Pascha 85% Chocolate Chips
July 3, 2017
Once upon a time, when I was working at a large chocolate manufacturer, I created chocolate chip formulas. Formulas are based on adding ingredients together until they total 100%. A semi-sweet chocolate chip has to contain a minimum of 35% chocolate liquor or cacao mass (by law) so a typical chocolate chip formula might look like this:
- 54% sugar
- 35% chocolate liquor
- 9% added cocoa butter
- 2% vanilla and lecithin
The highest percentage of chocolate liquor I ever formulated was 60%. At the time, this was a pretty rare request because the cost to produce a 60% was much higher than the standard 35% and the market demand was low.
In fact, the general consensus among chocolate professionals was that the palate of the American consumer wouldn’t be able to appreciate a gourmet chocolate chip in their brownies and cookies. It was a waste of effort and money.
The particular chip I worked on was sold to a high end bakery with, I’m guessing, a clientele of discriminating tastes. It never made the shelves for the regular chocolate chip user.
Today however, I see it all the time - 60% or even 63% chocolate chips - right in my grocery store baking aisle. Familiar brand names like Nestle, Ghirardelli, and Guittard all sell them. I’ve seen store brands (generic brands or “knock offs”) offer them, too. The demand now supports main stream production.
I think the rare find right now is something greater than 60%. Today’s review is an 85% chocolate chip made by Pascha. My plan, after tasting them straight out of the bag, is to bake with them.
Simply by having 85% cacao in the formula gives this chip a very strong chocolaty impact. There’s rich, dark roasted notes, vanilla, and a hint of nuttiness. There is a small amount of astringency with a slightly bitter taste at the end. The texture is smooth and melts in your mouth evenly.
Pascha was created with a mission. According to their website, www.paschachocolate.com “… a mission to make the purest, safest chocolate without any allergenic ingredients…the less you touch a food product, the more you let it take its natural form. And the purer and more delicious the taste.”
Agreed – so delicous! Is this why my bag of Pascha chips never lasted long enough for me to bake something with them? I’m going to have to have greater will power going forward.
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