How to Tell You Have Good Chocolate

Posted on January 28, 2016 by Dorinda Vance | 0 Comments

Everyone has different tastes when it comes to chocolate. Your best friend may love white chocolate, while you are more of a dark chocolate fan. No matter what type of chocolate treat you are craving today, make sure you are getting the good stuff!

Good Ingredients for Good Chocolate

good chocolate Dorinda's Truckee

Good chocolate should contain cocoa, cocoa solids, and cocoa butter. If the primary ingredient in your treat is milk or sugar, the quality of the chocolate will not be as great. Good chocolate has a higher percentage of cocoa (or cacao, depending on the labels), which means more of the chocolate bar or truffle is made from actual chocolate.

High-quality chocolate treats will have no preservatives or paraffin wax in them. These additives will make the chocolate last longer on the shelf, but you pay a price in taste. When you visit a chocolate confectionery shop, ask them what chocolate they use. If the chocolatier is not willing to tell you his or her source with pride, keep walking! The chocolate supplier makes a huge difference in making good chocolate or making “just okay” chocolate.

Smell Your Chocolate

Open up your box of chocolates and take a big whiff! What do you smell? If you smell chocolate, great! If your chocolate doesn’t smell like anything, there is a chance the chocolate has not been made or stored well. If your chocolate smells like something besides chocolate, toss it! Chocolate can take on other smells from foods in your refrigerator or cupboards.

The Taste Test

Finding out if you have quality chocolate can be as easy as tasting it. When you put a piece of chocolate or truffle into your mouth, does it melt in your mouth? Does it leave a filmy residue in your mouth? Can you still taste the chocolate as an aftertaste?

If chocolates or caramels melt in your mouth, that indicates that there are little to no preservatives or paraffin wax mixed in with the chocolate. Quality chocolate treats also will not leave a filmy residue in your mouth, which comes from the additives.

Good chocolate does not have a gritty taste in your mouth because confectioners use a lot of cocoa butter to make the chocolate high quality. The taste of good chocolate also lingers in your mouth for a little bit, so you can savor the taste!

Good Chocolate at Dorinda’s

Dorinda's Chocolates NorthStar Truckee

At Dorinda’s Chocolates, we pride ourselves in making our chocolate from fresh ingredients and quality chocolate. We use premium Valrhona Chocolate, which uses gourmet cocoa harvested from their own cocoa plantations in Venezuela and the Dominican Republic.

The caramels at Dorinda’s Chocolates are a testament to our dedication to making the best treats. We use real honey instead of high fructose corn syrup to make our famous Sea Salt Caramels. Beware: once you try our caramels, there is no going back to lesser caramel delights!

Stop by our stores in Squaw Valley, The Village at NorthStar Ski Resort in Truckee, and our two Reno locations on the Riverwalk and at The Summit. You can see for yourself that our chocolates are a taste above the rest!

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Learning From a Chocolate Master

Posted on December 04, 2015 by Dorinda Vance | 0 Comments

Some of us are chocolate connoisseurs, and others are chocolate masters! Becoming a chocolate master takes passion and dedication, and lots of training! Dorinda Vance is committed to making the best gourmet handcrafted chocolates possible, so Dorinda went to Costa Mesa recently to learn from the one and only chocolate master Stéphane Tréand!

Chocolate Master Stéphane Tréand

Stéphane Tréand is the ultimate Chocolate Master. He is known around the world as a chocolate craftsman and pastry chef. Tréand even has a ton of awards to prove it! Stéphane Tréand received the Meilleur Ouvrier de France, which is the National Government Award for Best Craftsman in France. The competition for this award in France is often considered the Olympics of Chocolate. What a tasty competition! Tréand lives in Costa Mesa, CA, where he makes delicious chocolate magic at St Pâtisserie Chocolat and also teaches the art of crafting chocolate truffles and pastries to passionate chocolatiers like Dorinda Vance. The pastries at St Pâtisserie Chocolat are definitely worth a road trip. 

Dorinda’s Chocolate Master Training

Dorinda's Chocolates Village at Northstar

Dorinda Vance has had a passion for making chocolate since she was young, which started with her famous Chocolate Covered Cherries. Dorinda learned about the science of chocolate at Ecole Chocolat and the art of making chocolate at Berry Callebaut. Chocolate master must always continue learning new tricks of the trade, so Dorinda spent a weekend earning a certificate of study by training with Stéphane Tréand.

Spending a weekend training with Stéphane Tréand in Costa Mesa was so great because it confirmed that we are using the best chocolate-making processes around. At Dorinda’s Chocolates, we make our handcrafted chocolates using the same techniques as chocolate masters of the highest professional level!

