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Chocolate Source

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Where do you buy your chocolate and cocoa powder? I know there are several sources here on the Internet but which have the best prices?

Thanks!

D.
post #2 of 15
Penzeys prices are the best for cocoa and spices (their varieties of cinnamon are to die for). They import the cocoa and sell it without a brand name and therefore without the price tag but it compares well to Droste brand Dutch process (my favourite). Their natural cocoa is intense and bakes extremely good cakes adding only vanilla. I should say that I only bake chocolate cake recipes that use a mix of cocoa and boiling water--this gives the most intense flavour.

Best vanilla is--surprise--LorAnn Tahitian double strength (pure natural) it is extremely fragrant and smooth. And cheap. And sold online.

Check Wal-Mart "pound-plus" chocolate because it is Callebaut--comes in dark and milk--but not the Callebaut price. I also found an exceptional white chocolate from Portugal in their International Foods section. Maybe it's a regional item.

For people who want value, I add unsweetened (Nestle) brand to the Callebaut dark to sharpen it some. 2-4 ounces bitter to a pound of dark.
post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BakingIrene

Penzeys prices are the best for cocoa and spices (their varieties of cinnamon are to die for). They import the cocoa and sell it without a brand name and therefore without the price tag but it compares well to Droste brand Dutch process (my favourite). Their natural cocoa is intense and bakes extremely good cakes adding only vanilla. I should say that I only bake chocolate cake recipes that use a mix of cocoa and boiling water--this gives the most intense flavour.

Best vanilla is--surprise--LorAnn Tahitian double strength (pure natural) it is extremely fragrant and smooth. And cheap. And sold online.

Check Wal-Mart "pound-plus" chocolate because it is Callebaut--comes in dark and milk--but not the Callebaut price. I also found an exceptional white chocolate from Portugal in their International Foods section. Maybe it's a regional item.

Yes! Penzey's is one of my favorites. I usually make a monthly trip to St. Paul. You are right about their cinnamon selection and it is the only place I will buy it from. The Vietnamese is potent and makes my carrot cake extra special. I have the China too. Reminds me of childhood. Funny I haven't tried their cocoa powder yet. I will definately try it out. I haven't heard of the WalMart "pound plus." Is this something I can find at Sam's Club or on-line?

Thanks so much!

For people who want value, I add unsweetened (Nestle) brand to the Callebaut dark to sharpen it some. 2-4 ounces bitter to a pound of dark.
post #4 of 15
The Wal-mart superstores with grocery sections all seem to have it. So does Trader Joes and by all reports it's the same stuff.

In Canada the house brand sold at Metro is far better than the house brand sold by Loblaws/affiliates. The extra dark is the most utterly balanced chocolate I have ever tasted.
post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 
I've never seen it at any our local Walmarts. I'm going to have to take a trip to Trader Joe's tommorrow. I'm wanting to test some recipes and need something decent. Local Walfart stores carry Nestlé, Hershey's, Ghiradelli, and some are now carrying Guittard semi and milk chocolate chips.
post #6 of 15
The last time I went to Walfart in mid-May they had large cases of the huge chocolate bars sitting out on the floor.

Their permanent home may be in the candy aisle not the baking aisle. My local WM is arranged on the theory that you should scatter stuff all over the store so that customers spend the maximum amount of time looking for stuff. So the white chocolate is stashed in the "International Foods" two aisles over from the baking supplies and those are two more aisles from the candy.
post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
I think that is the rule of thumb for all Walmarts. It's a bit RiDONKulous. Thankfully I only buy certain things from there.
I will have to check the candy isle for the Pound Plus bars before I attempt heading to TJs, which is about 35 miles from here. I will have my small circus of children with me so hopefully I won't have to go all the way down there, but if I have to, I will. Oh the things I will put myself through for some quality chocolate!

-d
post #8 of 15
I am a little lost here icon_sad.gif

Bakingirene: Regarding the Callebaut chocolate you mean that Walmart buy this chocolate from Callebaut but sells it under the Pound Plus name? Where you find it at you Walmart store, in the baking area?

I was going to buy it online but there are couple of Walmart stores here in Puerto Rico and I can check if they have it.

Thank you for the information!!
post #9 of 15
what does the pounds plus bar look like? i have never seen this there either
post #10 of 15
The pound plus is chocolate bars or cocoa (like Hershey/powder)???
post #11 of 15
Sorry for my confusing information. The "Pound Plus" is the name used at Trader Joes. It refers to the 500 gram weight of their Belgian chocolate bars.

I haven't got the WM bar in front of me at work in the lab, but they are 400 grams in dull gold wrapper (plastic not foil) with large letters printed on them. I think they say "Belgian Chocolate" anyway you want to look for BIG bars. They come in dark and milk. My WM had them in the candy aisle NOT the baking aisle. I will post a picture later today...

YES these are bars of pure Belgian chocolate that you can see from the ingredient list. It tastes exactly like Callebaut. The lower price is because they didn't put the fancy name on the package, but what's inside is the good stuff.
post #12 of 15
Thank you!!!! icon_smile.gif
post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 
post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 
I just got home from TJ's and have 4 lbs of the Pound Plus and boy does it taste great! Thanks, BakingIrene! You are so awesome! <3

D.
post #15 of 15
Bumping this valuable but confusing thread.

I hit the Penzeys in Dallas on LBJ Freeway for some of the items suggested and got the Walmart 'secret" Belgian chocolate. i'm tickled with all, especially the Penzeys cocoa which is pure velvet.

This thread is an example of what a goldmine this forum is!
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