The new cocoa beans from Madagascar and Ghana from Kuapa Kokoo have arrived and are available. At nearly the same time we have run out of the two lots of Conacado. I hope if you wanted to try the difference in each lot you got your chance and that it was illuminating how fermentation can affect the flavor profile. I have also decided to (temporarily) discontinue carrying the deodorized cocoa butter. The prices have just gone through the roof. If you or need a source, please let me know and I will be happy to offer it again, but over all, it simply did hold a candle to the Natural cocoa butter sales (like 20:1). Similarly, the next set of 2 oz bar molds will be a small test. Their price is about to go radically up. I am not sure why the supplier decide this mold would TRIPLE in price, but it has. They will be about $10 for the hobby grade and nearly $20 for the Professional grade. They are one of my favorite molds, but I will let sales dictate if they are kept around.
As for musing, I have a batch of Conacado (yes, I kept the last few pounds) milk chocolate going. I have been experimenting with using the Melanger to do all the grinding work. What I have found is if you melt the cocoa butter for your recipe (about 20% in this case) and start it in the Melanger, you can add all the well winnowed nibs (about, about 2 pounds) with nary a problem. They all went in within one minute are were all ground within about 20 minutes (not smooth, just flowing). A far cry from direct grinding them in small handfuls over the space of an hour. The flow was so vigorous that I went ahead and added the milk powder in immediately to keep the butter/nib mixture from spinning right out of the bowl! And here is something I want to look into some more. I happen to taste the sugarless mixture while scraping down the sides of the melanger. I was pleasantly surprised about how good it tasted. I know there is natural sugar in milk (lactose at about 42% dry weight), but even so. I can see now my next batch will be a sugarless milk chocolate experiment.
Finally, were have DVD's by the Chocolate Doctor back in stock. We were out of stock of volumes 2 & 3 for a while.