Author Topic: Chocolate stash  (Read 1010 times)

Offline erockrph

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Chocolate stash
« on: January 22, 2016, 01:35:13 AM »
Not only does the cold weather mean liquid yeast is safe(r) to buy online, but so is chocolate. I'm a huge fan of dark chocolate and I got my semiannual binge order in from Chocosphere today. Great site to order high quality chocolate from in the US.

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Offline tommymorris

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Re: Chocolate stash
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2016, 02:16:14 AM »
I am chocolate ignorant. But, I would like to impress my wife. What do you recommend?

Offline narvin

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Re: Chocolate stash
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2016, 02:34:17 AM »
I don't care too much for sweets, so I really do prefer dark chocolate, though I rarely eat it.  But it was awesome in Belgium.
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Offline denny

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Re: Chocolate stash
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2016, 04:39:19 PM »
My fave...www.moonstruckchocolate.com/ .  The even have chocolate shaped like the tops of OR craft beers!
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Offline jeffy

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Re: Chocolate stash
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2016, 04:58:18 PM »
My favorite are the scotch whisky ganaches from Theo in Seattle.
Jeff Gladish, Tampa (989.3, 175.1 Apparent Rennarian)
Homebrewing since 1990
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Offline denny

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Re: Chocolate stash
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2016, 05:09:46 PM »
My favorite are the scotch whisky ganaches from Theo in Seattle.

Theo was my absolute fave until I discovered Moonstruck recently.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline jeffy

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Re: Chocolate stash
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2016, 05:29:48 PM »
My favorite are the scotch whisky ganaches from Theo in Seattle.

Theo was my absolute fave until I discovered Moonstruck recently.
Well, then.  Miss Ellen's birthday is next week!

It looks like they sell Moonstruck at an upscale furniture store in my neighborhood.  Odd.  I will have to check it out.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2016, 05:35:40 PM by jeffy »
Jeff Gladish, Tampa (989.3, 175.1 Apparent Rennarian)
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Offline erockrph

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Re: Chocolate stash
« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2016, 06:04:27 PM »
I am chocolate ignorant. But, I would like to impress my wife. What do you recommend?
There's a pretty broad range out there. I pretty much stick to plain dark chocolate bars, so I don't have a lot of recommendations for milk chocolate, or bars that have fillings or additives. To me, those are more of a snack rather than something to savor.

Most of the bars in that picture are favorites of mine. The Amedei Chuao is by far the best chocolate I've ever had. It has a great acidity that brings out all sorts of fruit notes, with earthy, nutty and coffee notes to back it up. It's about $15 a bar, but worth every penny if you're a connoisseur. If you're into bitter and you want to get adventurous, Domori's "Il 100%" is my favorite 100% cacao bar. It is amazing the complexity you can get off of pure cacao.

Waialua Estate is another one of my favorites. It is 100% American from bean-to-bar: the cacao is grown on Dole's plantation in Hawaii and the bar is made by Guittard. The volcanic soil terroir makes for a distinct flavor profile. The Pralus Cuba may not be the most complex dark chocolate, but it is addictively snackable. It is made from Trinitario beans rather than Criollo. There are three types of cacao beans - Criollo is the top quality, akin to Arabica coffee beans, Forastero is for mass-production and equivalent to Robusto coffee, and Trinitario is a hybrid between the two both literally and in quality of flavor. Pralus tends to go heavier on the roast than other chocolate makers, and that brings out nice peanut butter and espresso flavors in the Trinitario beans, and that makes for a poundable dark chocolate. It also, quite fittingly, makes an excellent pairing with Cuban-style coffee.

If you're not sure how dark you like it, Lindt does a series of chocolate bars starting at 50% and going all the way up to 99%. It makes for a nice flight, especially if you're just starting to get into chocolate. Once you get into it, several manufacturers have single-origin bars so you can get a feel for what chocolate from different countries and regions taste like. I believe Pralus sells some as a sampler of tasting squares so you could do a bunch side-by-side without breaking the bank. The best cacao primarily comes from Venezuela, and the region of Chuao produces the best-of-the-best. I'm also partial to Madagascan chocolate - it has a bright acidity that often comes off as lemonade and/or fresh red raspberries.

You may have to order online to find most of these, but you'll rarely go wrong with these brands:
Domori
Amedei
Pralus
Michel Cluizel
Bonnat
Patric
Amano

Scharffen Berger, Lake Champlain and Lindt may be easier to find and aren't half bad for starters. The Scharffen Berger 70% and the Lake Champlain Sao Thome are excellent starters.
Eric B.

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Offline udubdawg

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Re: Chocolate stash
« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2016, 06:09:15 PM »
My favorite are the scotch whisky ganaches from Theo in Seattle.

Theo used to have several single-origin semi-dark to dark chocolates.  The Madagascar wasn't that dark, like 56%, but had the most beautiful fruit notes, and made magnificent pairing with a ~3-year old Stone IRS.

