The Chocolate Life

Discover Chocolate and Live La Vida Cocoa!

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Earth’s Sweet Pleasures Gourmet Fudge Bar voted in the Top 5

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Chocolate! The Best of the Best Organic, Fair Trade Chocolates



Find out why organic and fair trade certification really matter when it comes to chocolate, and how our editors ranked the best of these treats.



Feb. 26, 2009



By Katherine Loeck and Aubrey Vaughn



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Not only is organic, fair trade chocolate better for everyone - from… Continue

Added by Reonne (aka Choco Mama) on March 5, 2009 at 9:41pm — 2 Comments

Now Try This #3 Bee Squeezin's

Now Try This #3



Bee Squeezin’s



This will be a dark chocolate spirits filled ganache using in a light milk chocolate shell. My “light milk” is about 40%-45% cocoa, “dark milk” is around 55% in my workshop.



A friend of mine who owns a café/nightclub locally is also known for the mead that he makes . This is wine from honey. It sounds as if this wine might be sweet but to make it he uses a strong champagne type yeast and then ferments the wine until dry; no… Continue

Added by Frank Schmidt on February 27, 2009 at 4:00pm — No Comments

Chocolate heaven

I'd heard about Food Emporium's vast Chocolate Shop and yet couldn't bring myself to believe it would be anything extraordinary. Since I'm the first to admit when I'm wrong, I must admit: I was wrong. Very, very wrong. This place is chocolate heaven.…

Continue

Added by Sweet Freak on February 19, 2009 at 5:58pm — No Comments

In defense of vanillin

Whole Foods Market, the Academy of Chocolate, and other superficially quality focused organizations have all picked an unlikely whipping boy to highlight poor quality and artificiality... vanillin.



What is vanillin? It is the chemical responsible for the dominate flavor note in vanilla and it's what makes many barrel-aged spirits, wines, and vinegars "smoother" with time. In fact, a fun trick is to turn rotgut scotch into fancy scotch by the addition of a drop or so of vanillin (a… Continue

Added by Robert Shea on February 18, 2009 at 5:00pm — 1 Comment

Behold, Bespoke is open

Rachel and Gil are ready! The city was kind enough to finally hand over those permits so us chocoholics can get our fix at the lovely new Bespoke Chocolates. All I have to say is: get ready, people.



These truffles are some of the best I have ever eaten (though Mr. B's birthday bonbons were pretty crazy, and I still put Kee's on a pedestal, and then there… Continue

Added by Sweet Freak on February 17, 2009 at 11:49am — No Comments

Valentines Recovery

Don't know about anyone else but I am in post-Valentines recovery!! What a maddening holiday. I watched thousands of chocolates disappear in what seemed like a 3 day feeding frenzy.The reward is that I get to spend a few days At the Craters Edge in my tree fern forest/B&B in Volcano, Hawaii soaking in the hot tub and watching the first fiddleheads start to wake up from "winter" . Different groups of orchids are blooming now, I don't know the names of all of them but at least 6 varieties are… Continue

Added by Melanie Boudar on February 17, 2009 at 3:07am — 1 Comment

Sneaky sides in Guatemala

Hi! My name is Michelle and I'm an American student living in Guatemala City while I teach at the Universidad del Valle de Guatemala and write my dissertation. Although my studies have nothing to do with chocolate, I'm very interested in collecting artifacts or replicas that deal with chocolate, chocolate making and enjoying. I've read quite a bit on the subject and have entertained the idea of writing a book on tasting chocolate; how to tell the good from the garbage. I can't write that book… Continue

Added by IslaReina on February 16, 2009 at 11:30pm — 1 Comment

Our humorous guide to win chocolate awards

I am probably going to get in trouble again for this but i could not resist...



For those planning to enter the Academy of chocolate awards 2010, here's our guide to winning:



1. Enter all your products, every single one of them, in all possible categories.



2. Enter any product that has previously won award every year. Why quit when you are winning?



3. Make special batch with the most expensive couverture and the shortest shelf life; you don't actually… Continue

Added by Artisan on February 16, 2009 at 1:35pm — 1 Comment

Why the Academy of Chocolate is garbage

For full disclosure sake, we did enter this year and we did not win anything. However, we did not expect to win anything and my only desire was non-American feedback from people who don’t know me. (I only sent them my aesthetically imperfects as we don’t need feedback on looks and saw no reason to waste good product)



Devil in an Apron is a nonprofit organization, yes we do offer a few products, for cost, that demonstrate new concepts in chocolate and confection: fat based… Continue

Added by Robert Shea on February 15, 2009 at 1:40am — 13 Comments

Valrhona Inc. Product Launch Party New York City

85Photo.com was recently hired by Valrhona Inc. to photograph their Product Launch Party New York City.

Added by 85PHOTO.COM on February 13, 2009 at 9:31pm — 2 Comments

Requirements for Membership

I got a lovely e-mail earlier today from someone who expressed interest in TheChocolateLife a couple of months ago:



> I am sorry that it took so long to respond!

>

> I love your website! I looked into becoming a member but I am not a

> chocolatier. Do you need to be to become a member?



