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Sep 19, 2008 07:23 PM

Bittersweet or semisweet chocolate for my recipe

I need some advice. What chocolate do you recommend I purchase for a recipe for dried fruit and nut chocolate bark that calls for bittersweet chocolate chips, but does not specify the specific brand, and I want to make this with special chocolate instead of chocolate chips? Thank you.

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  1. What chocolate do you have available and how much do you need? Did you know that there's no formal definition of semi-sweet and bittersweet -- it just depends on what the manufacturer wants to call it. For cooking purposes -- and especially something like bark -- they're interchangeable: it just depends on what *you* want your chocolate to taste like.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Ruth Lafler

      Thank you so much for replying, Ruth. The recipe calls for 60% cocoa - bittersweet chocolate chips and it does mention that semisweet is also acceptable. But I was wondering whether I should stick with the regular commercial chips (Hershey) or do you have another suggestion to bring this up a notch?

      1. re: naturelle

        Can you detect a difference in taste between one dark chocolate brand and another? I'm thinking for example of the 70% chocolates. If you don't have preferences, then you probably won't detect much difference in your bark, using 50-60% chocolates.

        1. re: naturelle

          For bark I wouldn't settle for Hershey's. It looks like you live in Quebec, so you can probably find Callebaut fairly easily. They make a couple of different dark chocolates -- including a 60 percent -- you're going to melt it anyway, so you don't have to use chips if you can only find it in blocks.

          1. re: Ruth Lafler

            yum. callebaut. for chips, i like the guittard chips best, ghirardelli second best....if you want to peruse some varieties, check out the king arthur's catalog/website...big chips, little chips, dark chips, semi-sweet chips.....

      2. I was just looking at a recipe in CI's "New Best Recipe" that called for semi-sweet/bittersweet chocolate chips. They recommended Callebaut Semisweet Chocolate Chips as the winner of the taste test (other chips tasted were Ghiardelli, Nestle's, and Baker's).

        2 Replies
        1. re: Rubee

          This is marvelous information and very much appreciated. I'll let you know where I found the Callebaut Semisweet Chips for my fellow Montrealers.

          1. re: Rubee

            Les Douceurs du marché at Marché Atwater has Callebaut Semisweet Chocolate chips, so I prepared the bark this morning with dried cranberries, pecans and almonds, by microwaving the chocolate (about 225 g) very gradually and stirring in the nuts and fruit (1 cup nuts, toasted; 1/4 cup cranberries), and then folding in some fleur de sel, and spreading it in a 13x9 inch pan lined with parchment paper. DEEE.. licious,