08 October 2007

My Foodie-sense Is Tingling : Greasemonkey for Culinary Pros? 1

What is Greasemonkey you might ask? Greasemonkey is a plugin for the Firefox web browser. Note: If you use Internet Explorer, you can use the IE7 Pro Compatibility add-in to permit some Greasemonkey scripts. If you use Safari, you may be able to run some scripts using the Creammonkey plugin. Opera is also known for being able to run a few scripts on their own.

Greasemonkey allows you to change how your favorite pages behave and look. There are many scripts that have already been written, and if you know javascript you can easily create your own.The Greasemonkey install on firefox is very easy .

You can find the Greasemonkey console,which shows all your scripts, under the "Tools" link on the browser menu bar. The scripts are editable. All you need to do is click on a script from the list and click on the edit button --- to access the script code, which allows for customization (in some cases) or bug fixes (if the script author is not keeping tabs on updating.)

Userscripts.org is a repository to download and install Greasemonkey scripts. You can find a script to pimp virtually anything ---blogger, flickr, gmail, craigslist ect. There is a tag function on userscripts.org for most scripts but unfortunately script authors do not always tag. So I actually scrolled through most of the 300 pages...yikes.

I can't believe I missed out on so many greasemonkey scripts lately. I LOVE firefox and Greasemonkey is icing on the geeky-optimizing-browser cake.

Speaking of cake, wouldn't it be great to create a greasemonkey script that would use specific formulas that apply to bakers or chefs or serious foodies?!

I am talking about calculators to compute formulations for : Specific gravity,Baker's percent, Turn-over rate of frying oil, Desired Dough Temp, Variances of Mixer per Qt = in F degrees , ect.

Even better --- have temp converters , and an editable interface to add special reference snippets that are pertinent to you (said foodie). I know there are alot of conversion widgets at Chef2chef.net ---It would be nice to see some of them hacked into the widget.

I think that the best way to showcase this widget would to code it to appear as a slide-in menu in the corner of your browser window. The calculators /converters would be linked via small icons, and would feature a link to your reference library (which would be text files, housed in a folder on your pc) There would be a link for "grab formula/ recipe", also.

This would be a great utility to edit formulas found on the web, on the fly. And the best part is that you can take firefox with you anywhere --- just copy it to a flash/thumb drive, and plug into a computer away from home. All your scripts / plug-ins /bookmarks are contained in the firefox interface, which you load via the thumb drive.

Oh, how utterly SWEET!

I will try to compose something out of code and see if I can get the ball - I mean the script rolling.

How exciting!

Run your tooltip over the screenshot to see what subject the screenshot covers. click on the screenshot to view it's pic page on flickr; or click "larger" link to view original.

Screen Shots

*1.)larger *2.)larger *3.)larger *4.)larger

*5.)larger *6.)larger *7.)larger

05 October 2007

Baking Theory Notes: Mixing Geekdom 2

Popular Dough Styles Methods of mixing dough, in bakery settings. If you analyze your home recipes procedure, you may notice most of your home bread or pastry recipes might mirror:" sponge & dough" or " straight dough" methods.

*Sponge & Dough Method

Very widely made.

--->Basic Formulation / Procedure:
  1. Mix half of the flour, yeast , malt , water @ <72°f> = sponge.
  2. Let it rise 3½ hours --- shake it, if it is done it will drop away from the sides.
  3. Remove sponge from your container, add to mixer with remaining flour, salt etc.
  4. Mix until gluten is developed.
  5. Bake
Advantages of Sponge & Dough method :
  • Better Flavor
  • Flexible --- In sponge stage you can leave sitting on the bench.
  • Better (tighter) crumb
{ This equals to ( 2) mix s and (2 ) fermentations {one in bowl , one in oven}

*Straight Dough Method
  1. 1 mix
  2. 1 fermentation
Advantages of Straight Dough Method:
  • Faster
  • Uses less electricity
  • Easier on equipment
  • Less Labor
*No-time Straight Dough Method
No fermentation. Additives cause "rise" activating Enzymes that normally developed during fermentation.
Basic Formulation / Procedure:

  1. Mix ingredients. Warm up the dough (i.e via mixing friction)
  2. Add more yeast
  3. Add Fructose (yeast can eat this faster)
  4. No Rounding --- Scale & put into pans to bake
Disadvantages of No-time Straight Dough Method:
  • Flavor IS compromised (from lack of fermentation)
  • Bad shelf life (unless you add additives)
  • No flexibility --- from mixer to oven (reminds me of "from zero to sixty")
For more info on dough related baking info go here.

25 September 2007


...The evil men do lives after them

(feminist revision of history) and the good is oft
Interred with their bones

(contrived feminist amnesia) --- William Shakespeare...

Personally, I am especially drawn to old books,
the ones found in archaic corners, exiled for
decades in stuffy dark corners, sheathed in a
cloak of cobwebs and dust bunnies. Those are
the most fun! Almost like a treasure discovery,
if you open an old book or two, you may find
lost love letters or pictures of bygone eras,
hidden in their pages .

This book makes a smooth transition, at once
you feel at home nestled in it's pages. This will
be one of many reviews I will be posting on
this blog, and one of many sponsored by
Mother Talk.

Onto the review of:
Jennifer Lee Carrell's second published
book Interred with their bones.

