Too-dark chocolate transformation?
I decided to get a few of TJ's dark chocolate choices to compare based on price and flavor. The 85% cocoa solids one is just too bitter for me, with too much of a fermented fruit undertone. I would like to use it up
in blondies or choc chip cookies. Would it work if I melted it down, sweetened it, and allowed it to cool, then chopped it up? Ideally, I'd use a combination of sugar and splenda, but was also wondering if brown sugar would work.
I think what you're suggesting would work -- the effect on the texture shouldn't matter much since you're baking it anyway -- but adding some milk (maybe evaporated or sweetened condensed milk) seems like a better bet than just adding sugar. Also, this sounds like a lot of work. Why not just chop it into relatively small pieces and also incorporate small chopped pieces of milk chocolate or some sweeter/lighter chocolate?
I think dark brown sugar works fantastically in dark chocolate. Sugar of any sort (I don't know about artificial sweeteners, don't use them myself) will go a long way to cut the bitterness. As for the fruity undertones, it may help, or it may be a quality of the chocolate. Different chocolates have those kinds of undertones. Columbian chocolate tastes kind of like coffee, for instance, and I think Peruvian chocolate tastes a little bit like blueberries. Most chocolates are blends designed to have a more neutral taste, but you might just not like TJ's blend.
I would not think that you would need to do that to use it in either of those applications.
They both have very sweet bases and the ratio of Chocolate to other small. It should cover the flavor profile that you do not care and there is plenty of Sugar to sweeten it up.
Add some Coffee Flavor would also mellow the Fruityness
I think you could use it as is in blondies, which are very sweet. I like mark Bittman's recipe.