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Old 14-12-2004, 08:22 PM
Dee Randall
 
Posts: n/a
Default What chocolate for truffles/ganache/chocolate sauce

What brand of 70% bittersweet (dark) chocolate would make a good
truffle/ganache/chocolate sauce?

I have tried Scharffenberger, but am looking for a less fruitty chocolate,
not more than $11 a pound. I have tried Callebout also, but am looking for
something new.

Thanks.



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Old 15-12-2004, 06:55 AM
Alex Rast
 
Posts: n/a
Default

at Tue, 14 Dec 2004 20:22:49 GMT in ,
deedoveyatshenteldotnet (Dee Randall) wrote :

What brand of 70% bittersweet (dark) chocolate would make a good
truffle/ganache/chocolate sauce?

I have tried Scharffenberger, but am looking for a less fruitty
chocolate, not more than $11 a pound.


Almost any chocolate will be less fruity than Scharffen Berger, but FWIW I
agree that, in general, a fruity chocolate doesn't make for the best
truffles, or sauce, for that matter. Actually, you want something a little
different for truffles and for sauce. In the truffle range, you can get by
with a more nuanced, mild flavour, because there's much more chocolate in
the mix. With sauces, OTOH, you want a powerful flavour because the higher
dilution means you need the strength to make the chocolate flavour stand
out. With sauce, however, you can also get by with a lower cocoa butter
content, because you've got so much more fluid, generally at a lower fat
content anyway, to smooth out the mixture.

For low fruitiness, you want a darker roast. Now, if a roast is *very*
dark, it can make truffles seem a little "flat", but definitely you want
the roast to be darker than the (underroasted?) Scharffen Berger.

The $11/lb restriction makes your choices *very* limited. Most of the
better chocolates are more than that, even if only a little bit more.
At the $11/lb price, you're more or less limiting yourself to domestic
producers. And that pretty much means you're limiting yourself to Guittard
and Ghirardelli, if you want quality chocolate. Guittard is superb overall
- IMHO far better than Scharffen Berger, but their best chocolates come in
the 60-65% class. Ghirardelli doesn't list their cocoa solids percentage.
The Bittersweet chocolate they produce is very good, but so nearly
identical to Callebaut that it's hard to tell them apart. So if you really
do want to stay under $11/lb, for truffles, yet want a different flavour,
perhaps the only option you have left is Guittard Coucher du Soleil 72%. Be
aware that there's still some fruitiness to it.

If you can accept a loss of actual cocoa solids percentage, then an
outstanding choice is Guittard Gourmet Bittersweet. It's 63% cocoa solids,
but possesses an unusual intensity for that percentage that really makes it
a lot stronger than typical chocolates in its range. I use it as my
"standard" ganache chocolate - it's incredibly versatile, being excellent
across the entire range from truffles to sauce.

For sauce only, you have another good choice : El Rey Gran Saman. This has
a low cocoa butter content, and for that reason isn't the best for
truffles, but for sauce it has knockout power and a great, tropical/earthy
flavour.

Now, if you want to expand your horizons into the $20/lb range, your
options open up immensely. Michel Cluizel, perhaps the best single
chocolatier in the world (at least IMHO) has a world-class entry in Amer
Brut 72%. Cote D'Or and Dolfin each make chocolates that are almost as
good, although with the Cluizel available for a lower price thanks to the
fact that you can get it in a bulk format as opposed to the other 2, only
found in bars, it sort of begs the question as to why. Valrhona's Araguani
is good for truffles, with a delicate flavour, not so fruity as the typical
Valrhona either. I wouldn't recommend this one for sauce, though.

There are other chocolates that offer various balances of flavour and roast
, if you're ready to spend the big bucks, but of course prices quickly get
out of hand and I'm with you - when it comes to truffles and sauces, *some*
cost control is desirable, especially when the extra price doesn't really
buy you better quality, just different, generally more characterised,
flavour characteristics.

