The Chocolate Life

Discover Chocolate and Live La Vida Cocoa!

All Blog Posts (605)

the new shop: crisis as opportunity

The day the health department showed up at our little chocolate factory to ask if it was really true that we were storing chocolate off-site was right in the middle of the period our employees were making each other cry.



For the last four years, Sweet Earth Organic Chocolates has been situated on the second floor of my sister-in-law Joanne Currie's bustling restaurant and bakery, Splash Cafe,… Continue

Added by Eve on May 27, 2009 at 12:30pm — 1 Comment

The Biarritz chocolate train

How do I explain this one? A sixth sense for cacao? An exquisitely attuned nose that enables me to detect almond paste from over 400 miles away? Faith that any place in France is going to have to-die-for bonbons?



When I booked my trip to Biarritz, I knew rugby, pelote and thalassotherapy spa treatments were big. But I had no idea that the region had a storied chocolate history. I swear.



It was only on the TGV from Paris, furiously… Continue

Added by Sweet Freak on May 25, 2009 at 5:24pm — 2 Comments

My Very First Blog...be gentle with me!

So , I have finally been dragged kicking and screaming into this brave new digital world where everything is all a Twitter and Facebook has replaced Facetime, but here I am ready to Blog..So what do I blog about? Well, Chocolate of course! I am a chocolatier for lack of a better title. It's a pretty good title I think, and I am in very good company. I haven't always been a chocolatier and that is something I can blog about at a later date. , but I am one now. What that means is I get to create… Continue

Added by Maria Valente on May 22, 2009 at 3:15pm — No Comments

A local legend

Denise Acabo. The name doesn’t mean much to 99.9% of the world’s population, but those who do know it are fanatical about the woman, her Parisian chocolate parlor and her devotion to France’s best chocolatiers and candy makers.







With a daily uniform of long blonde braids, a tartan plaid skirt, and the sexy-schoolmarmish blend of bifocals and Chanel No 5 that… Continue

Added by Sweet Freak on May 14, 2009 at 4:57pm — 10 Comments

Taza Lecture

I will be attending a lecture by the founders of Taza Chocolates tomorrow, May 13. Please let me know if you have any questions you would like me to ask. Taza is a 2-year old start up outside of Boston doing stone-ground bean-to-bar.

Added by Walter Plante on May 12, 2009 at 8:06pm — No Comments

Ben & Jerry's Contest to Win a Trip to Visit Cacao Farmers

Thought the Chocolate Life people would want to know about this Ben and Jerry's contest with one prize being a trip to the Dominican Republic to visit cacao farmers! It ends May 26, 2009.

Added by Susie on May 5, 2009 at 10:20am — 2 Comments

Tempering machinery

Hi All,

If you need any advice on tempering and tempering units, please do no hesitate to contact me as I am the responsable person for the export sales of Selmi in Italy. We produce very reliable tempering units easy to use. Many flexible options can be put on the machinery which machines life a lot easier.

Looking forward to help you with any question
Tom Bauweraerts

Added by Tom Bauweraerts on May 4, 2009 at 6:52am — 3 Comments

Academy of Chocolate Part 3

At this point I'm just going to advise everyone against using this organization of crooks.



After again asking them about the feedback, the only reason I approached them in the first place, I waited two months and nothing. Not a peep from them, how long does it take to organize some notes? In two months, I've been able to organize 10's of thousands of pages of documentation, what is their issue? (You know, I hear there is this thing called a automated data processor, Madison Ave calls… Continue

Added by Robert Shea on April 29, 2009 at 5:30pm — 1 Comment

Great in Pears

I’m sure that most of the planet is aware of the great combination of pears and blue cheese (roquefort, stilton, gorgonzola). What is it about this pairing works so well?



In describing the flavors associated with “the blue” flavors of these cheeses, common descriptors are “sweet caramel, spicy, peppery, nutty, fruity”. Detecting these flavors in a cheese is the joy of eating it. Missing that element of taste would defeat the purpose of buying blue cheese! With these flavors in mind,… Continue

Added by holycacao on April 28, 2009 at 11:45am — 5 Comments

Learning about Green Acres Farm in Bocas del Toro

It's fascinating hearing how someone from California can uproot and run a plantation and chocolate making in a solar powered space in Panama. Dave Cerutti and his wife are doing an amazing job with ecotourism and chocolate making and have a lot to say. Check out the interview for more info www.buckscountychocolateshow.com on 'The Journey of The Pod tab'.

Added by Gretchen Tartakoff on April 21, 2009 at 9:57pm — No Comments

Dueling cakes

It’s been sixteen years since I’ve seen my friend Bessie’s cousin, Bessie, but I had the chance to catch up with her this weekend at Jean-Paul Hevin's salon de thé.



