Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Chocolate for Thought

I was wandering through N.Y. Cake and Baking Dist. (as it's written on their card - which struck me as odd/funny). Its one of those wonderfully old and untouched for years New York stores that are becoming very rare, it looks as those someone set it up temporarily and never took it down. The front section is several rows of tables made from chrome wire do it yourself shelving covered in bulk chocolate, cake molds and other cake decorating gadgets.

It's oddly suburban, but maybe it's a suburban mom sensibility to want to buy a Micky Mouse cake mold and decorate it with multi-colored rosettes of icing sugar to look like the cartoon character it pays homage to? Apparently it has broader appeal than that; I go and I am anything, but suburban!

In addition to their breath taking selection of funny cake molds for all occasions they have just about everything else a baker of fancy cakes could want. In some instances they have things that are impossible to find anywhere else; odd sized spring form pans, rectangular fluted quiche pans with removable bottoms and a dizzying array of pre-made sugar flowers to name, but only a few.

I was there to check out their bulk chocolate section, historically I have always gotten it at Whole Foods, but as I'm not shopping there these days I thought I'd see how NY Cake compared. The usual suspects were all on hand: Valrhona, Callebaut and Scharffen Berger - they were all slightly more expensive then at Whole Foods, but they had a greater selection from White to Milk to Dark to Very Dark to Unsweetened. I was going to buy some Valrhona as I am want to do and as I have done for years, then I noticed something on the more expensive Scharffen Berger that gave me pause. Under "ingredients" it said...made from non GMO soy. Most all chocolate is made with soy lecithin, my friend Debbie has always been a big fan of Scharffen Berger, but I could never justify the extra money for it when Valrhona worked perfectly well. So now I know. It really is nearly impossible to avoid GMO's even though i do my damnedest to try, Chocolate? Those dirty rats at Monsanto have there hands in everything!

After some quick searching I came across this wonderful site called chocosphere not usually a big fan of ordering things on line, I'm old fashioned that way, I like to go to stores and buy things in person, very retro of me I know, but there you have it. Anyway it seems the best way to go in this instance, you can get 2 kilos of bulk 70% Scharffen Berger for $54.50 which will keep you in boozy chocolate cakes for a very long time.

The 9 ounce bars that they sell at NY Cake are actually very well priced - they are $9.45 on line plus shipping and $9.99 at the store.

And let's face it when you need chocolate instant gratification always wins out, besides if you haven't visited NY Cake and baking you really should it's a flash back to old New York with everything and more you could need for your baking needs.

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