Today we gathered a small, loyal crew of some of our Anchorage supporters (plus a visiting mother) to taste-test three potential chocolate bases. Basically, we are interested in creating the most amazing "blank chocolate canvases" for all the fabulous add-ins.
It was hard for me to stop myself from throwing in some secret ingredients early on (cayenne! cookies! stout!), but I knew I had to stay pure and simple for this to be a valuable "base test."
I ended up following two significantly different recipes, and then creating my own one, modified off another.
The verdict: Base A was "dense and intense," with a bit of a fudgey/chewey bite. It will go well with dark alchohols or times when we really want the chocolate glory to shine. With brownie bites, this would be out of control.
Base C was a bit light and I thought I detected iciness (bane of my existence) even though my tasters didn't. One savvy taster even tasted a slight coffee undertone (the recipe had called for this to, theoretically, enhance the dark chocalateness).
Lastely, Base B (my creation, based off C, but with the goal of being darker and creamier) was a solid, all-around base. It's not overpoweringly fudgey or sweet, and I might make it even darker or more bittersweet for an even classier, more upscale taste. As it is, this will be a great base for everything from spices to aromatics to cookies/nuts/alcohols, and more.