How Do We Define ‘Best’ Chocolate?

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Not All Chocolate is Created Equal

With the wealth of excellent eating and cooking chocolates, more and more sites are devoted to expert and consumer chocolate reviews. We will only reference finished chocolate, not confections for this exercise.

Here are some tips for the best results when cooking with chocolate

  • Consider your recipe. Certain preparations can mask a chocolate’s flaws. Inexpensive chocolate is unpalatable when sampled plain, but brownies made with it were acceptable in tests.
  • Melt carefully. Place chopped chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl, cover it with plastic wrap, and microwave at the lowest setting until melted
  • Decrease the dust. For easier, neater chopping, Cook’s Illustrated recommends warming thick bars of chocolate on a microwave-safe plate in a microwave set on the lowest setting for one minute, turning halfway through.
  • Chop semisweet or bittersweet bar chocolate into “emergency” chips. You can use bar chocolate in cookies, which won’t look as nice but will taste just as good. Chopping won’t be a problem if you warm the bar slightly first. If all you have is quality unsweetened chocolate, you can melt it in a double boiler, add sugar to taste, pour circles of chocolate out onto a cookie sheet, and freeze them into discs. The improvised “chips” will be somewhat grainy but will taste fine.
  • Accept no substitute for unsweetened chocolate. In a recipe, you can’t replace unsweetened chocolate with bar chocolate or chocolate chips, which contain sugar.

Now for some Reviews

The following are some of the best examples of thoughtful, informative review sites that will allow you to be the final judge.

  • Containing numerous reviews of dark chocolate bars, this resource celebrates all things dark:

http://seventypercent.com

  • For an intensive review of European chocolate, while spotty in updating, it contains great nuggets of information about some of the world’s favorite chocolate bars:

http://thechocolatereview.com

  • For the best in baking chocolate, Consumer Search recommends the best chocolate in five categories:

http://www.consumersearch.com/baking-chocolate

photo courtesy of tutuz.com

 


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