When it comes to baking, bakers know their chocolate. Chocolate is one of the most popular, if not the most popular, flavor when it comes to sweets and baked goods. Chocolate chip cookies are classic cookies, and it’s not just because it’s an easy cookie recipe to make.
For bakers, the perfect kind of chocolate has to be one that they like to eat on its own, even when it is not stirred into a dough or a batter. Just like wine, if you don’t like the taste of the chocolate at it is, then you’re better off using another kind of chocolate for your dish.
We asked professional and home bakers their favorite chocolate, and there was an almost unanimous decision when it came to their favorite kind of chocolate. Here is the list of their favorite chocolate brands plus a few honorable mentions that are nonetheless delicious in any chocolate dessert:
1 Callebaut Chocolate
This brand has been a staple in the baking industry for years, and it’s been a consistent and reliable chocolate brand for use in different kinds of recipes. Before the popularity of our local brands, this was the Belgian chocolate that you probably first tasted.
The dark chocolate callets, or chocolate buttons, melt well since it’s at least 36% cacao butter. If you want the classic Belgian dark chocolate taste, choose the 811 recipe that has a wonderful balance between bitterness and sweetness against the rich chocolate flavor. If milk chocolate is your preference, the 823 is both milky and creamy with sweet vanilla and caramel notes that play wonderfully with the chocolate.
Food stylist Sharlene Tan says, “As with butter, Belgian chocolates are my gold standard, so Callebaut is one of my favorite chocolate chips to use. They’re well-priced, bake stable, and taste rich and decadent! My son and I actually like snacking on them too, a testament to how good these chocolates are.”
“(Callebaut is) perfect for doing ganache. It’s bitter without the sour aftertaste,” says Wado Siman, kitchen consultant and owner of Wadoughs.
Want to truly be different? The white chocolate ruby is a unique taste with a natural color that you might want to try for those who prefer the white version of chocolate.
2 Auro Chocolate
Before Davao was named the chocolate capital of the country, Davao chocolate was already on the map for many bakers because of its distinct and delicious chocolate. A local bean-to-bar company Auro was already making a name both on the local scene as well as the international scene, but it didn’t take discerning bakers fell in love with this local brand.
Auro chocolate at its most basic is rich, smooth, and dark chocolate with prominent fruity notes. You’ll notice too that the nuttiness, as well as the fruitiness, marry well with the chocolate, especially in the darker versions. “I like Auro. You really can taste the difference when you use them,” says Aldwin Aspillera, baker, owner of Crust & Crumb, and photographer.
If you want to support local and have a taste of some of the best-tasting chocolate you’ll ever taste, this is the chocolate to patronize.
Auro 64% Dark Chocolate Couverture, 1 kilo coins, starts at P750. Auro chocolate in callets and blocks for baking are available online on the Auro Chocolate website.
3 Risa Chocolate
Local chocolatier Pam Cinco was already leading the local bean-to-bar scene for the past few years. What made Risa chocolate so unique at the time was its commitment to local cacao industry and was shaped around it. That’s why you will find different kinds of chocolate from around the Philippines in the different bars.
Shar says, “I know I’m getting the best quality because Pam is so passionate about chocolate that it shows through the product she sells. Her chocolates taste rich, bittersweet, and smooth that I enjoy eating it as much as I love baking with it.”
One of the most popular is their South Cotabao single-origin bar that Wado says “pairs really well with cookies, brownies, or on its own as a hot drink.”
Risa Chocolate is available online on the Risa Chocolate Facebook page.
4 Belcolade Chocolate
Belcolade is one of those chocolate brands that has been around for a while but didn’t make waves. That doesn’t mean it’s not delicious chocolate. What makes this chocolate great for baking is that it’s good Belgian chocolate at a more reasonable price range. Plus, you still get high-quality chocolate that’s just as good as the more popular brands.
Jerlo Bautista of Vi & Lucia’s Bakeshop says, “This is one of the good quality chocolate brands that is easy to find in the market. It fits in any kind of (chocolate) recipe.” He also says that it’s the chocolate he likes to use since it’s not too sweet.
5 Ghiradelli and Hershey’s Chocolate Chips
These may not be our bakers’ favorite chocolate to use for baking but you have to admit that this was the kind of chocolate that you probably ate growing up. Hershey’s is definitely nostalgic because it was one of the “best” chocolate we first tasted.
Jasper Castro, former Yummy.ph staff, says, “Hershey’s chocolate chips and Hershey’s cocoa are a favorite because it’s the flavor we grew up on.” Semi-sweet is the most popular kind of chocolate chips that you’ll find in homemade cookies. It is sweeter but less sweet than the milk chocolate and has a more rich chocolate taste. It melts wonderfully and keeps its shape in cookies.
If you want a more adult version of the chocolate, you can turn to Ghiradelli. These chocolate chips come in semi-sweet as well as 60% cacao just like other baking chocolate but are more friendly and more accessible (you can find it in the supermarket).
Hershey’s semi-sweet chocolate chips, 12 ounces, starting at P225.75, and Ghiradelli semi-sweet chocolate chips, 12 ounces, staring at P289, are available at Robinsons Supermarket, Rustan’s The Marketplace, Shopwise, and S&R Membership Shopping.
Thinking about what to cook next? Join our Facebook group, Yummy Pinoy Cooking Club, to get more recipe ideas, share your own dishes, and find out what the rest of the community are making and eating!
Got your own version of the classic dishes? Pa-share naman! Get your recipe published on Yummy.ph by submitting your recipe here.