The picture speaks for itself – Valrhona Equatoriale Dark 55% Cocoa.
From Wikipedia – Valrhona is a French chocolate manufacturer based in the small town of Tain L’Hermitage in Hermitage, a wine-growing district near Lyon. The company was founded in 1924 by a French pastry chef from the Rhône valley. It is today one of the leading producers of chocolate in the world.
I was lugging home a big block under the hot sun today, I wasn’t sure if it will soon melt but I know I’m already melting. It wasn’t as expensive as I thought it is, 100gm for around S$2.70? I have already know how good their cocoa powder is so it’s now the chocolate block’s turn! Already have in mind what am I going to do with it that will best bring out the quality. I have a pair of warm palms so just 5 mins holding onto the chocolate block, I could already see the moisture on the area I’m holding so I have to put it at the cashier! So back home I cut them into 100gm block, wrap in 2 layers of shrinkwrap and finally with a layer of aluminium foil following the guidelines from Pierre Herme.
From Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Herme : It’s best to keep chocolate in a cool, dry cupboard away from light. In fact, chocolate benefits from being wrapped in an aluminium foil, which will not only block the light, but will keep odors away from the chocolate. Like butter, chocolate picks up odors from neighboring foods. Don’t store chocolate in the refrigerator or freezer – you risk having it come in contact with its archenemy, humidity – and don’t be discouraged if your chocolate develops “blooms”, a cloudy or grayish look. Bloom isn’t admirable, or attractive, it’s a sign that the chocolate was stored in a warm place and an indivation that the cocoa butter has separated – but it doesn’t affect the chocolate’s flavor or it’s melting properties. In fact, when the chocolate is melted, the cocoa butter reincorporates istelf and the bloom disappears. Stored properly, unsweeetened, bittersweet, and semi-sweet chocolate can be kept for a year or more, milk and white chocolate are more perishable.