The Chocolate Life

Discover Chocolate and Live La Vida Cocoa!

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What cacao makes the best Single Origin Dark Chocolate bar? Whether watching your favorite TV cooking show or perhaps observing a gourmet chef create a unique and decadent chocolate dessert, you cons…

What cacao makes the best Single Origin Dark Chocolate bar?

Whether watching your favorite TV cooking show or perhaps observing a gourmet chef create a unique and decadent chocolate dessert, you constantly hear: “make sure to use the best quality chocolate you can find.” But what is…

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Added by Ramon Recalde on June 12, 2012 at 10:00am — No Comments

Cacao Restoration in Puert Viejo, Limon Costa Rica

The cacao forest that surrounds our chocolate factory is much like many other forests around here. It was planted about 120 years ago as part of a big push to prevent the Panama disease from reaching the banana plantations in the Caribbean Costa of Costa Rica. Once the fruit was coming, the harvest was plentiful and the cacao was good quality.



Sadly, about 40 years ago a mold called monilla infected the fruit and many cacao trees were chopped down and replaced with banana. Some…

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Added by Paul Johnson on June 7, 2012 at 9:57am — No Comments

Dark chocolate percentages

On the web page for "1906" Tumaco dark chocolate, the following two statements are made:

"Minimum 53% cocoa content" -- and -- "Luker 1906 Tumaco Extra Dark Chocolate 85%".

So is it 85% cocoa or "minimum 53% cocoa content"?  And Just what does "Dark Chocolate 85%" mean?

Added by Don Goyette on June 4, 2012 at 3:00pm — 2 Comments

The future of chocolate

Last year in July, Suzie Hoban came to Kortrijk for a visit at my place, see her writing on her blog:

http://www.cupcakeq.com/blog/2011/7/9/chocolate-vercruysse.html

Later she started her own business in Colombia, where she is now a chocolatier in Bogotà: Guau!

The City Paper "business" asked her to do some preview of the future of the Colombian chocolate. Read her story:…

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Added by Vercruysse Geert on May 31, 2012 at 2:11pm — No Comments

moulded chocolate wont release after 15-20 min in refrig

Help...I'm new to chocolate. Have a Rev 2. Following instructions except for dark chocolate I raised the melting temp to 120 per Valrhona instructions. Wont release.

What am I doing wrong. the only thing I can think of is when I fill up the mold for the shell I drain it back into the Rev 2 bowl and then use it for caping. Every thing I read says it won't release because of over or under tempering. When I first tried the Rev 2 I left the melt temp at factory setting of 108 and moulded…

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Added by ralph carnesecchi on May 28, 2012 at 9:18pm — 3 Comments

Philadelphia Chocolate?

Hello,

It's been a while since I've visited The Chocolate Life.  When I was here last, my favorite place to eat chocolate was a small place in Philly called Naked Chocolate Cafe.  From what I have heard, they aren't there anymore.  Their website was never much help (and still isn't).

So, my question is, is there a cafe type of place where I can get some really nice chocolate in or around Philly?

Thanks for your suggestions!

Added by Dee on May 28, 2012 at 12:35am — 4 Comments

stuff

I started Making chocolates when i was 8 years old, I would put them into decorated egg boxes as gifts for my family and ever since then I have had the bug. I studied at the Cassio College in Hertfordshire and was the recipient of the Renshaw Challenge cup in 1987..... that basically set the tone for the rest of my carreer. I ran away to the Netherlands in 1993 and became pastry chef, head chef and chocolatier at the extremely popular Ma Brown's in Haarlem, there made the British tradition…

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Added by Paul John Kearins on April 29, 2012 at 10:00am — No Comments

Last episode: The Art of Chocolate From the Finest Cocoa to Exquisite Chocolate

The Innovators In Pursuit of the New for 100 Years Felchlin

Company histories are usually all about change, about leaps forward, highs and lows; they are a patchwork of differences. However, the Felchlin company history is different. In the 100 years since its foundation, it has been shaped by a remarkable amount of continuity: 

- The products – these have developed over time but…

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Added by Vercruysse Geert on April 25, 2012 at 3:12am — No Comments

Ocumare, Venezuelan

Raw cacao nibs just arrived and how lovely the scent of roasting them fills the air.  I smell chocolat brownies and yummy goodness.  Roasting Nib Time: 250'F - 30 minutes

I am learning to appreciate the taste of the cacao nib.  When they arrived they were sharp, violently bitter, aggressive, abusive.  My kind oven tamed them and now, they're delicate, soft, obedient, pleasing and ready to be made into chocolat.  Batch #7 will be made with roasted nibs and batch #8 raw nibs.…

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Added by Journey Shannon on April 13, 2012 at 6:24pm — 1 Comment

