The Chocolate Life

Discover Chocolate and Live La Vida Cocoa!

All Blog Posts (665)

Toffee Trouble...

I made my buttercrunch recipe from this book: "Formula and Theory for the Artisan Confectioner" and it's perfect every time. However, the last two batches gave me trouble and I wonder if anyone has advice. When I poured it onto the mat, the butter separated. Any thoughts?

Added by Laurie Douglass on April 27, 2010 at 12:34pm — 1 Comment

The Rules

For anyone who seriously loves chocolate, here are The Rules.

Anyone who disagrees with them can stay after school and clean the erasers.

Added by Lori O on April 26, 2010 at 12:55pm — No Comments


Well, I kinda know what nibs are (what they grind up and mix with sugar, or milk, or whatever to make what we commonly know as chocolate, right?). But I don't really get the concept of eating them.

So, I bought a chocolate bar (dark, of course) with nibs on it at Naked Chocolate Cafe here in Philly. I expected it to have an intense chocolate flavor, like how coffee beans have a strong coffee flavor. But I was surprised to find that they had…


Added by Dee on April 13, 2010 at 9:47pm — 3 Comments


The culinary college I went to, Liaison College, has a wicked contest going on right now. You can win 365 Dairy Milk Bars simply by entering on their homepage .


Added by Clark on April 13, 2010 at 9:39am — 1 Comment

cacao farming in hawaii ...

I AM excited to share my photo journal of cacao farming on big island ...!/album.php?aid=2063356&id=1244869327

~ aloha ~

Added by deedee devi on April 12, 2010 at 7:05pm — 1 Comment

Vanilla-chocolate's jungle sidekick

Good-quality vanilla beans make wonderful homemade extract.

When you think about vanilla, you might picture the familiar brown bottle of extract next to a bowl of butter, eggs, sugar, eggs and flour. Chances are you can practically smell the vanilla’s potent fragrance -- warm, earthy and resonant with cherished memories of cookies past. If you were to taste a pinch of the cookie dough, you would notice the completeness vanilla provides the sweet brown sugar and rich butter…


Added by Susie Norris on April 6, 2010 at 7:55pm — No Comments

Enjoying a new blend of flavors...goat cheese and balsamic ganache

Who knew that goat cheese ganache would be so smooth and obscure in its own way? I figured that with almond milk pulling together the flavors instead of cream and black current balsamic with and added splash of would happen.

Participating at the local Chamber of Commerce Women in Business fundraiser, I beta tested the results and there was no competition with the traditional ganache....everyone came back for the… Continue

Added by Gretchen Tartakoff on April 4, 2010 at 10:05pm — No Comments

A journey around the world with 7 chocolate stops

It was my first tasting "for official purposes".

To address the invited representatives of several European countries I've decided

to present 7 European chocolate manufacturers and, in order to reveal the

appeal, uniqueness and variety of chocolate, to choose 7 single origins from around

the world. The most difficult task was to mach them in an…


Added by Kristina on March 21, 2010 at 10:30am — No Comments

Sipping Chocolate Review

Crossing Max Brenner's off my list, I went back to what I knew... Naked Chocolate Cafe. Right away I noticed a difference in quality. I've never seen chocolate shine this much. And despite it being dark chocolate, there was no grit at all. I had a tiny cup of sipping chocolate. That's basically melted chocolate with a spoon. I was quite pleased, though it was hard for me to tase anything specific. I think that's because it was crowded, and noisy. Or maybe my palette wasn't…


Added by Dee on March 14, 2010 at 9:26pm — 2 Comments

Double Your Capacity, Not Your Budget

ChocoVision introduces the capacity-increasing Holey…


Added by Ian on March 8, 2010 at 3:09pm — 8 Comments

February Tour: In the heart of chocolate darkness

Before I moved to Paris, I had only a vague understanding of the city’s layout and, more important, its sweet spots. Now I can feel (and taste) my way around. And whenever I have to do an errand in the first arrondisement, I prepare myself for lusting after things I can’t afford on rue St-Honoré, but taking solace in the fact that I can at least splurge on <span style="font-style:italic;">something</span> sumptuous: chocolate—in solid or liquid form—at one of city’s, nay country’s,… Continue

