A Breakthrough in Sugar Free Dark Chocolate
Thanks for visiting The Macalat Shop. My name is John Troy. My wife and partner's name is Carol. We live in a woodsy grove in rural North Carolina north of Chapel Hill called Cedar Grove. Carol and I are the innovators and producers of the Macalat Sugar Free Dark Chocolate. Macalat has captured our heart and soul as a worthy hands-on project at a time when excess sugar in our food supply is raising a lot of eyebrows. Here’s the story on Macalat's emergence.
Carol and I began our first food company 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. That initiated a wonderful 25-year career for us in the natural and organic food trade, lastly as The Wizard's Cauldron, Ltd.
Known in the trade as The Organic Taste Wizard, I am not new to the world of innovative organic recipes and flavor profiles. Through the years, I have worked with many companies and brands where we pioneered Vegan and organic flavor profiles that currently prevail in the organic marketplace. I consulted with Annie's Naturals, 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 and Kraft Foods. I formulated and produced many sugar free products for the late, Robert Atkins. Our company, The Wizard's Cauldron, grew and flourished until it became time to sell our company and pass the rapidly growing enterprise on to more professional managers. That was 7 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. Carol and I love to work together, especially with food and hands on. We both see the benefits of using ingredients as tonics and we like tweaking and refining the flavors. We are now full circle; back to hand made good-for-you sweets in small batches and an enterprise that is small enough to have the fun and fellowship that an artisan endeavor like Macalat brings.
We appreciate the synergy of super foods that brighten our day
We first began making our own chocolate because we were unable to find an existing sweet that fits our sugarless diet style 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 foods like Cacao, Matcha Green Tea, Lucama and Maca that are in Macalat. We appreciate the synergy of these foods that brighten our day. We are foodies, too, and appreciate the culinary arts in all its forms.
We are really focused on getting ALL the sugar out of chocolate without it being a negative. We see a place for Macalat with savvy consumers wanting 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 to do sugar free chocolate, right.
It was difficult to find an existing company to do this for us. They 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 sugar free chocolate formulations
We found that taking the sugar out changes the paradigm in chocolate 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 recipe. But sugar has a downside that is becoming more and more evident every day. The sugar "up" is short-lived and the negative effects of sugar in the diet are becoming all too well known with 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. We can do better.
We thought outside the box to figure out a sugar free Cacao recipe that doesn’t have an astringent bitterness that lingers on the palate.
We worked at mitigating it in several ways, accentuating and broadening the flavor profile, tweaking the sweet notes with aromatic spices and still keeping it an authentic organic Cacao sweet. 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. Sweet herbs and exotic fruit blends in a fuller succulent sweetness. 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, sources, and explored benefits and how they work synergistically with one another. Finally, a unique sugarless Cacao sweet emerged.
The foundation of Macalat starts with a gold standard recipe of dark chocolate made with 66% Peruvian Cacao. It is rich enough to embrace other super foods and aromatic spices. Macalat has more premium Cacao butter in ratio to the Cacao solids than conventional chocolate. This melted Cacao elixir provides a warm liquid medium in the grinder with all the ingredients grinding together. Stone grinding all the ingredients, together, drives off volatile bitter compounds and enrobes every speck with a thin film of Cacao butter. Spices and ingredients like Inca Pink Salt help buffer the bitter, too.
The next challenge is to replace the sugar buzz, too. The Maca and Matcha Green Tea supplement the Cacao and other super foods. Together, they provide peaceful alertness with a sustained sense of well being that trumps the typical sugar rush and crash. The building blocks of sweetness come from natural fermented Maize, Monk Fruit, a sweet taste from an Asian plant and a hint of organic Stevia. The flavors are pulled together with Whole Madagascar Vanilla pods ground in with spices like Andes Gold Lucama, Cinnamon, Fenugreek and Sweet Orange. It takes many hours of stone wheels rolling over solid granite, generating the warmth needed to keep the Cacao butter fluid while all the ingredients are grinding, refining and equilibrating.
When the grinding in finished, the warm elixir is critically tempered for crystal seeding and poured into their pillow forms for the delicate crystals to precipitate. This brings about the nice sheen and snap of a Couverture chocolate. Eight little square sweets make up a single bar which is two servings so one may share. Macalat is hand wrapped in a thin colorful tin foil to prevent the Cacao Butter from being absorbed into the outer wrapper as well as protecting the Cacao sweets from absorbing foreign aromas. The outer wrapper provides additional cushioning to protect the delicate sweets of Macalat during shipping and handling. Macalat has zero sugar, making it the perfect treat for Paleo, diabetic and insulin resistant diets. Macalat is Vegan, Non-GMO, Gluten Free 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. We are going with what wants to happen and we hope that includes your giving Macalat a try. You won’t regret it.