Valrhona Araguani 72% Dark Chocolate
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- 16 Oz. An extraordinary bittersweet couverture.
- 72% cocoa mass.
- Has a bitter base with strong liquorice, raisin and chestnut notes and the use of brown sugar.
- Gives desserts a silky smooth finish on the palate.
- Suitable for pastry, chocolate fillings, molding, enrobing, and icing.
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Valrhona Grand Cru Araguani is an extraordinary bittersweet couverture chocolate made from a blend of the best Criollo and Trinitario cocoa beans from Venezuela. With a 72% cocoa content, Valrhona's Araguani is perfect for the bittersweet chocolate needs for home pastry chefs and professionals alike - it has a powerfully bitter base with strong liquorice, raisin and chestnut notes and the use of brown sugar has given it notes of dark honey. Araguani also has a higher than typical amount of cocoa butter to give your desserts and truffles a silky mouth finish. It is suitable for pastry, chocolate fillings, molding, enrobing, and icing. The Valrhona "feves" are small oval disks that are easier to work with than large industrial size block. It all started in 1924 a pastry chef from Tournon created a chocolate factory, which eventually achieved a worldwide recognition, and in 1984 became the first to offer a chocolate with 70% cocoa. Valrhona in Tain l'Hermitage is considered by most pastry chefs and chocolatiers as the premier chocolate company in the world. Their focus is solely on their chocolate, and to ensure the highest quality, and optimum flavor, they grow their own cocoa beans, their own cane sugar, and their own vanilla on plantations all around the world - now that's quality control. Valrhona has finally begun to offer its professional products, cocoa and couvertures, packaged for the home pastry enthusiast, a palette of subtle flavors, to create and elaborate delicious chocolate preparations. Araguani is a couverture with 72% cocoa content (with 27% Sugar and 43.5% cocoa butter).
cocoa, cocoa butter, sugar
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But I digress.
Chef Perrier's book includes a to-die-for chocolate cake recipe. The recipe specifies using Valrhona bittersweet chocolate. The Mrs. (a Cordon Bleu Chef - lucky me!) made the recipe using plain old Ghirardelli. It was the best chocolate cake either of us had ever tasted which immediately made us wonder "how much better could it have been with Valrhona chocolate?"
Valrhona is a French chocolatier, and a bar of baking chocolate goes for nearly $20 in the U.S.
We were curious, so we ordered some for the upcoming Thanksgiving feast. How good was it? Good. Real good. Best chocolate ever. Was it twice as good as Ghirardelli or other excellent chocolate? Hard to say. The flavor was as rich and chocolaty as the chocolatiest thing you could imagine - but about the same taste as other premium chocolates. It was the texture - the mouth feel - of the stuff that made it head and shoulders above every other chocolate we had experienced. The texture is like silk for your tongue, as different in texture compared to Hershey's as fine silk is to a burlap bag for your fingers. No - that's an exaggeration, but it IS silky! I'm just not certain it's so much better that it justifies paying so much more for it when there ARE other excellent chocolates around. I'd say "special occasions only".
This stuff has a texture, and flavor that is unlike any chocolate I have tasted, and I am a real particular chocolate lover.
Valhrona is probably the very best I have tasted in my whole life.
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