A Breakthrough in Sugar Free Dark Chocolate

John TroyCarol TroyThanks for visiting The Macalat Shop. My name is John Troy.  My wife and partner's name is Carol. We live in rural North Carolina north of Chapel Hill in a place called Cedar Grove. Carol and I are the innovators and producers of Macalat Sugar Free Dark Chocolate. Macalat has captured our heart and soul as a worthy hands-on project at a time when high quality Cacao is being recognized as a wholesome functional superfood and at the same time, excess sugar in our food supply is raising a lot of eyebrows with its adverse side effects. Here’s the story on Macalat's emergence.

Carol and I began our first food company over 35 years ago as a cottage industry, Linden's Elf Works. Our product was called, Wizard Baldour's Power Pac. Wizard is my nickname. The Power Pac was a "no sugar added" confection with dried fruit, nuts, Ginseng, herbs and Chia Seeds. It was the first true power bar. That initiated a wonderful 25-year career for us in the natural and organic food trade, lastly as The Wizard's Cauldron, Ltd.

Wizard BaldourKnown in the trade as The Organic Taste Wizard, I am not new to the world of developing innovative organic recipes and unique flavor profiles. Through the years, I have worked with many companies and brands pioneering Vegan and organic flavor profiles that currently prevail in the organic marketplace. I consulted with Annie's Naturals, Whole Foods, Saucy Susan and San-J. I was the originator of Honey Mustard dressing. I developed and produced the many organic dressings and condiments under the Whole Foods 365 Organic brand that are in distribution at Whole Foods, nationwide. I formulated and produced many other successful brands including The Wizard, Premier Japan, Whole Foods 365 Fresh, Central Market, Spectrum, Litehouse, Moosewood, Simply Delicious, Earth Fare, Charlie Trotter, OrganicVille, Naturally Fresh and Kraft Foods. I formulated and produced many sugar free products for the late, Dr. Robert Atkins. Our company, The Wizard's Cauldron, grew and flourished until it became a global leader. It was time to sell our company and pass the rapidly growing enterprise on to more professional managers. That was 8 years ago. That company continues to flourish as Sky Valley Foods and their flagship brand, OrganicVille.

Since then, we have enjoyed our time traveling, exploring cuisines and sharing in wonderful fellowship and music with friends. The sabbatical was nice, but now our roots in working with innovative organic food ideas are calling us, once again, to address the sugar in chovolate. Carol and I love to work together, especially with nutrient dense food and hands on. We both see the benefits of using functional ingredients as plant tonics and we delight in tweaking and finding synergies in these wholesome flavors.

We appreciate the synergy of organic functional superfoods and plant tonics that brighten our day

Maca RootWe first began making our own chocolate because we were unable to find an existing sweet that fits our sugarless diet lifestyle and satisfies our taste buds, too. We pretty much follow the Paleo and other sugar free diets and the recommendations of Dr. David Perlmutter. We grow our own organic veggies and spend a lot of time both in the kitchen and garden. We supplement our diet with many nutrient dense superfoods like Cacao, Matcha Green Tea, Lucama, Monk Fruit and Maca that are in Macalat. We are fascinated by the emergence of these ingredients from ancient cultures like Peru. We appreciate the synergy of these superfoods that brighten our day. We are foodies, too, and appreciate the culinary art of ever more delicious flavor profiles.

We are truly focused on getting ALL the sugar out of chocolate without it being a negative and replacing the sugar with additional superfoods to compliment the Cacao. We see a place for Macalat with savvy consumers who are serious about the quality of Cacao and want more nutrition and less sugar and/or hidden sugars and not wanting anything artificial or phony to take their place. Non-GMO and organic ingredients now go without saying for us. Our mission is simply to do really fine, sugar free dark chocolate, right.