I picked up my copy of this book. The cover felt smooth.
A very substantial book. Wrapped securely in
its jacket, I was reminded of Shakespeare 's cloak.

On the first page of this work, you realize it is written in first
person, in 2004, through the eyes of Kathrine Stanely, an
American woman who lands a stage production at the newly
erected replica of The Globe theater w, in London, directing
Hamlet w no less.

Kathrine the main character, is deeply moved by
Shakespeare's w writings and is well versed in the
curses and hidden codes that dwell within the
Shakespearian lore w. The Globe is hallowed
ground for her. Unbeknown to Kathrine, she
will be visited before the production by her once
celebrated, now estranged mentor - Harvard
Shakespearean Professor Rosalind Howard. The
Professor , a.k.a Roz, brings with her a mysterious
gold boxed gift for Kathrine. Although Kathrine is
at once indignant towards this surprise visit, her
curiosity gets the best of her and she accepts the
strange gift.

That same night, her beloved Globe theater is engulfed
in flames, to her horror she has become a shocked
spectator. Once the flames have been extinguished ,
she finds Roz, dead , mirroring the same manner of
death as Hamlet's own father, in the play Hamlet.
Kathrine is beside herself, as images of Roz's death
and the fire conjure up eerie reminders of Shakespeare's unrelenting ghost.

Kathrine opens the gold box, the last connection to her old friend , and finds a Victorian mourning brooch info, with flowers reminiscent of Ophelia w, a character also of Hamlet fame.

Alarm bells sound in her head, and spur her on a harrowing trek across the Atlantic and beyond, to decipher the clues and find the truth. Unfortunately a killer lays chase, murdering those who volunteer to testify what secrets they hold, a hurried effort to silence all those who could help uncover an archaic deceitful plot, which would certainly change history.

"In the history of the English-speaking peoples, he has no equal. Tongue-in-cheek propaganda about seriously-meant, split-level propaganda implies a depth of understanding that was supposedly not available to the uneducated masses. But he still entertained them in his own lifetime, even if it was just in a little wood & thatch theater. By the time we began to understand what he understood, he was long-dead." --- quoted from an unnamed Bard Lover

Interred with their bones promises to intrigue even the least schooled in Shakespearean lit. A thoughtful creation that glorifies all that is Bard w, this book will entertain. Much as Will's own word smithing, the playful yet dangerous dance with his ghost in this book proves enlightening.

For an interesting author account and the story behind the book visit here.

Find more about the author at her website : http://www.jenniferleecarrell.com/

23 August 2007

Baking Theory Notes: Fermentation Chemistry 4


Remember: Fermentation starts when the mixer stops!

Control Fermentation through:

  1. Temperature
  2. Time
What happens during the fermentation process?
  • Gas is produced --> Carbon Dioxide {When Dough is mixed gas is caught by the gluten and the gas rises}
  • (water & flour cause enzyme activation)
  • Gluten is modified --> Dough becomes balanced so dough is workable : Elasticity --> Extendability
  • Flavor is developed (Acidity)
  • Alcohol is developed ("Alcoholic fermentation")
*To test the "alcoholic fermentation" theory ---> when you are ready to mix your formula, open a starter, either one retarded or left on the bench (Ciabatta or Croissant are especially potent!), lean in --- (as a former instructor would explain: "you rip back- because alcohol has hit your brain", he had such a big grin when he said this ) I am telling you --- it'll knock your socks off. The more "bake-tarded" (my own baker slang) you become, the more you anticipate smelling those starters! Ha HA!


fermentation chemistry simplified
click here to see a bigger sized diagram of the chemical changes of fermentation.

Biochemical Catylist: an organic substance formed by living cells (yeast), is able to cause changes in other substances {i.e bacteria, fungus or both } without changing it's self .

yeast cell budding

Diastatic = has enzymes
Non-diastatic = enzymes have been killed

Diastic Enzymes:

---> Supplied by flour / or Malt (sugar)
  1. Alpha-Amalase works on Amylose ---> Converted to Dextrin (sugar)
  2. Beta-Amalase works on Amylopectin ---> Converted to Maltose (sugar)
*These diastic enzymes are important because they work on STARCH.
---> Wheat is 70% starch (bran is protein)


--->Amylose --->

Diastatic Enzymes from flour (from milling) work on the damaged starch (i.e gelatinized (from heat / baking) and convert it to sugar (2% of starches) .

End result is mostly Maltose. Yeast cannot metabolize maltose.

  1. Maltase (enzyme) ---> converts to Fructose, Dextrose / Glucose)
  2. Sucrose [beet or cane] (granulated sugar) ---> Converts into Glucose
  3. Invertase (enzyme from yeast) ---> converts Glucose into Sucrose

Yeast takes maltose (enzyme) and converts it into Fructose, Dextrose / Glucose {allows yeast to eat it).

These processes take place if:
  1. Optimal Temperature
  2. Right moisture Content
  3. Allowed Optimal time
Zymase (yeast) ---> Reacts with simple sugars and injects CO2 into the dough causing it to rise. Produces alcohol.

