Ask the Alchemist #95


What do you have against rough Mexican style chocolate?

I find it kind of amusing how often I’ve heard this. And actually all of its variations. What do you have against this, that or the other thing. It’s amusing because in all but one case, I have nothing against really anything chocolate related that I can think of. But it does give me a few weeks of Ask the Alchemist. So this will be the first in a subset; “What do you have against…..?”

With that out of the way, the answer (drum roll please) is that I don’t have anything against rough Mexican style chocolate. More to the point, rough Mexican style chocolate is what started me on this entire journey and the reason Chocolate Alchemy is in existence at all. If you have not read it, it was the very first thing I ever wrote here. Go check it out.

After that experience, I wanted to make my own chocolate. But what can I say. I love a challenge and the most challenging thing I could come up with is what they said could not be done. To make smooth, modern, chocolate at home. (A small side note, Simone Blake wrote to me a few years later, totally amazed as what I had accomplished and apologized for basically calling it impossible. And to his credit, at the time, it was impossible at home. Hence the challenge. But do go read it. It’s really quite amusing in a sad scary kind of way. Husks flammable? Alkalizing? Throwing the cocoa butter away?)

And not to insult anyone, I found it pretty trivial once I found a source for beans. It just isn’t what I had set my mind upon. Stone ground was sort of just a stepping stone for me. Something to check off as I progressed from raw bean to smooth chocolate. And honestly, it doesn't excite me a whole lot.  But like so many things, if you like it, by all means make it and eat it and enjoy it.  That diversity is what makes the world so fantastic. So that is really it. Short and sweet.

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