HomeGeneralMindful Choices: Marrying the artistry of chocolate with evolving dietary needs of...

Mindful Choices: Marrying the artistry of chocolate with evolving dietary needs of modern consumers

(This article appeared in the Fall 2020 issue of Pastry Arts Magazine)  

Sponsored by

By Donald Wressel, Corporate Pastry Chef, Guittard Chocolate Company

Pastry chefs take great pride in discovering new ingredients, novel pairings and reimagined classics – consistently surprising and delighting those we serve and providing new tasting experiences for even the most seasoned consumers.

One of the many beautiful things about using chocolate when creating new dishes is the ability for it to provide different flavor profiles; changing a chocolate in a recipe can deliver an entirely different end-product. For instance, take single-origin versus blended chocolates; single origins can be used to pair with specific ingredients to deliver a profoundly pointed confection, while blends can be employed to deliver a rich flavor journey in a brownie through the last crumb.

Yet, in today’s ever-changing landscape, recipe development and innovation often needs to extend beyond origin and blend. Focusing on ingredients that meet the evolving dietary choices of those who love dessert can provide not only an accessible dish or confection, but also one that is innovative and creative. For seasoned pastry chefs, incorporating alternative sugars, gluten free flours, pure cacao, and healthier fats, for example, has the ability to not only serve the consumer, but also create an opportunity for us to continue to expand our craft, test our boundaries and tap into our imagination.

After crafting chocolate for 150 years, our team at Guittard believes that there’s always a place for chocolate. Our new line Mindful Choices brings this to life. Whether it’s rethinking how to use a 100% chocolate as a coating for a confection or integrating a new chocolate made with an alternative ingredient, our new products marry the artistry of chocolate with evolving dietary needs of modern consumers.

In creating chocolate without refined sugars, our guiding principle was—as always—flavor first. Our new Santé 72% cacao is sweetened with organic coconut sugar. It carries the same rheology as other chocolates in our Collection Etienne line, but enables choice for confectioners looking to reduce refined sugar in their products. This chocolate delivers notes of roasted cocoa and deep chocolate that lead to lingering dried fruit and nuttiness, with endnotes of subtle coconut and lingering vanilla. It also provides flavor and performance in panning, shell molding, enrobing, tablets and ganache.

Thinking outside the box on how to use an existing product or reformulate a fan favorite to meet the flavor desires of a new consumer is one of the challenges and rewards of being a pastry chef. As we formulated our coconut sugar chocolate, we also rethought existing products like unsweetened chocolate, freshly-roasted nibs or cocoa powders. Each brings an innovative twist to recipes and confections, from a sprinkle of nibs on a frozen drink, to a lush 100% cacao enrobing. All are a celebration of flavor, a way to shine a light on cacao’s bold character—without any added sugar.

Cacao is perhaps the ultimate win-win ingredient: a sensory delight that is loved the world over, and a naturally potent ingredient. Whether in its purest form, created to highlight origin, or sweetened with alternative sugar, delivering flavor and a wealth of applications makes chocolate an ideal ingredient for creative pastry chefs and discerning dessert lovers.

Maple Ganache Bonbon

The pairing of maple with 72% Santé chocolate in this classic ganache bonbon delivers traditional texture and flavors while reducing refined sugar.

  • 218 g heavy cream
  • 65 g maple syrup
  • 170 g Guittard 72% Santé Chocolate
  • 20 g unsalted butter
  • 7 g vanilla extract
  1. In saucepan, bring cream and maple syrup to a simmer. Pour over chocolate and allow to stand for 1 minute.
  1. Stir to combine. At 100˚F (38˚C), add butter and emulsify with an immersion blender. Pipe into pre-molded shells at 90˚F (32˚C).

Chocolate Brownie

This whole-grain dark chocolate walnut brownie is made with malted barley syrup and coconut sugar, and features the roasted cocoa notes of 72% Santé chocolate.

Yield: 9-12 brownies

  • 160 g unsalted butter
  • 120 g Guittard 72% Santé Chocolate
  • 25 g barley malt syrup
  • 140 g coconut sugar
  • 80 g eggs
  • 4 g vanilla extract
  • 30 g water
  • 1 g freeze-dried coffee
  • 35 g all-purpose flour
  • 35 g rye flour
  • 3 g baking powder
  • 4 g kosher salt
  • 15 g Guittard Cocoa Rouge Cocoa Powder
  • 96 g walnuts
  1. Melt the butter with the 72% Santé chocolate.
  1. Whisk in the coconut sugar and barley malt syrup. Whisk in eggs, vanilla, water and freeze-dried coffee. Add the sifted dry ingredients along with the roasted walnuts. Pour Into a parchment-lined 1/8 sheet pan.
  1. Bake at 350°F/176°C until a knife inserted comes out clean, 25-30 minutes.

Photo credits: Audrey Ma

Donald Wressel
Donald Wressel
Donald Wressell is the Corporate Pastry Chef for Guittard Chocolate Company.