The Chocolate Life

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Hi all, I unfortunately get ill if I eat normal store bought chocolate, something to do with the cacao, however it seems as if I can tolerated raw cacao much better. So I decided to make my own small batch of chocolate recently: melted cocoa butter, coconut oil, honey and some vanilla and mixed in the raw cacao. Poured into moulds & into the fridge. Didn't came out bad, but also not great taking into consideration the amount of money I had to fork out for raw cacao and cocoa butter.

So now I am here and I hope some of you will be so kind as to direct me to "chocolate making 101". All I need is probably on this site, but I dearly hope some of you will recommend a post or two or paste a link or two. I unfortunately do not have much time to browse and do R&D so I'm relying on your kindness to help me.

Kind regards!

[ Moderator's note: Member Bongaan is located in South Africa. It might be helpful to take that fact into account when you reply to his question. ]

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Unless you're allergic to one of the labelled ingredients (i.e. milk) it's highly unlikely that commercial chocolate is making you ill.  It is highly likely that raw chocolate will make you ill eventually.  I understand you believe it's better for you, but i'd urge you to further understand what 'raw' means for cocoa.  I hardly ever meet someone for whom ingesting salmonella or e. coli has turned out to their benefit.

Bongaan: "Hello my name is Bongaan, I get ill from commercial chocolate."

Sebastian: "Hi, my name is Sebastian, I don't even know your face but I'm telling you that it is highly unlikely that commercial chocolate is making you ill."

Bongaan:  "Oh wow Sebastian, I don't think we are going to become friends."

You asked the question, you indicated you weren't willing to do the r/d yourself or even take the time to browse the boards.

Your dislike of the answer or offer of virtual friendship, i'm afraid, has no bearing on the truth of the answer.   It's given with your best interest in mind.

Best wishes to you.

The only question I asked was for some help on how to make chocolate, you didn't answer that.  I'm not unwilling to browse, I don't have much time, but you probably don't grasp the difference.

Anybody else than Sebastian who actually have some kindness to show to me? As I don't find a section on this forum (like on other forums) which are dedicated to newbies and giving them direction on where to begin. Or am I just missing it?


You are a newbie on this site. Sebastian is a very highly-respected member of the site who has contributed to many discussions and always has something insightful - and relevant - to say.

As a newcomer, it makes sense for you to do some research about the site. If you had, you might have found the answers you were looking for. Over the course of the last nearly six years now there have been extensive discussions on raw chocolate. 

There is no Chocolate 101 section on TheChocolateLife. I thought about it for a long time and in the end it turned out that I'd need to have several different "101" sections - one for confectionery, one for chocolate making, one for "raw" chocolate, and maybe several more.

I would also take Sebastian's advice about "raw" chocolate to heart. It is highly unlikely that you are allergic to cacao ... which is why you can make your own chocolate using "raw" paste/powder and butter. It is highly likely that you are sensitive to some other ingredient in the commercial chocolate. You probably don't need to go raw, you could get commercial cocoa paste (chocolate liquor) and cocoa butter - organic, and do exactly the same thing.

:: Clay

Thank you for pointing out that there is no such thing as a Chocolate 101 section here.

I don't know if I will be able to tolerate normal commercial cocoa paste, I will have to experiment and see. First need to source it and that will take some searching. All I know is that people with the similar illness than what I have don't seem to tolerate normal store bought cocoa powder, so I don't know if high quality cocoa paste will be better tolerated.

Please tell Sebastian to work on his tact and people skills then he will be a very highly respected member in everyones eyes.


I'd carefully consider any advice and input from Sebastian. He has a wealth of knowledge.

That said, to avoid extensive R&D time, just take a class. 

Ecole Chocolat should be able to make your life easier.

If that doesn't work, there is a google search bar on the homepage of this site. Searching the site will be effective.

Also check Chocolate Alchemy's site.


Thank you Larry, but the course is way too expensive for someone like me.  I will try the search function. Thanks

Thank you for recommending Chocolate Alchemy's site. Their first FAQ is all I was asking for in my post here...and just look at where it turned!

Q: How do I make chocolate?

A: Well, that is THE question isn’t it? From the main page, on the right hand side, the is a list of steps; Cocoa beans, Roasting… Just follow those links in order and it will walk you through the process from Raw Cocoa Beans to Finished Chocolate

All of you who is giving me the mouthful on the negatives of raw cacao. First of all, at least be glad for me that I'm at last able to enjoy some chocolate without getting ill!  If it's a time bomb ticking, well Sebastian made sure that he gave me that info with the least people skills and tact that I have seen in a while, so let's leave Sebastian and the raw cacao issue. I would dearly like to learn how to make chocolate, something you all had to do some stage of your life. If anyone has a link or two or a post or two to recommend, then please do so it will be much appreciated. Everyone already spend considerable time talking about whether it is possible for me to get ill or not and whether I should thank Sebastian or not, BUT PLEASE, rather help me to make chocolate!

I certainly meant no disrespect - my apologies if you took it as such. I think you will find this community is very much a two way street, you get back what you put into it.  I did not answer your question directly because the answer already is here.  I did provide an answer that you likely didn't know yet to ask, and will save you a trip to a hospital at some point if you heed it.

There are no easy answers mate, no short cuts, no one liners.  The info you seek, by and large, is already here.  There are individuals who have been making chocolate at a very high level for 25+ years here who share their knowledge openly and freely, and for as much knowledge and experience as they have, they don't know everything there is to know.  It has taken us decades to learn it; it's unreasonable to expect that an individual can do so without committing time, money, and resources to it - all of which you'd suggested a hesitancy to do.  We do so without an expectation of thanks, but because we love the topic, enjoy teaching, and want to see people learn in a safe manner.

It would be difficult for me to show up at polymer engineering board and ask 'someone post a link to teach me to be a polymer scientist' and expect quick results.  I think it's fair to say that as smart as you are, you will not learn what you seek overnight from someone posting a 'link or two'.  The best advice i can give you is to read what's here already, and then ask for clarification should there be things you don't understand.

Thank you Sebastian, apology accepted and you are forgiven.

You see the problem I face is while chocolate making are a passion for most of you here, I just wish to eat chocolate once in a while, and to be quite frank, I actually just want to buy it in the store. But due to the fact that I become ill of chocolate and many other foods, chocolate making came to mind. So now I have to way up all the effort of making it against missing out on it. Between, work, family and trying to manage my illness (I have severe histaminosis, which almost killed me several times and where close to becoming disabled) I now need to see if I can just get the basics down of chocolate making and whether it will grow on me or not. Making it from the bean is something I don't think I'll ever do, currently the effort doesn't match my perception of the reward. So I will be looking into making chocolate with cacao powder or paste. Maybe I should try and buy the really expensive chocolates in the store and see whether they make me ill or not as I had to fork out quite a bit for cacao butter and raw cacao, so I'm definitely not saving any money, and just add effort in trying to do it myself. All and all, that is why I tried to short way first and hoped some of you would direct me to the basics.

And as for raw cacao, please just know I'm not one of those people who are infactuated with eating everything raw. The logic behind me buying raw cacao was that many others with my illness tolerate raw cacao better and I decided to try it. It was eating no chocolae vs possibly being able to tolerate some. Unfortunately didn't know about the possible contamination.


Thank you for your input.


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