The Chocolate Life

Discover Chocolate and Live La Vida Cocoa!

Since 2008 -- THE on-line community for chocophiles, and aspiring chocophiles, to explore, learn, and share.


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Latest Activity

Jim Dutton replied to Or M's discussion Advice about specific mould
"You might visit and look at their enormous selection of molds, most of which have a weight (in grams) for the finished piece provided.  You will find many much less than 13g.  The first molds I bought, which were…"
34 minutes ago
Sandy Phillips posted a discussion

Alternative sugars used?

Hi everyone,We have been asked many times to make a chocolate that diabetics can have, and I understand beet sugar works well for that purpose.  Has anyone here tried using beet sugar in their chocolate?  Or have you tried coconut sugar as well?  Thanks!See More
2 hours ago
Robyn Dochterman replied to Robyn Dochterman's discussion Polycarbonate molds for sale in the group Classifieds - For Sale or Wanted
"Hi Amber, I have five of those molds left right now."
2 hours ago
Amber Haick replied to Robyn Dochterman's discussion Polycarbonate molds for sale in the group Classifieds - For Sale or Wanted
"Are the tondo molds still available?"
3 hours ago
Ronn Hatchel replied to David Roach's discussion Wanted: Large chocolate holding tanks and 2 Hilliards tempering machines in the group Classifieds - For Sale or Wanted
"I can build you 2- 2000 lb melters for 8900.00 ea. all stainless water jacketed, ajatator and drive with VFD control built heater to maintain 125 degrees. Ronn Hatchel"
4 hours ago
Jennifer Cooper replied to Jennifer Cooper's discussion For Sale Chocovison 1.5 tempering machine in the group Classifieds - For Sale or Wanted
"I sent you a message with my address a few days ago. Just wondering if you got it."
6 hours ago
Tom replied to Tom's discussion Heavy Metals
"So is the limit just a guide? Is Haighs only playing by the rules as a way to avoid customers laying any claims against them or is it an offence in itself to exceed the limit?"
7 hours ago
James Hull replied to James Hull's discussion problem with the premier grinder!
"That does sound like it might be what it is, as it seems to be liquid when warmed and goes hard when cooled. I heard back from the company who have apparently sent out a brand new machine which Is not what I was expecting but great! only wanted to…"
9 hours ago
Milford Dennison replied to Beth Bromund's discussion Wanted: used cocoa grinder / melanguer in the group Classifieds - For Sale or Wanted
"Just wondering if ny chance you still have the santha 11 if so where are you located if you still want to sell thanks"
11 hours ago
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The DiscoverChoc Daily is out! Stories via @yvordewalapulu @JornBuhring @NYMinuteMag

The DiscoverChoc Daily

The DiscoverChoc Daily, by Clay Gordon: updated automatically with a curated selection of articles, blog posts, videos and photos.

Facebook14 hours ago · Reply
José Crespo commented on Melanie Boudar's photo


16 hours ago
Peter joined Clay Gordon's group

Chocolate Down Under

This group is for ChocolateLife members living and working in Australasia (Australia, NZ, PNG, Vanuatu, Samoa, Fiji, etc).See More
18 hours ago
Diane A Holland replied to Shanta Reddy's discussion making my own transfer sheets in the group Startup Central
"What company makes a printer for cocoa butter?"
18 hours ago
David Senk left a comment for Piper Niemann
"Hi Piper, Thanks for your message. What can you tell me about the beans -- degree of fermantation (you mentioned they are considered raw, which makes me think they may be lightly fermented), flavor profile, etc.? I'd be interested in getting a…"
18 hours ago
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Added by Melanie Boudar on August 17, 2014

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14. Puerto Rico Cacao

Added by José Crespo on August 14, 2014

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Added by Melanie Boudar on August 17, 2014

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Added by Michael Petti on August 15, 2014

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7. IMG_1091

Added by Melanie Boudar on August 17, 2014

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Added by Michael Petti on August 15, 2014

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Advice about specific mould

Started by Or M in Tech Help. Last reply by Jim Dutton 34 minutes ago. 3 Replies

Hi,I want to buy a lot of moulds and on it a great price.I just wonder about the size of each piece - it is 2.8*2.8*1.5cm, and 13gr in weight.Is it a good size for a piece or is it too small?Here is the link to the product:…Continue

Alternative sugars used?

Started by Sandy Phillips in Tech Help 2 hours ago. 0 Replies

Hi everyone,We have been asked many times to make a chocolate that diabetics can have, and I understand beet sugar works well for that purpose.  Has anyone here tried using beet sugar in their chocolate?  Or have you tried coconut sugar as well?…Continue

Heavy Metals

Started by Tom in Chocolate Education. Last reply by Tom 7 hours ago. 4 Replies

I am wondering with all the new small bean to bar chocolate makers if any are getting heavy metal testing done. This I am curious about because some makers maybe get a bag or two in from obscure sources and heavy metal testing may not be something…Continue

Tags: metals, heavy

problem with the premier grinder!

