One is 65% noir "Mangaro" from Madagascar, another is 66% noir "Concepcion" from Venezuela and a third which is 70% noir "Tamarino" from Sao Tome. They were all wonderful - picking up flavors and aromas from the earth and what used to be planted in the area. I am beginning to appreciate eating chocolates more and more.

-Lilia


Hey Lilia,

Where did you go for this tasting? In the Bay Area? I would love to know more about chocolate than I do. I adore Valrhona but have noticed that 70% is about as dark as I can handle and still enjoy it. I do like it to be a little sweet! Wink
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msue



Joined: 18 Dec 2005
Posts: 368

PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2006 12:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Favorite chocolates? (can't narrow it down to just one)

ScharffenBerger
Valrhona
Callebaut
Michel Cluizel

We strongly prefer dark chocolate.

Donna, there is a place in San Francisco to learn about chocolate. It was a newstand on Market Street, somewhere near Montgomery, or between 1st and 2nd. I could walk right to it, but am having a difficult time telling you the name or location. If you start at Stockton Street and walk in the direction of the Embarcadero, it would be on your right side.

Anyway, this place really knows chocolate, a surprise since it is a newstand. They have a great selection and can discuss it with you. I have been there several times and learn something everytime. Once we bought a tasting kit there that had single estate chocolates from all over...little wafers that you can taste and compare the chocoates of different estates. There were enough wafers of each that it made a great focus for a dinner party.

I'll let you know if I remember the name.
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Donna



Joined: 14 Oct 2005
Posts: 827
Location: Oakland, CA

PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2006 12:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

msue,

Thanks for the Heads Up - I will be in the city this weekend and definitely plan a trip down Market Street! YUM! Laughing

I agree with you about Scharffenberger - one little square of their dark choclate satiates me! That's not to say that I stop eating it at that point, but I could! Wink If I wanted to! Twisted Evil
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Lilia Dignan



Joined: 23 Mar 2005
Posts: 159
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2006 1:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Donna,

I had my degustation at chez moi with hubby. I picked up these different chocolates while we were in Paris last month and just beginning to enjoy them. Used to just eat them a bar at a time but have been reading about chocolates and finally decided to be a little more serious - smell, taste and really savor them. I now conclude that the enjoyment of these morsels have tripled.

My favorite was the Mangaro - then I realized that particular one won the first prize in the tablette category at the Salon de Chocolat in 2003. It is also a nice way to remember the fonataine aux chocolats Michel Cluizel has in his boutique on rue Saint-Honore. I'll save you a bit of the three so you can taste them. Maybe we can get together since you're just across the bay from me. My office is not far from the baseball park (a short walk from the Montgomery BART station).

This way, we will already know each other before that chocolate show comes to town (more anticipation!)

-Lilia
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Lilia Dignan



Joined: 23 Mar 2005
Posts: 159
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2006 1:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Donna and msue,

The shop is called Fog City News and he carries over 400 kinds of chocolates. Chocolates is his passion more than selling newspapers. The address is 455 Market Street, telephone (415) 543-7400.

Enjoy your weekend hunting, Donna.

-Lilia
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msue



Joined: 18 Dec 2005
Posts: 368

PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2006 3:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

THAT'S IT!!!

Fog City News. My husband just remembered the name, so when I logged back in to leave the message I discover that Lilia already saved the day!

They have a website: http://www.fogcitynews.com/

You will love the place, so unassuming and utterly fabulous. I am envious that you will be there this weekend.

Enjoy!
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srk



Joined: 09 Apr 2005
Posts: 85
Location: Berkeley, CA

PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2006 3:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fog City News, huh? Exciting! I live in Berkeley, and I'll definitely check it out next time I'm in SF. Speaking of chocolate and Berkeley, I encourage all you Scharffenberger lovers to come to Berkeley and tour the Scharffenberger factory (en route, perhaps, to the Cheeseboard or Chez Panisse). I'm a bit disturbed by the Hershey's takeover, but as far as I know Scharffenberger's chocolate hasn't changed, and they still offer free tours a couple times a day (but reserve spots in advance, as they're often in high demand).

For more pedestrian chocolate, I'm partial to Ritter Sport bars - they're good-quality everyday bars with lots of flavors like dark chocolate with marzipan, and they're conveniently divided into 16 squares for easy consumption on, say, the ski slopes in Tahoe. The brand is German, but they're available in the US, and they taste pretty darned good on the slopes in Austria too!
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cybele



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 26
Location: California

PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2006 4:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wouldn't call myself descriminating.

I actually like Hershey chocolate when I'm in the right mood.

