i usually bake with Scharffen Berger chocolate. i decided to do a little face off, let Scharffen Berger go mano a mano with the standard grocery store Baker's chocolate, just to see if all those extra bucks i'm plunging into chocolate are worth it. if i did a blind taste test, would i be able to tell the difference? would anyone else?
so, yesterday, i used the same brownie recipe (Baker's one-bowl brownies) and made two batches, one with Scharffen Berger and one with Baker's. it's a pretty good recipe, super fudgy, which made it a bit messy and difficult to cut attractively (although that could just be the fact that I'm completely lacking in food presentation skills.)
a friend gave me the blind taste test, taking extra care that I didn't peek. i tasted one brownie. i cleansed the palate (poland spring). i tasted the other brownie. they were shockingly close. but i tried them both again and i decided one had fruitier and caramell-ier notes than the other. it turned out to be the scharffen berger. i'm not sure the difference was so pronounced that i'd turn my nose up at a Baker's brownie, but the scharffen berger won the first round.
for the second round, i did a random Pepsi-Challenge-ish taste test with 15 more-than-happy-to-oblige coworkers. i was amazed, but 11 of the 15 heartily preferred the Baker's. some said it was sweeter, some said it was less sweet (odd, since i used unsweetened chocolate and 2 cups of sugar in both recipes.)
now, i'm wondering if i should be shelling out the extra shekels for the scharffen berger. if most people prefer the bakers, or don't even care, is it worth it? i mean, if we had some random chowhound potluck and i was bringing something chocolate, there's no contest which i'd use. but for the masses, i'm disappointed to report that i think the grocery store options would suffice.
i'm also wondering, am i all snooty about the baker's chocolate just because i'm predisposed to be, as a chowhound? do i like what i like because i know i'm supposed to like it? or because i really like it?