Clay

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Jonathan Steiner The Chocolate Club HK Keith Ayoob Jason Mancillas beth campbell Ernesto Bugarin Pantua Jr. Preston Stewart Kim Kingston LUV Ice Cream Steven Appleton chocolatesage Clay Gordon Thomas Forbes Michael Nickel Giuseppe Di Chiano albertdifonzo 888 patriciafliva@yahoo.com ikkedus vivaciouslyvictoria tk20 highlandproductfinder Amber Stoby ben-picton laur705

I am the creator (early 2008) and moderator (ongoing) of TheChocolateLife.com, which now counts nearly 10,000 members in over 160 countries on six continents.

I am a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design (BFA Photography, 1983). Upon graduation, I immediately embraced the world of high technology – computer graphics, interactive multimedia, high definition television production, and the Internet. It was in 1994 that I "found chocolate" and in May, 2001 I started publishing the seminal blog chocophile.com. Over the past dozen-plus years I have become an internationally–recognized independent authority on subjects in cocoa and chocolate. My award-winning book, Discover Chocolate, was published in 2007.

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Clay Gordon

Perfectly Duck-y Smashed Potatoes


I was making duck confit last...
@Clay Gordon 9 years ago - Comments: 0
Clay Gordon

Sourcing Chocolate and Ingredients


Use this discussion to ask and answer...
@Clay Gordon 7 years ago - Comments: 1
Clay Gordon

Sourcing Supplies


Use this discussion to ask and answer...
@Clay Gordon 7 years ago - Comments: 4
Clay Gordon

ONLINE AUCTION - Abamex Nov 26 - Dec 8, 2009


An auction has been posted in...
@Clay Gordon 8 years ago - Comments: 0
Clay Gordon

Setting up Shop Online: The Good the Bad and the Ugly


I am starting this thread because I...
@Clay Gordon 8 years ago - Comments: 15
Clay Gordon

Sourcing Equipment


Please use this discussion as a place...
@Clay Gordon 7 years ago - Comments: 2
Clay Gordon

Ocean Freight to/from Australia - Opportunities


Shipping from Australia to the US A...
@Clay Gordon 7 years ago - Comments: 4
Clay Gordon

Beating The Heat


This discussion serves as a central...
@Clay Gordon 7 years ago - Comments: 3
Clay Gordon

Cracking Particle Size: A Timeline


It's well known that Rudolphe Lindt...
@Clay Gordon 9 years ago - Comments: 4
Clay Gordon

News and Discussions


This topic is for links to other...
@Clay Gordon 7 years ago - Comments: 2

Latest Activity

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Clay Gordon
 
@clay • 3 days ago • comments: 2
Posted a new Comment on @eric-k-meredith:
"Eric - Welcome to TheChocolateLife! Lots of experienced hands here willing to help out. Where is your farm? :: Clay"
Clay Gordon
 
@clay • 3 weeks ago
@clay is now following @goldie
Clay Gordon
 
@clay • one month ago

FCIA Recognition of Excellence Nominations close in one week: https://fcia.wufoo.com/forms/r1lzjl7w1w9ri8n/

Clay Gordon
 
@clay • 2 months ago • comments: 0
Created a new Event:
Global Chocolate Summit
Clay Gordon
 
@clay • 2 months ago • comments: 368
Posted a new Comment on @clay:
"Keith Ayoob: Hi Clay,Hope you're enjoying Amsterdam.  I'm just wondering if you've heard any rumblings about cadmium in cocoa.  I'm asking because I came..."
Clay Gordon
 
@clay • 2 months ago • comments: 368
Posted a new Comment on @clay:
"Balpreet Singh: Hi clay, I have a question.. According to you which chocolate tempering machine will be best suited for Indian climate. I was thinking of..."
Clay Gordon
 
@clay • 2 months ago • comments: 2
Posted a new Comment on @kevin-wenzel:
"Kevin - I have used this company in the past and was very happy with the results, price, and turnaround: http://shop.chocotransfersheets.com"
Clay Gordon
 
Clay Gordon
 
Clay Gordon
 
@clay • 2 months ago • comments: 0
Posted a new blog:
Chocoa 2017 Prologue
I am getting ready to head to the airport tomorrow afternoon to travel to Amsterdam for Cocoa 2017. I am going to be moderating both days of the Chocolate Makers...

