Friday, November 26, 2010

Chocolate Reassessment:: Baker's Unsweetened Chocolate (100% Cacao)

Now that I've taken to storing my chocolates in a different way due to a  certain incident I am finding that some of my past chocolate reviews may have been minorly unjust. Previously I took to storing my chocolates in the fridge, and that may have to some extent altered how I interpreted the flavor profile and mouthfeel of some varieties. I cannot for the sake of both my integrity and sense of justice let any new interpretation go unreported, as I want every chocolate variety to be considered as it truly is, without distortions. Any future chocolate review will presuppose the knowledge that I'm storing my chocolates in the way the link above details, and I'll take to correcting my views as I discover that they might be incorrect.

However, this isn't to say that the reviews before my change of storage method are drastically distorted. Eating chocolate while it's still cold will alter to some extent its flavor intensity and texture, but the essence is still there. Waiting until room temperature is achieved won't erase the overly-sweet profile of Endangered Species' organic health line (1, 2, and 3) for instance. If the chocolates were good, on the other hand, then bringing them to room temperature will merely make them better, which only makes my reviews inaccurate in failing to assess how intensely good they are.

Anyhow, to cut to the chase, today I'm reassessing my views on Baker's Unsweetened Chocolate, which I had reviewed in conjunction with Ghirardelli's 100% Cacao baking bar. In that review I reached the conclusion that I preferred Ghirardelli, as while it's more expensive it's much better for out-of-hand eating. Baker's was so thick and dense that I drooled all over myself trying to bite into it, and breaking it into pieces was beyond difficult since even my steak knife could hardly separate the two tiny blocks.

Keeping things at room temperature has made me realize that Baker's isn't truly that hard to eat. Pulling it right out of the fridge distorted things by making it harder. Eating the chocolate at 71 degrees still leaves it rather crunchy, but not frustratingly so: Now I could easily bite off the block without acting like a dog gnawing on a bone. I still couldn't separate the blocks by hand and gave up on trying to do it with a steak knife, but biting off is easy enough that I wouldn't be too concerned about it.

I also noticed a slight change in the flavor profile. Unless I am mistaken, Baker's is slightly less bitter than Ghirardelli's, enough of a degree that it should significantly impact one's purchasing decision. Lovers of bitterness would do best to stick with Ghirardelli. For the rest, Baker's will suffice, or maybe even Hershey.

In the end, I have reached a different conclusion as to which chocolate I would prefer. I still like Ghirardelli way better since it's much better for out of hand eating and dipping in nut butter, but I'll take to purchasing Baker's variety more regularly since it's cheaper and will allow me to save more for my Project. Previously the near unbreakability of the blocks is what made me detest this brand, but now I see that my interpretation is incorrect and that this variety is quite acceptable. Hershey's own variety may have the same flavor profile as Baker's, but it's probably nutritionally different, perhaps inferior, since it contains both cacao and cocoa (cocoa doesn't contain all the same attributes as cacao).

For those rare people who like to eat baking chocolate as I do, hopefully this allows you to save a bit more -- to buy more chocolate, of course.


  1. Those chocolate oranges are out again at Trader Joe's for the season, and they're Trader Joe's brand. They come in both milk and dark, so maybe that's what you had before.

  2. Thank you. I've seen the Tobler brand at Wal-mart, but I'm quite content with the Theo 70% orange bars.

  3. Good to see you've revisited your opinion on this chocolate. It's our go-to after-dinner cacao fix. My wife and I have tried a lot of 100% cacao bars. The only ones we've had that we liked better were Trader Joe's 100% Cacao baking chocolate (no longer available AFAIK) and Dagoba's unsweetened organic baking bar (really excellent, but not worth the extra cost for a day-to-day chocolate).


Comment Etiquette

1.) Do not use vulgar swear words that denote sexual activities or bodily excretions.

2.) Employ common sense manners when addressing the author or other commenters.

Additionally, you're welcome to present contrary and challenging positions within these guidelines, but please do not assume that my lack of response, even if I commented before, is evidence of my endorsement of your position.