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Oct 27, 2008 06:17 AM

ISO: good baking chocolate

i had a cake at my aunts house last week and it was amazing -- i'm going to get around to baking it today. my aunt lives in chicago so i can't use her source but i've been advised not to use the 'Bakers' brand as it's rubbish.

where can i get reasonably priced chocolate of reasonable quality for my needs in toronto? i need 18.5 oz of it

here's the recipe if anyone cares

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  1. You can not go wrong with Ghiradelli, and it should be available in any grocery store.

    1. When I want to just test out recipes with a reasonably-priced chocolate instead of splurging for the expensive brands, I usually use the PC 500g Dark Chocolate bar. They are usually priced at $2.99-$3.29 so it doesn't break the bank even if you need a large quantity. A little hard to chop but that's why the food processor is taking up room on my countertop. I usually buy three or four bars, chop them all up, and store in air-tight containers.

      Available at Loblaws, No Frills, etc.

      1. I agree the PC brand is good and reasonably priced. You can also get Callebaut chunks (big) at Domino's at SLM for a good price.

        4 Replies
        1. re: Mila

          would you say the PC Dark one qualifies as 'Bitter Sweet'?

          1. re: ssainani

            Look for this one:

            There usually have it but it is the first to sell out around Xmas. Oh, groan, Christmas baking coming soon.

            1. re: ssainani

              Yup. The PC dark choco bars are first-rate, French-made, and available at most NoFrills and Loblaws. My only beef is that the new bars are smaller and slightly pricier by weight than the older version.Great for baking and butter cream icing.They give nothing away to more expensive baking chocolate.

            2. re: Mila

              i second the callebaut at domino's I bought about 8oz for two chocolate cakes... it elicited rave reviews! I can't recall how much it was but I think it was $8-12?

            3. I've read a lot of bad things about Baker's chocolate, but I've used it with sucess for my whole baking life. I don't use it exclusively, but I use it it many applications where the chocolate flavor is not 100% the star. Most chocolate cakes, brownies, etc. work fine w/ Baker's. If I'm making ganache (only 2 ingredients...choc and cream) then I use the pricey stuff...Scharfenberger, Valhrona, Callebaud, etc. (I probably spelled every one of those wrong) For a middle of the road recipe, which I would consider yours to be, I would probably buy 1 10oz bar of Scharf for $10 US and fill in the rest w/ Bakers. And since I always keep some Bakers unsweetened around the house too..I would probably sub in a couple oz of that to make up for the "bitter sweet" requirement.

              10 Replies
              1. re: danna

                Another benefit of Bakers is it is entirely nut free and most other chocolate can't make that claim. Useful for baking for those with allergies.

                1. re: danna

                  I know this post is a few years old but I tried to buy Scharffen Berger chocolate before, I even contacted them, and was they don't sell to Canada. Has anyone found a place in Toronto that sells it?

                  For the Lindt chocolate (factory store, etc). Do they sell baking chocolate bars, or is it just the regular chocolate bars that they sell in stores?

                  (I personally use PC Bittersweet for all my baking and on occasion, will splurge and use Valrhona or Callebaut).

                  1. re: red dragon

                    The Lindt dark in the silver wrapper works just fine for me.

                    1. re: Kagemusha

                      HI Kagemusha, I was just on the website, I only saw white wrappers (Excellence) dark blue or gold (Swiss Classic). I didn't see any with silver wrap?

                    2. re: red dragon

                      Williams-Sonoma used to sell Scharffen Berger chocolate but that was a few years ago so probably not anymore. The Lindt outlets sell couverture which is what I buy.

                      1. re: always_eating

                        Hi always_eating, does the Lindt bar say couverture? Could you tell me what it looks like, or the color of the wrapper?


                      2. re: red dragon

                        The outlet stores do sell the baking chocolate and also the cocoa powder as well. Not all stores carry the same merchandise so I would call ahead to make sure they have it in stock. Also, I would place yourself on their mailing list (outlet store specific) as they have friends and family coupon and deals. You can get up to 25% off the catalogue prices for their baking goods.

                        I would also recommend waiting for Bulk Barn sales for the Callebaut. I often go in when they have the $3 off a $10 purchase to buy Callebaut dark and milk baking chocolate!

                        1. re: Nevy

                          Thanks for the info! I'll definitely sign up.

                          I was searching for Callebaut and found a huge price difference in a store at St. Lawrence Market. The price was so low, compared to Callebaut's website, so I emailed the store in Oakville and they said the product is not theirs!

                          Bernard Callebaut (the real one), and Barry Callebaut - see below.


                          1. re: red dragon

                            Here's an interesting (and long) article about the history of BOTH Callebaut companies. They're related! The starting company, Barry Callebaut, is the European company and when the family sold it, Bernard Callebaut immigrated to Canada and started Bernard Callebaut in Calgary.


                            1. re: Nevy

                              Wow, thanks for the link! Who knew??

                    3. Even for the money I’m not a big fan of the President Choice chocolate, it taste like burnt chocolate imho. There are no bitter tannins on the tongue, it just taste burnt. If the bars are now smaller and cost more, well what can be said? Baker’s Chocolate is even worst; there is nothing good to say about Baker’s Chocolate imho.

                      My favorite chocolate is Green & Black’s chocolate. It is cheaper than Scharffenberger or Valhrona, and I prefer the taste of Greens & Black’s. I’ve never had any issue using Green & Black’s chocolate. Also I find the Green & Blacks easier than Lindt to temper and it also does not separate as easy as Lindt.

                      I use Green & Black’s 72% chocolate for everything, ganache, brownies, mousse, sponge, hot chocolate etc… It can work out to over $30.00 per kg. I understand that good chocolate is not cheap. Lowering the cost can be beneficial for the bank account. However, I would never mix cheap wine with good wine so to save some money. I’ve even heard of people cooking with bad wine i.e. corked wine. When you use inferior ingredients you end up with inferior a dish. In the above recipe, the only other flavour is coffee liquor, so I would not skimp on the quality of the chocolate used.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: Pastryrocks

                        I have tried some of the "artisan" chocolates, and only once PC, which I did not like, but always go back to Lindt.
                        We have had the best results over the years, especially with truffles.
                        Lindt almost always goes on sale for the large bars, ($3.99) just before Christmas as well.

                        1. re: Pastryrocks

                          Never any problems with PC dark. No chocolate is immune to over-baking, going stale, or mishandling. I can't agree with your tarbrush treatment of PC chocolate as inferior crap. If anything, Baker's fits your description better.

                          1. re: Kagemusha

                            I’ve never had a problem with PC chocolate either; I’ve used this chocolate a few times over the years, I just don’t like the taste. Taste is personal, so you may not like Green & Black’s chocolate.

                            The issue’s I’ve had with Lindt are due to emulsification or lack there-of. Yes you are right no chocolate is immune to over-baking, over mixing etc… In fact chocolate is very sensitive to heat, cold, mixing, and moisture to name only a few things.

                            Early I saw Lindt chocolate 70% and 85% for $2.99 (so I believe) per 100g bar at Sobeys at the Queensway and Kipling, I’ll look again to see if they are still on sale and at what price. Also, there is a place further north off Kipling that was also selling 100g bars for less than $3.99. I’ll have to look again to find the name of the joint.