The Chocolate Life

Discover Chocolate and Live La Vida Cocoa!

All Blog Posts (657)

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

Hello Everybody!!!


My name is Orson V. Galvão. I live in Ilhéus, Bahia, Brazil and as a member of APCFE - Associação dos Profissionais do Cacau Fino Especial (that means: Professional Association of the Special and Fine Cocoa), I make my own chocolat, from 100% to 60% of liquor. By now I am just a melter, using a mix of pure fine cocoa liquor and bitter industrial chocolat. This last one is from where I "kidnap" sugar, and since it has 35 percent of cocoa mass it´s easy, with some math, to know how… Continue

Added by Orson V. Galvão on December 23, 2009 at 7:30am — 2 Comments

recipe request

does anyone have a recipe for red wine truffles

Added by Roisin Walb on December 21, 2009 at 12:09am — 2 Comments

Mystery, Myth, and Facts of Chocolate Health Benefits

This blog post is for three purposes:

(1) We request your help. What questions do you have around this issue? What would you like our panel of experts to respond to? Please post them here.

(2) We wish to let you know about an upcoming educational program sponsored by The Fine Chocolate Industry Association ( on January 16, 2010 in San Francisco at the Hotel Nikko.

(3) This program is one of a few… Continue

Added by MJ Stojak on December 17, 2009 at 4:30pm — 1 Comment

If you are looking for a special present this Christmas, we have a delicatessen selection of the best chocolates of the world

Added by chocolatetin on December 9, 2009 at 5:53am — 2 Comments

A New Chocolate Book on the Block

Take a look at this newsletter. I want to add that I interviewed Clay and he dished out some awesome answers for me to sprinkle in my new health book The Healing Powers of Chocolate. Thank you so much Clay. Much appreciated!

Added by Cal Orey on December 5, 2009 at 6:30pm — No Comments

Chocolate perfume

That's it; i could not longer resists and order 3 samples of perfume (enough for 2 applications each) at $20(!) for the 3 from Mandy After. I am too curious about the cocoa perfume she has. i've heard great things about her but never tried any of her products and my meager income will not stretch to actually buy the products. So samples it will be. Has anyone of you ever worked on a chocolate fine perfume? We have a couple of times with a perfume house and always ended up with something too… Continue

Added by Artisan on December 5, 2009 at 12:15pm — No Comments

world chocolate


I am looking for new brands of Chocolate.

I have a online shop with delicatesse and it is not such a big succes . So knowing everybody in the world lies chocolate I had the idea to have a makeover of my shop and sell all kind of chocolates from all over the world.

Now, I am looking for producers who make special blend, and chocolatiers who make unusual chocolate bars from all over the world.

Is ther some one who can help me?

My shop is located in Belgium so I…

Added by Annick Vliegen on November 24, 2009 at 10:25am — 1 Comment

Looking for chocolate manufactuer.

My brother and I are starting our own business and and created some chocolate bars. We need some manufactuers/producers that can help us mass produce it. Please respond if you know of any company that can help us achieve this goal.

Rene Roman
Arnold Roman

Added by Rene Roman on November 20, 2009 at 4:05pm — 6 Comments

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