Simple Sugars:
  1. Fructose = CO2
  2. Glucose = CO2
  3. Dextrose = CO2
Proteolytic Enzymes
  1. All from flour
  2. Can be found with Diastatic Enzymes
---> Protease ---> Converts protein ---> Modifies the gluten so dough is workable (softens and makes extendable)

*Over mixing dough will break dough down into "slime". I've seen this happen, it ain't pretty. Kinda resembles the stay puff marshmallow man (as the ghostbusters cross streams)
when he is obliterated --- a bumpy, jiggly white mass. yuck.

14 August 2007

Blurb on Big Small Plates : Recipe for Tomatillo - Avocado Salsa 6

Cindy Pawlcyn Big Small Plates:

...I was inspired

by that funny movie
Mermaids, where Cher plays
a mom who can only cook appetizers...

Smaller Portions. Big On Taste.
I am a big fan of the bite sized sampler. I love dim sum.
At most decent restaurants you can satisfy hunger
with an order among friends made solely of appetizers.
When I think about small samplers, It is a feeling
much more nostalgic, it awakens memories of
toddler days, when little bits , here and there
were arranged in a goofy mosaic on my colorful
melmac dinning set, equipped with matching fork
and sippy cup. Little nibbler was I, and I enjoyed
this feast as I watched Sesame Street. My favorite
short was of the Pastry Chef, who in his chef
whites and hat, aided by snazzy jazz muzak, speedily
flat iced a cake on his Revolving Cake Stand.
That was a defining moment for me . I saw that and told
myself, yes, that would be someone neat to be.

In Cindy Pawlcyn's newest cookbook,
she explores the shrinking culinary world of mini plates. It is a trend I would love to see more of, especially as America's waste size keeps growing. Most restaurants have to relay their culinary flare plated with portions suitable for two people, eaten by one. Most customers tend to feel robbed if their portions play out into healthy sizes on the plate. The average person would vote quantity over quality --- in theory a better value, but for most avid foodies this is not the case.

Big Small Plates is a refreshing take on mini portions. Here Cindy uses ingredients to maximize flavor, and in the recipe below she includes some of my ♥ favorite ♥ ingredients. It is a ♥Vegan/Vegetarian friendly recipe.

Cindy's Backstreet Tomatillo - Avocado Salsa
Make sure you find the right ripeness in your avocados --- wiggle the stem, it should move gently, but not sink in totally.
Juiciness of tomatillos vary** --- you might need to add a tsp or more of rice vinegar and one additional tablespoon of olive oil.
If you want less heat in your salsa --- be sure to remove the jalapeño seeds.

  • 8 oz. tomatillos, papery husk removed, cut into ½ - inch dice.
  • 1 ½ avocados , pitted, peeled, and cut into ¼- inch dice.
  • 3 scallions, white and light green parts only, minced.
  • 1 jalapeño chile, stemmed, seeded if you wish, and minced.
  • 3 tablespoons minced cilantro leaves
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.
  • ½ teaspoon ground toasted cumin seeds.
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar**
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

To make the salsa :

Combine all the ingredients except the vinegar and oil, in a bowl. Mix well but gently, taking care not to mash the avocado. Whisk together the vinegar and oil until emulsified, and add just enough of this to the salsa to moisten it. Reserve any leftover vinaigrette to use in other salad dressings.

Big Small Plates © Ten Speed Press

Other cookbooks big on little adventures:

04 August 2007

Baking Theory Notes : The Yeaasty Boyz 1

I liken Yeast to the popular and oh-so-old skool group ,The Beastie Boys. Both groups - whether rockin' the mike or the mixer, if given the best environment, will rock hard...and go on and on and on, improving on flavor. They both are fueled on additives and are a product of alcohol, whether that means straight drunk or chemically.....they get ill.

Beastie Boys by LaMoe79


Purpose: Leavening of doughs
Optimum Temp: (to warm 33-40°F) (♥ prefer. 33-38
°F) as temp. deteriorates over time.

When Yeast is activated: 45

Thermal Death of Yeast: 140

----> Compressed Yeast
  • 73% moisture
  • Needs to be as fresh as possible for use.
  • Refrigerated
  • Has not been processed as much as dry yeast.
  • Fresh yeast is best for products to be frozen
Conversion Rate {If formula calls for Active Dry Yeast, you will need 2½ X [the amount in formula] = amount of compressed yeast needed}
----> Active Dry Yeast
  • Can be stored for 1 month.
  • Has to be reconstituted in 4x it's weight.
  • Not used as frequently in bakeries, as in restaurant kitchens.
Conversion Rate {To substitute Compressed Yeast in a formula : multiply 2½ X [the amount of Active Dry Yeast] = amount of Compressed Yeast needed }

----> Instant Dry Yeast

  • Shelf life of 1 year
Conversion Rate {To substitute Instant Dry Yeast in a formula calling for compressed: multiply 3 X [the amount of Compressed Yeast ] = amount of Instant Dry Yeast needed }

For More Yeast Info: Go here

29 July 2007

Baking Notes : On Proof Boxes, Hints for newbie Baker 2

Proof boxes aren't necessary for a bakery, especially a small one, over time you learn to "feel" the doughs textures --- from mixer to bench, from bench to board, from board to oven. This is the unspoken seventh sense those "one" with the dough possess.
Like everything, baking is akin to Star Wars. "Just as the path of a Jedi is often difficult, filled with conflict and pain". As is the path of the newbie baker.

