Kitchen Wisdom: Riches in Store
Our favorite chocolates for baking, drinking, and savoring by the square— or chip.
There’s a lot more to choosing chocolate than deciding between milk and dark. From sweet, creamy rectangles that melt in your mouth to bitter shavings bound for brownies (the higher the cocoa percentage, the more intense the flavor), here are our favorites, in every form. SIPPING AND BAKING COCOAS
These powders come in two forms: Dutch process and natural. The former is milder, less acidic, and ideal for hot cocoa or pudding; we like Valrhona Dutch-process cocoa powder (above; $20 for 16 oz., amazon.com). The natural kind is strong and bitter. To give oomph to cakes, like red velvet, we whisk in Scharffen Berger unsweetened dark- chocolate natural cocoa powder (below; $9 for 6 oz., shop.scharffenberger.com).
CHIPS AND BLOCKS FOR BAKING
Give cookies and quickbreads dots of deep flavor with chips, which keep their shape in the oven. Pick a size to suit your sweet tooth: Guittard Semi- Sweet
Regular chips, 46%, or Super Cookie chocolate chips, 48% ($4 for 12 oz. and $4 for 10 oz., respectively, www.guittard.com). For melting and stirring into brownie batter, use slivers of Callebaut Chocolate unsweetened cocoa-solids block, 100% (far right; $11 for 16 oz., formaggiokitchen.com).
BARS WE LOVE TO EAT
Their cocoa content varies, but each of our picks is 100 percent sublime for snacking. From bottom left: Pump Street Rye Crumb, Milk & Sea Salt bar, 60%, $15, themeadow.com; Jelina Chocolatier milk chocolate, 36%, $ 50 for 8 bars, amazon.com; Chapon Chocolatier chocolat lait, 52%, $ 14, themeadow
.com; and Marou Flaiseurs de Chocolat Ba Ria dark chocolate (in wrapper and above), 76%, $9, barandcocoa.com.
An offset serrated knife makes chopping a dense block fast and easy on the wrists.