Chocolate Masters Use The Best Ingredients

Valrhona chocolate gourmet

Chocolate masters like Stéphane Tréand and our very own Dorinda Vance know that you have to use quality ingredients to make the best gourmet chocolate treats. At Dorinda’s Chocolates, we use Valrhona Chocolate, which is Fair Trade gourmet chocolate from France. Valrhona Chocolate grows their own cocoa on plantations in Venezuela and the Dominican Republic to make sure their cocoa is of the highest quality.

At Dorinda’s Chocolates, our gourmet handmade chocolates are made without preservatives or paraffin wax to make sure you get the pure gourmet chocolate experience without any junk added. We use the finest ingredients like Valrhona Chocolate to make our hand-dipped and handmade gourmet chocolates, and you can taste the difference.

How Do I Become A Chocolate Master?

It takes years of training to become a chocolate master, but you can still be an expert in your love for chocolate! You can start your journey to becoming a chocoholic by trying good chocolate and knowing what a difference quality ingredients can make for chocolate treats. Try a wide variety of chocolate truffles and more by signing up for our Chocolate of the Month Club here at Dorinda’s Chocolates!

Stop by any of our Dorinda’s Chocolates locations at The Summit Reno, The Village at Northstar Ski Resort, Reno’s Downtown Riverwalk, and Squaw Valley to see what makes our chocolate the gourmet chocolate standard.

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How to Become a Chocolatier

Posted on September 22, 2015 by Dorinda Vance | 0 Comments

Many of us LOVE chocolate enough to want to make homemade gourmet chocolates every day, but how do you know if you should become a chocolatier? There are a few steps involved in becoming a chocolate master besides loving all kinds of chocolate!

What Is A Chocolatier?

The process of making chocolate from cacao tree to your dessert plate includes different types of chocolate experts, from harvesters to chocolate makers and chocolatiers! What could be the difference between a chocolate maker and a chocolatier?

A chocolate maker creates chocolate using a combination cacao beans and other ingredients. A chocolatier makes chocolate confectionery like truffles, bark, and fondue out of chocolate. Chocolatiers use skills like tempering chocolate to make all sorts of delicious chocolaty treats.

Chocolatier Training

how to become a chocolatier

If your chocolate expertise is currently limited to experiments in your kitchen or visits to the local chocolate candy shop, consider getting some official training to become a chocolatier! Dorinda Vance became a chocolate expert after learning about chocolate from Ecole Chocolat and Barry Callebaut in Chicago!

At chocolate school (which sounds like the most fun type of school, don’t you think?), you learn all about the different types of chocolate, skills like tempering chocolate, and the science of chocolate. There are very specific formulas involving ganache, fondant, and different sugars. You will also come to understand how chocolate can have different textures depending on its source and how it is prepared!

Work With A Pro

Once you complete a professional training program to become a chocolatier, the next step many aspiring chocolatiers take is the step of working as an apprentice underneath the tutelage of a real professional chocolatier.

When you spend your time working for a seasoned professional, you will get a better sense for what may be your chocolatier specialty. Do one thing incredibly well while you learn how to make all of your other chocolaty treats as delicious!

You will make a bad batch or two as you learn -- do not panic or give up! Experimenting and some chocolaty failures will help you learn and grow to understand what combinations do work. It took many great minds and thousands of years to hone the craft of a chocolatier so far, so have some patience as you learn about the textures and combinations of chocolates through trial and error.

Taste The Difference

how to become a chocolatier

We must warn you that spending all of this time around chocolate may cause you to crave the really good stuff like gourmet handmade chocolates even more than an occasional candy bar. When you have that chocoholic craving and are not in the mood to make chocolate for yourself, stop by Dorinda’s Chocolates, with locations in Reno and Squaw Valley!

Taste the skill of the tempering and confectionery chemistry with our Caramelia Melt Away or the Toasty Blonde! For the serious chocoholics, join our Chocolate of the Month Club so you can have some chocolate treats stashed away when your next craving hits.

Stop by and try some gourmet chocolate at Dorinda’s Handcrafted Chocolates today!

Posted in Barry Callebaut, chocolate chemistry, chocolate confectionery, Chocolate Facts, Chocolate of the Month Club, chocolate school, chocolate training, chocolatier training, confectionery, DIY chocolate, Dorinda Vance, Dorinda's Chocolates, ecole chocolat, gourmet chocolate Squaw Valley, gourmet chocolates, gourmet chocolates Reno, Handmade Gourmet Chocolates, homemade chocolate Reno, how do i make chocolate fondue, How To, how to become a chocolate maker, how to become a chocolatier, how to make chocolate, professional chocolate, science of chocolate, tempering chocolate, what is a chocolatier

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