Here's how I [edited slightly] responded back:



[T]:



You don't need to be a chocolate maker, chocolatier, chocolate writer or critic, sell… Continue

Added by Clay Gordon on February 13, 2009 at 3:00pm — No Comments

CHOCOLATE IN CHICAGO

The swirling snow through Chicago’s bare trees seemed a long way from the humid breezes and thick leaf canopies of chocolate’s growing regions. Yet when I arrived at the new Barry-Callebaut’s Chocolate Academy in Chicago, I found the fragrant bags of chocolate from Costa Rica and Tanzania and Mexico ready for action. I had heard that this facility was the best of all chocolate work labs in the country, and maybe even the world. Could it be true? This was no ordinary candy kitchen - the kind… Continue

Added by Susie Norris on February 13, 2009 at 12:30pm — No Comments

Now Try This #2

Now Try This:



A molded chocolate with wine jelly center covered by milk chocolate ganache in a milk chocolate shell.



I’d like to try to post something here once a week during the North American winter months but I’m going to be on a driving vacation to Florida next week so thought I’d get this posted on the blog before I leave this Saturday. (I’ll be staying near Ft. Myers so hope to stop by Norman Love’s store there.)



I’ve been getting some good feedback from… Continue

Added by Frank Schmidt on February 11, 2009 at 8:08pm — No Comments

Now Try This

Now Try This:



Um ! Yum! Dark Milk Chocolate Port Ganache in a Dark Chocolate Shell



I used Papua New Guinea origin chocolate for this molded treat. The Dark Chocolate shell was a 66 % cocoa with half vanilla bean per 5 lbs of liquor. After pulling off 2 lbs of dark I added enough sugar and milk to give me a 60% dark milk at 15 % milk.



If you’ve not worked with home roasted chocolate, just know this: I used a good rich dark chocolate that was not too bitter for… Continue

Added by Frank Schmidt on February 8, 2009 at 7:24pm — 1 Comment

Warning: milk chocolate contains... milk

I saw this article on Cadbury and it made me cringe.

Are customers really so silly that they need this? or is this another manifestation of the nanny state?

Of course allergies are very serious but still... What next? Warning on chocolate contains...cocoa?



Milk in chocolates warning

Britain's most famous milk chocolate maker has decided to warn milk chocolate lovers that Britain's most famous milk chocolate contains - milk.

The latest Cadbury Dairy Milk…
Continue

Added by Artisan on February 5, 2009 at 1:43pm — 3 Comments

Introduction to Sweet Paradise Chocolatier

Aloha and welcome to my blog/profile/page.I am the owner of Sweet Paradise Chocolatier- I am "artisan" chocolate maker in Hawaii and have a small bohemian confection shop with a full grown replica of a cacao tree inside. Its in the windward town of Kailua on Oahu. ( the town Barack Obama and family vacation in ) All my chocolates are made fresh in small batches using my own recipes and focus on tropical fruit, nut and spice flavors since thats what is most readily available here. I love to… Continue

Added by Melanie Boudar on February 5, 2009 at 4:31am — No Comments

Academy of chocolate awards controversy

Hi everyone,



First blog and a hot potato one!!!



Some of you, chocolatiers in the US, may be considering entering the above awards in the UK.

Well, we have participated successfully to them for the last 3 years but this year

made the unpopular decision not to as we feel that the Academy has to address a number of issues

to run these awards professionally.



If you want to read more, check out our reasons and suggestions… Continue

Added by Artisan on February 3, 2009 at 7:30am — 2 Comments

Hershey closing the Scharffen Berger Berkeley factory

Goodbye to a pioneering location for American artisan chocolate....



or as the guys at SFist put it: -- Scharffen Berger Soon To Suck --



Apparently production will move to a Hershey plant in Illinois. Sad, and disappointing. Here is the text from the SFGate.com article (I can't get the hyperlink to work, sorry) --



(01-27) 18:28 PST -- The Hershey Co. said Tuesday it plans to close Scharffen Berger's West Berkeley manufacturing plant as well as the San Francisco… Continue

Added by Madame Cocoa on January 30, 2009 at 7:01pm — 1 Comment

Faculty for the 2009 World Pastry Forum Announced

Carymax LLC has announced the faculty for the 2009 World Pastry Forum on their new website.



The World Pastry Forum offers two different instruction tracks - the Hands-On track and the Demonstration track.



The Hands-On track offers students just that, a hands-on opportunity to do a deep dive into specific topics with world-class… Continue

Added by Clay Gordon on January 27, 2009 at 10:30pm — No Comments

Sweet Freak scoop: Hot Chocolate Festival comes a day early

Just as I was reminding Alex that we're six days out to City Bakery's month-long Hot Chocolate Festival, I got a message from Maury: the festival not only starts a day early, but is staying open late to celebrate.



The 17th annual festival kicks off this Saturday, the 31st, at the normal opening hour of 7:30 a.m. But just in case you're… Continue

Added by Sweet Freak on January 27, 2009 at 3:47pm — No Comments

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