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Coming up later, to-day:
The chocolate taste test.

85% cocoa vs
90% cocoa vs
99% cocoa

It's a dirty job, but someone has to do it.

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I had previously tried the Lindt 85% cocoa, and I didn't enjoy it much. In fact, I preferred the much cheaper Moser Roth 85%, which was sourced from Aldi. So, I was surprised that I quite liked the 90% from Lindt. Perhaps the designation of "mild" made a difference.

On the other hand the 99% from Lindt wasn't enjoyable, at all. I found it was cloying and chalky. The lack of sweetness wasn't a problem, but the mouth feel was terrible. Not good value considering the price premium of the 99%.

@xosem
The things I do for my followers. 😃
An afternoon of coffee and chocolate, it'll be Hell, but I think I will pull through.

@fitheach It's tough to find dark chocolate that isn't overly chalky or weirdly fruity. My go-to is Blanxart. Superbly smooth--even at 85%.
Products

@alysonsee
Fruity? That's strange. I did find some of the chocolate a bit chalky.

@fitheach Isn't it great when you find something particularly good from Aldi or Lidl?

@tfb
I find in general that products from Aldi and Lidl are no worse than those from Morrisons or Tesco, and they are usually cheaper.

@fitheach I've only had 99% once and that was some Montezuma I found cheap; wasn't actually that bad. Still it should melt into something nice!
I have tesco's cheap 85% a lot

@penguin42
Yeah, I think it depends on the mix of other ingredients. As for eating on its own I found the Lindt 99% a bit distasteful, and considering the price premium it isn't worth buying to make things like ganache. The Moser Roth 85% is much cheaper, is also suitable for making stuff, and, if I fancy it, I can pop a square or two in my mouth for instant enjoyment.

When I saw the three packets I though a back-to-back taste test was in order. I now know I don't like the expensive stuff. 😃

@fitheach i'm staring at the stack of empty guittard 91% "nocturne" cartons on my desk (retained for no other purpose than to subtly prompt a passerby to replenish them) and feeling a slight bit evangelical in my desire to send you samples ... but my "influencer" rating is zero and i'm very selfish about sharing. so sorry. 😄

@wrdwoose
Not a company I knew before now. Interesting that they are still a family-owned business after four generations.

I take it from your comments that you would heartily recommend their products.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guittard

@alysonsee have you tried Guittard? If so, how do they compare to Blanxart?

@fitheach
@alysonsee

definitely pleasant! more earthy, a touch floral, and satisfying. i'm no good at conversation while eating a chunk, as i tend to let it melt thoroughly first. my silly attempt at testing whether the advertised "notes" of this and that are accurate. i suck at it. :blob_grinning_sweat:
the 80% variant is probably more of a comfort zone for me than 91%, but it keeps people from saying, "hey buddy, that's looking pretty tasty", if you catch my meaning.

@wrdwoose
That was what I was meaning about the mouth feel of the 99%, it wouldn't melt in the mouth, at all. It just felt dry & chalky. The Moser Roth 85%, and, surprisingly, the Lindt 90% both had a very pleasant mouth feel.

The Moser Roth is also fairly cheap, so I have no hesitation using it to make things, for example:
mstdn.io/@fitheach/10114961021

@alysonsee

@fitheach
oh dear, those wouldn't last a moment in my home without severe intervention. reminds me that guittard makes baking "chips" as well, which are essentially little flat ganache cakes... phew! minus the cream, yeah, but -- hey, is there a canned double cream akin to cheez whiz?

so anyway, i haven't experienced any grittiness or flavor imbalance (like cocoa fat rolling off one way while the flavor goes elsewhere?) with guittard. not super extraordinary, just very nice.

@alysonsee

@wrdwoose
We used to buy chocolate callets from a Belgian company called Callebaut. Callets are the official name, however we called them chocolate buttons because that is what they looked like.

I have to admit, back in the day, I did eat a few handfuls straight from the box, as they were so tasty.

@alysonsee

@fitheach @wrdwoose I didn't know of Guittard before this. I will have to investigate this immediately.
@wrdwoose @fitheach Not available in stores in Denver. I will have to get it shipped. Must think about this because, last time I had a big shipment of Blanxart, the effing squirrels stole it off of my front porch. I found Blanxart wrappers all over my yard, and saw a squirrel running up a tree with a full chocolate bar in his mouth.

@alysonsee
"Effing squirrels", that must be a sub-species I've not encountered before.

Did your chocolate bars have nuts in them?

@wrdwoose

@fitheach @wrdwoose No nuts. Although I occasionally do get the kind with almonds in it. I researched to see if chocolate was as bad for squirrels as it is for dogs, and, no, they can indulge in their immoral, gluttonous tendencies without consequence. There is no justice.

@alysonsee
I think you should order chocolate with nuts, I'm sure the squirrels would appreciate it.

How about a big box at your front-door, so the courier could place your delivery somewhere safe?

@wrdwoose

@fitheach @alysonsee
i imagine the squirrels would be fairly trainable in this regard for things like clearing rain gutters, maybe even some weeding. one can have great photo ops while slurping on good choc, mutually.

@wrdwoose
I look forward to seeing the videos of your trained squirrels at work.

@alysonsee

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