Ask the Alchemist #36

See, I drink a mug of the stuff every day. And since it takes twice as much product to brew a cup of cocoa vs a cup of coffee… and it seems that ground roasted cocoa on the average costs twice as much as ground roasted coffee, I’m paying 4 times as much for a […]

Ask the Alchemist #35

I purchased a 1 oz hobby grade bar mold from your establishment. I have been pleased with the results (good shine and crisp snap) in general, but I am a bit puzzled by a spot in the middle of each bar that has a slightly different sheen where the bar contacts the mold. I’m guessing […]

Ask the Alchemist #34

I had the honor and privilege of showing a class of 8th graders how to make chocolate. Here are a few of the quick questions they asked over 3 days. If you roast the cocoa beans darker, does that make dark chocolate? No, dark chocolate is a rough designation that indicates that it is not […]

Ask the Alchemist #33

I want to make chocolate for baking. Do I need to still go through all the steps of refining, conching and tempering? How is the process of making baker’s chocolate different from the process of making semi-sweet chocolate?You do not have to go through all of the steps you list above, but you do need […]

Organic Madagascar is back

If you are not familiar with Madagascar cocoa, then prepare for a wild ride. It is a real powerhouse. It has generally gained the reputation as an immensely complex cocoa bean with a huge potential.  If you are familiar with coffee origins, then I put this akin to a bright, citrusy Kenyen. As always, you […]

Ask the Alchemist #32

I am an amateur chocolatier attempting to make organic dark chocolate without using soy lecithin. I know of many organic and raw chocolate bars that do this but have found virtually no information on the internet for a lecithin-free technique. I have achieved a makeshift bar by tempering baker’s chocolate and adding sugar but it’s […]



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