The Chocolate Life

Discover Chocolate and Live La Vida Cocoa!

All Blog Posts (605)

HOLIDAY DISCOVERIES

This rainy December day marks the end of my first year back in the chocolate production business after a few years off teaching baking & writing. Some things have changed! Many, many more artisans going bean to bar. I don't work bean to bar myself - I'm all about confections - but I've sampled some very delicious products from companies like AMANO in Utah. More chocolate shows. More health news, more "spin", more single origins and high percentages, more daring flavor combinations and… Continue

Added by Susie Norris on December 17, 2008 at 8:45pm — 2 Comments

The Beginning of Our Chocolate Travels

To enrich this community I've been asked to bring over some of the content we've published on our chocolatier "diary". To give a bit more about who we are what a better place to begin than the beginning. We're having a lot of fun in the Charlotte, NC area and we hope this inspires you to either participate more locally, or try your own thing. :)




Where do we begin on this epic tale of homemade chocolate insanity. Do we start at the… Continue

Added by Andy Ciordia on December 17, 2008 at 10:27am — No Comments

TCHO Beta Bar Tasting (or, 3 smiles and a frown)

Happy to have received my "sample box" from SF corporate offices of TCHO this week, I could not WAIT to do an early morning tasting. I broker our new gift collections, just released this month, and it was like an early Christmas for me -- opening the express-delivered box and pulling out all the little brown paper squares and the slick-packaged new formulations. What JOY!! OH, and the smell of chocolate from a freshly opened shipping box!! Dreamy.



But on with it..there's tasting to… Continue

Added by Madame Cocoa on December 6, 2008 at 11:27pm — 1 Comment

Is red cocoa the latest trend? Is it as precious as chocolate diamonds?

I've been looking for the actual difference in flavor in red cocoa by looking at how it's processed. I'm not sure if there is one or if it's just dark cocoa that has the red hue? Do you have any favorites that I could try out and see that it is different?

Added by Gretchen Tartakoff on December 5, 2008 at 5:27am — 3 Comments

shelf life

hello. When a ganash is made using fresh cream for a chocolate truffel, what would be the shelf life please ?
Once the chocolate is made, how long will it last ?
Thank you in advance, Joey

Added by Georgina Joey Ledlie on December 3, 2008 at 1:29am — 6 Comments

Is Chocolate "Raw"

Is Chocolate "Raw"?



Chocolate is a fermented food.



A lot of people have been asking if Garden Island Chocolate is Raw. My answer is, "there is no such thing as Raw chocolate", leads to only more questions, hence this simple blog. The white pulp that surrounds the beans in the pod is most definitely raw and a delicious refreshing treat. The beans eaten straight from the pod are raw but rather bitter and astringent, the health benefits from choking down some wet viable cacao… Continue

Added by Koa Kahili on November 4, 2008 at 12:16pm — 9 Comments

The Great Forastero vs Criollo Debate

There is an unquestioned assumption many chocophiles make: because Criollo beans make better (and more expensive) chocolate, doesn't it make the most sense to replace all those "inferior" Forastero and hybrid-Trinitario trees with Criollos? Wouldn't everyone - including the farmers - be better off?



Well, no, actually. And here's why.



Chocolates made with properly fermented and dried (proper fermentation and drying are key to full flavor development) Forastero/Trintario… Continue

Added by Clay Gordon on November 4, 2008 at 8:00am — 5 Comments

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Privacy and TheChocolateLife.com Messaging System

I recently sent everyone a broadcast message about an issue I was recently made aware of regarding the messaging system here on TheChocolateLife.com.



Because some of you have elected NOT to receive any e-mail from TheChocolateLife.com, I am posting (an updated version of) the message here.



@Message Starts



Recently, Ning (the company that makes the software used for TheChocolateLife.com) made some "improvements" to the messaging system to make it… Continue

Added by Clay Gordon on October 31, 2008 at 9:13am — No Comments

Enric Rovira on Anthony Bourdain

Did anyone see this amazing show of chocolate mastery? Tonight I watched Tony's new Spain episode on the Travel Channel, and he visited Enric's workshop outside of Barcelona. Enric crafted something so dramatically amazing and beautiful...just a large chocolate egg, but OH that egg! He started with two halves in molds, melted the edges and voila an egg. He shaped the edges like a sculptor, the beginnings of the Gaudi-esque creation it was to become. The 15 or so eggs, each about one foot high,… Continue

Added by Madame Cocoa on October 13, 2008 at 10:49pm — 2 Comments

The World's Best Chocolate

what a claim! you might be thinking its just another chocolate fanatic blissed out boasting, full of it, yea right the best chocolate in the world, come on, how can this be, when folks have been making chocolate for centuries, for thousands of years in central america. Yes it is just an opinion, but after many years of R&D working with very talented farmers we have done it. A 100% criollo bar 93% cacao solids that is very sweet and amazing. It is so smooth you can eat a lot of it, but watch… Continue

Added by Koa Kahili on October 5, 2008 at 4:05am — 4 Comments

clay, i've changed the my page so it easier to read agian

Dear Clay,



Sorry I have not posted in while , but life happens but thanks for letting me know about the page,I have just changed it agian so hope this works better. The interest in my Collectible Profiles "Profiles in Chocolates is being looked at now with the Lincoln Bicentennial next year and so it helps to have interested people .



