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What are the best, darkest chocolates you've found in wholesale quantities? Aside from 100%, that is ... I'm thinking in the 75-90% range, available in quantities of 5-20 kg. It's definitely niche, but between the chocolate nerds and the low-carb-ers there's a market.
Right now, 72% Felchlin Arriba is the darkest I use, in a bar with candied orange. I have not tried their Elvesia 74% or Sao Palme 75% but it looks like I can get them from AUI. A Felchlin 88% exists, but would be a special order arriving in a few months (their next container shipment?).
Valrhona makes the Abinao 85% but that would be another special order. I'm pretty sure I tried it at one point and liked it. Does anyone keep it in stock?
How is KaKao Berlin? They have a Brandenberg 75% but I'm not familiar with the brand.
Any others? Or I could make my own and have the super dark be my one bean-to bar flavor ...
The cheese Easter Egg!
I don't know that it beats chocolate, but I do love cheese! Enough that now I'm wanting to create a savory, cocoa-butter based cheese version of my chocolate Easter eggs ...
Would you prefer your Easter egg be cheese?
I had a chance to try a couple of Valrhona's new "inspirations" flavors today, the passion fruit and the almond. The almond was good but I'd probably add salt. The passion fruit is intense and delicious, I bet you could cut it with a sweeter white chocolate and still get good flavor. They also have strawberry. These are cocoa-butter based so can be used for shell molding. https://inter.valrhona.com/en/inspiration-valrhona-innovation
I could definitely see using these. Passion fruit is one of my favorite flavors, and I already indulge in the convenience of Perfect Puree so I don't think this would compromise my integrity
Just wanted to share. Available soon, probably expensive
I have been tasked with putting together a team for a new kosher barbecue event in Arizona, happening sometime later this year. The event was supposed to be in mid-April, but the venue decided to cancel. The organizers are busy looking for a new venue, and have assured us that this will happen.
Many details for the event are not quite settled yet, so, I am trying to prepare for all sorts of contingencies beyond the usual concerns about putting out good food. What is known is that we will be following the KCBS kosher rules. As far as I can tell, there were 10-12 such events held last year across the US. So, it's a pretty small world. I don't think there's a kosher championship ladder like the other barbecue events have, either. I think it's a good time to get in, get practice and see where it takes me.
I should note that I am not Jewish and did not grow up around any kosher households, so I am also studying some of the finer points about running a kosher kitchen and learning about kosher ingredients. Modern competition barbecue is an odd mix of modernist techniques and ingredients, right alongside ordinary-folk foods like margarine, and bottled sauces.
For reference, the 4 categories for kosher events are: Chicken, Beef Ribs, Turkey, and Beef Brisket -to be served in that order.
So far, I have been running smokeless tests on chicken and beef ribs. Mostly learning to trim the chicken thighs (what a nightmare!) and seeing what happens at certain temperatures and times. I know things will be different with real smoking happening, but I want to see some baseline results so that I know what to strive for. I do have a bunch of thermometers, and have got some basic ideas about writing a competition timeline.
The chicken perplexes me in several ways. First, some of the competition cooks recommend boning while others recommend bone-in. Second, I see some folks injecting and brining, while others maybe do a quick half hour marinade, and even others are full-on modernist with citric acid under the skin, etc. Third, the braise vs non- braise chicken where some people load up their pan with a pound of butter, margarine or a couple cups of chicken stock while others do not. Fourth, The bite-through skin is driving me insane. Some people swear by transglutaminase to reattach the skin for a better bite. Catch is, only some types are kosher, and I can see having issues explaining it. I have tested an egg white egg wash which seems to attach the skin pretty well without showing. I think I need to go for longer times to get more tender skin. Today I did a pan (with olive oil) of six as follows: one hour at 220°, one hour under foil at 230°, then glazed and 20 minutes on a rack at 350°. It was only partly bite-though and the taste-testers wanted more crispiness. I tried showing them pictures and explained that it wasn't ever going to be crispy, that we're looking to go even softer. I am going to run tests on longer cook periods and see how it goes.
I want to ask people about the whole swimming in margarine thing which is in voque right now. people claim it makes the chicken juicy. I know that meat is mostly all about temperatures. I can see how the margarine acts like duck fat in a confit and helps prevent some oven-drying after hours and hours in the oven, but, in the end, isn't it just an insulator?
I've been making corned beef and other brisket dishes for over 20 years, so, I think I have a good handle on that. I will practice it in a couple of weeks. I simply don't need as much help on this item.
The turkey scares me. On TV, I see people dunking it in butter before serving it. This obviously is not kosher, and I don't want to do it with margarine I don't want to present anything in a competition made with margarine, there has to be something better! -Either cook the bird better or find a better dip, like maybe a flavorful nut oil or a sauce. That said, unlike ribs or brisket, it is not traditional to dunk turkey in a sauce. I went with some friends to a chain place called Dickies to do a little research and their turkey breast was odd and kind of hammy. Not like Virginia ham, more like ham lunchmeat. It was very moist and unlike any turkey I have ever eaten. Ok, I admit to not being very fond of turkey, so my experiences with it have been a bit limited. I am assuming it was brined. Given the limited amount of time we will have (about a day and a half) to cook, I am planning on just cooking the breast. Other than that, I am open to suggestions. The internet has been least informative on the topic of turkey. People's videos and such just show rubbing the whole bird and letting it roast for a few hours. Any tips at all would be appreciated.
Whew! Thanks for reading all of this, I look forward to any advice you can give.
So I've remelted some Valrhona Azelia that was extra from another project and even at 45° C the chocolate has small lumps. If I press a lump against the side of the melter (or between my fingers) it smooths out but I can't remove all the lumps that way. For tonight, I poured all the chocolate through a sieve and pushed the lumps thru with a silicone spatula. That solves the problem for today but I want to know, what caused those lumps in the first place? Also, if this happens again, is there a better way to correct the problem? I have never had this happen before with any couverture (including the Azelia) and hope you can tell me how I can prevent this from happening .
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