COOKING WITH COUVERTURE CHOCOLATE
Couverture chocolate is another way of saying cooking chocolate. It simply means that the chocolate has a little extra cocoa butter making it easier to melt and temper. It also gives it a little extra shine. My couverture chocolates are called Chef’s Drops. I make them in drops not bars because these are easier for weighing out and melting.
If you want to take your cooking with chocolate to the next level, do what the top chefs do and choose the flavour profile of your chocolate to suit the recipe you are making.
I make all my chocolate with the finest single estate cocoa beans. Each one tastes quite different, one of fruit, another of nuts, another of caramel. So the real magic is choosing the perfect chocolate for your recipe. These are some of the ways I use my chocolates.
Rio Caribe 72% dark chocolate with coffee, nutty notes.
Rio Caribe is the ultimate chocolate for baking. Ottolenghi use is to make the brownies for his shops because it has the classic chocolate taste, and it is hard to beat as the chocolate for my Cloudforest Cake. It goes perfectly with many alcohols, particularly rum and cognac so you can make a cake and soak it with cognac like in my Paradise Found, or soak raisins in rum and put them in a cake.
Chulucanas 70% dark chocolate with notes of raisins and plums, or San Agustin 70% dark chocolate with honey and red fruit notes.
I’d use Chulucanas or San Agustin Chef’s Drops in recipes where I want a little more juiciness and zing. Often I find that is in desserts and in particular ones that involve fruit. So I’d use them if I was making a mousse served with fruit coulis like Twin Peaks, or to make Goey Puddings with Amarena cherries or a dollop of jam in the bottom.
Surabaya 69% dark chocolate with caramel toffee notes.
Surabaya chocolate makes a fantastic mousse, a wonderful ganache and incredible truffles. It can complement caramel sauces.
I originally started making El Blanco because I was fed up of buying other people’s overly sweet white chocolates that all have vanilla and lecithin in. If you are simply making a white chocolate mousse El Blanco will make it pure and creamy. If you are using it as a base for delicate ingredients like matcha or strawberry then it won’t over power them. El Blanco really is the perfect white chocolate for cooking.