Ask the Alchemist #168

Level: Novice Reading time: 5-15 min (depending on how you follow maths) I have a batch of 75% chocolate running.  70% cocoa nibs, 5% cocoa butter, the rest sugar.  I want to make it 80% by adding cocoa butter.  I started with 85 oz of nibs.  Can I just add the same amount of cocoa […]

Ask the Alchemist #167

Level: Novice Read time: 5 minutes When I peruse through your selection of cocoa beans for sale, the stark contrast in colors between the different origins always catches my eye.  It’s pretty interesting to look at for me.  But then that’s always made me wonder, have you standardized how you take the photo of each […]

Ask the Alchemist #166

Level: Alchemist Read time: 6 minutes I have been bowl tempering with good success until the ambient temperature in my kitchen went up.  Typically in the morning when I temper the kitchen is about 60 degrees.  We had some unusually hot weather and we have no air conditioning, so my kitchen was about 80.  However, […]

Ask the Alchemist #165

Level: Novice Read time: 3 minutes I am confused about the issue of “burning” or “scorching” chocolate. It is widely advised that when melting chocolate for tempering, one should not let it get above 120º F or else the chocolate will be irreparably damaged and will not be able to be tempered.  However, while grinding […]

Ask the Alchemist #164

Level:  Apprentice Read time: 7 minutes What is your opinion on the use of cocoa butter?  Can you suggest how much I should add?  I don’t want to add too much or too little. It seems like if you have 4 chocolate makers in a room, you will have 6 opinions on its use.  And […]

Ask the Alchemist #163

Level: Alchemist Read time: 9 minutes We roast 300g (10 oz or so) in our Genecafe. We are trying a new batch at 350 F for 15 minutes, and one for 20 minutes. The beans start to pop really quickly after we start (around 3 minutes) though, is this unusual? Also, after roasting, some beans […]



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