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Feb 3, 2011 09:44 AM

Looking for shops that sell pure chocolate for pastry making in Redondo Beach

I am an amateur chocolate maker living in Canada, and I usually buy pure chocolate at Bulk Barn, and I can temper it for making chocolate truffle. I am gonna visit my friend in Redondo Beach, and we probably will have some "chocolate session," but we don't know where to buy pure chocolate(for pastry making, not dessert itself). I am not sure if there are shops like Bulk Barn, which sells all kinds of ingredients (powder, flour, cookies, chocolate, tools, etc.). Please give me suggestions close to Redondo Beach or anywhere around there. Thanks very much!

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  1. Not clear on what you mean by "pure" chocolate. Unsweetened? 90 % dark? 70-80%?

    And how much? 5 kilo block like you'd find in a pastry kitchen? Easy-to-melt chips? Give us a little more direction.

    I can start with Whole Foods in El Segundo. It's expensive, but they have a wide selection, just in retail sized packages. If you're looking for professional quantities, probably not your best option.

    A better choice is Trader Joe's, an alternative supermarket chain. They have a good selection of chocolates at very reasonable prices, but again, i'm not clear on what you want. Depending on the store, they also have larger bricks of chocolate. There is a TJ's in Redondo

    4 Replies
    1. re: Professor Salt

      Pure chocolate I am looking for is the chocolate contains no other types of fat (only cocoa butter) and no powdery stuff. I need only small quantity (about less than 2lb. mainly milk and dark). I have been to Whole Foods in LA and Toronto, but I don't think they have the thing I need.

      The link bad nono provides looks like pretty much what I am looking for, but Culver is a little far and ordering online is probably not an option cuz I am only gonna stay there for few days. Does Trader Joe's have that kind of product? Thanks a lot

      1. re: unshkw

        Now I'm even more confused. You say you want no other types of fat but milk chocolate has milkfat content.

        Anyway, taking your statement at face value, Trader Joe's has many varieties of milk & dark chocolate, and you should find something that's suitable for making truffles.

        1. re: unshkw

          TJ's has some OK chocolates but not the kind you can/need to temper. I use their "one pound plus" Belgian chocolates if I need to bake something, but not for confections.

          WF does have some Valrhona bar chocolates you can bake/make confections with, cut from the larger professional ones (mainly dark, I don't think I've ever seen the milk one there) but not where you would normally expect to find them. At mine it's near the cheese and deli section, not near the baking supplies.

          Surfas isn't that far from Redondo Beach if you time your jaunt on the freeway well enough.

          If you don't really want to drive to Surfas and are unsure of what you will find in Redondo, I'd say buy what you need in Toronto and bring it with you on the plane.

          1. re: bad nono

            whole foods orders their valrhona and stocks it from their SPECIALTY FOODS department (which also procures and displays their cheeses and deli items).
            if you go to whole foods ask to speak to someone in SPECIALTY FOODS--they'll know what you mean.

      2. The best chocolate ingredients you can find in LA are at Surfas in Culver City.
        They have pretty much everything you want, from Callebaut to Valrhona, in bars, in chips, in "pistoles" , sweetened, unsweetened, dark, white, milk, powdered, etc.

        They sell online under the name "culinary district", here's a link so you have an idea of the array of chocolate ingredients they have. Be aware that they don't always have everything in store, though their chocolate supplies are usually very well stocked.

        1 Reply
        1. re: bad nono

          surfas was out of barry extra brute cocoa for well over a week recently

          so before driving from redondo, it makes sense to call before you go to make sure they have stock. if they are low, they will hold stuff behind the counter for your arrival.

        2. Check out

          Bristol Farms Manhattan Beach
          1570 Rosecrans Ave,
          Manhattan Beach, CA 90266,
          (310) 643-5229

          They always seem to have the goods I can't find elsewhere. Good luck.

          1. I assume what you're looking for is couverture chocolate:


            If Surfas is too far, you might try Sur La Table - they have stores all over the LA area - the closest to you would be at Plaza El Segundo, which is only a couple of miles from Redondo.

            I've seen them carry one-pound boxes of Guittard couverture chips, kilo blocks of Valrhona, and quarter-kilo 'baking bars' from both Valrhona, and Scharffen Berger. I've never seen them carry the big two-kilo blocks, but it sounds like you want the smaller sizes anyway. Selection is limited, and a bit variable from store to store, so you might want to call first.


            (Small terminological note: you're not a chocolate maker; you're a chocolatier. :-) Chocolate makers are companies like Valrhona and Guittard and Callebaut who take cacao beans and turn them into chocolate. Chocolatiers take pre-made chocolate and turn it into variety of chocolate confections, molding it and shaping it and adding fillings and flavorings and decorations and such.)

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