The Chocolate Life

Discover Chocolate and Live La Vida Cocoa!

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Eco Friendly Valentine's Day Gifts - Change the World With Your Change!

You can make a difference with your pocket book. I recommend choosing Valentine's Day gifts that are made responsibly and sustainably. Of course I am going to offer up our delicious Rich Rainforest Dark Gourmet Fudge from Earth's Sweet Pleasures, but I would also like to add two gift companies that carry all natural, organic and fair-trade products: It's Only Natural Gifts and… Continue

Added by Reonne (aka Choco Mama) on February 8, 2010 at 5:00pm — 2 Comments

Transparency and Original Beans

I am wondering if any of you can shed some light on this new company:

I recently purchased a few bars to taste and consider using at chocolate tastings that we host and I am unable to determine basic things about the bars, like where they are made?! Very surprisingly this information is nowhere to be found on their packaging.

I am hoping some of you might be able to shed some light on this… Continue

Added by Sunita de Tourreil on February 8, 2010 at 2:29am — 15 Comments

My Vancouver chocolate tour

I was visiting families and friends this past holiday season and I had the chance to check out several chocolate shops in town. The chocolate scene in Vancouver is definitely booming. New stores and more convenient branch locations for some famous names are blooming to the excitement of the coming Winter Olympics/ Valentine’s Day combo. Although I wouldn’t advise anyone to go for a Vancouver chocolate tour during the Games unless that’s what they are also there for, the huge infrastructure… Continue

Added by Gary Shieh on February 6, 2010 at 3:30pm — 1 Comment

Brownies are my Valentine!

I love brownies, but they must be perfect! I do not like cake-like brownies (does anyone?). The gooier the better! In order to get perfect brownies, you need to do 2 things. Stop stirring when *most* of the dry ingredients are mixed in (using a spoon, never a beater). And undercook them. Don't take them out when they're absolutely still uncooked (when wet batter comes off on your fork or toothpick). But take them out when some sticky crumbs come off on the fork. If the fork…


Added by Dee on February 5, 2010 at 4:51pm — 3 Comments


Desmond says: There has been a demand for luxury chocolates for centuries, "From the foamy drink of the Aztecs to the rich confections of Europe, chocolate has long been celebrated as an indulgence fit for Kings, Desmond says ;

"We feel that other than celebrating the wondrous cocoa plant, International Chocolate Day brings the opportunity to celebrate everything chocolaty," he says. "A little bit of decadence never hurt anyone, so we are encouraging people to celebrate this day by joining… Continue

Added by Des Mullahy on February 4, 2010 at 6:00pm — No Comments

Foot Print Lollipop mold

I need a foot print lollipop mold about 2" to 3" long ASAP.


Added by Stan Phillips on February 4, 2010 at 3:20pm — 1 Comment

geodesic mold

Does anyone have the geodesic chocolate mold from jbprince? Does anyone know the candy weight of it. I know other websites like has them but with less cavities. I tried contacting their customer service 4 TIMES but no responces yet.

Added by julia arcuri-mullan on February 3, 2010 at 3:30pm — 1 Comment

Next show in San Francisco?

This is the dumbest question on this blog but I can't find the answer anywhere here.

Date of next large trade(?) show in San Francisco?

Added by Stan Phillips on February 3, 2010 at 2:36am — 1 Comment

Poking around the interwebs

I finally managed to find a Whole Foods that was convenient for me to visit. I must say, I'm hooked on that store now. They had beautiful flowers, and I heard my favorite music in there that I never hear anywhere else!

But onto the chocolate... I went to the chocolate section, and was overwhelmed by brands that I never heard of. Someone reccomended that I try Kilari, but they didn't have any of that. So, I picked up a small bar of Lindt 70%, and they had tiny squares of another brand… Continue

Added by Dee on January 31, 2010 at 10:54am — 4 Comments

Tour of the Straus Family Creamery

In November we were invited to take a tour of my favorite creamery, Straus Family Creamery near Pedaluma. Although we didn’t get to see any actual cows, the pasture was too wet, we did get to observe a family-run business and try some of their tasty experimental ice cream flavors!

I was particularly excited as I have been using Straus cream in my truffles since I started my business. It really does make a difference in the taste and texture of the ganache. Most people I talk with… Continue

Added by Christine Doerr on January 30, 2010 at 4:47pm — 4 Comments

I never post photos

Just some fun chocolates for a recent event, from left to right:

- Salted caramel and Calvados caviar on a caramalized white chocolate and bacon stock chantilly in a dark chocolate cup

- Seville orange, carrots, and habanero confit on sanv blanc and passionfruit coulis and finished with maldon salt and rosemary flower in a dark chocolate cup

- Carbonated champagne pate on a rose dark chocolate ganache finished with Yuzu zest and lavender in a dark chocolate cup

-… Continue

Added by Robert Shea on January 28, 2010 at 10:07pm — 2 Comments

Fancy Food Show's Front Line

More than 600 purveyors of gourmet foods sought the attention of buyers, brokers, shopkeepers, party planners and journalists this month at the Fancy Food Show in San Francisco. And plenty of them were stretching the definition of "gourmet."