"To become a Jedi requires the deepest commitment and most serious mind. It is not a venture to be undertaken lightly. As such, Jedi instruction is rigidly structured and codified to enforce discipline and hinder transgression... A Jedi who fails in his training can be a very serious threat. The dark side of the Force beckons to the impatient, and students in the past have been lured to its call with devastating consequences."

In The Empire Strikes back, Young Luke Sky walker, motivated by the spirit of Jedi
Obi-Wan Kenobi , ventures out into Dagobah swamp ( of the Dagobah Systems) inhabited by Yoda , Jedi Master. While in Dagobah swamp, Luke Skywalker learns the "ways of the Force" from Yoda, and to hone his Jedi abilities.

And just as Luke Skywalker before you --- Newbie Baker, You too will learn to harness your "baking" abilities.

Every baker --- whether novice or master, all venture into the unknown realm of chemical activity, the eclectic rhythms guiding hands and thoughts into a carbohydrate fueled symphony. With each turn of dough, each shaping of a round, your mind will develop a map of sensory memories. If you are new to this baking realm, don't just make mental notes, make visual and textural ones as well . If you follow this simple plan, the "baking" force will become strong within you.

A.K.A "Proofer" , "steam box" ,"Steam Cell"

Proof Box Advantages:

  • Control temp. & humidity
  • Proofs at same humidity & temp. , regardless of weather.


  • If oven is full at all times, you have gained proper efficiency.
Larger proof box vs. small oven:
  • [2 : 1] or [3 : 1] ratio {2-3 pans proof to every 1 pan bake in oven}
  • 1 hr proof : 20 min of baking time = more profit / cost effective
Why Invest in a Hydrometer:
  • Measures exact humidity in air
Proof boxes are notorious for being unbalanced in humidity.


Cabinet Proofer
Characteristics to Look For:

  • Corrugated Steel ledges to hold sheet pans:
If you can't purchase a proofer with wire supports. Solid steel doesn't work as well, when the ledge makes contact with the sheet pan, it will block steam which rises from the bottom of the Cabinet Proofer (the bottom is where the controls are housed). This will affect your proof.

  • Walk-in Cabinet Proofer
These proofers have better ventilation and are much sturdier.

  • Wire holders/supports for sheet pans
Supports (i.e solid steel / corrugated) tend to break off. Or need to be readjusted. Purchasing wire supports will cut down repeated maintenance.

Rack Proofer

  • Best Performance
  • All sizes, to meet space requirements/ production yields
  • Good for production

Retarder Proofer

  • Has variable temps (frozen to thaw --> to proof) timer.
Shelf Type Proofer

  • Removable shelves
  • Frozen bake-off operations (Main use)
  • Proofer is stacked on top of oven

  • Not ergonomically designed

16 July 2007

Blogosphere blurb / Recipe: Pear Chocolate Belle - Helene 2

Culinary Revival --- That is what Renaissance Culinaire translates into to English. Now that my template is updated in "new" blogger, and it looks o.k I can now get down to the business of baking. After recoding the html and going through each post to label them individually, I realized that 2005 was the "golden" year of this blog. That this was a model for the blog that you readers loved so much --- and in all fairness I plan to deliver my posts in that spirit, once again. ---lets say VIVA BLOG CONTENT!

O.k I haven't a picture for this dessert... But I plan to bake it next week, so I will update the post with some assembly & finished dessert pics later.

Pear Chocolate Belle - Helene
This was adapted from an editorial in The Columbia.

Cake Ingredients:

¾ Cup butter or Margarine+ , softened
2 ½ Cups flour
1 Cup Brown Sugar+
½ tsp. Baking Powder
½ tsp. Baking Soda
4 ounces Bittersweet Chocolate , melted
1 Egg , slightly beaten+
1 cup milk+
4 small, ripe Bartlett pears, peeled, cored and cut in half. (or substitute for canned halves --- drain, and pat dry w/ paper towels)

++For Vegan/ Vegetarian :

Substitute Earth Balance (( in the block form)) in place of the butter.
Use 2 oz of Extra Firm Silken Tofu in place of egg.
Soy or coconut milk can be substituted for milk.
Substitute your natural sweetener ( I.\e Turbinado) in place of sugar --- adjust accordingly, more or less depending on the sweetener.

Cake Mix Directions :Preheat oven to 350ºF. Beat butter with electric mixer on medium speed until creamy.
Add flour and sugar; beat on low speed until crumbly. Remove 1/3 cup of
the butter mixture; set aside. Add baking powder, baking soda,
chocolate, egg and milk to remaining butter mixture in bowl. Stir just
until dry ingredients are moistened.

SPREAD one-third of the batter into greased 9-inch spring form pan. Place pear halves,
cut sides down, in a circular pattern over batter. Drop spoonfuls of
remaining batter over pears; spread to evenly cover pears. Sprinkle
with the reserved crumb mixture .

BAKE 1 hour 10 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool.

Cake Finishing:
Using a pastry brush, brush the cooled cake with *Brandy Simple Syrup. Spoon slightly cooled **Spiced Carmel sauce onto the cake, allowing the caramel to drip over sides.

