The Chocolate Life

Discover Chocolate and Live La Vida Cocoa!

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the creation of a product can be one of the most exhilerating experiences

in my 20 plus years in the chocolate and pastry world I've put out quite a lot of what some may call innovative stuff.... being my bread and butter I'm often too 'at work' to realise what exactly it is I'm doing and have achieved....luckily I realise that and have made a conscious effort to enjoy the experience of creation because let's face it , that's the whole point of it in the first place, right? 

 In my outside the box way, what recently began as a joke between a Maryland Chef…


Added by Paul John Kearins on January 1, 2012 at 1:00pm — No Comments

Hilliard owners in the US, have you stocked up on your 100w light bulbs yet?

As of Sunday Jan. 1, 2012 retailers can only sell their remaining inventory of 100w incondecent lightbulbs.  This is to make way for the new effecient bulbs.  That could be a problem for us Hilliard melter owners because the Little Dipper and the mid-range unit are heated by these 100w bulbs.  There is an article  in the online version of the USAToday talking about this and there does not seem to be a need to run out and grab all you can today.  However, it is coming and I wanted you to be…


Added by Pierre (Pete) Trinque on December 29, 2011 at 3:01pm — 2 Comments

The Art of Chocolate. From the Finest Cocoa to Exquisite Chocolate. part 5

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

Since visiting Felchlin 2010 and 2011, I must admit I’m addicted to there chocolate and there philosophy.      This book is to interesting not to blog, so I must share this on my blog.

The Bean   From Harvesting to Shipping

The picked, ripe an healthy cocoa fruits are cut open. The beans…


Added by Vercruysse Geert on December 19, 2011 at 12:11pm — No Comments


Head Chocolatier

This is an exciting opportunity for a talented and motivated chocolatier to join a company and build a brand from the ground up in Southwestern Ohio. The ideal candidate will possess the following qualifications:…


Added by APRIL KOBERNUSS on December 16, 2011 at 10:47am — No Comments

Holiday Party Wine, Beer, and Chocolate Pairing

The Setup

I was given the opportunity, earlier this week, to do the chocolate, wine, and beer pairings for a holiday party, co-sponsored by Valrhona, Fresh Direct, and Manhattan magazine, to which over 200 people were expected to attend.

There are always challenges with doing large scale events like this, but the major hurdle for this particular event was that I'd never tasted any of the wines that were going to be served and it had been a while since I'd…


Added by Clay Gordon on December 15, 2011 at 6:12pm — No Comments

Chocolate Ganache and Praline Fillings


Looking for Chocolate fillings with atleast 12 months expiry date.


Any suggestions??

Added by Saurabh Chandra on December 13, 2011 at 2:17am — No Comments

Shelf Life

Guys please suggest me how to increase shelf life of Ganache based chooclates?


I am planning to put chocolates in retail and want them to survive more than 6 months...suggestions please

Added by Saurabh Chandra on December 13, 2011 at 2:12am — 1 Comment

Fresh Belgian Chocolates in Toronto

Leonidas Confiserie SA is a chocolate producer with an international presence, based in Belgium. The company's focus is pralines (chocolate shells with soft fillings and marzipan, solid chocolates, and other confections. The company is named after its Greek founder, Leonidas Kestekides, a confectioner who moved from Anatolia to the United States in the late 19th century. The logo used on Leonidas chocolates shows an effigy of the Greek warrior Leonidas, King of Sparta.

Visit our…


Added by Diego Varela on December 9, 2011 at 1:00pm — No Comments

Truffle Making

We make about 800 truffles every year for Christmas presents and this is first time we tried molding them. It is so much easier and faster.
And did you know if you increase the recipe by 15%—you get just enough ganache to fill two small round molds completely.
Kevin Creedon

Added by Truffly Made on December 8, 2011 at 12:09pm — No Comments

Fundraiser for Project Hope and Fairness

Tom Drahos of Windows on the Water and I, Tom Neuhaus, president of Project Hope and Fairness, are doing a Molecular Gastronomy demo at the SLO Botanical Garden in San Luis Obispo, Dec. 16, to benefit Project Hope and Fairness, a non-profit established to help cocoa farmers.  Last summer, we donated $4500 of tools to cocoa farmers in Ghana and Cameroon.  To learn more about the demo, see and…


Added by Tom Neuhaus on December 5, 2011 at 5:55pm — 1 Comment

Emmanuel Hamon won "The most beautiful Chrismas Log cake 2011"


Emmanuel Hamon, French Pastry chef has just won the contest of "The most beautiful Chrismas Log cake 2011". contest organized by Macarons& Gourmandises (N°1 French media and online dedicated to pastry / chocolate high end). For this second edition, Emmanuel Hamon did…


