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  1. They're bad value (and available cheaper elsewhere) but Valrhona do offer these tasting assortments of their Grand Crus: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Valrhona-Grand-Chocolate-Assortment-160g/dp/B00O7Y2BM0/ That said, I agree with paul regarding the use of Valrhona, it's not something I use to make chocolates or to eat as they are, they form a consistent part of baked deserts and pastry where I can very confidently predict how they'll behave and taste. I haven't found something like an Amadei Porcelana from Valrhona.
  2. Amintika

    Help with chocolate sponge recipe

    Just had a chance to try the recipe again, addded 20g of water to 100g of yolks before adding the cocoa and it emulsified without any issues. Sponge turns out fine then. Thanks for the help!
  3. Amintika

    Help with chocolate sponge recipe

    Ahah, that makes a lot of sense. I had noticed that the egg yolks I'd been getting recently were surprisingly viscous. Thanks for the advice, I'll try that tomorrow and see how it goes.
  4. Amintika

    Help with chocolate sponge recipe

    Thanks for the input. That was my first instinct, the yolks with the cocoa (100g yolk to 20g cocoa) has the consistency of a very thick paste, as you add the butter it does slacken but remains thicker than say a mayonaise or a ganache. As you add the melted chocolate to this something splits out - I think perhaps the cocoa butter as you end up with many little bits of black chocolate sludge coated in a thin transparant oil. On my third attempt I 'rescued' it by adding about a tablespoon of boiling water and slowly mixing it back together - almost like saving an hollandaise but with boiling water rather than cold water. I've since tried to carefully heat everything up to ~50°C before combining to see if that would help, but alas not. It's left me quite perplexed to be honest.
  5. Single origin chocolates remind me a lot of single origin coffees; once you've developed a palate for them, and have become interested, there's a myriad of tastes that are very enjoyable. However, to the layman they tend to taste quite different to what is generically expected, and they can often exenuate few very specific tastes, whether acidity, or earthiness, or even less usual sweetness (e.g. liquorice flavours) that are a shock to the palate if you just expect 'chocolate' or 'coffee'. Whilst I have won some friends over with the Valrhona single estate tasting boxes, it's not so usual.
  6. I've been recently trying to make the following recipe: https://www.greatbritishchefs.com/recipes/black-forest-gateau-recipe Most of the components work fine, but for the life of me I can't get the chocolate sponge to work, perhaps in part because I find the recipe ambiguous. Hence I'd really appreciate the input of someone more experienced than myself. Steps 1 and 2 cover the sponge, and it's step 2 that I find difficult: Meanwhile, melt the chocolate in a bain marie. In a separate bowl, sift the cocoa powder over the egg yolks, whisking thoroughly to combine. Slowly pour and continue to whisk in the melted butter. Remove from the heat and allow to cool before gently folding in the meringue, 1/3 at a time to incorporate as much air as possible Firstly, do I put the melted butter into the egg yolk and cocoa mixture, or into the melted chocolate? Secondly do I combine these two elements before folding into the meringue, or are they folded in individually? In the past I've always tried to combine them before folding and I find that the mixture splits rapidly, irrespecitve of whether the butter has gone into the yolks or into the chocolate. Unfortunately I don't have an photos, but any help (or links to similar recipes so I can compare) would be very helpful.
  7. I second the positive comments for Valrhona cocoa, and Valrhona in general. I also find Amadei to be very good for baking, and use a lot of their 70% pistoles as well as their white chocolate pistoles (which correspond to their white and black toscano chocolates in bar form). Somewhat expensive, but the dark chocolate has a wonderfully rich flavour, which I find well suited for things like chocolate tarts - especially if cut with a sprinkle of freeze dried raspberries or something. Perhaps a bit overwhelming if used throughout a cake or the like, in which case I find Valrhona (e.g. Caraibe) suits better. I find Amadei somewhat easier to temper and work with too, but I'm not very skilled in that department.