--
Alex Rast

(remove d., .7, not, and .NOSPAM to reply)
  #3 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 15-12-2004, 06:55 AM
Alex Rast
 
Posts: n/a
Default

at Tue, 14 Dec 2004 20:22:49 GMT in ,
deedoveyatshenteldotnet (Dee Randall) wrote :

What brand of 70% bittersweet (dark) chocolate would make a good
truffle/ganache/chocolate sauce?

I have tried Scharffenberger, but am looking for a less fruitty
chocolate, not more than $11 a pound.


Almost any chocolate will be less fruity than Scharffen Berger, but FWIW I
agree that, in general, a fruity chocolate doesn't make for the best
truffles, or sauce, for that matter. Actually, you want something a little
different for truffles and for sauce. In the truffle range, you can get by
with a more nuanced, mild flavour, because there's much more chocolate in
the mix. With sauces, OTOH, you want a powerful flavour because the higher
dilution means you need the strength to make the chocolate flavour stand
out. With sauce, however, you can also get by with a lower cocoa butter
content, because you've got so much more fluid, generally at a lower fat
content anyway, to smooth out the mixture.

For low fruitiness, you want a darker roast. Now, if a roast is *very*
dark, it can make truffles seem a little "flat", but definitely you want
the roast to be darker than the (underroasted?) Scharffen Berger.

The $11/lb restriction makes your choices *very* limited. Most of the
better chocolates are more than that, even if only a little bit more.
At the $11/lb price, you're more or less limiting yourself to domestic
producers. And that pretty much means you're limiting yourself to Guittard
and Ghirardelli, if you want quality chocolate. Guittard is superb overall
- IMHO far better than Scharffen Berger, but their best chocolates come in
the 60-65% class. Ghirardelli doesn't list their cocoa solids percentage.
The Bittersweet chocolate they produce is very good, but so nearly
identical to Callebaut that it's hard to tell them apart. So if you really
do want to stay under $11/lb, for truffles, yet want a different flavour,
perhaps the only option you have left is Guittard Coucher du Soleil 72%. Be
aware that there's still some fruitiness to it.

If you can accept a loss of actual cocoa solids percentage, then an
outstanding choice is Guittard Gourmet Bittersweet. It's 63% cocoa solids,
but possesses an unusual intensity for that percentage that really makes it
a lot stronger than typical chocolates in its range. I use it as my
"standard" ganache chocolate - it's incredibly versatile, being excellent
across the entire range from truffles to sauce.

For sauce only, you have another good choice : El Rey Gran Saman. This has
a low cocoa butter content, and for that reason isn't the best for
truffles, but for sauce it has knockout power and a great, tropical/earthy
flavour.

Now, if you want to expand your horizons into the $20/lb range, your
options open up immensely. Michel Cluizel, perhaps the best single
chocolatier in the world (at least IMHO) has a world-class entry in Amer
Brut 72%. Cote D'Or and Dolfin each make chocolates that are almost as
good, although with the Cluizel available for a lower price thanks to the
fact that you can get it in a bulk format as opposed to the other 2, only
found in bars, it sort of begs the question as to why. Valrhona's Araguani
is good for truffles, with a delicate flavour, not so fruity as the typical
Valrhona either. I wouldn't recommend this one for sauce, though.

There are other chocolates that offer various balances of flavour and roast
, if you're ready to spend the big bucks, but of course prices quickly get
out of hand and I'm with you - when it comes to truffles and sauces, *some*
cost control is desirable, especially when the extra price doesn't really
buy you better quality, just different, generally more characterised,
flavour characteristics.

--
Alex Rast

(remove d., .7, not, and .NOSPAM to reply)
  #4 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 15-12-2004, 01:45 PM
Janet Puistonen
 
Posts: n/a
Default


"Dee Randall" deedoveyatshenteldotnet wrote in message
...
What brand of 70% bittersweet (dark) chocolate would make a good
truffle/ganache/chocolate sauce?

I have tried Scharffenberger, but am looking for a less fruitty chocolate,
not more than $11 a pound. I have tried Callebout also, but am looking
for something new.

Thanks.