Retail shops and supermarkets from around the country sent their buyers on a mission of taste to this semiannual trade show Jan. 17-19, sponsored by the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade. Among the products they encountered: a… Continue

Added by Susie Norris on January 28, 2010 at 12:55pm — No Comments

So, how does this whole thing work?

It's like chocolate Facebook? I'm not sure I follow.

I joined because I don't know anyone who appreciates Chocolate in the way I do. Everyone I know is crazy about M&Ms, and Hershey's Kisses. I'd much rather have something richer and smoother. My friends think those are smooth. So, I'm ready to get to know people who understand. But how do I do that?

Right now, the best chocolate I'm familiar with is Lindt. Is there better chocolate that's readily available? Also, for… Continue

Added by Dee on January 22, 2010 at 5:30pm — 7 Comments

Proud To represent Pilesgrove N.J.

The Knave of Hearts would like to say how proud we were to represent Pilesgrove, N.J. in the Chef's Competition at the Philly Candy Show in Atlantic City. It was a true pleasure to meet many of you at the show!
Gary Curry, Ex. Chef / Proprietor
The Knave of Hearts, LLC.

Added by Gary F. Curry on January 15, 2010 at 8:36pm — No Comments

Off to Bolivia :: The Hacienda Tranquilidad

Sometime in 2006 in the oppressive summer heat that invades Phoenix, AZ, I was introduced to a new chocolate - Cru Sauvage; the newest entry in Felchlin's Grand Cru line and made from "wild" beans harvested in the middle of absolutely nowhere in Eastern Bolivia.

The story of their making it to market is quite remarkable and is testament to the patience of my host on my trip, Volker Lehmann. Convinced the beans he had were something special Volker traveled around the world… Continue

Added by Clay Gordon on January 5, 2010 at 3:00am — 3 Comments

Chocolate, Dessert & Wine Lover's Evening to benefit the Shelter for the Homeless

Dear Friends,

I am putting together a Chocolate, Dessert and Wine Lover's 'Tasting' Evening to benefit the Shelter for the Homeless. The 'Tasting' event will take place on Thursday, February 11th at the Hilton in Stamford, CT from 6pm - 9pm. Tickets are only $35 each if purchased by February 8th, all proceeds will be donated to the Shelter for the Homeless.

I am very pleased to share with you that we have 34 Chocolate & Dessert Vendors confirmed including Adreanna Limbach… Continue

Added by Scot B. Weicker on January 4, 2010 at 2:44pm — No Comments

Of Chocolate And Cheese (And Beer)

This article was written for and originally appeared in the Top Chef for Foodies blogs sometime in late 2007 or early 2008. BravoTV/NBC Universal in their infinite wisdom saw fit to remove all references to it when I stopped writing for them.

As I was nearing the final draft deadline for my book, Discover Chocolate, my editors asked me to rethink the content of the fourth major chapter of the book. Originally it was going to be a section on the health benefits of… Continue

Added by Clay Gordon on January 3, 2010 at 5:30pm — 1 Comment

Citrus Peel and Experiments

All winter long I've been experimenting with different ways to candy orange peel, mandarin peel, lemon slices including air drying them, dehydrating, rolling in sugar without candying.

It seems like there is a big need for candied peel as well as candied ginger, and that most of what people use or what you can buy in the store is imported.

I'll be taking pictures of my experiments but I'm curious for any who read this - would you have interest in great candied peel or… Continue

Added by Susie on January 1, 2010 at 1:30pm — 1 Comment

where to buy beans?????

Hello fellow chocolate heads... I'm looking for some cacao beans. Just small quantities (500g-1kg) of beans to buy - fermented and unfermented, all unshelled ('unpeeled'), to experiment with for making old-school drinking chocolate. And ideally all from Central America, eg Tabasco, Guatemala - because I'm trying to replicate pre-Colombian cacao-based drinks. I'm writing a book on it, and I'm doing a little talk in February at which I'd like to supply audience members with samples of said… Continue

Added by Marcos Patchett on December 31, 2009 at 4:40pm — 5 Comments


Processing cacao beans with raw integrity was the single most difficult project we have undertaken at Big Tree Farms to date. It was a complete reinvention of the wheel because simply put, there were (and are) no technologies available which can process cacao beans under commonly accepted Raw temperature standards. There was nothing to go on, no point from which to start, so it was trial and error over a period of four years and the building (and scrapping) of many locally-engineered… Continue

Added by Ben Ripple on December 29, 2009 at 9:30pm — 32 Comments

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