Added by Sweet Freak on March 7, 2010 at 12:54pm — 2 Comments

One day in Paris

Next week I'll be in Paris for a day. It'll be my first time, and I'm skipping the landmarks and museums in favor of chocolate shops. Any advice from those familiar with the scene would be appreciated. I'm currently planning to visit Patrick Roger, Jacques Genin, Jean-Paul Hevin and Michel Chaudun. I might stop at Maison if I pass one, but I can always find them in NY.

Any other places I should include? For those with more than one shop, is there a particular location I should visit?… Continue

Added by Brendan on March 2, 2010 at 7:56am — 3 Comments

Max Brenner - Review?

So, I went to Max Brenner in Philly for the first time, today. I decided I'm going to try to review what I have their. That way I can keep track (have something new every time), learn about chocolate, and feel like I have a good excuse to spend that much money on food.

I ordered an italian thick hot chocolate. It comes in one of their hug mugs (that doesn't have a handle, and is more wedge-shaped than…


Added by Dee on March 1, 2010 at 7:28pm — 3 Comments

The Making of Chocolate - Cacao beans to???

Two days ago, I attempted to make chocolate from home grown beans.

I live in the tropics - Trinidad - where some of the world's best cocoa beans allegedly come from and have quite a bit of cacao trees on the land left from a time that Cadbury owned the entire area. My husband and I decided that it was time to rehabilitate the existing trees and replant new ones and we ended up with quite a bit of cocoa pods. the seeds were picked, fermented and sun-dried in our good, HOT and dry weather… Continue

Added by Camille Harripersad on February 26, 2010 at 11:30am — 5 Comments

Ecuadorian Cacao Analysis Project. CyD, INIAP

I am working on a project for Conservacion y Desarollo (CyD) here in Ecuador. The project is related to physical, chemical and organoleptic analysis of Ecuadorian cacao. There are 11 growers associations from various regions of Ecuador participating in the project. INIAP (instituto nacional de investigaciones agro-pecuarios) is also involved in the project and we are using their cacao laboratory in Quevedo. INIAP is akin to the dept. of agriculture.

My first assignment was to…


Added by Eric G on February 17, 2010 at 3:00pm — 1 Comment

Getting away this weekend to Europe...sort of

I made impish chocolate cupcakes with a black current balsalmic ganache and since, I’ve kind of had it with the snow and decided to get away for the weekend…sort of…I’m going to be at TheStockton Market. Featured on…


Added by Gretchen Tartakoff on February 13, 2010 at 6:00am — No Comments

The Most Unusual Cacao Pod I Have Ever Seen

At The Chocolate Experience in Mexico City I was presented what has to be the most unusual cacao pod I have ever seen. This pod was on the stand of CACEP, a co-operative in the Tabasco area of Chiapas and was described to me as "cacao prehispanico." Or, a type of cacao pod that existed before the Spanish arrived in Mesoamerica. The person who showed this to me is the manager of… Continue

Added by Clay Gordon on February 12, 2010 at 9:30am — 2 Comments

Describing Flavors

So, I was reading a little about how to describe flavors of chocolate. It makes a lot of sense. I think I could do pretty well with chocolate if I tried. (Well, for a beginner, anyway.)

But it got me to thinking about flavors that I have trouble describing. They're not usually in chocolate, but I thought maybe you might know something about it. No one ever knows what I'm talking about and they deny these flavors exist, but I'll give it a shot anyway.…


Added by Dee on February 10, 2010 at 11:00pm — 2 Comments

Speaking of Blizzards...

All this snow and these blizzards have me wondering...

What's the best chocolate ice cream?

One of my favorites (though not too fancy) is Bryers Vanilla Fudge Swirl. But I haven't been able to find it lately.

How about the best hot chocolate?

Added by Dee on February 9, 2010 at 4:21pm — 5 Comments

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