Categories: Inspiration

Cacao Paste ~ Now What~?~!

         I have recently bought some cacao paste from  I seem to be paralyzed, though. I am not sure what I want to do with this cacao paste. I mean, the longterm goal is to make the most delicious and healthy chocolate in the world. The short term goal is to learn how to make it sweet, and have the right texture. I happen to think texture is important in my chocolate sampling.  It seems to [...]

Happy Birthday to ME !

Maybe not the greatest photo, but it sure was the greatest chocolate. Brook was asking me what kind of cake or pie I would like for my birthday. As I thought about it, I decided that if it really was my day to have my favorite things, I was going to have to make my own chocolate… I just like my own recipes the best. (Of course if it had really been all about me, one of the recipes would [...]

Jasmine Opera Fudge

This is a fun experiment! I saw a recipe for white fudge (AKA: Opera Fudge). It seemed like it would be a wonderfully adaptable base recipe. I could mix in flavorings, fruit and nuts, even peanut butter, and it could be a different fudge each time. This was my very first time making fudge. I didn’t like the “beating with a wooden spoon for 10 minutes” part. But, I survived. I put Jasmine tea and raw vanilla bean into the [...]

Candied Orange Peel with Ginger

When I was in Peace Corps in Niger, West Africa, there was not a lot of candy to be had. As grace would have it, I had a handy dandy Peace Corps cook book. It was made especially for people living in sparse conditions… like me! I noticed that candied orange peels might satisfy my sweet tooth. Plus it only require 2 ingredients: orange peels and sugar. Nice! I can’t find my Peace Corps cook book! No! So Sad! But I looked [...]

California Gold Rush

I have been researching affordable chocolates today.  I did order some more Bada Bing Bada Boom chocolate because it is tastie and easy to work with. But, it is a compound chocolate. I’d also like to get more familiar with what I am tempted to call “real” chocolate.  The difference is that what I am calling real chocolate has cocoa butter in it. It is the cocoa butter that makes tempering chocolate so tricky. That leads me back to the [...]

The Book of Chocolate Jots & Tittles

Last Tuesday I was telling my friends Colin & Rebecca that even though I am not a writer, and I’m not a chocolatier, I would like to write a book about making chocolates.  I am exploding with recipe ideas.  I told them I even have a name for the book: “The Amateur Chocolatier”. Rebecca very wisely stated, “Take a lot of careful notes.”  I knew I would have to be thinking of recipes in order to write this book. Rebecca’s [...]

Taking it to the next level…

I have spent the last couple of weeks looking at a lot of chocolate tools and supplies companies.  I have done a lot of research on where to shop and what to buy.  I bought stuff!  Ha!  What fun! Within the week I should have some REAL chocolate tools,  and some molds, and transfer sheets to decorate the tops of pieces. I was toying around with the idea of getting some really good chocolate tools.  Oh boy, did I ever [...]

Pralus Pyramide

Oh me, oh my…  look what the Amateuer Chocolatier would like to buy.  It isn’t even that I want all the chocolate.  I love the packaging! Pralus Pyramide des Tropiques “A very special dark chocolate treat (or gift!). Ten 50-gram bars of Pralus’ single-origin 75% chocolate, each festively wrapped then bound in a cube. The stack contains one bar of each of the following varieties: Papouasie, Indonésie, São Tomé, Trinidad, Venezuela, Tanzanie, Ghana, Madagascar, Colombie, & Equateur. Plan your around-the-world chocolate-tasting tour today!”  I saw this [...]