*Brandy Simple syrup
2 cups water
1 cup white sugar ( Or vegan sugar)
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/4 cup brandy

In a saucepan, combine water, sugar and lemon zest. Bring mixture to a boil and continue boiling for 5 minutes. Strain into airtight container, removing the lemon zest. Allow to cool, then cover and store in refrigerator. When ready to use, mix in brandy. Brush onto cake

*Spiced Pecan Carmel
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
½ tsp Cinnamon
¼ nutmeg
Toasted Pecan halves

Put granulated sugar in a 2-quart heavy saucepan and crumble brown sugar over. Melt sugar, undisturbed, over moderate heat until granulated sugar is mostly melted. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally with a fork, until a deep golden caramel. Carefully pour in cream (mixture will bubble up and caramel will harden slightly) and stir in nutmeg, cinnamon . Simmer, stirring, until caramel is dissolved and sauce is reduced to about 1 cups, about 10 minutes. Cool to just warm.

++Vegan Spiced Carmel Sauce:

2 Tbsp. Cornstarch
½ Cup soy milk
½ Cup vegan sugar
¼ tsp Nutmeg
¼ tsp Cinnamon
¼ Cup water + 1 tsp water
Toasted Pecan halves

DIRECTIONS: Stir cornstarch into soy milk and set aside. Place Vegan sweetener , spices and one tablespoon water in a non-stick saucepan. Over medium heat, stirring constantly color will appear light brown, add 1/4 cup cold water, allow the syrup to come to a low boil. Reduce heat and add soy milk while stirring. Once incorporated , gradually return to boil, stirring constantly until thickened & glossy / smooth. Add vanilla and remove from heat. Add toasted Pecans. {if too thick/sweet, add additional soy milk , stirring constantly.}

05 July 2007

Got Baby?! 1

Got Baby?!, originally uploaded by Amber *.

Well as I said I have been busy. You can click on the picture to read about the birth.


He is getting soo big. He is 3 months and 1 week tomorrow. He is the size of a 6 month old! A total opposite of my daughter who was very petite.

01 June 2007

JUNE: What a Foodie Month it is....... 1

Photo : Egg Washing oat loaves on a proofing board.

June is :

Candy Month (National), Dairy Month (National), Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month (National), Iced Tea Month (National), Turkey Lovers Month, and Papaya Month (National) . First week of the month is National Fishing Week.

June 1: National Doughnut Day (always the first Friday in June)

June 2: National Rocky Road Ice Cream Day

June 4: Applesauce Cake Day

June 5: National Gingerbread Day

June 6: Hunger Awareness Day (US National)

June 7: First day ice cream was sold in the US, June 7, 1786; National Chocolate Ice Cream Day

June 10: Iced Tea Day

June 13: Kitchen Klutzes Of America Day

June 16: Fudge Day; Fresh Veggies Day

June 17: Father's Day; Eat Your Vegetables Day

June 18: Go Fishing Day

June 20: Ice Cream Soda Day

June 21: Summer Solstice - First Day of Summer

June 22: National Chocolate Éclair Day

June 25: National Catfish Day

June 26: National Chocolate Pudding Day

June 29: Waffle Iron Day

13 May 2007

Personality Probing ... 0

Well here is a glimpse into the person behind the keyboard -- not just the persona.

You are more withdrawn than social, more calm than anxious, more structured than unplanned/spontaneous, more accommodating than strong willed, more inventive than conventional.
You are a private person who finds serenity in structure but remains flexible and inventive in the face of change.

Tradition. Integrity. Electricity.

Your Personality Type:

Average Extroversion
The Extroversion domain measures traits related to the enthusiasm and interest you show towards others. People who score high on this domain are outgoing and friendly; people who score low tend to be reserved and serious. You scored average on this domain indicating that you are fairly balanced in your desire to be with others or spend time alone. You are social, but not overly so, appreciating parties and other social gatherings as well as enjoying your alone time.

High Emotional Stability 
The Emotional Stability domain measures the way in which you react to stressful or emotional situations. People who score high on this domain are relaxed and fairly worry-free; people who score low have strong emotions and may be prone to sadness. You scored high on this domain indicating that you are self confident, secure with who you are and remain calm in stressful situations. You take criticism well and don't take things too personally. Because your emotions remain fairly even, others find you a pleasure to be around as you are consistent in your interactions.

High Orderliness
The Orderliness domain measures your drive and organization. People who score high on this domain are organized and conscientious; people who score low are laid back and prefer to act spontaneously. You scored high on this domain indicating that you are an orderly, responsible individual who sets high goals. You work hard to succeed at all that you do. You like to plan ahead and work by a schedule. You are punctual, neat, and well organized.

High Accommodation
The Accommodation domain measures how you interact with others. People who score high on this domain are soft hearted and cooperative; people who score low tend to be more hard headed and competitive. You scored high on this domain indicating that you are a compassionate, tender hearted individual who is generally trusting of others. You are enjoyable to be around, get along with most anyone and forgive easily. You dislike conflicts and may avoid unpleasant topics of conversation because of this.

High Inquisitiveness
The Inquisitiveness domain measures your openness to new experience. People who score high on this domain are curious and open minded; people who score low are more traditional and seek out the familiar. You scored high on this domain indicating that you welcome new experiences. You enjoy learning and doing new things. You have a broad range of interests, an active imagination and accept change in your life with relative ease.