We were modest and French enough with our meals—quiche for Bessie, salad for me, wine for us both. Less so with dessert. It’s a chocolatier, after all—my favorite one at that. We had to have chocolate cake.



For all its poshness, the salon has these weird oversized, laminated menus with pictures and descriptions… Continue

Added by Sweet Freak on April 14, 2009 at 2:30am — No Comments

A chocolate virus strain in Africa?

I don't know much about this topic but it doesn't look good.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddrink/foodanddrinknews/5119145/Diseases-hurting-chocolate-crop.html


Added by IslaReina on April 12, 2009 at 6:30pm — 2 Comments

How to decorate for Easter

Last year I was excited for Peeps from Bethlehem. This year, I’m enjoying the over-the-top molded chocolates in Paris.



To be clear: I’m not sampling every chocolate bunny or chick—I have to show some restraint. Besides, seeing the elaborate window displays around town is almost as satisfying as tasting the edibles within.



Michel Cluizel has chocolate eggs by the… Continue

Added by Sweet Freak on April 12, 2009 at 2:30am — 2 Comments

A Rare Tour at 10 Guittard Road



I must share with you one of the most incredible tours of anything I've ever been on, a rare tour through the Guittard Chocolate factory in Burlingame!



Mark Hodgson, Pastry Chef Instructor at City College of San Francisco has been working with me on product development for the last few months. He works with someone who is friends with Gary Guittard. It's always who you know and that allowed Mark 25 spaces for a tour of the factory.… Continue

Added by Christine Doerr on April 6, 2009 at 11:30am — 4 Comments

The mixing bowl: Rachel Zoe Insler



The first time I bit into a Bespoke truffle, I was instantly smitten. But the first time I met Rachel Zoe Insler, I was wowed. She's got the smarts and talent of a chocolatier trained in London, but the cool down-to-earth vibe of someone who's passionate about the city and can cop to… Continue

Added by Sweet Freak on April 5, 2009 at 3:53am — No Comments

Press Opportunity: Mother's Day Gifts in/to Australia.

Please do not reply to this blog post or to me. The contact information is at the bottom of this post. If you have something, please reply directly to that e-mail address.



Summary: Mothers Day Gift Ideas for Australia



Category: Lifestyle & Entertainment

Name: Kirsty Lawson

Email: kirsty@prezziexpress.com

Title: Editor

Media Outlet/Publication: Prezzi Magazine

Anonymous? No

Specific Geographic Region? No

Region: Australia &… Continue

Added by Clay Gordon on April 3, 2009 at 8:01am — No Comments

Poisson d'Avril

To the French, April 1 is “Poisson d’Avril.” The idea is generally the same as April Fool’s—to play practical jokes on others—but they do so by attaching fish to unsuspecting others’ backs (á la a “kick me” sign).



But what really interests me about the French interpretation of the “holiday” are the chocolates everyone gets to celebrate. You can find dime store bags of molded fish, clams, seahorses and the like—either in milk, dark or white chocolate. But the top-notch chocolatiers… Continue

Added by Sweet Freak on April 3, 2009 at 5:45am — No Comments

Votes are in...

Awards for the 2009 San Francisco International Chocolate Salon came out on Thursday. Neo Cocoa did quite well taking First Place in the BEST TRUFFLE category!





BEST TRUFFLE

First Place



BEST TRADITIONAL CHOCOLATES

Second Place



TOP ARTISAN CHOCOLATIER

Second Place - shared



MOST LUXURIOUS CHOCOLATE EXPERIENCE

Second Place - shared



BEST IN SALON

Second Place - shared



NEW PRODUCT AWARD -… Continue

Added by Christine Doerr on March 29, 2009 at 9:06pm — 2 Comments

Chocolate Gourmet Chocolates to Attend Northeast Family Chocolate Festival

Plattsburgh, NY – March 26, 2009 – Chocolate Gourmet Chocolates, an Internet-based gourmet chocolate retailer, will be participating in the 5th Annual Northeast Family Chocolate Festival from 10 am – 5 pm on Saturday, March 28, 2009 at the Washington Avenue Armory&Sports; Arena in Albany, NY. Proceeds from the festival will benefit The… Continue

Added by David Pearce on March 26, 2009 at 11:47am — 1 Comment

Now Try This # 4 (b) Espresso Infused Cream based Ganache

Now Try This # 4 (b) Espresso Infused Cream based Filled Chocolates



This recipe is for a cream based chocolate ganache (not condensed milk based) and the cream has been infused with espresso flavor. How is it possible to get the coffee flavor into heavy whipping cream and hence the ganache without making coffee? Chop up the roasted coffee beans and put them in the cream of course. But what if you… Continue

Added by Frank Schmidt on March 26, 2009 at 9:24am — No Comments

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