Added by emmanuel hamon on November 25, 2011 at 7:48am — No Comments

Chocolate Triathlon: Third part Le Salon du Chocolat Paris Oct 21st

The 8th time I visited Le Salon du Chocolat in Paris. To be honest: I love it and I hate it. It’s too big and too crowded. But I have to go because every year I find some very special things that makes the trip worth it. First I check which chocolatiers won the awards from Le Club Des Croqueurs de Chocolat. I mostly agree with their opinion. Five of the twelve best were at Le Salon: Pascal Le Gac, Vincent Guerlais, Jean-Paul Hévin, Sadaharu Aoki and ES Koyama.  The last one I had…


Added by Vera Hofman on November 22, 2011 at 12:50pm — 1 Comment

Chocolate Triathlon: Second part: Single Origin Event Amsterdam Oct 18th

This was the first year of the Single Origin Event in The Netherlands. Hopefully this will be a yearly event from now on. The location was Restaurant Merkelbach in Amsterdam. The event was organized by Erik Sauer of El Sauco, distributor of some very beautiful single origin chocolates (yes also Original Beans!) and Erik Spande, owner of Chocolátl chocolate shop in Amsterdam. They invited Santiago (Pacari), Mott (Grenada), Philipp (Original Beans) and Kees (Metropolitan Deli) to tell the…


Added by Vera Hofman on November 21, 2011 at 12:25pm — 1 Comment

Chocolate Triathlon: First part London Chocolate Unwrapped Oct 15-16th

It took me some time to recover from my first Chocolate Triathlon in October. Fortunately I am in good shape again and I can tell you about my experiences. The three parts were: Chocolate Unwrapped in London, The Single Origin Event in Amsterdam and Le Salon du Chocolat in Paris. Now up to London!

This was my first visit to Chocolate Unwrapped. The event was held in Vinopolis near Borough Market, a beautiful location. I helped both days at the booth of Original Beans. A lot of people…


Added by Vera Hofman on November 20, 2011 at 3:18pm — 2 Comments

The Art of Chocolate. From the Finest Cocoa to Exquisite Chocolate. part 4

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

Since visiting Felchlin 2010 and 2011, I must admit I’m addicted to there chocolate and there philosophy.      This book is to interesting not to blog, so I must share this on my blog.

The Planter: From Gatherer to Large Landowner

The cacao tree is a delicate plant that needs special care and attention. Farmers often cultivate small…


Added by Vercruysse Geert on November 14, 2011 at 3:04pm — No Comments

2011 NY Chocolate Show

I'd never been to one of these gigs, so it was interesting.  The first aroma I encountered was that of tons of spices.  I thought they'd be related to some variety of chocolate bing made or sampled, but they were just spices being sold by a spice vendor.  A little odd, especially at the entrance.

I actually thought there would be more vendors, but perhaps I had more grandiose expectations.  Favorite was the Praus booth.  They were sampling every bar they had and they'd really speak at…


Added by Keith Ayoob on November 14, 2011 at 12:20pm — No Comments

Hot Chocolate News at the Times and BMJ

Dear La Vida Coca fans;

As I sip my cafe moca (more Moca than Coffee) I was regailed in the local

New York Times (Helo Red Hook) with two health pieces on my favorite bean.


Prevention: Evidence of Heart Benefits From…


Added by Dr D B on November 12, 2011 at 8:30am — No Comments

"Enjoy Wild Balinese Cacao Beans, and learn the true magic of real chocolate!"

I found this text (source Nutrition Food), and after reading it I wasn't sure if it was correct, so I was thinking why dont I open a blogpage about it.

The Importance of Wild Cacao

Cacao is a native of the tropics, and has spread from its ancestral home of Central and South America to almost every rainforest ecosystem on the planet. Deep within the Indonesian jungle, a variety of cacao emerged from the rich volcanic soil in complete isolation, known only to natives of a…


Added by Vercruysse Geert on November 3, 2011 at 5:30pm — 8 Comments

New Crops Criollo Cacao in Ecuador, Farms Rehabilitated

It is expected a good crop of Criollo Cacao Arriba has been working with rehabilitation of farms mediating recovery from pruning and native varieties of trees that have more than 100 years, I think that has been working well in the process of post-harvest and grain quality , we are entering actulamente change processes in the system of marketing, we are in search of buyers who value the traceability and quality, and organoleptic parameters of our cocoa, we have implemented process of Liquor,… Continue

Added by Hector Velásquez on November 1, 2011 at 4:57am — No Comments

El Ceibo is a brand from Bolivia Owned by cooperative not an individual person.

Please inform yourself properly. Don't forget, El Ceibo brand is owned by the cooperative 100% not an individual person. Thank you, for the respect of the cocoa producers of El Ceibo - Bolivia.

Added by El Ceibo on October 30, 2011 at 1:44pm — 3 Comments

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