Best Quality White Chocolate for Baking?
Does anyone have an opinion between the various high-end makers, i.e. Callebaut, Valrhona, El Rey, etc.? TIA
Thanks, I do know what white chocolate is/is not. Ghirardelli has not worked well for me the few times I have used it. I have used Callebaut and Valrhona, but it has been a while, and I was hoping someone might have info to share. I'm also referring to bulk, not chips, which usually have some sort of wax to promote melting. It is particularly important with white chocolate that the ingredients are high-quality, because their flavors are so pronounced. This is where the high-end producers make a difference.
By the way, if you have not tried Askinosie white chocolate, check it out -- it will really change your idea of white chocolate. It's unfortunately too expensive for baking.
Trader Joe's no longer carries the bulk random weight slabs that they used to during the Christmas season because Ghirardelli can no longer supply it (that probably means not at the right price). But they do still seasonally carry white chocolate chips which do have cocoa butter and are way better than supermarket "white baking chips".
I haven't tried the El Rey, but I have found the Callebaut melts unevenly, leaving lumps. The Valrhona melts smoothly.
Cook''s Illustrated found that White Chocolate Baking Bars were inferior for baking compared to "fake" white chocolate products. The White Chocolate Baking Bars tended to clump and not to melt into a smooth product. while the "fake" white chocolate melted much more evenly. The secret is the presence of palm oil in the "fake" white chocolate.
The winner of Cook's Illustrated White Chocolate test was Guittard Choc Au Lait White Chips and Ghiradelli Premium Baking Chips - Classic White finished second. Ghiradelli's Premium Baking Chips (a "fake white chocolate) outperformed Ghiradelli's White Chocolate Baking bar (a "real" white chocolate ).
The El Rey is nice and easy to work with. I also like Des Alpes . Also the easiest to temper and always very consistent I find E. Guittard not the ones below. The E is their artisan brand.
Michael Cluizel is wonderful and pricey. You mght call Guittard and ask for pricing on 10lb blocks.
I do not and would not use Ghirardelli for anything you need to temper . in a pinch Ill use for cakes etc.