Try El Rey Gran Saman. It has a strong, earthy flavor.


  #5 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 15-12-2004, 01:45 PM
Janet Puistonen
 
Posts: n/a
Default


"Dee Randall" deedoveyatshenteldotnet wrote in message
...
What brand of 70% bittersweet (dark) chocolate would make a good
truffle/ganache/chocolate sauce?

I have tried Scharffenberger, but am looking for a less fruitty chocolate,
not more than $11 a pound. I have tried Callebout also, but am looking
for something new.

Thanks.


Try El Rey Gran Saman. It has a strong, earthy flavor.




  #6 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 16-12-2004, 09:04 PM
Dee Randall
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Thanks for your answer. It is more than I ever expected.
My appreciation.
Dee

"Alex Rast" wrote in message
...
at Tue, 14 Dec 2004 20:22:49 GMT in ,
deedoveyatshenteldotnet (Dee Randall) wrote :

What brand of 70% bittersweet (dark) chocolate would make a good
truffle/ganache/chocolate sauce?

I have tried Scharffenberger, but am looking for a less fruitty
chocolate, not more than $11 a pound.


Almost any chocolate will be less fruity than Scharffen Berger, but FWIW I
agree that, in general, a fruity chocolate doesn't make for the best
truffles, or sauce, for that matter. Actually, you want something a little
different for truffles and for sauce. In the truffle range, you can get by
with a more nuanced, mild flavour, because there's much more chocolate in
the mix. With sauces, OTOH, you want a powerful flavour because the higher
dilution means you need the strength to make the chocolate flavour stand
out. With sauce, however, you can also get by with a lower cocoa butter
content, because you've got so much more fluid, generally at a lower fat
content anyway, to smooth out the mixture.

For low fruitiness, you want a darker roast. Now, if a roast is *very*
dark, it can make truffles seem a little "flat", but definitely you want
the roast to be darker than the (underroasted?) Scharffen Berger.

The $11/lb restriction makes your choices *very* limited. Most of the
better chocolates are more than that, even if only a little bit more.
At the $11/lb price, you're more or less limiting yourself to domestic
producers. And that pretty much means you're limiting yourself to Guittard
and Ghirardelli, if you want quality chocolate. Guittard is superb overall
- IMHO far better than Scharffen Berger, but their best chocolates come in
the 60-65% class. Ghirardelli doesn't list their cocoa solids percentage.
The Bittersweet chocolate they produce is very good, but so nearly
identical to Callebaut that it's hard to tell them apart. So if you really
do want to stay under $11/lb, for truffles, yet want a different flavour,
perhaps the only option you have left is Guittard Coucher du Soleil 72%.
Be
aware that there's still some fruitiness to it.

If you can accept a loss of actual cocoa solids percentage, then an
outstanding choice is Guittard Gourmet Bittersweet. It's 63% cocoa solids,
but possesses an unusual intensity for that percentage that really makes
it
a lot stronger than typical chocolates in its range. I use it as my
"standard" ganache chocolate - it's incredibly versatile, being excellent
across the entire range from truffles to sauce.

For sauce only, you have another good choice : El Rey Gran Saman. This has
a low cocoa butter content, and for that reason isn't the best for
truffles, but for sauce it has knockout power and a great, tropical/earthy
flavour.

Now, if you want to expand your horizons into the $20/lb range, your
options open up immensely. Michel Cluizel, perhaps the best single
chocolatier in the world (at least IMHO) has a world-class entry in Amer
Brut 72%. Cote D'Or and Dolfin each make chocolates that are almost as
good, although with the Cluizel available for a lower price thanks to the
fact that you can get it in a bulk format as opposed to the other 2, only
found in bars, it sort of begs the question as to why. Valrhona's Araguani
is good for truffles, with a delicate flavour, not so fruity as the
typical
Valrhona either. I wouldn't recommend this one for sauce, though.