I miss that stuff. 

Offline Wort-H.O.G.

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Re: Chocolate stash
« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2016, 06:42:03 PM »
great info Eric. I will check them out for ordering in future.

Im a huge fan as well of the dark chocolate- anywhere from 72% up to about 88% is usually what I get. Depending on what I'm drinking, I break a few squares off and nibble as I sip- whiskey, wine, etc.
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Offline tommymorris

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Re: Chocolate stash
« Reply #10 on: January 22, 2016, 06:50:15 PM »

I am chocolate ignorant. But, I would like to impress my wife. What do you recommend?
There's a pretty broad range out there. I pretty much stick to plain dark chocolate bars, so I don't have a lot of recommendations for milk chocolate, or bars that have fillings or additives. To me, those are more of a snack rather than something to savor.

Most of the bars in that picture are favorites of mine. The Amedei Chuao is by far the best chocolate I've ever had. It has a great acidity that brings out all sorts of fruit notes, with earthy, nutty and coffee notes to back it up. It's about $15 a bar, but worth every penny if you're a connoisseur. If you're into bitter and you want to get adventurous, Domori's "Il 100%" is my favorite 100% cacao bar. It is amazing the complexity you can get off of pure cacao.

Waialua Estate is another one of my favorites. It is 100% American from bean-to-bar: the cacao is grown on Dole's plantation in Hawaii and the bar is made by Guittard. The volcanic soil terroir makes for a distinct flavor profile. The Pralus Cuba may not be the most complex dark chocolate, but it is addictively snackable. It is made from Trinitario beans rather than Criollo. There are three types of cacao beans - Criollo is the top quality, akin to Arabica coffee beans, Forastero is for mass-production and equivalent to Robusto coffee, and Trinitario is a hybrid between the two both literally and in quality of flavor. Pralus tends to go heavier on the roast than other chocolate makers, and that brings out nice peanut butter and espresso flavors in the Trinitario beans, and that makes for a poundable dark chocolate. It also, quite fittingly, makes an excellent pairing with Cuban-style coffee.

If you're not sure how dark you like it, Lindt does a series of chocolate bars starting at 50% and going all the way up to 99%. It makes for a nice flight, especially if you're just starting to get into chocolate. Once you get into it, several manufacturers have single-origin bars so you can get a feel for what chocolate from different countries and regions taste like. I believe Pralus sells some as a sampler of tasting squares so you could do a bunch side-by-side without breaking the bank. The best cacao primarily comes from Venezuela, and the region of Chuao produces the best-of-the-best. I'm also partial to Madagascan chocolate - it has a bright acidity that often comes off as lemonade and/or fresh red raspberries.

You may have to order online to find most of these, but you'll rarely go wrong with these brands:
Domori
Amedei
Pralus
Michel Cluizel
Bonnat
Patric
Amano

Scharffen Berger, Lake Champlain and Lindt may be easier to find and aren't half bad for starters. The Scharffen Berger 70% and the Lake Champlain Sao Thome are excellent starters.
Thanks!

Offline jeffy

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Re: Chocolate stash
« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2016, 09:26:02 PM »
Nice story: On Tuesday after work I stopped in at the upscale furniture store that I mentioned earlier to see if they had any moonstruck chocolate.  They didn't, but I gave the guy my card and he said he would check into getting some.  I did not hold up much hope since Friday is my wife's birthday.
Today, Thursday, he drove up to my shop with a bag containing the Oregon Craft Brewers Collection which is a 12 piece box of Truffles and said to tell my wife "happy birthday."  No charge.
If I ever need anything they are selling, I am there.  If you're in Tampa check them out - Urban Bungalow, 6500 N. Florida Ave.
Jeff Gladish, Tampa (989.3, 175.1 Apparent Rennarian)
Homebrewing since 1990
AHA member since 1991, now a lifetime member
BJCP judge since 1995

Offline denny

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Re: Chocolate stash
« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2016, 09:27:27 PM »
Nice story: On Tuesday after work I stopped in at the upscale furniture store that I mentioned earlier to see if they had any moonstruck chocolate.  They didn't, but I gave the guy my card and he said he would check into getting some.  I did not hold up much hope since Friday is my wife's birthday.
Today, Thursday, he drove up to my shop with a bag containing the Oregon Craft Brewers Collection which is a 12 piece box of Truffles and said to tell my wife "happy birthday."  No charge.
If I ever need anything they are selling, I am there.  If you're in Tampa check them out - Urban Bungalow, 6500 N. Florida Ave.

Great biz!  Wish there were more with service like that.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Chocolate stash
« Reply #13 on: January 28, 2016, 10:33:40 PM »
Wow, you don't see that often. Pretty cool thing to do.
Jon H.

Offline erockrph

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Re: Chocolate stash
« Reply #14 on: January 30, 2016, 12:58:31 AM »
Now that's some customer service for you!
Eric B.

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