Bean to Bar Video #1

Added by Journey Shannon on April 12, 2012 at 4:05pm — No Comments

Batch #5 Bean to Bar

Batch # 5 is under my belt and I am feeling like a proud momma. I’ve made a 70%, 55% and a milk chocolat 45% all with a Peruvian bean. After much making and tasting I have decided the Peruvian bean is not for me. Yes it makes Chocolat. The Chocolat is not bad but the Chocolat it makes is tart and fruity. Maybe it’s great Chocolat and I’ve just eaten too much. My audience has been pleased. I’ve ordered beans today from Ghana, Venezula, Madagascar and Ecuador. I joyfully await there arrival as I… Continue

Added by Journey Shannon on April 11, 2012 at 11:14am — No Comments

Bean to Bar Chocolat Wrappers

I designed these 4 wrapper yesterday evening with the goal of using them on my bean to bar chocolat.  The two artist of the images are Bolivian and African   You are only seeing the front view.  The back view entails the ingredient listing, weight and a paragraph about making the chocolat from bean to bar in studio.  I would love any feedback, criticism or suggestions.  We are all consumers, what do these images inspire?…

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Added by Journey Shannon on April 11, 2012 at 3:00am — 1 Comment

Batch #6 Bean to Bar

I'm now on batch six to making Bean to Bar Chocolat. I'm pleased and the process hasn't been to difficult.  It took me to batch six to realize I must have at least 2 pounds of nibs in the machine with the cocoa butter for the cocoa town to run properly.  Anything less and the wheels spin slowly and often stop.  The first batch was the worst.  Not necessarily bad but I didn't have a formula yet to provide me with guidance of ratios of nibs, to beans to sugar and so forth.  Batch #2 was better…

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Added by Journey Shannon on April 11, 2012 at 2:53am — 1 Comment

Spain and Chocolate

Just back from a trip to Spain. Only managed to sample the delights of Spanish Chocolate in the cities of Barcelona, Seville, Cordoba, Granada, Madrid and Santiago de Compostela. The best place for chocolate was without doubt Barcelona. The number of shops selling chocolate in bars or truffles was mindboggling. From shops selling a small range of truffles to complement other products to large chocolate only shops. Seems churros and hot chocolate is the signature cocoa experince in Spain. I…

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Added by jas on April 8, 2012 at 11:17pm — No Comments

The Art of Chocolate. From the Finest Cocoa to Exquisite Chocolate. part 10

Published by Max Felchlin AG, Schwyz, on the occasion of the 100th anniversary. (2008)

A mellow sensation, marvellous aromas.

 

A luxury foodstuff with chocolate’s vast arry of aroma’s really ought to be suitable ingredients for use in complex dishes. However, in reality, its powerful flavour makes it a difficult spice that can only be used selectively, and certainly not in combination with just anything. Chocolate is a…

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Added by Vercruysse Geert on March 31, 2012 at 12:58pm — No Comments

INCREDIBLE INDIA

 While going through the research for the most favourable destinations for cocoa plantations and also the suppliers of cocoa to produce good quality chocolate,i came across this wonderful article from the Buisness Standard India for which the link is provided below.

www.business-standard.com/india/news/stella-sweetens-indian-cocoas-fortunes/467769/

  What pleased me…

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Added by Pooja Seth on March 22, 2012 at 5:44am — 1 Comment

The Art of Chocolate. From the Finest Cocoa to Exquisite Chocolate. part 9a

Published by Max Felchlin AG, Schwyz, on the occasion of the 100th anniversary. (2008)

The Pleasure  

From Chocolate to an Agent of Delight

Solid chocolate that does not contain additives is perishable; it should not be left for too long before it is consumed as it will not improve over time. It should always be stored under dry conditions and at a constant temperature of between 12°C…

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Added by Vercruysse Geert on March 18, 2012 at 11:56am — No Comments

Grenada Chocolate goes Fair Transport!

As I am writing you from INSIDE the factory of The Grenada Chocolate Company, one of the very first tree-to-bar organic chocolate cooperatives, I am trying not to get distracted by all the chocolate smells around me - or to drift away too long looking at the mango tree and tropical forest from the open window next to me... 

I came to visit Mott Green as he is preparing for his exciting FairTransport event! Mott Green is the founder of the company and passionate chocolate maker who had…

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Added by Caroline Lubbers on March 17, 2012 at 12:39pm — 5 Comments

Starting Up in The USA very soon.

The excitement is almost tangible. I am in the process of finalizing my O-1 Visa petition and very soon I will be moving to the North Georgia Mountains to commence Blue Pearl Chocolate.

I'm an Outside the Box chocolatier, so look out for some surprises. I'm currently working out a line of bonbons, cut ganache, free-form piped mousses and "loose stuff" as cookies and snacks and fruits.Hand dipped.

I need to start from scratch with equipment so if anyone can help me out with a…

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Added by Paul John Kearins on March 15, 2012 at 8:40am — 1 Comment

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