There are other chocolates that offer various balances of flavour and
roast
, if you're ready to spend the big bucks, but of course prices quickly get
out of hand and I'm with you - when it comes to truffles and sauces,
*some*
cost control is desirable, especially when the extra price doesn't really
buy you better quality, just different, generally more characterised,
flavour characteristics.

--
Alex Rast

(remove d., .7, not, and .NOSPAM to reply)



  #7 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 16-12-2004, 09:04 PM
Dee Randall
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Thanks for your answer. It is more than I ever expected.
My appreciation.
Dee

"Alex Rast" wrote in message
...
at Tue, 14 Dec 2004 20:22:49 GMT in ,
deedoveyatshenteldotnet (Dee Randall) wrote :

What brand of 70% bittersweet (dark) chocolate would make a good
truffle/ganache/chocolate sauce?

I have tried Scharffenberger, but am looking for a less fruitty
chocolate, not more than $11 a pound.


Almost any chocolate will be less fruity than Scharffen Berger, but FWIW I
agree that, in general, a fruity chocolate doesn't make for the best
truffles, or sauce, for that matter. Actually, you want something a little
different for truffles and for sauce. In the truffle range, you can get by
with a more nuanced, mild flavour, because there's much more chocolate in
the mix. With sauces, OTOH, you want a powerful flavour because the higher
dilution means you need the strength to make the chocolate flavour stand
out. With sauce, however, you can also get by with a lower cocoa butter
content, because you've got so much more fluid, generally at a lower fat
content anyway, to smooth out the mixture.

For low fruitiness, you want a darker roast. Now, if a roast is *very*
dark, it can make truffles seem a little "flat", but definitely you want
the roast to be darker than the (underroasted?) Scharffen Berger.

The $11/lb restriction makes your choices *very* limited. Most of the
better chocolates are more than that, even if only a little bit more.
At the $11/lb price, you're more or less limiting yourself to domestic
producers. And that pretty much means you're limiting yourself to Guittard
and Ghirardelli, if you want quality chocolate. Guittard is superb overall
- IMHO far better than Scharffen Berger, but their best chocolates come in
the 60-65% class. Ghirardelli doesn't list their cocoa solids percentage.
The Bittersweet chocolate they produce is very good, but so nearly
identical to Callebaut that it's hard to tell them apart. So if you really
do want to stay under $11/lb, for truffles, yet want a different flavour,
perhaps the only option you have left is Guittard Coucher du Soleil 72%.
Be
aware that there's still some fruitiness to it.

If you can accept a loss of actual cocoa solids percentage, then an
outstanding choice is Guittard Gourmet Bittersweet. It's 63% cocoa solids,
but possesses an unusual intensity for that percentage that really makes
it
a lot stronger than typical chocolates in its range. I use it as my
"standard" ganache chocolate - it's incredibly versatile, being excellent
across the entire range from truffles to sauce.

For sauce only, you have another good choice : El Rey Gran Saman. This has
a low cocoa butter content, and for that reason isn't the best for
truffles, but for sauce it has knockout power and a great, tropical/earthy
flavour.

Now, if you want to expand your horizons into the $20/lb range, your
options open up immensely. Michel Cluizel, perhaps the best single
chocolatier in the world (at least IMHO) has a world-class entry in Amer
Brut 72%. Cote D'Or and Dolfin each make chocolates that are almost as
good, although with the Cluizel available for a lower price thanks to the
fact that you can get it in a bulk format as opposed to the other 2, only
found in bars, it sort of begs the question as to why. Valrhona's Araguani
is good for truffles, with a delicate flavour, not so fruity as the
typical
Valrhona either. I wouldn't recommend this one for sauce, though.

There are other chocolates that offer various balances of flavour and
roast
, if you're ready to spend the big bucks, but of course prices quickly get
out of hand and I'm with you - when it comes to truffles and sauces,
*some*
cost control is desirable, especially when the extra price doesn't really
buy you better quality, just different, generally more characterised,
flavour characteristics.

