I’m sure just about everyone has heard of Ghirardelli Chocolate, one of the best-known chocolatiers in the U.S., if not the world. Looking at the history, it appears that the company was not founded so much as it evolved, although in 1852 Domingo Ghirardelli opened his first confectionery shop in San Francisco; in 1893, his sons moved the manufacturing operation to the waterfront, at the location of what is now Ghirardelli Square.
Ghirardelli, needless to say, offers a full line of chocolates of various stripes. The one that crossed my desk was the White Chocolate Premium Baking Bar, a four-ounce bar of white chocolate scored into tablets.
I have to confess that even in the days when I was an active cook, my baking was limited — I was much more a main dish sort of guy, and not really into sweets. Consequently, I didn’t essay any baking with this bar, but I will readily admit to having nibbled my way through it. It is, in fact, perfectly suitable for snacking: it’s a little sweet for my taste, but the texture is fairly firm and the chocolate flavor is there. It’s a fairly straightforward flavor, with little in the way of grace notes: chocolate and sugar from start to finish.
Now, even though I didn’t do any baking with it, let me note that, not only does the package include a recipe for white chocolate cheesecake, but the Ghirardelli website also has a section of recipes, including not only what we might expect — brownies, cookies, cakes and the like — but special holiday recipes for Mother’s Day, Easter, Memorial Day, and even recipes for game days.
My own feeling is that this bar would be a good choice for a white chocolate sauce, but for those of you who do bake — well, there are lots of resources to check out, or just let your imagination run wild.