I am trying tpo find the physical address for Christopher Brookes LLC in England that Gwen Borders told me about but no luck finding it on… Continue

Added by Megan Hardgrave on October 2, 2008 at 5:20pm — 1 Comment

Delicious and Healthy Chocolate Tortillas

Go to this link Chocolate Fudge Cafe for an alternative tortilla made with raw cacao as one of the ingredients. It's on the home page right now, or look for it under recipes on the sidebar in the future.
Reonne (aka Choco Mama)

Added by Reonne (aka Choco Mama) on October 2, 2008 at 2:13pm — No Comments

THE CHOCOLATE BOOK - she lives!

If your goal in life is to write a book, allow me to share what I know about the process. Here’s my first piece of good news: the books on how to write a non-fiction book proposal are really good! These are the only self-help books that ever worked for me. What they will force you to do is to refine your idea (Great ideas are a dime a dozen - how do you make yours work as a book?). They will help you think competitively about the marketplace (What other books on the subject are out there? How… Continue

Added by Susie Norris on September 19, 2008 at 2:46pm — 1 Comment

Earth's Sweet Pleasures unveils world's first organic chocolate fudge at NPA EXPO in Las Vegas



Earth's Sweet Pleasures, the makers of Rich Rainforest Dark and Classic Semisweet fudge are debuting their products for the natural product community at the Natural Product Association's Expo in Las Vegas July 17-19, 2008. The owners, L. Hawk Cargo and Reonne Haslett, said they are very excited about this opportunity to unveil their old-fashioned, USDA organic products at the show. "This will be the very first time that the natural store buyers… Continue

Added by Reonne (aka Choco Mama) on July 3, 2008 at 3:14pm — No Comments

Rain Forest Musings

Context: These are journal entries I made as a guest at the Kapawi eco-lodge in 2005. Kapawi is located on the Kapawari River which feeds into the Rio Pastaza which is in turn a major tributary of the Amazon. Southeastern Ecuador. Miles and miles and miles from any roads. The only ways in and out are via canoe on the river or small plane.



More Context: These were written just a day or so after taking part in a shamanic ritual in Quito that involved consuming… Continue

Added by Clay Gordon on June 18, 2008 at 10:30am — No Comments

Its been several weeks since I first posted an in the meantime "Profiles in Chocolate" has struggled to find interested shop owners that will even take a look at unique our concept and chocolate mold…

Its been several weeks since I first posted an in the meantime "Profiles in Chocolate" has struggled to find interested shop owners that will even take a look at unique our concept and chocolate molds , I have tried my very best to find propectius companies both locally and nation wide ,but it been very hard go ...



Like Mr. Jim Sanders we would greatly appreaciate Clay's help in helping our company's begining in the chocolate area such as finding investors or companies that wish to… Continue

Added by Megan Hardgrave on May 20, 2008 at 10:31pm — 3 Comments

MUST WE MUSHROOM?

May 19th, 2008

Accepting chocolate with crubled bacon bits was a stretch for me. Love chocolate and god knows, love bacon, but the unusual combination from a very fine American chocolate company made me suspicious. When I tried it, I gained insight. It’s not that chocolate doesn’t go with bacon conceptually because what is bacon after all but a lot of animal fat & salt & a little piggy essence. What made this bar so very, very bad was that the bacon tasted like Baco-o’s (those… Continue

Added by Susie Norris on May 20, 2008 at 10:11pm — 8 Comments

Review: Santander - Colombian Single Origin 70% w/ Cacao Nibs.

Santander gets an immediate plus in my book for being of the few companies (El Rey is another - Venezualen) that is based in the country of origin. It also is fair trade, small farmer, and kosher.



It has an extremely smooth flavor and mouthfeel, and is not at all bitter. It is one of the most flavorful chocolates I have eaten, complex, with strong fruity undertones, criollo without a doubt.. The cacao nibs give it a subtle bitter crunch, which is a nice contrast to the smoothness of… Continue

Added by Herbert on May 19, 2008 at 6:47pm — 2 Comments

CHEFS & CHAMPAGNE IN LA

Not just any chefs, my friends, but the best chefs in LA were on the street at Melrose Place in West Hollywood last night. The guests - fashionistas & foodies from Europe, New York, LA - were decked! I’m neck-craning - where to look? Beautiful people or beautiful food? Ah, the food! Under white tents, elegant amuse bouce and bite size specialties popped out from the chefs' tables - marinated big-eye tuna from Sona, rock shrimp shooters from Zov’s… Continue

Added by Susie Norris on May 6, 2008 at 5:00pm — 2 Comments

Aloha, Hawaiian Chocolate.

Here's a post from my chocolate blog (www.chocolateallthetime.com/blogspot). Comments?



You don't get to see cacao pods in the USA unless you go to Hawaii, and even there they a rare sight. Cacao trees (from whence, of course, chocolate) are cultivated only sporadically around the Hawaiian Islands. But Tony Lydgate of Steel Grass Farm on Kauai hopes to change that. His botanical garden (www.steelgrass.org) specializes in cultivating organic plants that bring value to the islanders and… Continue

Added by Susie Norris on April 28, 2008 at 12:04am — 12 Comments

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