How long does it take to make semi-sweet chocolate and what is the recipe?
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Ask the Alchemist
What do you think of beans from Cameroon?
I have recently had the chance to experiment with a very powerful 10 tray combo/convection oven. I was really excited about all the features but the results I have got so far have been disastrous! So I would be really grateful for your thoughts on resolving this mystery.
I have been roasting the Belize Maya Mountain beans in 2lb batches in my home oven. So far I have tried two different profiles:
It is about aging or blocking the chocolate right after the melanger/conching.
I have always blocked them untempered for about 2 weeks before melting them for use. But I heard some professional chefs said they age them in tempered form.
I have a friend whose Mom needs medical MJ for an illness and she loves my chocolate.
I just heard about "Ruby Chocolate" from Callebuat. Do you know what kind of bean this is and have any info about it? Would like your 2¢
Sometimes you leave out drying time and sometimes you don’t. In the case of your patanemo recommendation, is 10/3/4 drying/development/finishing
I have been playing with trying to control my roasts with the Gourmia and was having a lot of trouble getting the temps to hit about 212 at 10 minutes, and then tamping down the temperature for the development phase.
How can I make chocolate with honey? -- 'The Updated Answer'
So why am I going to answer it again? It boils down to the scientific method. Science, good science, by its nature changes and evolves as we learn new things. It does not necessarily invalidate previous findings completely. It refines it and fine tunes it. To that end, I have somewhat a new answer to this question in that it appears (note the disclaimer for future updates of failure) that I have successfully tempered chocolate with honey in it.
Reading/watching time: 4 min
Today I’m going to hit a few short questions about tempering and cocoa butter that have cropped up the last few weeks.
I usually need around 10 lbs of chocolate around the holidays, to spread on homemade English Toffee. I do temper the chocolate before I use it, but I was wondering if I can store the freshly made chocolate in bulk without tempering until I need it. Then temper and use it as needed.
If you are cooking with your chocolate where it is going above 100 F (Toffee goes over 200 F) you don’t need to temper as your temper will just be destroyed anyway. You can store your chocolate untempered until you need it. Just keep it cool and dry and sealed. There is no need to refrigerate or freeze.
Do I have to store my Silk in the freezer?
No, sealed, cool and dry is just fine.
I am confused about using silk. When do I lower the chocolate to 82 F and raise it back up to 88 F?
This one, somehow, as come up A LOT. Using Silk is a method of tempering unlike any other. Lowering chocolate to 80-82 creates Type V seed. Silk IS Type V seed. So it is more akin to any seed tempering method you use except you use a higher temperature (92F vs 88F) because the silk is pure and aggressive and can handle the higher temperature. So you don't ever lower and raise the temperature. You add the silk at 92-93 F and you are done.
What temperature do I have to use for milk chocolate if I am using Silk to temper?
The beauty of silk is that you don’t have to change your working temperature at all when you change chocolates. It is always 92.5 F.
I have used untempered cocoa butter to temper my chocolate with moderate success. Why do I need to use silk?
I’ve heard about this. It can work some of the time as you are finding. And sometimes it fails, as you are finding. The reason is that solid cocoa butter has some Type V naturally in it. If there is enough you can add it to your chocolate at 88 F and have a fine temper. The temperature destroys the non type V crystals and the remaining V acts as seed. But you have way to know or control how much V is there and in some cases there isn’t enough and your temper fails.
How important is it that the cacao butter be from the same region as the cacao bean?
I personally don’t think it is important at all from a flavor perspective. And unless your sweetener is also from the same origin, it is just silly from a ‘single origin’ perspective. I’ve seen WAY too many bars claiming 100% single origin and make a huge deal about pressing their own butter only to use a sugar from somewhere else.
The cocoa butter I ordered arrived melted. Is it ruined?
As long as it is not Silk (melting ruins the temper) your cocoa butter is fine.
I have heard you should stop roasting when cocoa beans start to smell good so you don’t lose all those great flavors. You don’t really talk about that though. How do you know when to stop a roast?
I have been following your roasting profile recommendations and I am loving the results. I am having a lot of trouble though keeping the roast from going too fast. I know we are driving off water in the first part so I turn the power down 5-10% to account for that but it never seems enough. I’m afraid to turn it down more and mess up the roast by having it take too long. How much should I have to turn my roaster down?
We've noticed that different beans seems to have different amounts of intrinsic oil. The Peruvian Maranon seems to have quite a bit of oil and produces a chocolate that flows very easily but it tricky to temper correctly. Is there a way to know in advance the amount of oil in a bean so we can adjust the amount of cocoa butter we add?
It is another of the short and sweet speed rounds of Ask the Alchemist.
What is your favorite chocolate?
I want to make my own brewing cocoa. I have a really good coffee grinder so I am all set there. How can I use the Behmor for roasting brewing cocoa? Do I have to remove the husk? Are some beans better than others for brewing? Thanks for all you do.
I was wondering about adding flavors to the white chocolate in the melanger? At which point? I was considering using oils unless you have another recommendation. Do you know ratios to attempt to begin with? Thinking of Orange, Lemon, lavender - not altogether.
I have read about that volatile compounds are released and the acidity in the chocolate drops as it is refined. I tried to test the changes in pH. After 12 hours there was hardly any change in pH (7.1 to 6.9). It clearly tastes different even after 12 hours but the acidity didn’t change. How can I measure and track and acidity?
I notice you advocate dropping your beans into a hot roaster. I assume this is because you want Maillard reactions and Strecker degradation products. Is there a certain temperature that works best for these products?