Started by James Hull in Tasting Notes. Last reply by James Hull 9 hours ago. 5 Replies

Hi everyone,have been using my premier 2ltr wet stone grinder but have run into a potential disaster.I have only used it 3 times so far and its been brilliant, however on my last run on it some sickly looking dark green/black liquid was coming out…Continue

Tags: grease, problems, grinder, premier

conche machine

Started by mariano garcia in Opinion. Last reply by Clay Gordon 22 hours ago. 3 Replies

Hi all,anyone know if this machine is good for conching chocolate?…Continue

Microwave tempering

Started by Susie in Tech Help. Last reply by Jim Dutton 23 hours ago. 5 Replies

I have this question bothering me for a long time and am happy to find this forum. I hope my question can be answered.I saw the microwave tempering process-starting with pre-tempered wafer, heat at different interval in microwave. Make sure it is…Continue

Brandied Cherries for Cordials

Started by Danielle Stein in Recipes yesterday. 0 Replies

Hello everyone! I'm working on a specialty cordial recipe and have a couple questions. Has anyone used from scratch brandied cherries in their cordials vs jarred maraschinos? Have you had any trouble with additional water content? Also, is there any…Continue

Display boxes for chocolate bars

Started by Meira Neggaz in Where to Buy. Last reply by Meira Neggaz yesterday. 30 Replies

Hi everyone,We are a small chocolate company based out of DC - we are looking for ideas on displaying our bars.  We have a few stores who have improvised displays of our bars - in baskets, or in tea type boxes, or on risers, but now some new stores…Continue

Need your opion and insight..

Started by Stephane Laviolette in Opinion on Monday. 0 Replies

Hi, About 6 weeks ago I opened up a chocolate kiosk within a very popular candy store, now what I taught would be smooth sailing has proven to be a real challenge.. I am restricted to 160sq/ft production and retail space.I am offering a bit of…Continue

Conching temperature control in wet grinder

Started by Gap in Micro-Batch "Homebrew" Chocolate. Last reply by Mark Allan on Friday. 13 Replies

Hi All,just thought I would share a recent idea I had for conching in my wet grinder. Conching is often done at temperatures higher than that reached by a wet grinder. So I borrowed my father-in-law's sous vide temperature control unit and came up…Continue


Support Clay's International Travels and Support TheChocolateLife!

June 2014 marks the first open meeting for Direct Cacao - a new association that is working hard to help create direct sourcing relationships between chocolate makers and cocoa growers around the world.

I would like to go, but my resources for international travel are limited and I don't have a consulting client who'll pick up my expenses. I've already been to the CHOCOA conference on sustainable cocoa earlier this year, and am looking forward to returning to Europe in October for the ORIGIN Chocolate conference. I am also going back to Peru for the Salon del Cacao y Chocolate in July and want to return to Ecuador for ANECACAO at the end of August.

$2000 will cover all expenses to go to Direct Cacao. Any other monies raised will go towards other travel opportunities. These are not tax-deductible contributions. However, if you do appreciate the resources and the community TheChocolateLife provides - completely free of charge - please consider a donation. As in the past, I will be blogging and uploading photos during my travels. I will be collecting donations (via PayPal) into the first week in June.

:: Clay

[Note: PayPal account is in the name of WebWideGuides.]

Blog Posts

Health Benefits of Dark Chocolates

Posted by Freddy Falck on August 19, 2014 at 4:00pm 0 Comments

Dark chocolate is probably one food that is not only sinfully delicious but nutritious at the same time. Dark chocolate is loaded with antioxidants and contains a good amount of soluble fiber and essential minerals. A 100 gram bar of dark chocolate contains 70-85% of cocoa extract. If you further breakdown the contents, you get fiber, iron, magnesium, copper and manganese, potassium, phosphorus, zinc and selenium. Of course, we can’t afford to forget that it also contains a considerable…


Transgenic theobroma cacao

Posted by José Crespo on August 17, 2014 at 5:30pm 0 Comments

Reading some papers about cacao propagation I stumbled upon a granted patent on embryogenesis procedure on theobroma cacao tree. What I found alarming is that as long as a decade there're methods to introduce external traits to the embryo. Oficially creating a GMO cacao tree.

Here's some extract from the document : 

"A “foreign gene” is intended to mean any gene or polynucleotide not naturally found in cacao. In addition, this technology enables the…


Root Chocolate

Posted by Landen Zernickow on August 13, 2014 at 2:28pm 0 Comments

Dear chocolate makers and chocolate lovers,

I wanted to share my blog, where I'm writing about my chocolate-making endeavors and experiences. Please feel free to comment. If you'd like me to highlight your business or your ideas, shoot me a private message and I'll reach out to do an informational interview.

Thanks for being such a great community!



Illustrating the chocolate making process.

Posted by Sweet matter physicist on July 24, 2014 at 3:30am 1 Comment

When I recently wanted to blog about a Amsterdam-based bean-to-bar chocolate maker I realized that I never properly introduced 'bean-to-bar' on my own blog.

Now I finally made a brief drawing to roughly illustrate the process from tree to chocolate with a focus on the flavor developing steps (which is: fermentation, roasting, conching). Hard to hide my science background I guess... ;)

On my …


Perú and the 2014 Salon del Cacao y Chocolate - Part 2

Posted by Clay Gordon on July 15, 2014 at 2:00pm 0 Comments

Here I am with Roberto Granja of Transmar, one of the larger cacao companies in Ecuador. Roberto was at last year's Salon as well and they buy production from San Martin and Huanuco in Perú as well as other places.

Above: I am wearing a real Panama hat. Although they are called…


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