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Making Cocoa Tea w/Chloe

Making Cocoa Tea w/Chloe


9 years ago - Comments: 0
Hot Chili Chocolate Souffle Recipe

Hot Chili Chocolate Souffle...


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Comments

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Eric K. Meredith
04/26/17 04:34:15PM @eric-k-meredith:

Hello Clay,

I didn't know you were the man. The creator of this site & everything. I am VERY IMPRESSED. If you could help me understand the Cocoa Butter. I have a little Behmor 1600 Plus. That was what got us into chocolate & Ghana used to have been know as Ghana is Chocolate & Chocolate is Ghana. So we are just beginning, as I said I cant wait for the small June/ July Harvest & fermenting my own picked Cocoa Pods. It is work but the fun is soon to be here. Please, I beg you for a little assistance now & then. I will compensate you for you WORLD of KNOWLEDGE. Thank you for your wonderful welcome & God Bless you & your Site.

Eric


Clay Gordon
03/07/17 12:21:13PM @clay:

Keith Ayoob:

Hi Clay,
Hope you're enjoying Amsterdam.  I'm just wondering if you've heard any rumblings about cadmium in cocoa.  I'm asking because I came across a report by Consumerlab.com that analyzed chcoolate bars and cocoa powder.  As you can imagine, the cocoa powder, rather than the bars, had the highest amount of cadmium, as it's a purer form, but there was variation, depending on country of origin.  South America had higher cadmium in the cocoa than West African cocoa.   I'm a bit concerned, both as a chocolate geek and as a practicing nutritionist at a medical school for the past 32 years nutritionist in NYC for 30+ years.  I've done some digging in the scientific research and cannot come up with anything that pinpoints chocolate specifically.  

The health research on cocoa flavanols is very exciting and positive, but this latest info on cadmium is concerning.  Granted, it may not have turned up in the scientific literature because not many people have 2 or 3 cups of hot chocolate (made with a LOT of cocoa powder) and about 50 grams of very dark chocolate daily, either.  I'd like to say I'm interested in the flavanols but truth is, I just like the stuff and the older I get the more bitter I like it.  Any insight you might have would be helpful.  

Thanks very much.  Also -- thanks very much for your previous recommendations about chocolatiers in Paris!  It's given us a few excellent trips so far and may be turning into an annual event for us. --Keith

Keith -

Cadmium is an issue in products made with cocoas grown in volcanic soils as you point out (S America over W Africa). I have heard some say that the new regulations in the EU are unduly restrictive in that the single out cocoa when there are other foods grown in the EU (wheat, for example) that have much higher maximum levels. Thus - there are some politics going on that might not be related to the health concern.

That said, you need to test the cocoa/chocolate to know what the cadmium levels actually are. They vary widely and without a specific test of what you're ingesting it's impossible to know.

One thing to note is that there is work being done in the field with bio-char which indicates that it preferentially absorbs cadmium in the soil keeping it from reaching the seeds. This same research show positive impact on disease resistance where it is used, specifically with respect to monilia.

So - all is not lost. But then I would also point out that you pick your poisons. If you live in a city near a major road or highway, drink the tap water, and more - you're probably subjecting yourself to more poisonous substances than are in your chocolate.

:: Clay


Balpreet Singh
03/07/17 08:10:11AM @balpreet-singh:

Hi clay,

I have a question.. According to you which chocolate tempering machine will be best suited for Indian climate.

I was thinking of Savvy. As per my research it have three temperature settings.

whats your thoughts.


Eric K. Meredith
04/26/17 04:49:27PM @eric-k-meredith:

Hello Balprest,

The THREE (3) temperature settings our for the different chocolate. 31 to 32 Degrees C is for PURE (DARK) CHOCOLATE 29 to 30 Degrees C are for MILK CHOCOLATE. 27 to 28 Degrees C are for WHITE CHOCOLATE or COCOA BUTTER. I am using a Chinese TEMPERING MACHINE & has worked real well. but as Clay stated ROOM temperature & