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Deborah's Discussions


Started this discussion. Last reply by Deborah Jun 14. 5 Replies

This may be a big no no but has anyone tried using a Thermoblend to melt/warm chocolate?DeborahContinue


Deborah's Page

Latest Activity

Deborah and José Crespo are now friends
Jul 22
Deborah joined Clay Gordon's group

The Science of Chocolate

Are you interested in all the nitty gritty details of cacao and chocolate - genetics, geopolitics, agronomy, taxonomy, and the like? Then this is the group to join to take a deep dive into chocolate.
Jul 21
Deborah commented on Clay Gordon's group Home Brew Chocolate
"Regarding the passionfruit question, I boil down the pulp and juice until it is thicker and add it to the chocolate. Has to be the same temps to mix and not seize. Hope this helps :) "
Jul 20
Deborah commented on Clay Gordon's group Home Brew Chocolate
"Hello Everyone, Just popping in to introduce myself and say hi. I'm an environmental scientist from Australia, experimenting with chocolates! I don',t at present, do bean to bar but do make chocolates from cacao and butter to sell at…"
Jul 20
Deborah joined Clay Gordon's group

Home Brew Chocolate

This group is for ChocolateLife members making, or who are interested in making, chocolate from the bean."Home Brew" means you haven't gone out and spent millions-you're mixing and matching (and making) what it takes to make it work.See More
Jul 20
Mack Ransom replied to Deborah's discussion powder v's liquor?? in the group Startup Central
"Hi again Deborah, one more question on the coconut nectar. Do you have any problem with moisture content in the sweetener?  Do you use it straight out of the bottle? Thank you for sharing the journey! Mack"
Jun 28
Mack Ransom replied to Deborah's discussion powder v's liquor?? in the group Startup Central
"Hi Deborah, I missed your reply until today. Coconut nectar sounds like a perfect solution. Can you tell me where you buy it please? Just as an experiment I made a small experimental batch using organic powdered cane sugar which had tapioca starch…"
Jun 28
Erik Landis left a comment for Deborah
"Hey Deborah, I bought a few molds I haven't come up with any designs yet. I will though have you and if you have please share your technique."
Jun 17
Deborah left a comment for Erik Landis
"Hi Erik Welcome to the chocolate life! I love it here, so many experienced folk to help us newbies :) I haven't made bean to bar chocolate yet, still on the organic raw cacao and butter but I have been selling at the local farmers markets for…"
Jun 17
Deborah and Erik Landis are now friends
Jun 17
Deborah replied to Deborah's discussion Thermoblend?
"not sure Ruth, will investigate. Lots of friends have these new fangled things and I was curious cheers Deborah "
Jun 14
Deborah replied to Deborah's discussion powder v's liquor?? in the group Startup Central
"Hi Mack I too gave up on the liquor. I ended up increasing the powder and now it's yummier! /I use coconut nectar not the sugar. It's less fiddly and mixes beautifully. I think I would have to grind the sugar in a mortar, or buy a conch as…"
Jun 14
Mack Ransom replied to Deborah's discussion Thermoblend?
"Hi Deborah, You probably have a solution that works for you, but here is what I ended up doing. I have an inexpensive system for melting that works well. I bought a 4 qt. round crock pot (slow cooker) and instead of using the ceramic bowl I use…"
Jun 14
Mack Ransom replied to Deborah's discussion powder v's liquor?? in the group Startup Central
"Hi Deborah, I don't have an answer to the thickness issue of liquor question you ask. I too experimented with the liquor and added butter to thin it, and felt like I was ending up with too much butter and it was still thick. I went back to the…"
Jun 14
Deborah replied to Andy Ciordia's discussion Low Sugar Chocolate? in the group Startup Central
"Hi Andy I make organic raw cacao chocolate (I use cacao powder and cacao butter) with coconut nectar and everyone loves them. I sell at the markets and it's a definite plus to tell people they are low GI (35) and I also only do dark chocolate…"
May 27
Deborah added a discussion to the group Startup Central

powder v's liquor??

Hi folksAs a newbie, I have been making chocolates for the markets these last 2 years using cacao powder and cacao butter. But I like the darker, more bitter flavour of cacao liquor. I've had a go melting some but it is rather thick, despite adding cacao butter to the mix. Anyone know the proper ratios for liquor and cacao butter? Any other thoughts on powder v's liquor?many thanksDeborahSee More
May 26

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Comment Wall (4 comments)

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At 7:57pm on June 17, 2014, Erik Landis said…
Hey Deborah,

I bought a few molds I haven't come up with any designs yet. I will though have you and if you have please share your technique.
At 9:22pm on August 21, 2013, Clay Gordon said…

Colin's comments have got me to thinking ...

A small solar panel with a charge controller charging a deep-cycle battery that's powering a 12v portable fridge. No need to worry about pulling down the car battery and not using the inverter makes the whole thing more efficient.

For a glass (agree w/Colin on this) display case you could create a variation on what the craft beer world calls a jockey box (basically ice and heat exchanger coil in an esky) and use it to chill air or water to cool a thermal mass that forms the base display case.

Very eco-friendly.

At 9:06pm on August 21, 2013, Colin Green said…

It gets more complex Deborah. Maybe an angled tray with glass on top and ice packed on the tray. Then some polystyrene on the ice with the chocolates on the polystyrene so they are separated from the ice. It would stay cool inside and look nice. Angled towards the customers so they can see and also to create a low point to drain the melted water.

You can get sheets of polystyrene from Clark Rubber.

The ice does not need to last all day and indeed it won't but you'll need to experiment a bit.

I suggest glass as opposed to polycarbonate or lexan as it looks good and won't easily scratch. Actually lexan won't scratch either but will craze over time. Glass is heavy and of course easily broken.

You may still get condensation - experiment at home first!

There are commercial displays available too but they are costly, probably heavy and need power.

As regards power, I do all sorts of farmers markets and sometimes I have power, often not. So I use a 1000W pure sine wave inverter and a car battery.

Hope this helps.

At 6:28pm on August 21, 2013, Colin Green said…

Deborah, I do farmers markets in NSW too. Mine are in Sydney and I think you are "up north".

I find that trying to cool chocolates at the markets is too complicated. You actually have two problems

  1. Keeping the chocolate cool on your stand
  2. Persuading Customers to buy them - they get concerned that they will melt

I cool mine right down before leaving home. I keep them in a cool room at around 16C all week so they are very cool before I leave. I leave them in polystyrene boxes in my cool room so even the boxes are cold to start off.

At the markets I take just a few bags out to display - the rest stay in the boxes (with lids on). I sell these first and re-stock my stand from the boxes. You can use "Lite 'n Easy" boxes or buy them.

Be VERY sure that your stand faces to the east or south. NOT north or west (southern hemisphere). This is CRITICAL! Otherwise the sun will kill your chocolates.  If facing to the east you will need to protect it until around 10:00am. Which is OK as people tend not to buy choclate until after 11:00am.

I have used this to work in temperatures up to 38C - I was not happy but I survived.

As regards customers not buying for fear of product melting, it helps if it is cool to the touch but does not fix the problem really. I am about to experiment with making padded metalised bubble wrap bags along the lines of this...

I can make them using my heat sealer but not sure on pricing as yet. I got a quote to have real "cool bags" made - about $4.00 each! Far too costly!

Hope this helps.

I do markets all over Sydney and it does get hot here - up to 41C last year.

All the best!


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