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All about Guanaja, Valrhona's iconic dark chocolate


Guanaja 70%, iconic Valhrona dark chocolate 

Guanaja… This name sounds like an invitation to travel. It refers to the Guanaja island in the Caribbean Sea on which Cristopher Columbus landed in 1502. The explorer received the first cocoa beans on this island. What a perfect name for this dark chocolate reminding the discovery of cocoa by Europeans. Guanaja 70% is one of the iconic Valrhona chocolate. It is an absolute reference for pastry chefs around the entire world. Indeed, it represents a strong value for all chocolate lovers. What is its history? How to taste it? What are its characteristics? We explain you all about the Valrhona guanaja chocolate. 

History of Guanaja 70% 

Guanaja 70% is the first dark chocolate that includes 70% cocoa. In 1986, Valrhona wanted to find the original flavor of cocoa beans. So she got back to the root of chocolate through the combination of exceptional crus. Guanaja was born. It surprises by its aromatic power and its great bitterness. At the time, it was used to add sugar and fatty substances. Valrhona went against the current. Rich in cocoa, Guanaja reinvented the way of considering chocolate. 

As a real revolution, it was not long before it was adopted by the greatest pastry chefs. Pierre Hermé chose it to make his legendary Marigny from Fauchon house. There is a before and an after Guanaja. Indeed, pastry chefs can now work a chocolate rich in cocoa butter and not very sweet. Nowadays, this chocolate inspires the most beautiful creations and it is appreciated by all chocolate lovers. 

A dark chocolate with balanced aromatic profile 

Guanaja is the result of the mix between 7 typical cocoa aromatic profiles. This is one if its distinctive characteristics. Indeed, very few chocolates have such a complex composition. Trinidad, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Ghana, Ivory Coast, and Madagascar… Those cocoas are combined until reaching the consistent and unique taste of Guanaja. To create the uncommon harmony of this chocolate, Valrhona meticulously select unique beans. Thus, some of them are reserved for its making. From fermentation to conching, each step requires a lot of precision.  

Guanaja 70% is powerful. Its intensity reveals gradually in mouth. It has hot and comforting notes of bitter cocoa nib. This dark chocolate has also a slightly refreshing acidity. In Guanaja, strength, bitterness and acidity unit perfectly to give a balanced taste. It is an elegant dark chocolate. It also combines very well with red fruits, caramel or tonka bean. 

Why to choose Guanaja 70% for baking? 

Guanaja 70% is a perfect couverture chocolate for pastry. Like any Valrhona chocolate, it exists in the form of chocolate feves. They are very easy to use and dose. They have also the advantage of melting perfectly and rapidly. The feves thus allow for an extremely precise work. Guanaja also exists as molten chocolate cores. Simply insert them in the center of your cakes. Your lava cakes or brioches with a molten center will have a great success.  

In addition, Guanaja 70% is a sustainable chocolate. Valrhona is certified B Corp®. Indeed, the company wishes to create a more sustainable and a fairer cocoa sector. Her strategy takes into account environmental and societal issues. This means 100% of cocoas are tracked and traced. To Valrhona, it is crucial to know from where the beans come from in order to guarantee the quality. This also allows to improve the life and working conditions of producers.  

Which recipe to make with Guanaja chocolate? 

The Valrhona dark chocolate Guanaja is for sure one of the most successful ingredients for pastry chefs. Indeed, it can be used in many different ways. Ganaches, cakes, entremets, molds… Let your creativity flow and make all your desires come true. You do not know where to start? Here are some ideas. 

Recipe of chocolate mousse  

No need to introduce you the chocolate mousse. Enhance this dessert thanks to Guanaja 70%. What makes our recipe original is the ganache. This little tip will make the difference! If you are allergic or intolerant to eggs and lactose, do not worry. We also suggest two recipes of vegan chocolate mousse soy-based or almond-based. To make it, you will need aquafaba, the chickpea cooking water that is used to replace egg white. Pretty clever, isn’t it?  

Recipe of chocolate cake  

Why not making a cake with Guanaja chocolate? It will allow you to realize a delicious and intense dessert. For example, try the recipe of caramel brownies with Guanaja. Nothing could be more delicious than this cake made of chocolate, Norohy vanilla and salted butter caramel. Hard to resist such a delight! 

Ice cream recipe 

Guanaja 70% is a perfect chocolate for making ice creams and sorbets. We recommend you try our recipe of ice cream bar with Guanaja and almond and hazelnut praline. This recipe is quite long but it worth it. It requires using glucose powder and combined stabilizer. Those ingredients allow to get the right texture for ice creams. They also prevent the formation of crystals.