It was difficult to find an existing company to produce Macalat for us. They simply don't make chocolate treats like they used to. They use so-called compounds that are convenient and cheap and require little artisanship. So, we fashioned an artisan chocolate shop out of our guest house with four Indian stone grinders, two tempering machines, chocolate tools, hi-racks, molds and all the accessories. We home schooled and honed our skills in the art of formulating, grinding and tempering chocolate. We call it The Macalat Shop, aka The Wizard's Den.

Finally, a breakthrough in wholesome sugar free chocolate formulations

Sugar is the elephant in the chocolate room. We found that taking all the sugar out of chocolate changes the paradigm and presents a number of challenges. Sugar has been such a significant part of the standard of identity of chocolate from its inception and is assumed to be a critical ingredient in the recipe in order to mitigate the astringent flavor notes that develop in Cacao beans during the fermentation process. Sugar serves in the consistency of the finished confection, as well. Sugar sweetens the finish and tastes really good with chocolate, no doubt. And sugar is cheap, bulking up an otherwise expensive healthy food ingredient. But sugar has a downside that is becoming more and more evident every day. The sugar "up" is short-lived and the negative side effects of sugar  are becoming all too well known with so much new scientific and clinical data coming forth every day. Some, like diabetics and insulin resistance patients cannot tolerate sugar at all. It's not working out with the kids, either. We can do better without sacrificing the uplift and the pleasure of great tasting chocolate.

We thought outside the box to create a truly sugar free chocolate offering without using anything the least bit artificial or phony. 

We worked at mitigating the Cacao bean's astringency in several ways. We accentuated and broadened the flavor profile by identifying and enhancing the sweet notes in Peruvian Criollo Cacao and still keeping it an authentic Peruvian Dark Chocolate. We tried different Cacao roasts. We found that natural fermented Maize crystals (Erythritol) served functionally in a way similar to sugar in the grinding process, without actually adding any sugar. We found that Lucuma and Monk Fruit lend a transparent, caramel-like sweetness even better than suar. We made many, many different batches, tinkering, tasting and listening to critical feedback, brainstorming and tapping into our years of experience in organic flavor development. We scrutinized and tried many ingredients, different sources, and explored benefits and how they work together with one another. 

Peruvian CacaoThe foundation of Macalat starts with a gold standard recipe of 70% Single Origin Peruvian Cacao Liquor, 70% of which is Criollo Cacao, and 30% which is a mixture of Trinitario and Forastero Cacao. The Cacao elixir provides a warm liquid medium in the stone grinder, incorporating the additional functional ingredients as the grinding drives off any lingering volatile bitter compounds and at the same time, reduces particle size for a smooth mouthfeel. 

The next challenge is to replace the sugar buzz, too. The Maca, Lucuma and Matcha Green Tea work together along with Monk Fruit to deliver the added lift while at the same time, providing the delightful sweetness without the need for any sugar.

Grinding CacaoWhen the grinding in finished, the warm elixir is critically tempered, seeded and poured into their pillow forms for specific Cacao crystals to precipitate. This brings about the nice sheen and snap of a silky smooth Couverture chocolate. Eight little square sweets make up a single bar which is four servings so one may share. Macalat is hand wrapped in a thin colorful tinfoil to prevent the Cacao Butter from being absorbed into the outer wrapper as well as protecting the Cacao sweets from absorbing foreign aromas. The foil is useful in re-wrapping remaining pieces.  

It is hard to believe that Macalat has zero sugar. Everyone can enjoy the chocolate, including those following Paleo, diabetic and insulin resistant diets. Macalat is also Vegan, Non-GMO, Gluten Free, low carb and Soy Free. The kids really love it, too, without ever missing the sugar. 

I must say that upon reflection, there is magic in the synchronicity of this emergence of Macalat. We really didn’t expect it. It wanted to happen. Macalat is a gift with a real sassy and savvy attitude that defies the notion of doer-ship and contrivance with its integrity. Macalat transcends traditional notions of chocolate. Give Macalat a try. You won’t regret it. Tasting is believing.










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