When choosing ingredients for my baking projects, I tend to favour store brands, but I sometimes feel a pang of guilt when reaching for the cheap chocolate chips. Thankfully, Food 52 has cleared my conscience by conducting not one, but two blind tastes tests to see if pricey chips are worth the splurge.
Photo by Mattie Hagedorn.
Which chip won? Well, both really. When eaten alone, the more expensive chocolate won out over the cheaper stuff in terms of texture and flavour, but the store brand chocolate made the better cookie. It turns out that the the waxy texture and cloying sweetness of the less-than-premium chocolate is what allows it to hold its own in a baked good; the subtleties of expensive chocolate get lost in all of that sugar and flour.
In short, if you want to eat a high quality piece of chocolate, treat yourself, but if the chips are destined for cookies, scones, or muffins, save your cash and get the cheap stuff.