Ask the Alchemist #14

At what point in the chocolate making process should I add things like nuts, herbs or spices, and how would this affect refining and tempering?” I’ll try and keep this short and sweet. The base answer to when to add additional ingredients is that it all depends what you want. Nuts – I like them […]

Cocoa bean stock update – good and bad

With Hurricane Sandy, some of my major supply chains have been disrupted.  Peru, Ecuador, La Red, Bolivian – they are all in short supply or out.  The warehouse storing them was flooded in parts, and damages are still being accessed.   At this point, they are projected another 2 weeks to know what is not damaged, […]

Ask the Alchemist #13

“I meet a lot of people who have stopped eating chocolate because they are sensitive to caffeine. How much caffeine is actually in chocolate?” Well – what a mess this this. While digging up some (semi)solid data for this, I came across both of these: “Chocolate contains no caffeine” is an urban legend. “Chocolate contains […]

Ask the Alchemist #12

“What is this chocolate wine I keep seeing at the grocery store? How is chocolate wine made? Can I make it.” This is something I’ve actually experimented with. I have tasted a couple of the chocolate wines and whereas I love both wine (red, thank you very much) and chocolate (I won’t even dignify that […]

Ask the Alchemist #11

What are the different ways that people winnow their cocoa beans? What are the pros and cons between them? Well, first and foremost, we should just get it out of the way, and define winnowing. From Webster’s Definition of WINNOW – transitive verb 1 a (1) : to remove (as chaff) by a current of […]

The Sylph Winnower for sale

I am pleased to present, the Sylph Winnower: It’s been a while coming, but the first (to my knowledge) consumer sized winnower is now available (at least at a not unreasonable price and with a reasonable efficiency and through put). What you see there is how it comes.  You need to supply a cracker (Champion […]



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