Please All, lets share what we know with each other
HAPPY NEW YEAR
I just mostly use grade AA the cheapest. Hey this ain't Pierre Herme's kwim. I do use the extra fat butter for caramels & toffee sometimes.
I use the Sam's Club brand unless I'm using vanilla pods
For eating I love Giradelli milk chocolate chips otherwise just a huge variety. I have one cake that takes 4 different types of chocolate and I've tried to tweak it and it just doesn't come out the same. I had to cobble all this different chocolate together one day for a test cake 'cause I didn't really have enough of one kind--I was testing out some spice combinations and wow it turned out great. If it ain't broke...
Favorite starch? --Potato Chips!!!! and Pomme frites!!!!
I only use french butter (President brand), belgian chocolate and madagascar bourbon pure vanilla extract or beans. For flour I use pillsbury. And I only use organic eggs. If I have to use oil for a recipe, I'll use grape-seed oil.
These are the same ingredients that I would use for myself and my family. If I were buying a cake/dessert from elsewhere, I would expect the same quality ingredients in whatever I was purchasing- for taste, quality and health reasons.
I like Trader Joe's brand of unsalted butter. It's less expensive than everything else I've found, and it tastes good. My favorite vanilla is Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon. For chocolate I use Nestle cocoa powder and Giradelli chocolate chips (sometimes I just use the regular Nestle chocolate chips although they aren't my favorite).