--
Alex Rast

(remove d., .7, not, and .NOSPAM to reply)



  #8 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 21-12-2004, 05:43 PM
Stuart S. Berr
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Does anyone have a good recipe for truffles they'd like to share?
sb

Alex Rast wrote:

at Tue, 14 Dec 2004 20:22:49 GMT in ,
deedoveyatshenteldotnet (Dee Randall) wrote :



What brand of 70% bittersweet (dark) chocolate would make a good
truffle/ganache/chocolate sauce?

I have tried Scharffenberger, but am looking for a less fruitty
chocolate, not more than $11 a pound.



Almost any chocolate will be less fruity than Scharffen Berger, but FWIW I
agree that, in general, a fruity chocolate doesn't make for the best
truffles, or sauce, for that matter. Actually, you want something a little
different for truffles and for sauce. In the truffle range, you can get by
with a more nuanced, mild flavour, because there's much more chocolate in
the mix. With sauces, OTOH, you want a powerful flavour because the higher
dilution means you need the strength to make the chocolate flavour stand
out. With sauce, however, you can also get by with a lower cocoa butter
content, because you've got so much more fluid, generally at a lower fat
content anyway, to smooth out the mixture.

For low fruitiness, you want a darker roast. Now, if a roast is *very*
dark, it can make truffles seem a little "flat", but definitely you want
the roast to be darker than the (underroasted?) Scharffen Berger.

The $11/lb restriction makes your choices *very* limited. Most of the
better chocolates are more than that, even if only a little bit more.
At the $11/lb price, you're more or less limiting yourself to domestic
producers. And that pretty much means you're limiting yourself to Guittard
and Ghirardelli, if you want quality chocolate. Guittard is superb overall
- IMHO far better than Scharffen Berger, but their best chocolates come in
the 60-65% class. Ghirardelli doesn't list their cocoa solids percentage.
The Bittersweet chocolate they produce is very good, but so nearly
identical to Callebaut that it's hard to tell them apart. So if you really
do want to stay under $11/lb, for truffles, yet want a different flavour,
perhaps the only option you have left is Guittard Coucher du Soleil 72%. Be
aware that there's still some fruitiness to it.

If you can accept a loss of actual cocoa solids percentage, then an
outstanding choice is Guittard Gourmet Bittersweet. It's 63% cocoa solids,
but possesses an unusual intensity for that percentage that really makes it
a lot stronger than typical chocolates in its range. I use it as my
"standard" ganache chocolate - it's incredibly versatile, being excellent
across the entire range from truffles to sauce.

For sauce only, you have another good choice : El Rey Gran Saman. This has
a low cocoa butter content, and for that reason isn't the best for
truffles, but for sauce it has knockout power and a great, tropical/earthy
flavour.

Now, if you want to expand your horizons into the $20/lb range, your
options open up immensely. Michel Cluizel, perhaps the best single
chocolatier in the world (at least IMHO) has a world-class entry in Amer
Brut 72%. Cote D'Or and Dolfin each make chocolates that are almost as
good, although with the Cluizel available for a lower price thanks to the
fact that you can get it in a bulk format as opposed to the other 2, only
found in bars, it sort of begs the question as to why. Valrhona's Araguani
is good for truffles, with a delicate flavour, not so fruity as the typical
Valrhona either. I wouldn't recommend this one for sauce, though.

There are other chocolates that offer various balances of flavour and roast
, if you're ready to spend the big bucks, but of course prices quickly get
out of hand and I'm with you - when it comes to truffles and sauces, *some*
cost control is desirable, especially when the extra price doesn't really
buy you better quality, just different, generally more characterised,
flavour characteristics.




--


  #9 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 22-12-2004, 01:54 AM
SC
 
Posts: n/a
Default

I was reading through the responses and noticed that Alex mentioned
that most quality chocolates are above the $11/lb range.

Where do you live? Here in Texas we have a store called Central Market
and, at least right now, they have Callebaut semi-sweet and white for
$6/lb and El Rey milk for $7.50/lb. The only one that is over is the
extra dark Valhrona which is $14/lb.

I thought these prices were really good, and luckily I have stocked up
b/c I don't think it will last for long.

SC



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