Paying closer attention to the ingredients you using

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Joined Mar 6, 2001
It's funny how I just used any chocolate or almond paste or 'whatever' my head chef had bought over the years. Now that I find myself wanting to 'set-up' my own little commercial kitchen and buy in my base ingredients (out of my personal pocket)picking my brands and debating the costs has me looking like a deer in the headlights. It's crazy! I'm usually good at making decisions, but when you enter your own dollar into the equation my mind second guesses its' self constantly.

So here I sit looking at brands of chocolate...for the millionth time. Callebaut is less expensive than the brands I've previously used and I remember many of you saying it's the brand you've chosen....soooooooooo, if you don't mind I'd like a quick second opinion, please?

First I have to admit I prefer using pistols over blocks (to save time). The catalog I'm working from doesn't have there percentages (doubt there are options with pistols anyway). So does anyone have experience with their pistols and are you just as happy with it as their semi-sweet blocks?

2. Anyone have an opinion on their cocoa powder? It doesn't appear to be dutched (not labeled), it's states "22% cocoa butter, dark red color"....

3. Does anyone have experience with OCG Cacao Belgian couverture? Any opinions?

4. Most important question.....who do you buy from? Who has the best prices for the best quality? Right now I'm looking at Classic Gourmet, Midwest Imports and Eiro Source Gourmet. Can you steer me towards a better source?

Thanks alot, any imput is welcome!
 
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Joined Sep 21, 2001
The import company I have used for the last 10 years, DeChoix Specialty Foods recently merged with another company and are now called Gourmand Specialty Foods, Inc. My sales rep told me that the new company will have extensive pastry supplies. I haven't yet seen the latest catologue to see what is different. You can get their address and toll-free number on their website.
 
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Joined Sep 21, 2001
Their toll free San Francisco phone # is 1-800-841-5499, or www.dechoix.com to send an e-mail. You will probably want to get in touch with their N.Y. office. Call S.F. and they will give you the toll-free to Ny.
 
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Joined Nov 27, 2001
I buy 95% of my food products from Sysco. My disclaimer here is that I am married to a sysco salesman so I get everything at pennies over cost and my husband gets bonuses based partially on my volume. The other 5% of things that I buy I get elsewhere because they do not carry it (ex: praline paste, nuts, etc.).

I use Callebaut and am very happy with it. I have always used blocks so I can not tell you the difference.

As far as cocoa powder goes, I use a dutched 16-18% fat. It works well, I like it. I don't ever remember using a 22%.

HTH
 
2,068
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Joined Dec 30, 1999
You may want to review a past thread here which you may find informative: Which chocolate do you like?

And one on Cocoa Powder

Although there are several threads regarding chocolate if you do a title search here at cheftalk, these seems to be one that you'd get the most out of...
 
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Joined Mar 6, 2001
Thank-you cchiu that is most helpful! I still don't know how to find past articles like these. Could you tell me how, please? The archive section doesn't list baking questions.....does it? If so I missed it.
 
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Joined Dec 30, 1999
My pleasure W.DeBord. Just look in the upper right hand corner of your screen for the blue search button right in between the f.a.q and home buttons.

Say you're looking for a post that contains the words chocolate as well as cocoa. In the window you would type "chocolate AND cocoa"

Say you're looking for a post that contains the words chocolate as well as cocoa but not white (chocolate). In the window you would type "chocolate AND cocoa NOT white"

Make sure you utilize your "Search Options" as well. You can narrow your search to just the titles of posts, specific forums, and specific dates.

Just experiment with your chocolate search in the cheftalk search engine and you'll get a better understanding.... what happens if you type in just "chocolate" ? What happens if you do the same thing and select "Search titles only" in your search options?

Remember that major search engines worth using like Google.com also have advanced search options that can really help you refine your searches so you can find what you're looking for. Always browse the Advanced Search Options so you understand the search engine and it will save you a lot of time in the long run.

