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mrk

Discriminate between chocolate brand?

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If I make cinnamon or other strong flavor ganache or adding liqueur, use Valrhona or Cacao barry of chocolate, do you discriminate between the ganache flavor is what brand? but these price totally different I'm uncertain, how do you make ganache choose the chocolate ? Thank

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Just so I understand: you're asking if I, as the consumer, would be able to notice the difference between two ganaches made with different brands of chocolate if those ganaches were jacked with some kind of spice or liqueur? And whether I'd view the cheaper ganache as the kind of bad I wouldn't want to spend money on?


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Just so I understand: you're asking if I, as the consumer, would be able to notice the difference between two ganaches made with different brands of chocolate if those ganaches were jacked with some kind of spice or liqueur? And whether I'd view the cheaper ganache as the kind of bad I wouldn't want to spend money on?

I asking as the chocolatier how do you make ganache choose the chocolate? and if use expensive or cheaper of chocolate to make ganache, the result you can differentiate it? Thank

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Couvertures have varying amounts of cocoa butter, this does affect the way ganache behaves and more importantly--how ganache feels in the mouth.  Usually the cheaper the chocolate, the less the cocoa butter content.

 

Couvertures also have very different flavour profiles, from bitter to acid, fruity to coffee, and everything in between.  The flavour of the couverture has to be taken into consideration when making a coffee ganache or one with a high tannin content like Earl Grey tea ganache.  Again, the cheaper couvertures tend to have a "Stock-pot Royale" mentality, where many different types of cocoa beans are blended together.

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I have personally never tasted a difference between using the same % of couverture from separate chocolate companies and have different results.  The only company I have seen a difference is Felchin chocolates, only because of the intense flavor or what they call "intense compound"  Customers normally will not know the difference.  I am a huge Valrhona user for ganaches but I use Orchard Chocolates for enrobing.

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Oh there's lots of differences, you just have to be aware of them.  Take fat content for instance, or more properly speaking, cocoa butter content.  Theoretically you can have 70% cocoa butter and 30 % sugar, and call it 70% couverture.  While many European mnfctrs will list the cocoa content, they might not list the cocoa butter content.  Callebaut uses the "raindrop' system of one, two, and three drops on their packaging, with three drops having the highest butter content.  With higher cocoa butter contents, the couverture is "thinner" molds a lot easier, molds with thinner shells, and melts much faster in your mouth.

 

What I don't understand is the mentality to use a good quality "Character" couverture for ganache, and then enrobing with a medium quality "blah" couverture.  It's kind of like mixing a single malt high quality Scotch with fruit juice or ice, and the chasing it down with a blended Canadian scotch.

I just don't get it.... Use the high quality stuff for the shell, as it is the first thing that hits your mouth, and the plain-jane stuff for the ganache, where you can let your featured flavours (passion fruit, Orange, Chai, etc) really shine through.

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Oh there's lots of differences, you just have to be aware of them.  Take fat content for instance, or more properly speaking, cocoa butter content.  Theoretically you can have 70% cocoa butter and 30 % sugar, and call it 70% couverture.  While many European mnfctrs will list the cocoa content, they might not list the cocoa butter content.  Callebaut uses the "raindrop' system of one, two, and three drops on their packaging, with three drops having the highest butter content.  With higher cocoa butter contents, the couverture is "thinner" molds a lot easier, molds with thinner shells, and melts much faster in your mouth.

 

What I don't understand is the mentality to use a good quality "Character" couverture for ganache, and then enrobing with a medium quality "blah" couverture.  It's kind of like mixing a single malt high quality Scotch with fruit juice or ice, and the chasing it down with a blended Canadian scotch.

I just don't get it.... Use the high quality stuff for the shell, as it is the first thing that hits your mouth, and the plain-jane stuff for the ganache, where you can let your featured flavours (passion fruit, Orange, Chai, etc) really shine through.

Edward, you suggest use the high quality stuff for the shell, and the ganache  depend on your featured flavours to choose couverture

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is the question is about flavor subtleties? 

 

To make a pretty lazy generalization, the difference between chocolates could be summed up as the cocoa percentage (which does not always correlate with official cocoa solids number), the cocoa butter percentage, the sugar percentage, and finally the subtle flavor and aroma differences. 

 

The first three factors are structural and will make a difference in practically everything, although these differences can usually be compensated for if you understand them (use more or less chocolate, add cocoa butter or other fat, add or subtract sugar, etc.). The final factor, the subtle flavors, cannot really be compensated for. But its importance varies a lot from recipe to recipe. If you are adding other strong flavors, I doubt you'd be able to tell the difference. You'd have to have more sensitive palate than mine. 

 

I use the best chocolates when it's is the main event and there are no other strong flavors present. If I were adding liqueur or cinnamon, I don't think I could tell the difference between callebaut and michel cluizel. Even in brownies (a recipe I take seriously!) I usually use callebaut, because the difference with higher end chocolates seem minor. But when I make a ganache or a chocolate marquise, I use the best stuff I can afford, and the stuff with the flavor profile I want for the recipe.

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