Ask the Alchemist #155

What would you say is the most sought after type of bean right now between Criollo and Trinitario? Also, where would be the best country to source these beans from? This is sort of a trick question.  I am pretty sure it was not meant that way, but it is one nonetheless.  It makes too […]

Ask the Alchemist #154

Now that you have a cocoa butter press, have you experimented with different ways of making chocolate (to improve flavor/texture/etc…)?  While I realize that “just because you can, doesn’t mean you should”…. My mind is now spinning with thoughts of things that could be done during the process… pressing butter out of the liqueur before […]

Ask the Alchemist #153

“As I understand it, when one fills a mold, the chocolate, which is at working temperature, contains predominantly Type V crystals.  As its temperature drops, what keeps the undesirable crystals from forming?” Nothing.  I bet that was not the answer you were expecting.  Of course, I will explain.  It actually allows me to dig a […]

Ask the Alchemist #152

I have an Italian espresso maker with individual control of brew temp and pressure and I would like to start making “mocha” shots, 50/50 coffee/cocao. Any suggestions on a particular bean, grind, proportion, or technique to get started. I am an totally coffee geek.  I have my own lever espresso machine.  I just finished a […]

Ask the Alchemist #151

I have learned (the hard way) that not all cocoa butters are created equal. In fact, there seems to be a huge variation in quality, with some CBs having a very metallic taste. What is the reason for this variation in quality and what causes the metallic taste? Bad storage? Is there any substantive difference […]

Ask the Alchemist #150

A lot of bean-to-bar craft chocolates only two three ingredients: cacao beans, cane sugar, and sometimes cocoa butter. Industrial chocolate, on the other hand, often contains cocoa butter, but also vanilla, and soy lecithin. Could you briefly explain the role of these ingredients? How do they impact the taste and/or texture of the chocolate? I was asked […]

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