12 May 2007

Photography : Blackberry Granita w/ Banana Mouse 3

*Plated desserts. All made from scratch. This blackberry granita in pilsner glass is garnished with banana mouse, raspberry sauce drizzle, two lemon peel spears and fresh blackberries. On the plate are two piped chocolate tears filled with mango sauce and accented with raspberry cloverleafs.
I have been away from blogging and the cyber world for a year....my Google PR reflects that. Ha. Well I am here to tell you I will be sloughing off these feeble embers and stoking this blog into a great foodie fire! VIVA LA CULINAIRE! More to come?!...

10 January 2007

Chocolate Suppliers & Retail Suppliers 20

I am compiling a list of International Sources for Chocolate Suppliers / Retailers / Books listing Suppliers. Here is a detailed list by Country / State / City, with web links if available. A combination of my own research - With commentary on specific areas from a group of chocophiles that I am a member of.

Please Do not Plagiarize this list. You can link here by adding this code to your blog or website:
This is what it will look like on your site:

Copy & paste this code into you site template:

Directory Websites

*ChocoMap.com: Great resource --- Find a Chocolate Shop in your area, search by region, and get detailed reviews of the shops listed.

Direct Suppliers

Chocolate Producers

  • Amano Artisan producer.
  • Amedei US (distribution ) Artisan producer . New small dedicated Italian producer based in Pisa with a poetic philosophy about the making of chocolate. The results are pricey, but include some of the best chocolates around.
  • Askinosie Artisan producer.
  • Chocolove Artisan producer .US supplier dedicated to provided great chocolate - with love, shipping chocolate specially made in Belgium.
  • Divine ChocolateUS (A.K.A The Day Chocolate Company) Major Producer. Fair Trade Chocolate.
  • Guittard Major Producer. Fourth-generation family of chocolatiers, originally from France, have been supplying professionals like Recchiuti for a century and half. They now have a retail line of very high quality chocolates.
  • Chocolate Society :Promoters of fine chocolate, representatives and distributors for Valrhona in the UK. Originally a club Founded in 1991 supplying chocolate to members, the Chocolate Society have gradually transformed into a successful commercial operation with a shop and online ordering and a range of their own products made with Valrhona chocolate.
  • Delvaux Artisan producer. UK based maker of premium based chocolates based on the Belgian formula.
  • Divine Chocolate (A.K.A The Day Chocolate Company)Major producer. Fair Trade Chocolate.
  • Green & Black's .Major producer. Pioneers in the organic and fairly traded chocolate field, Green & Black's have managed to take their brand from health food obscurity to major supermarket player, branching out to become a general organic sweet food producer. Their chocolate is becoming more and more famous. Owned by Cadburys.
  • L'artisan du Chocolat .Chocolatier.French by name, Belgian by craft, but actually a genuine London based chocolatier whose entire range is produced in London using chocolate from some of the best large-scale produced fine chocolate.
  • Montezuma's . Artisan producer. Small English chocolate producer based in Chichester in West Sussex in England, who say they produce quality organic and natural chocolate products in an environmentally friendly way.
  • Plamil Health/Whole Food company . UK health food producer mainly known for producing dairy free and vegan products, including chocolate substitute bars made with carob.
  • Rococo .Chocolatier.



  • Callebaut Major producer .A name we might not know of in the English-speaking world, most of us have probably eaten their chocolate some time or another - Callebaut mainly produce chocolate at an industrial level for other manufacturers, as well as for smaller producers and restaurants. Founded in Belgium in 1850 they have grown to be a massive scale producer (as Barry Callebaut) with production facilities all over the world. Whenever you are eating a chocolate bar marked as ‘Belgian Chocolate’ you are probably eating Callebaut.
  • Dolfin Artisan producer .Small, fairly young, Belgian company producing a range of naturally flavored chocolate bars sold around the world.
  • Galler .Artisan producer. Belgium chocolatier with a focus on filled chocolates and bars, but with a few good bars of pure chocolate.
  • Leonidas Major producer. Leonidas’ fine products are available all over the world. To help us show you the most relevant information, please select your country from the list and choose a language.

  • Pierre Marcolini Chocolatier. A rare thing, a small artisanal chocolatier producing chocolate and other confections made from chocolate they produce themselves, from single origin beans they have personally sourced.

  • Abtey French wholesalers that specialize in wholesale confectionery products. Wholesale chocolate suppliers that provides online re-sellers with Easter Chocolate products, Easter animals, Show-boxes, gourmet filled chocolate wholesale. Situated in Heimsbrunn, this Praline wholesaler also distributes wholesale ballotins, Christmas chocolate and boxes, French Chocolate products.
  • Bernard Castelain Chocolatier. Provence based chocolatier, making award winning chocolate since 1994
  • Bonnat Artisan producer. A true family chocolate maker for over a century (their motto being ‘Artisan Chocolatier from father to son since 1884). Passionate about their product, they have been producing single origin ‘Grands Crus’ since 1910. As well as a selection of traditional assortments and flavored bars, they offer a range of seven top class Grands Crus chocolate bars.
  • Bonneterre Health/Whole Food company . A French organic food produce
  • Cemoi Major producer. With roots going back to 1814, Cemoi is the brand name for a conglomerate of French and other European brands producing a wide range of better quality confectionery products.
  • Kaoka .Health/Whole Food company.
  • Michel Cluizel Artisan producer. A French family business and one of the best chocolate houses in the world Cluizel, a benchmark for others to follow.
  • Valrhona .Major producer. Valrhona are a major producer of quality chocolate, recognised by chefs and chocolatiers the world over. An inspiration in the world of fine chocolate, they have a growing range of bars and products, including ‘grand cru’ chocolate and the recently added ‘vintage’ chocolates.

