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Your favorite brand of chocolate

dcole Dec 10, 2010 04:05 PM

Im making some peppermint bark this weekend and was wondering what everyone's favorite brand of chocolate is? In the past i've bought blocks from Whole Foods, but I don't feel like spending that much with the amount im going to be making. What brands do you all like for a semisweet or bittersweet chocolate and white chocolate?

  1. sarahjay Dec 11, 2010 11:04 PM

    My favorite is Guittard. I particularly like the French Vanilla or Lustrous, but any of their wafers are fantastic and reasonably priced.

    1. sugarcube Dec 11, 2010 06:25 PM

      Definitely Amedei and Valrhona for bittersweet chocolate and Callebaut for semi-sweet (it is not overridden with sugar like some commercial brands). My guilty pleasure for white chocolate is Lindt's couverture morsels as well as their 100g bars. The former can be used for baking and tempering without trouble.


      1. Hank Hanover Dec 10, 2010 08:29 PM

        I haven't tried dozens of brands of chocolate. I was lucky enough to find what I think is a good brand that tastes good and is fairly reasonably priced. I use Callebaut. I get mine in 11 pound blocks from chocolatesource.com. That's about the only way I can save a little money by buying in quantity. I have recently found a grocery store that has Callebaut in broken blocks.

        I would use the following in this order:

        Most of the other brands are just too expensive for me to consider.

        Maybe you could go in with a friend or two and buy in quantity?

        1. s
          sushigirlie Dec 10, 2010 07:45 PM

          IIRC, Cooks Illustrated has tested and found that Nestle is the best for baking. I wouldn't spend a lot of money on fine chocolate for something like this.

          2 Replies
          1. re: sushigirlie
            vicarious Dec 11, 2010 01:34 PM

            I think that you're mistaken. I just checked the CI website and saw that Nestle was "not recommended" for chocolate chips and Nestle premium was only "recommended with reservations" for dark chocolate.

            1. re: vicarious
              sushigirlie Dec 11, 2010 06:15 PM

              I just looked in CI The Best Recipe. Here's what I was remembering. For unsweetened chocolate, Nestle got top honors in the brownie tasting. "Hershey's and Callebaut showed quite poorly."

              For chocolate chips, "Nestle, Guittard, Ghiradelli, and Tropical Source . . . all received high marks."

              For bittersweet and semisweet, Ghiradelli won, but all chocolates (including Nestle and Callebaut) received some positive remarks.

              I don't have ANY personal experience with any of this (as far as baking goes). I'm just reporting from CI The Best Recipe. I have no idea why it differs from the website.

          2. todao Dec 10, 2010 07:10 PM

            Lindt, Ghirardelli, - I try not to use "white chocolate". Essentially because it's not truly "chocolate", I like neither the flavor nor the texture and I'm just kinda funny that way.

            4 Replies
            1. re: todao
              Becca Porter Dec 11, 2010 12:23 PM

              White chocolate made with cocoa butter is a totally different animal than the crap that's not. El Rey and Callebaut white chocolate is delicious. Ghirardelli is not made with cocoa butter unfortunately. At least not their chips.

              1. re: todao
                Wtg2Retire Dec 11, 2010 12:56 PM

                I thought I was the only one who does not like "white chocolate." I have tasted all brands and just can't like any of them.

                1. re: Wtg2Retire
                  magiesmom Dec 11, 2010 01:27 PM

                  I don't either!

                  1. re: Wtg2Retire
                    sushigirlie Dec 11, 2010 06:21 PM

                    Have you tried askinosie? I think their white chocolate is pretty excellent.

                2. m
                  magiesmom Dec 10, 2010 06:02 PM

                  Trader Joes has excellent chocolate, rumored to be Callebaut.

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: magiesmom
                    chowser Dec 11, 2010 12:20 PM

                    I like TJ's, too, and it's my go-to chocolate. I'm not yet convinced it's Callebaut but it's still good.

                    1. re: chowser
                      goodhealthgourmet Dec 11, 2010 12:50 PM

                      it is - i confirmed with a friend who works for Barry Callebaut.

                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                        chowser Dec 11, 2010 02:31 PM

                        Thanks--which one? I'm talking about the PoundPlus bars. It's the one I buy when I need large quantities. I like it but didn't think it was like callebaut.

                        1. re: chowser
                          goodhealthgourmet Dec 11, 2010 04:38 PM

                          he said that the Pound Plus bars and the semisweet chips are Callebaut. i don't know about anything else - i only asked about those because that's what i buy :)

                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                            chowser Dec 11, 2010 04:43 PM

                            Interesting--I'm going to have to do a side by side taste test. I love those PoundPlus bars and can't get over how inexpensive they are, for the quality.

                    2. re: magiesmom
                      othervoice Dec 12, 2010 06:15 AM

                      Always, my favorite. The best chocolate for the money!!!

                    3. a
                      amy_wong Dec 10, 2010 05:45 PM

                      If Valrhona, El Rey and Callebaut are out of the equation, I'd personally go with Lindt Excellence 70%. Ghirardelli's white chocolate is pretty good. Lindt's white chocolate is funny-tasting to me for some reason.

                      Somewhat off-topic, I read rave reviews about Amedei so I saved up (really) for a sampler (Chuao, Porcelana and 9.) I thought there was possibly no way any chocolate could live up to the hype and price. Boy was I wrong. Chuao really is food of the gods.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: amy_wong
                        sushigirlie Dec 10, 2010 07:47 PM

                        agree, it's very good.

                      2. j
                        jbsiegel Dec 10, 2010 04:36 PM

                        I just made Oreo bark with Ghirardelli white & semi-sweet...yummy!

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