Life by Chocolate

Chocolate, white, milk, dark, in all its forms forms life. Chocolate truffles, caramels, and other confections are at the core of enjoyment. This is life by chocolate because death by chocolate is the wrong attitude.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Felchlin Chocolates: A Personal in Depth Look

I have been using Felchlin almost exclusively and like what I'm tasting and what I'm making chocolates with. I use the following chocolates. I have put links to the Felchlin site as well as my own comments on this post.

When I say a chocolate is easy to temper, I mean that if you were hand tempering, you'd have an easy time of it. If you have a tempering machine, such as the ones I've talked about, then you probably wont have any problems. The more difficult chocolates here, I always test before using because sometimes the machine screws up.

To order any of the confections and chocolates I talk about in this post, call us at 518 966 5219. I'm working on the on-line store. I'm working on it.

Arriba 72% 72 hours
-- Arriba is the most dark chocolate I use. It is very fruity and not terribly bitter but bitter enough to give a great counter point to my famed cherry cordials. That is what I mostly use Arriba for, my cordials and other sweet confections. I use it for my cranberry chocolates as well. The sweeter fillings, which are not that sweet, are what I use with this chocolate.

Some would say that 72% is just too dark to actually express the chocolatiers art. That is, it's so close to cocoa mass that where's the fun in that? I say you don't know what you're tasting about and that tasting is believing. This is a delicate chocolate with a floral long-lasting finish. Sure it is slightly more bitter than a less dark chocolate and definitely less sweet, it's dark chocolate. Very dark.

This chocolate is relatively easy to temper, though not as easy as the Madagascar, it isn't as hard to temper as the Maracaibo classificado.

72 hours refers to the 72 hours of conching.

Madagascar 64% 72 hours
-- This chocolate is a less bitter, as a matter of fact, for a dark chocolate, this is not bitter at all, fruity and slightly sweet, to my taste, chocolate. I use this chocolate as my all purpose workhorse chocolate. Indeed, it is a great chocolate, and I love working with it. I enrobe many caramels in this chocolate and I use this for many of my chocolates whose centers are not as sweet. More tart centers, such as my tamarind confections.

I don't have a lot to say about this because I'm not as impressed with this chocolate as I am with the others. But I use it quite a lot. I also make a mean hot chocolate with this chocolate.

This chocolate is very easy to temper.

Maracaibo clasificado 65%
-- This is more bitter than the Madagascar and in general has more taste. I love working with this chocolate when I have a working tempering machine because I like the snap, the flavor profile and the general structure of this chocolate. I like working with the classificado more than any other chocolate. When I get a new shipment of chocolate, I break this one open and work with it first before any other chocolate. I almost decided to go strictly with the classificado and to not use the Madagascar, almost.

I use this chocolate when I want to create confections that are mostly chocolate. Dark chocolate Santas, Christmas trees, or with very mild centers that play off of the flavors in this chocolate. I use this for my tea set.

It is made strictly with Criollo, the best of the best of the best, sir! Whereas the Madagascar is made with the Trinitario, a great chocolate but second best.

This chocolate can be a real tempering problem. (Did you like that understated way of putting it?And to think, just a few months ago, I was close to throwing a hissy fit. Indeed, therapy has its place. Indeed, I'll be going to physical therapy for my knee in just a little while. ;)

Maracaibo Criolait 38%
-- This is one of the best, no I'll say it, the best milk chocolate I have ever eaten. It has milk/caramel notes, thought not very pronounced, and tastes of honey. This is the milk chocolate I prefer using and eating. I use this for my milk chocolate cherry cordials and for just about every milk chocolate application I have except for my truffle centers.

This is the finest milk chocolate for enrobing. I simply love it. It has fruit notes and a slight vanilla finish. Milk chocolate isn't very bitter if at all and this ones isn't terrible sweet, as far as milk chocolate go.

Relatively easy to temper though not great snap. It is milk chocolate after all.

Accra lait 42%
-- Felchlin isn't saying a whole bunch about this wonderful milk chocolate. I really like this chocolate, Kim really likes this chocolate, even though she doesn't like milk chocolate. It's easy to work with, it isn't a grand cru, it is a very dark milk chocolate that has some milk notes, nice caramelly notes and isn't that sweet.

The snap is better because it is a bit darker with more cocoa mass in it than other things. I use this for people who want a darker milk chocoalte. Felchlin includes this in their milk couvetures but not in their grand cru.

This chocolate can tend towards waxy when put on ice cream. So don't do that. Use the Criolait instead.

This is relatively easy to temper.

Edelweiss 33% (36%) surfine
-- Funny thing is, the award winning chocolate, Felchlin isn't saying that much about it. I went to another information source for the link. Anyway, I think this is the second best white chocolate I have ever eaten. I do like El Rey's white chocolate as well and I think Peter's is better but this is a great white chocolate. I love the flavors. I love the finish. It's truly a royal white chocolate. It isn't waxy, as some white chocolates can be, and it isn't overly sweet.

I use this chocolate for everything and everywhere I need a white chocolate. It has nice snap. I don't use it for my truffle centers. For my truffle centers I use Guittard.

I find that this can be a problem tempering. It can develop milk granules in the chocolate. Be careful. It also tends to bunch up, that is, it gets over stirred very easily. I use 88 degrees F as my enrobing temperature.

Any more information and I'll be writing a book or at least the first chapter.

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3 Comments:

Blogger James Dutton said...

I realize this is an old post, but will hope the author sees my question: You mention Felchlin Maracaibo 65% dark as having tempering problems. I just started using the chocolate and love the taste. One time (in a Chocovision Delta machine) it worked beautifully; another time (same machine) it was a mess. Can you explain more of what you meant by the tempering issues? Thanks.

May 7, 2014 at 9:17 AM  
Blogger Mark by Chocolate said...

James it was too long ago. I don't remember other than it was difficult to temper even using my tempering machines. I've since switched to an all organic 74% that is couveture and a dream to use. It's more expensive but we are committed to quality and organic products.

December 27, 2014 at 12:57 PM  
Blogger Mark by Chocolate said...

Sorry this took so long to answer.

December 27, 2014 at 12:58 PM  

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