The Scharffen Berger Experiments: A Study of Chocolate (Intro)

Thanks to Jane Mermel and RF Binder for the samples of Scharffen Berger chocolate. All opinions are my own.

It was a crazy idea that started a few months ago. Maybe May, or June was it? I can’t quite remember when. I follow Scharffen Berger on Twitter, and noticed how they kept tweeting about how good their chocolate is. Until this point, I had heard of them, but had no real knowledge of their product. When I need chocolate for a recipe, I use Callebaut. Every few months, the kind ladies at the Peppermill in Boro Park will deliver me a custom order: 5 to 10 1lb pre cut blocks of individually wrapped semi-sweet Callebaut. Each block should be as close to the pound as possible. They are so very wonderful about it.

It’s a true pleasure to work with Callebaut-it always has been, since my cooking school days. It was what Chef used, in those 50lb blocks. Not every student was allowed to use it, and heaven help you if you wasted any at all.  I will never forget my first lesson in tempering chocolate, and it is safe to say that is what started my love of making chocolates. It was my second year in cooking school, the year I spent in Baking, and I easily spent six of those months doing nothing but chocolate work. For me, there is always that moment when the chocolate is perfectly tempered, and it is glorious. No matter how many times I temper chocolate, I wait for that moment with the same intensity as I did the very first time.

So back to 2012, and I am seeing Scharffen Berger on Twitter.  I am actually getting a little annoyed. Maybe more than a little.  I don’t see any other chocolate company (Callebaut, Valrhona, the really high-end stuff) going on about their product. Finally, after determing their product was kosher, I threw down my gauntlet. If you, Scharffen Berger, are so good, let me do a test to test comparision between you and Callebaut. I decided to do four tests: mousse, cake, chocolates (molded or truffle) and icecream. This way I could experiment with both their cocoa powder and their bar chocolate. I was put in touch with Jane Mermel at RF Binder ( the PR company for Scharffen Berger) and I was sent the loveliest assortment of chocolates.

So now I am the blogger on a mission: whose chocolate is really better? Is it the Belgian chocolate with a century of making some of the finest product on the market? Or is it the chocolate of 2 Americans with a dream, only on the market for 2 decades? Stay tuned, dear readers, for one of the sweetest journeys I’ve yet to take. The first test: Mousse. Chocolate Mousse. Hungry yet?


  1. I love Scharffen Berger chocolate and have been using it for years, but I also use a lot of Callbeaut chocolate (I buy it in 11 lb blocks). I look forward to hearing the results of your experimentation. I know which chocolates I prefer for different things but I have never done side by side comparisons so I am excited to hear all about it.

  2. im really looking forward to part 2! i love good quality chocolate

  3. I’ve never used Callbeaut chocolate, but Scharffen Berger’s dark chocolate nibby bar is one of my favorites!

  4. Is Callebaut pareve? I’m excited to hear about your experiment!

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