Inside Viv’s Pantry: Chocolate


Bakeway, Chocolate Couverture Strong Bitter Droplets・1 kg・Packed by Phoon Huat

Cocoa Content: 73.5%

Where We Get It: Phoon Huat



Bakeway, Dark Chocolate Couverture Droplets・1 kg・Packed by Phoon Huat

Cocoa Content: 55.5%

Where We Get It: Phoon Huat


Bittersweet DARK CHOCOLATE・callebaut

Callebaut, Dark Callets・400g・Product of Belgium

“Extra bitter flavor with roasted note”

Cocoa Solids: 70.5%

Where We Get It: Phoon Huat



Bakeway is generally a good chocolate to work with, without being too pricey. It delivers good taste, and is the choice chocolate for our R&D test bakes. If your bake were to erupt in failure, the pain would be so much easier to bear. We always work with couverture, not chocolate chips or compound. 

The term, callets, used in Callebaut’s packaging, is a Callebaut trademark term, referring to small drops of solid, hard chocolate which contain stable cocoa butter, without any of the additives you find in chips or compound chocolate. So yes, callets are couverture quality.

At SHATEC, the baking school I attended, the default brand was Bakeway. For a chocolate tempering 101 class, the chef instructor used Cacao Barry. At the now-defunct bakery, Domain, where I had interned, the French chef used Valrhona, an exceptional chocolate favored by pastry chefs all over the world. 

Both Cacao Barry and Valrhona are available only through specialty suppliers in bulk order. 


This is what Anna Olson has to say about couverture versus chips

“The chocolate used in all baking recipes should be couverture; also known as baking chocolate. Couverture chocolate has been formulated to melt and incorporate into other ingredients, to yield lusciously rich taste and texture. 

Chocolate chips and chocolate candy bars are NOT made for melting into the body of recipes like brownies and cakes. They have added (though natural) ingredients that are designed to keep them stable and hold their shape in chocolate chip cookies, which is good, but it means they will not melt smoothly into other recipes.


As for compound, we’ve never worked with them before, they are essentially this:

Compound chocolate is a product made from a combination of cocoa, vegetable fat, and sweeteners. It is used as a lower-cost alternative to true chocolate, as it uses less-expensive hard vegetable fats such as coconut oil or palm kernel oil in place of the more expensive cocoa butter. It may also be known as “compound coating” or “chocolatey coating” when used as a coating for candy. (This entire paragraph comes from Wikipedia).

For pure chocolate to work as a coating, one needs to temper it, a process that involves bringing the chocolate to a certain temperature by melting it and then cooling it again for it to set so that it produces a lovely sheen and a characteristic snap. Compound chocolate bypasses the need for tempering, and offers a quick, low-cost way to coat candies and enrobe other bakes. 

Learn how to melt couverture and emulsify it with butter  . . .


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