Ghirardelli has just introduced a new line of gourmet Chocolate for Baking, trying to expand consumer perception of their brand and appeal to some new buyers. Previously, Ghirardelli has offered chocolate chips and baking bars to cooking consumers, but this new line seems to be intended to compete with some of the other big chocolate-makers that cater to those doing more than mixing up a batch of chocolate chip cookies.
In some cases and with some brands, there is little difference between “regular” chocolate and “baking” chocolate. Ghirardelli is not one of these companies. They roast and process their cocoa beans themselves, and they tried to pinpoint the type of roast that would provide the optimal chocolate flavor for baking. In other words, they aimed to make a chocolate that would always come through clearly when used in baking and not get lost in amongst other flavors.
The three types of Chocolate for Baking offered are Unsweetened, 58% Cacao Semi-Sweet and 72% Cacao Extra Bittersweet. All are about the size and shape of chocolate chips, and packed in resealable bags. The bags make the chocolate bits easy to scoop and measure, while their small size allows them to melt quickly and easily before use in a recipe. I really appreciated the convenience of being able to melt unsweetened chocolate without chopping up a big block of it first, and thought that the bittersweet baking chocolate was an excellent stand-in for regular chocolate chips in a batch of cookies.