  • Feodora .Major producer.
  • Gut (Ess) Tun Health/Whole Food company. German body fat nutrition project, that also appear to sell endorsed products.
  • Hachez Major producer . Established in 1890 in Bremen, Germany by the chocolatier Joseph Emile Hachez. Concentrating mostly on traditional gift products, Hachez also produces a few medium quality bars based on specific bean types. Their chocolate tends to be a little dense and glutinous.
  • Liebhart Gesundkost Health/Whole Food company.German health food manufacturer.

  • Amedei Artisan producer . New small dedicated Italian producer based in Pisa with a poetic philosophy about the making of chocolate. The results are pricey, but include some of the best chocolates around.
  • Domori Artisan producer.A leading light in the rise of the new Italian fine chocolate producers. Domori take their art and the cacao bean itself very seriously, producing one of the most extensive ranges of varietal chocolates available.
  • Guido Gobino Artisan producer.



  • Chocovic Major producer. Spanish fine chocolate producer with roots dating back over 120 years.
  • Enric Rovira .Artisan producer.


South America


  • El Rey Major Independent Venezuelan producer. Fair Trade Chocolate.







---> San Francisco


Confectionery Suppliers


  • Vantage House suppliers of chocolate machinery, moulds & equipment. We are agents for international companies, providing a range of quality products to suit your production. This website has our FULL online catalogues for you to browse!


  • Cocoa Outlet a full service distributor of fine chocolate and cocoa products, plus a large selection of pastry and bakery ingredients for the hospitality, food service, and bakery trade. While primarily serving the Hawaiian Islands, Cocoa Outlet is now supplying establishments throughout the United States and Canada. You will enjoy the high level of service that Cocoa Outlet provides, as well as the high quality of their products
  • The Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory











@Retail Suppliers

World Wide

  • Starbucks .The now famous international coffee chain. They've taken some stick over the sources of their coffee in the last few years and under pressure now carry an increasing range of fairly traded products. Luckily this now includes a rather good 70% chocolate.
  • teuscher chocolates of switzerland


By State:


--->Los Angeles
  • Boule – another bonbon shop.

  • Chocolate Box Caféin La Canada. Not locally made but imported from Belgium. They have an interesting line of buttermilk ganache chocolates that deserve a look. Their best pieces are in milk chocolate.
  • Chocolates a la Carte - Location info"The Leader in World Class Chocolate Designs". We carry all types of dessert containers, finishing touches, 3 confection lines, a pastry line, and can custom make anything that you may need in chocolate.

  • Chuao Chocolatier – technically the closest one is in Orange County. El Rey chocolate.Handmade, Handcrafted single origin gourmet chocolate confections truffles and bonbons Hot Chocolate Mix and single origin chocolate bars.
  • Edelweiss Chocolates – very traditional chocolate sweets in Beverly Hills, their preserved fruits are very good.
  • Jin Patisserie – in Venice, known far and wide for their tea room and chocolates.
  • K Chocolatier – wildly expensive and quirky hours (weekdays) but some very tasty alcohol filled chocolate, generous samples.
  • L’Artisan du Chocolat – fresh, innovative & attractive. Oh, and expensive.
  • Littlejohn Toffee & Fudge – the fudge is okay, I think they have some great sponge candy covered in chocolate and New Orleans style pralines. Not really a chocolate shop.
  • Valerie Confections – right next door to L’Artisan du Chocolat, more on the elegant comfort side of things. Toffee, nougats, bonbons and now petit fours & tea cakes.
And stores for bars & boxes:

  • Cost Plus World Market – a decent selection & prices of the most popular fine import bars and usually at decent prices. Check expiry dates closely though.
  • Garvey Nuts – it’s a wholesale place in City of Commerce (just off the 5 near the outlet mall Citadel). They sell lots of novelty candies, including the better ones like Madelaine’s
  • Mel & Rose’s Wine & Spirits – immense selection of both upscale chocolatiers & bars as well as import consumer candies from all over Europe, Japan & Australia.
  • Mr. Marcel – at the Farmers Market. Good selection of chocolate bars, though the prices are often 50% more than Cost Plus which is just a few yards away.
  • Munchies – a little gem tucked away in an Orthodox Jewish neighborhood that’s completely Kosher. They have a large selection of international stuff, mostly bars and a great sale on Ritter.
  • Surfas - Culver City kitchen supply company that has a good selection of baking products and just plain old bars, including just about every Valrhona.
  • Bernard C. Chocolates (75 O'Farrell Street, 415-781-2601). Very good bonbons, molded chocolates, and truffles. You'll have quite a variety of flavors from which to choose. Conveniently located in Union Square.
  • CHOCOLATE COVERED (over 325 diff brands, many rare and new, blew me away!)
  • Guittard Major Producer. Fourth-generation family of chocolatiers, originally from France, have been supplying professionals like Recchiuti for a century and half. They now have a retail line of very high quality chocolates.
  • RoCocoa's Faerie Queene Chocolates (415 Castro, 415-252-5814). An eccentric shop with unusually late business hours (they don't open until 1 pm). There's a knowledgeable staff, and they have their own line of chocolates and fudge. In addition, this is one of very few places in the US where you can get Manon chocolates
  • Lyla's Chocolates (417 Miller Avenue, Mill Valley, CA, 415-383-8887). Assortments of bonbons., chocolate roses and fudge.
  • XOX Truffles (754 Columbus, 415-421-4814). Jean-Marc and Casimira Gorce produce small but delicious truffles in 21 varieties, both with and without liqueur. There's even a vegan soy truffle! The truffles have exquisitely thin shells, and you have your choice of several types of coatings, too
  • CHOCOLATE ON CASTRO 504 Castro St, San Francisco, CA 94114