Happy searching!
 
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Joined Mar 6, 2001
Thanks again!! There's so much to learn.....

I can't get google thru aol. they block it somehow. I use excite but sometimes it's hard to find thing with-out spending days searching.
 
2,068
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Joined Dec 30, 1999
W.DeBord,

Yes you certainly can get to Google thru AOL and anywhere else want!

And even if you have an AOL account, you can download Netscape or Internet Explorer to use as web browers.

Look at the top of your screen while you're in AOL. Look for the icon titled "Internet" (between Favorites and Channels), click and hold down your mouse and go to "Internet Connection", let up on your mouse button. A black window will appear and in a tiny window you will see the following:

"Type Search words, Keywords or Web Addresses here"

In that space copy and paste or type in the following:

http://www.google.com/

You'll be at Google.

:)
 
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Joined Mar 4, 2000
I use DeChoix as well. Recently, they started offering the Callebaut pistoles. Life is much easier now!:)
 
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Joined Mar 6, 2001
That's what I wanted to hear momoreg....you like their pistoles? GREAT!

Who's cocoa powder are you using?
 
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Joined Mar 13, 2001
If you're interested, I use Valrhona Cocoa Powder (100% Cocoa, 0% Sugar, 21% Fat Content, Dutch Processed); it's a very pure and intense cocoa taste; and I like Valrhona Couverture for Baking. I also like "callets" which are small, round discs of chocolate instead of chocolate chips for cookies. This is Chocolate Power!!! ;)

For Pain au chocolat Valrhona 55% Cocoa semi-sweet Batons (small sticks) are wonderful.

I use Valrhona Gianduja for truffles.

If you can get your hands on Valrhona's "Les Fèves" Discs, which are oval shaped discs designed to be easy to work with. No shaving or breaking is needed because they are small pieces that are ready to use! The ones I use more frequently are the Ivoire White, and Equatoriale Dark. But there's also Manjari, Caraibe and Guanaja (now I sound like an infomercial :talk: )

I'm also a big fan of Callebaut products.

What would life be without Chocolate? :rolleyes:
 
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Joined Mar 4, 2000
Depending on what mood the supplier is in, I usually get the Cocoa Barry Extra-Brute. I like it very much.
 
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Joined Feb 23, 2001
Wendy- i would stay local- why pay for shipping? I work with both Midwest Imports and European Imports- they each have some items the other doesnt- also i always like to have a back up supplier

i work with both blocks and pistoles and different brands for different items- my favorites are probably CocoaBarry, but i also use Van Leer and Callebaut- you might be able to get some samples from different suppliers

remember- you are not stuck with anything- dont buy in too much quantity at the beginning- that way- if you dont like something - switch- or try a few brands- at approx. $30 a block (which gets used up very fast) these arent big investments- dont get yourself stuck secondguessing yourself on the small stuff
 
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Joined Apr 16, 2014
Hi,

I saw this post and thought I would ask a question about Pain au chocolat. I have a client that currently uses Noel chocolate batons mainly because those are the ones I carry on regular basis but is looking for a chocolate that will stay softer inside once at room temp. Do you think one of the couverture chocolates from Cocoa Barry such as lactee or one of the semi sweet will work better instead of batons?Any suggestions would be appreciated
 

chefpeon

Kitchen Dork
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Joined Jun 15, 2006
@headcheese65: Any chocolate that starts as a solid, such as a baton, chips, or pistoles, will re-solidify to that solid state once cooled, although it will be out of temper. Out of temper chocolate doesn't have that same snap as tempered chocolate, but it's still solid. If your client wants a softer chocolate filling at room temp, I would suggest they pipe a very firm ganache into the center of the pain au chocolat, rather than placing a solid baton in the middle. Of course, this requires extra steps (making the ganache, filling a piping bag and piping it on) but they may consider it worth the effort. 

Cheers.....Annie
 
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