Will you be at the Northwest Chocolate Festival this year?


Yes, I will be there.  Most likely I will only be at the festival itself on Saturday, November 10.  Feel free to reach out BEFORE via email if you would like to try and meet up.

Now is a great time to mention we are closing the week leading up to the event as I will also be teaching my Roasting Seminar in Seattle WA before the NW Chocolate Festival

I will be there two days at Indi Chocolate, on Nov 7th and 8th.  There are spaces still open.  Check out there details here.

Most likely I will not be at the non-Unconference (or whatever it is now called) before the Festival.

 One other note about being closed.  Orders in by Monday at midnight, Nov 5th will go out before we close.  Anything after that will not ship until the following week, on Tuesday November 13th.

Since that was so short I want to hit a few other questions that have come in recently.  I’m going to riff off the roasting seminar and then hit a few Silk questions now that it is back in stock.

 I found a roaster that uses 2 KW.  They claim it can roast 10 lb in about 1 hour.  What do you think?

I would NEVER put 10 lb in a roaster with that much power. And I take exception that they claim it will roast 10 lb.  It will BAKE 10 lb of beans and yes, will take about 1 hour.

My rule of thumb is 615 watts/lb of beans you want to roast.  Nominally that is for a drum roaster.  Convection ovens for a variety of reasons that I don’t want to go into now, and that I’ve addressed in the past need more power.

So if you have 2000 watts to work with then just divide and see how much you should roast.

2000 / 615 = 3.25 lb. 

In my world a nice roast is 15-20 minutes so if you try and shove 3 times the amount of cocoa in it, it would take 3 times as long, so they are not lying about 1 hour….they are just bending the truth that the beans will be roasted (as opposed to baked and flat tasting).


Let’s talk silk a little.

I made silk and it seems to have come out fine but it doesn’t look tempered.  How do I know if it is any good.

Notice I never ever once make a note of the final texture or appearance or anything of silk.  Stop overthinking it.  If it was thick and creamy, then check off the success box and move on.

How long is the shelf life of cocoa butter silk?

It won’t go bad as long as it is solid.  Cool and dry.  Don’t overthink it.  Did it melt and go clear?  No, then it is fine.

How do I know if it is good?

If you really have to know if it is any good you have to use it.  It is the ONLY way you will have proof if you don’t want to believe me it is fine. If it was thick and creamy it is good.

What temperature should it set up at?

The really great thing about silk is silk is a really great thing (pooh reference).  Did I mention you should not overthink it?  Normal tempering temperatures.  If you really want a range then I like 50-70 F.  My check is that if it is not losing its gloss in 8-10 minutes you should refrigerate it for 7-10 minutes.  At what temperature? I can here you asking now.  Normal refrigerator temperatures.  Stop overthinking it.  Cool it until the wet chocolate gloss is just gone and pull it out and let it finish setting up.

I am making a milk chocolate.  Shouldn’t I lower the temperature?  Everything I read about tempering milk chocolate is lower than dark chocolate. I’m so confused.

I know I’ve addressed this one.  Did I mention the really great thing about silk is silk is a really great thing.  This is why.  No matter what you are making you grate it in at 95 F, it will melt and cool to 90-92 F and you can mold up.  The reason milk chocolate tempers cooler in traditional tempering is the seeds of Type V are very small.  They are huge in Silk and more stable.  That size and stability overcome the issues of milk (and white) chocolate.

Do I have to change the amount of silk I use if I am making milk chocolate?

No. The really great thing about silk is silk is a really great thing BECAUSE no matter what you treat it the same.  Isn’t that glorious?

Now stop overthinking it and go have some chocolate.

And see you at the Chocolate Festival next month!