Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Jan 4, 2010 08:28 PM

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

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. White chocolate, which isn't really chocolate at all (contains no chocolate liquor) can be pretty fussy. I try to find Ghirardelli brand whenever I'm using it in a recipe. I don't know what they do differently but I have greater success using it over other brands.

    3 Replies
    1. re: todao

      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.

      1. re: TerriL

        If you contact them, and are convincing enough, Askinosie, I hear, will produce their white chocolate in bulk for you. It would probably still be quite expensive, though.

        1. re: j_brodu

          Thanks for the tip. Maybe I will try that someday!

    2. 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".

      1. I haven't tried the El Rey, but I have found the Callebaut melts unevenly, leaving lumps. The Valrhona melts smoothly.

        1. 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 ).

          2 Replies
          1. re: Norm Man

            Sure, the fake chips may melt better, but have you ever tried eating one? If giving the choice between melting issues and the taste of fake white chocolate, I'll take melting issues any day.

            1. re: scott123

              Totally agree. I'm going to try both El Rey and Valrhona, which I believe have the same percentage of coca butter (34%). I'm going to make the David Lebovitz caramelized white chocolate recipe.

          2. 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.