  • ETHEL'S CHOCOLATE LOUNGE-Fashion Show Mall and the Ethel chocolate Factory nearby in Henderson, NV
  • ETHELS Choc shops- inside Flamingo Hotel and in every Terminal at McCarren Airport (LAS)
  • CHOCOLATE HEAVEN- inside Riviera Hotel
  • VOSGES HAUT CHOCOLATE- Inside the ultra fancy Forum shops at Caesars Palace hotel
  • CHOCOLATE SWAN- inside Mandaly Bay hotel
  • TEUSCHER SWISS CHOC- inside Planet Hollywood hotel
  • LENOTRE- inside Paris hotel
  • M&M WORLD- in Showcase Mall with VERY large marquee on the strip next to MGM hotel - can't miss it!
  • CHOCOLATE FOUNTAIN inside Bellagio Hotel @ Jean Phillip Patisserie
  • GODIVA- inside Fashion Show Mall and Planet Hollywood hotel.
  • ROCKY MT. CHOCOLATES- inside Planet Hollywood hotel
  • GHIRARDELLI- inside Imperial Palace hotel

---->New York City
  • Dean and Deluca (Prince St and Broadway): Bonnat (Chuao and 100% bars), Pralus, D&D Brand Bars, Christopher Norman Bonbons, etc.
  • Trump Palace Chocolate Shop (68th and 3rd Ave): Pralus (75% bars, Caramel Bar Pyramid), Amedei (Chuao, Procelana, Red, Blonde, White Pistachio, etc), Vosges (Wooloomooloo), Coppenuer, Chocolove, etc...
  • Whole Foods (14th st Union Square): Neuhaus 75%, Vosges line, Lake Champlain ( Bars, Truffles, 5 star bars), Valrhona (75%), etc.
  • don veitia
  • Zabar's


  • Chocosphere: Bringing Fine Chocolates from Around the World to your Doorstep!Featuring 46 world class chocolatiers.




  • Les Chocolats de Chloe She does really lovely flavours and is very very high quality. The shop is in the middle of a part of Montreal called "Le Plateau" -- sort of the bohemian/artsy/yuppie part of town -- a great area to spend time running around and absorbing the atmosphere.
  • Genevieve Grandbois Very high quality chocolate, beautifully made, with great ingredients. Her main shop is also in the Plateau neighborhood - but she also has an shop at the Atwater Market -- one of Montreal's great markets -- well worth the visit - my favorite is the Jean-Talon Market, but Atwater is also good.
  • Suite 88 Chocolatier - great chocolates with a really fun attitude. It is on St Denis street, which is the heart of Francophone chic Montreal -- it is a great shop and a great experience -- don't miss it! (Right next door is Brulerie St. Denis -- a great coffee roasting shop that is fantastic -- and the smell of their coffee roasting - they do it on site - is amazing)
  • Divine Chocolates- on Crescent Street (sort of the English trendy street of Montreal, although not as snotty as it used to be). Their chocolates are more traditional Belgian style -- very nice.
  • Chocolaterie Suisse - they import all of their chocolates from Switzerland.... they've got a nice selection.

---->Quebec City

  • Chocolate Museum Chocolatier Eric Normand, calls his place a "Chocolate Museum" but it is really basically a very very nice high quality chocolate shop -- he makes some really great innovative truffles and filled chocolates.

  • Paul A Young : Shops in Angel (Camden Passage) and The Royal Exchange (Threadneedle St)
  • L'Artisan du Chocolat : Lower Sloane St (Near Sloane Square) and also at Borough market where they sell all the misshapes - well worth a visit!
  • Rococo : Kings Road, Marylebone High St and a new shop at Motcomb St near Knightsbridge.
  • William Curley : In Richmond upon Thames, Mayfair and John Lewis Oxford St.
  • Chocolate Society :Promoters of fine chocolate, representatives and distributors for Valrhona in the UK. Originally a club Founded in 1991 supplying chocolate to members, the Chocolate Society have gradually transformed into a successful commercial operation with a shop and online ordering and a range of their own products made with Valrhona chocolate.
  • Waitrose Supermarkets Around the fourth biggest supermarket chain in the UK, with an emphasis on quality. Part of the John Lewis Partnership, which has no shareholders and is owned by its staff.
  • Woolworths .Large UK home, family and entertainment retail chain. They had a brief and none too successful array into fine/organic chocolate around 2001.

Books of Suppliers

These books list places to buy chocolate in the US. There is an Eastern edition and a Western Edition.

The Chocolate Guide: To Local Chocolatiers, Chocolate Makers, Boutiques, Patisseries and Shops

Type-A Parent New York City Bootcamp (Focus: Brand-Blogger Relations)
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