New Cocoa Beans and Reviews

The full tasting review is up for the new Organic Ocumare. It is an interesting Cocoa bean! Lots of bright fruit flavors – virtually a perfect example of what a Criollo can be. In addition, the new crop of Ghana Forastero arrived right on time, and that Review is also up. It is a big chocolatey bean that I am going to continue to sing my praises to.

5 Responses to “New Cocoa Beans and Reviews”

  1. Wow! Just when I thought I was the ONLY person who MUST delve deeply into the fundamentals of a given art, I find YOU – Chocolate Alchemy!

    I’m new to the homemade chocolate scene. Started out with Baker’s chocolate and graduated to 11 pounds of Bernard Calibaut unsweetened, because I wanted better results with a sugar-free blend. I’m still not satisfied and I believe I’ve found the answer at Chocolate Alchemy. The solution is chonching. The problem, as you know, is finding the appropriate equipment.

    I am trying to make a silky milk chocolate with Xylitol replacing sugar and no matter how long I simmer down the cream, Xylitol and powdered milk, I still feel grit from the milk.

    I think conching will remedy this, but I would appreciate advice on setting up the make-shift conch from mixer and heating pad.

    I have a KitchenAid mixer. Should I use the dough hook and steel balls? Should I pass the chocolate, cream, powdered milk and Xylitol through the Champion juicer first? How many steel balls should I use and what size should they be? Please let me know what I need to make the finest textured milk chocolate possible.

    Thanks, Theresa

  2. Just a note everyone – I hope to have a mailing list set up with the week, so we can start and have some actual conversations.

    Theresa, I am glad you found us! OK, a few things. If you are using cream, what you will get is more of a truffle, not a “real” chocolate. Do not put this through your Champion as the shear will cause it to separate about 2/3 of the time. OTOH, if you want truffles and are using cream, there is no need to add the milk powder – the milk solids are already there in the cream.

    Now just a clarification – what this needs is refining, not conching per se. Refining is the reduction of particle sizes, i.e. the grit. Conching is a separte item (although can occur at the same time). In conching, volatiles are driven off, various oxidation reactions occur and in milk chocolate, the lactose is converted to its amorphos form., going from crystals to glass-like (not sharp ) particles.

    So, your Kitchen aid mixer will work fine as a conch, and the dough hook is fine – the SS balls do not help in this case. Like you are thinking, just put a heating pad under it, and insulate it (although, keep the motor out, motors don’t like heat).

    To be honest, until I or someone comes up with a small scall refiner, we are not quite there with fine textured chocolate – superiour flavor, just not texture. I do have a design at my manufacturer and expect to have a prototype in a month or so to test out.

  3. OK. So I need a method of refining. How about a ball mill? How about a ball mill that is small and low cost?!

    I found a supplier who offers ball mills from $70 and up at this unlikely site:

    Do you think it would work to get that silky texture we’re all after?

    Cheers, Theresa

  4. great site hope the world finds it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. I have tried the smaller ball mills. The size is actually the problem. They can not generate enought kinetic energy to do the job. I am trying to find a larger diameter one that does not hold 20 lbs of chocolate. That is the thing with ball mills – they have to be at least 50% full to work, and half of that is media, which is very expensive. check out the archive from last month – you should see some of my work with the ball mill. Soon it will go onto the refiner page…

Leave a Reply



Articles and other Helpful pages

Alchemical Formulations