In the world of baking chocolate there are some big, well-known names that are often seen in recipes and baking books: Valhrona, Scharffen Berger, El Rey.
But these are not usually available at the local supermarket, and we often need more accessible chocolate. Last year food giant Nestlé came out with a line of chocolate specifically for home bakers, and we gave it a try. The Nestlé Chocolatier line is different from its supermarket competitors in one major way: instead of being sold in bricks and blocks like other baking chocolate, its sold as bagged chocolate morsels. They come in two varieties: bittersweet chocolate (62% cacao) and dark chocolate (53% cacao).
We tried these in a dark chocolate ganache that covered a friend's birthday cake. They melted easily and smoothly, and we really like having bagged morsels; it skips the messy step of chopping the chocolate, which can be time-consuming when you need large quantities.
And the taste? Well, in chocolate you almost invariably get what you pay for. The taste was dark and slightly bitter, as befitting the 62% cacao variety we used, but there was not the depth of taste and richness that we expect from more finely crafted chocolates.
In the end we gave this one thumb's up; if we are looking for chocolate to use in great quantity for molding or melting, this is a good option. For chocolate that needs to take center place, we would use a more expensive brand.
Have you tried these or another product from Nestlé's Chocolatier line?