Archive for July, 2010

All About Scharffen Berger Chocolate

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So much of chocolate making history begins in Lyon, France and Scharffen Berger is no exception.

The Dark Chocolate Bakery uses Scharffen Berger’s professional 70% and 99% bittersweet baking chocolate. Scharffen Berger’s exceptional, artisan chocolate with its rich and pure complexity, offers upfront notes of ripe raspberry and cherry that melts smoothly into rounder date and cinnamon flavors.

The Scharffenberger name comes from co-founder John Scharffenberger and his retired physician named Dr. Robert Steinberg.

In 1989, Steinberg was diagnosed with cancer and given a 50% chance of dying within ten years of the diagnosis.[1] Steinberg promptly sold his practice and began exploring other career options.[1] he read through a 600 page chocolate cookbook at the urging of a friend, which sparked Steinberg’s interest in chocolate making.[1] He began traveling to study the process of chocolate making which led him to Lyon, France where Steinberg toured the Bernachon chocolate company in 1993. (more…)

French Baking Terms

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French Baking Glossary – Show off your French speaking skills at your next dinner party!


French Terms  – English definition [1]

These terms came from It’s pretty fun to visit the blog, all in French, because when you click on the “Au levain in ENGLISH” it automatically translates the site to English using the Google translator!

ajouter     to add     
alveolée     with lots of holes     
le     apprêt     second fermentation     
la     autolyse     autolyse, enzymatic rest     
la     baguette     long thin loaf, ‘stick’      
le     bâtard     thicker loaf, ‘bastard’     
le     blé     wheat     
le     bol     bowl     
la     boule     round loaf     
la     buée     steam in the oven     
chauffer     to heat     
le     chef     starter, ‘chief’     
la     clé     seam on shaped dough,  
la     couche     dusted towel for proofing     
la     coupe     cut,score     
croquant     crisp     crow  
croustillant     crisp      
la     croûte     crust     
la     cuiller     spoon (not a common spelling)     
la     cuillère     spoon     
cuire     to cook     
la     détente     rest before shaping     
diviser     to divide, cut to loaf size      (more…)

Cacao – Cocoa Glossary and FAQs

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The information below is comprised from a series of highly reliable chocolate industry resources and compiled by us. Have fun!


Cacao vs Cocoa –

Cacao is pronounced Ka-Kow.  Is this really what we know of today as cocoa?

The short answer is yes. But don’t stop reading just yet. How did the name change? Was it through error as is became Anglicized? Well, experts say that’s exactly what happened.

So what is Cacao?

The official name of the chocolate tree is Theobroma cacao or the ”food of the gods” and is the source of cocoa and chocolate. Cacao originated millions of years ago in the upper regions of the Amazon River Basin in what are now Peru, Ecuador, (more…)

The History of Valrhona Chocolate

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Valrhona is a French chocolate manufacturer based in the small town of Tain L’Hermitage in Hermitage, a wine-growing district near Lyon, France. The company was founded in 1922 (1) by a French pastry chef, Monsieur Guironnet.

From the very beginning, Monsieur Guironnet sought after cacao beans that stood out from the usual fair. Once a small family company, VALRHONA employs 250 people and annually produces 3,500 tons of chocolate! What stays the same is Monsieur Guironnet’s mission to use the best to make the best. Valrhona sets the standards for much of the world.

Valrhona focuses mainly on high-grade luxury chocolate marketed for professional as well as for private consumption. Though considered one of the foremost chocolate makers in the world, Valrhona is in roughly the same price range as Godiva and Neuhaus.[2] The product line includes chocolate confectionery, plain and flavored chocolate bars and bulk chocolate in bars or pellets. Valrhona produces vintage chocolate made from beans of a single year’s harvest from a specific plantation, primarily the Grand Crus which is grown in South America, the Oceania and the Caribbean. Currently three brands of vintage chocolates – Ampamakia, Gran Couva and Palmira – are in production with plantations on Madagascar, Trinidad and in Venezuela respectively.

1. ^ [1] Valrhona 2. ^ International Herald Tribune, “Valrhona May Be Best, but Not Most Expensive : For Chocolate Lovers, Offer a Taste of Paradise” by Conrad de Aenlle. December 18 1999.