The New Bakers Dozen
Rating couverture

The The Bakers Dozen: Rating couverture
By Danno on Friday, March 09, 2001 - 03:22 pm: Edit

Im going through a process of trying diferent brands of couverture and just not sure how to rate them for my needs. Valrona is a little to expensive for me. basically I use them for for ganach and for coating candies and candy molds.I was just curious what everybody took into consideration when selecting a couverature. i ordered some Le Prestige a French importer out of Maryland. has anybody tried it?

By jkapple on Sunday, March 11, 2001 - 12:09 am: Edit

Dear Danno - I think it's all about texture and flavor. Usually, the higher the percentage of cocoa (solids and butter), the better and more expensive the chocolate. It is the high percentage of cocoa solids and butter that gives a fine couverture its wonderful mouth feel, crisp snap and shine (when tempered correctly). The different mixture of cocoa beans (from different locations) and amount of roasting can give very distinctive and different flavors.
Most chocolate makers sell several different varieties with different percentages of cocoa. Sweeter chocolates (semi-sweet vs. bittersweet) are usually slightly less expensive because they have more sugar and therefore less cocoa, but there does not seem to be a standard definition of how sweet is semisweet vs bittersweet, so one manufacturer's bittersweet can be sweeter than another's semisweet.
Continued in next post...

By jkapple on Sunday, March 11, 2001 - 12:12 am: Edit

Valrhona and Scharfenberger sell some chocolates that are close to 70% cocoa. They're wonderful and pricey. I love the flavor of El Ray (from Venezuala), but it is also pricey. I usually use Callebaut bittersweet which can typically be bought in the Chicagoland area for between $3-$4/lb (for an 11 pound block) from local restaurant suppiers. It is about 60% cocoa. It has good flavor and intensity and sets up nicely after tempering. Ironically, it is one of my least favorite chocolates for just plain eating. I have had the privilege of working with several fine pastry chefs in Chicago. Many of them used Callebaut. I figure if it's good enough for them, its good enough for me. For straight cocoa powder, I haven't come across anything nicer than Valrhona. I have never heard of Le Prestige - How does it compare?

By danno on Sunday, March 11, 2001 - 04:24 pm: Edit

thanks for your thoughts on chocolate. I also used callebaut for several years.I have tried Felchin, a line from Albert Uster, but from some other posts I have read their line of choc has changed. I have also tried DGF (french importer out of virginia)I like the DGF but also expensive. I have not tried the Le Prestige yet. I should get it by Wed. I tried getting the El Ray but the local supplier here in Indy wont stock it.Ill let you know how the Le prestige works out

By W.DeBord on Monday, March 12, 2001 - 08:33 am: Edit

George I don't know if it's o.k. for me to post this address? It's a thread from another web site on this same topic I thought Danno might find it helpful. If not, please forgive me and delete it, o.k.? Thanks!

Danno look at

They had a discusion about chocolates and I even booked marked it thinking I should re-read it....I thought you might find it helpful.

By W.DeBord on Monday, March 12, 2001 - 08:35 am: Edit

oops, I made a mistake!

By George (George) on Monday, March 12, 2001 - 10:24 am: Edit

It fine for you, a valued contributor, to post a link to a resource.

I just don't let folks with a commercial intereset in a site spam here.

By Lana Langevin on Wednesday, March 14, 2001 - 12:16 am: Edit

W. DeBord, I just tried your link to the chocolate conversation and got an error message.
I tried both of the links that you gave. Could there be another "oops" or is it just me?

By W.DeBord on Wednesday, March 14, 2001 - 07:29 am: Edit

It me again! Sorry.
There's only two ww. and the F in Forum should be a capitol.

If not, then look up chocolate at

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