A few months ago I went to see Chris Kimball, creator of America's Test Kitchen and founder of Cook's Illustrated and Cook's Country magazines, speak at the 92nd Street Y. I've been watching his PBS show based in Boston, and have subscribed to both publications for years. So I was anxious to hear him speak and quite possibly meet him.  With him was Jack Bishop, Editorial Director of both magazines and food tester on their show. They talked about how the show was conceived and proposed a challenge for us. I was lucky enough to have been picked from the audience to join the challenge of tasting and choosing the chocolate with the most cacao. I failed miserably, but learned a lot. Our American palate is more familiar with sweet notes as opposed to bitter ones. Sounds obvious...right?? But when faced with the challenge of choosing a bakers chocolate with the most cacao, I was stumped, along with most of the other volunteers. Quite frankly, they all tasted pretty terrible. I chose the one that was the most palatable, or the one I thought was the "right" one.......wrong!! Scharffen Berger was the most preferable unsweetened chocolate to use in baking. At least that's what the professionals think. I of course picked Ghirardelli, the one I was most familiar with.
  I have since become a recipe tester for Cook's Illustrated/ America's Test Kitchen. This entails receiving one or two recipes a month, that I must follow precisely, to ascertain whether the particular recipe works and instructions are easy to follow. After testing the recipe, I fill out a survey, along with personal comments and submit. Most of the recipes are very good, but I have come across some that I felt were not worthy of publication. When I receive my new recipe via email each month, it's like Christmas... or my version of it!!