The Chocolate Life

Discover Chocolate and Live La Vida Cocoa!


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Tom liked Clay Gordon's discussion Initial Thoughts: CHOCOA 2014
Apr 6
Tom replied to Scott's discussion "Whole Bean Chocolate"
"Don't forget the Pralus choc coated cocoa beans, they have the shell on them. I was taken quite by surprise when i had some a few years ago, for the above stated reasons."
Apr 6
Tom replied to David Senk's discussion Texture Issues
"Here is what I have found using the Spectra 10. Refine your cocoa liquor first down to desired size, this is quick as nibs are soft in comparison to sugar. Then add your other ingredients, I find this produces a better chocolate texture. Using this…"
Mar 18
Tom replied to Tom's discussion Australian Chocolate Update in the group Chocolate Down Under
"A few things have been going on in Chocolate in Australia. First got hold of some Spencers Chocolate, an Aussie bean to bar specialising in Vanuatu beans. Really nice dark choc but the milk choc left a little to be desired, too much sugar and milk…"
Mar 16
Tom replied to Steven Shipler's discussion In need of a starting roast profile for these 3 test origins for my company.
"This is how i do it and it works very well. Pre heat oven to 170 degC with a high edge baking tin inside. Pour beans into tin so the beans sit in a layer about two beans thick (i have a tray that takes 800g to 1kg so this is the roats scale i work…"
Mar 4
Tom replied to Christopher Sheldrick's discussion Chocolate competitions in Australia in the group Chocolate Down Under
"You could try the 'Shows' in various capital cities. I don't know about other cities but there is only a chocolate section for commercial retailers in the Royal Adelaide Show."
Jan 8
Tom replied to Jim Dutton's discussion Ganache Separation Difficulties
"In answer to the first question about adding warm cream to warm chocolate your desired combined temp is too much and it breaks, maybe try lowering the temp of the cream. The way I do it with 85 degree C cream onto solid room temp chocolate. As for…"
Dec 19, 2013
Tom replied to Jim Dutton's discussion Ganache Separation Difficulties
"Some tips that have worked for me: 1. Never boil the cream....never, just get it to about 85 degrees celcius, ganache will be much more stable 2. To fix a broken ganache add a splash of cold skim milk and blend with immersion blender As for your…"
Dec 16, 2013

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Dark, Milk, White?
Most memorable chocolate experience:
Making my own chocolate bean to bar
My favorite chocolate is:
I am getting good enough to say my own.

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At 4:26am on July 23, 2013, peter mengler said…

yes, i do buy beans from Daintree and carry credits of source on my label. As you'll appreciate for commercial confidentiality reasons i can't say much more. But glad you enjoyed the bars ,Vanuatu beans have improved greatly over the last year. Currently Bougainville & Solomon the most popular alas i won't have more Bougainville Beans till Sept

At 2:34am on January 30, 2013, Nat said…

Hi Tom,

So glad you got to try and enjoy our chocolate! We've been trying to get it into Monty's in Brisbane. Any suggestions there? We've sent them samples but can't seem to get them on the phone.



At 5:45pm on October 10, 2012, Nat said…

Hi Tom,

Great! We look forward to hosting him. We'll definitely have at least 2 cacao farm & chocolate factory tours and a bean-to-bar chocolate making class in January, with possibly some additional mini classes. Just tell your mate to keep an eye on and we'll post classes usually 1-2 months ahead.

At 9:28am on August 27, 2012, Bea Misa said…
Thanks Tom! We're just a year into our fermentary, but it's been great. Really love cacao <3
At 2:46pm on July 15, 2012, Tupaemanaia Steve Brown said…

Tx Tom.....sharing this with fellow chocophiles..."The flavour of the chocolate is pretty good and typical of the Samoan origin, full chocolate note with hints of nuts and honey, you will also find it will start to develope some fruity notes as the chocolate ages over the next three weeks or so. Quite an edible chocolate! The raw note in there and extra bitterness from the small beans could be easily masked by formulating as a dark milk chocolate."

Since then we have fermented longer (6-7 Nights), turned the fermenting beans daily in the latter half of fermentation, sorted the beans before exporting.....peter from thought the longer fermentation was disadvantageous? We now have Joshua bahen in WA making chocolate from Tavita;s cocoa beans here in Samoa carefully fermented 4 and 6 and 7 nights (3kg of each). Monsieur Truffe is also making chocolate this week from CSL (Cocoa Samoa Limited) beans again more carefully fermented for a longer duration (5-7 nights) by Talima.

Our growers are used to just making their own Koko Samoa paste, selling it locally in 250g cups for hot chocolate drinks, but are now having to consider obtaining the best chocolate precursors for premium export purposes.

Tx Tom

At 5:06am on July 14, 2012, Tupaemanaia Steve Brown said…

Hi Tom, You were the first to make chocolate from our SAMOA GOLD beans, thanks to Howard ( Can you please send me your Testimonial/results to as this same grower now has 5 tonne available..we inspected them yesterday after her organic certification follow-up visit....she's asking an additional $AUD5000/tonne through our Pacific Distributor, Richard David at and this is the price increase we want our growers to receive. Then, and only then, will we be able to produce more premium beans to make some of the best chocolate thru chocolatemakers like yourself. If you know of anybody keen to purchase 10 tonnes of PREMIUM SAMOA GOLD cocoa beans, they are now available. First come first served. And let me take this opportunity to thank you Tom..can we send you another sample as we have altered the fermentation technique to improve the quality even more? Cheers, Steve

At 12:45am on February 10, 2012, Tom Ohito Zukoshi said…

Hi Tom, Yes you got one of my best beans which happen to have very less butter content but the aroma.  We are fighting again this year with too much rain and the wind.  

At 5:29pm on July 24, 2011, Vera Hofman said…

Hi Tom,

Thanks for your comment! Nice to hear from you. I would love to hear more about your chocolate making experiences. By the way: I did not taste an Australian bean-to-bar chocolate so far....

Chocolove, Vera

At 5:30am on March 5, 2011, Sonia said…

Hi Tom,

Sorry it has taken me so long to reply to you. Any tips you have for me would be excellent. I have never made chocolate before. My daughter has a rare condition and can't have dairy so i am on a mission to make dairy-free chocolate. There is more and more in the shops but i love chocolate so thought it would be a fun challenge for me. I have ordered a melanger grinder which should arrive in the next week or two. I am sure i will have to taste a lot of bad chocolate before i get good at it but i will let you know how i go :) 

At 3:50am on February 1, 2011, Ice Blocks! said…

Made a raspberry and cacao ice block and its surprisingly good. Needs a few tweaks here and there but its definitely on the correct track to be a special.


Try frozen banana (LadyFingers), pomegranate juice and a couple of tablespoons of cacao powder as a smoothie in the morning. I love it. Always raises the mood.


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