But when it comes to gooood chocolate I'm pretty keen on:

Dagoba - the chai bar and roseberry are fantastic
E Guittard Single Origin - their tasting kits are fun and have a good variety
Ghiradelli - for baking, it's inexpensive and dependable
Wilbur - I have to order it by phone, but I like their dark Wilbur buds for munching and adding into a trail mix of nuts & pretzels
Green & Black White chocolate - I know, it's not real chocolate, but it was certainly buttery and has some really intense vanilla flavors

I'm probably leaving something out.
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Melly



Joined: 24 Jan 2006
Posts: 72
Location: Limburg Province, The Netherlands

PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2006 2:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I love just about all chocolate. Although my 9 year old "won" a Hershey's bar at school the other day and insisted that I eat a piece. Maybe it was because we were eating it on the way home from the bus stop in just above freezing temperatures but I found it quite waxy tasting.

Currently in my pantry I have:

Cailler Noir Eclats de Cacao - I just love those crunchy cocoa nibs

Milka Montelino - cute little mountains with a crunchy cookie in the middle (a little more pedestrian but who's paying attention)

Jacques Callebaut Bloc dessert cooking chocolate - This is a giant 500g gram bar that I bought in Belgium. I made Clothilde's recipe for Truffes au Chocolat with it - YUM!

Ritter Sport Halbbitter - love the price!

Dove Promises Dark - my 4 year old's absolute favorite. She was quite fond of the truffles also. She took "chocolate balls" in her lunch for a few days.

Guylian Solitaire - The box has teeny squares made from 3 different types of cocoa beans. Our favorite was the 70% African Ebony. Usually I find the 70% bars to be a little too bitter for my taste but this one was very smooth and lovely. Next is 65% Aztec Gold - also nice. Lastly a 56% Asian Dark. This one had a funky flavor that we didn't care for.

And a bag of half-price after holiday Hershey's Kisses with almonds.

We have eaten all our Lindt chocolate right now. They have a new bar that is milk chocolate with a truffle type center and cocoa nibs. It was nice but I prefer dark chocolate. We only live about 30 minutes from Lindt's factory in Aachen, Germany.

It is a little scary too see how much chocolate I actually have in the house. I really like Scharffen Berger also. I also used the Ghiradelli quite a bit before we moved. We enjoyed the Droste letters at Christmas. I have friend who is partial to Merkens. Anyone have an opinion on that.

Oh, I tried to make chocolate covered spoons for coffee for a fundraiser. They ended up getting that hazy appearance. Should I have used couverture instead or do you think I just didn't temper the chocolate right?
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monkey



Joined: 08 Oct 2004
Posts: 87
Location: in the kitchen with a large bar of chocolate

PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2006 3:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Melly wrote:

Oh, I tried to make chocolate covered spoons for coffee for a fundraiser. They ended up getting that hazy appearance. Should I have used couverture instead or do you think I just didn't temper the chocolate right?


sounds like a tempering, melting temperature or storage problem to me. i am certainly not a chocolatier, but, i have gotten an inexplicable "dullness" to my chocolate when i have heated at too high a temperature. storing chocolate in the fridge will certainly cause the sugar crystals to get all worked up and cause a fogginess on the surface as well. i'm curious to hear from someone in the know. with all the chocophiles we have around here, i'm sure a few have some chocolate melting knowledge.
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monkey

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Donna



Joined: 14 Oct 2005
Posts: 827
Location: Oakland, CA

PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2006 6:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have been wanting to ask about the difference between tempering and melting... Embarassed

Can anyone enlighten me? Confused

Thanks!
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monkey



Joined: 08 Oct 2004
Posts: 87
Location: in the kitchen with a large bar of chocolate

PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2006 6:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i found this http://www.scharffenberger.com/howto.asp#temper on tempering.

so, it's my assumption that anything that is not tempering is just melting. i could be wrong.
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Lesley



Joined: 14 Feb 2006
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2006 11:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For baking or eating, Valrhona.
I just made a batch of brownies with it...so good.
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Lilia Dignan



Joined: 23 Mar 2005
Posts: 159
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Sat Mar 25, 2006 12:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Donna,

Did you make it to Fog City News yet? I think they are only open on Saturdays once a month. They have all the Michel Cluizel plantation chocolate bars in stock at $9.95 a bar. They also have all the Valhrona plantations for the same price. They carry some bite sized pieces as well. I tasted some Dolfin chocolat from Belgium in Earl Grey and Lait au canelle (that tasted like a little bar of latte). Their sample tasting the day I stoped by is some banana/dark chocolate from Vienna. Interesting............. Oh, yes, they carry so many different ones, my lunch hour went on and on and on........

Maybe you can make it after you come back from your trip to England and Ireland.

-Lilia
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