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 #139

Here is my experience with Nicaragua. • Last summer. Roasted at P3, 18 minutes, may or may not have been before the afterburner crapped out but it should not have made this much difference. It was exactly as you described it and I loved it: As a chocolate, the nuttiness stays on, along with the […]

Ask the Alchemist #133

Can am using a micrometer to measure the particle size of my chocolate but it doesn’t work. I get different results every time. Sometimes they are very large (over 100 microns) and sometimes very small (less than 5 microns). It doesn’t make any sense as the chocolate seems smooth to me. HELP!! It’s important to […]

Ask the Alchemist #130

When is the best time to add the sugar and cocoa butter in the grinding process? There isn’t one. That said, you have some choices and those choices have the potential to change how your chocolate behaves and tastes. I personally like to add the ingredients in the order that makes my life easier and […]

Ask the Alchemist #126

I wanted to ask your advice on a spectrometer. I know that we should get our chocolate mass to a certain micron range. Would this be a good one to get or have you used a different one given the price? Also, do you recommend any other helpful tools to help with quality assurance? […]

Ask the Alchemist #122

I was wondering if you could explain or give your opinion about two steps of the process. 1. Roast 2. Crack with champion juicer 3. Winnow. 4. Pre-melange using the champion juicer to turn the beans unto a paste/liquid 5. Melange with spectra 11 for varying amounts of time. My questions have to do with […]



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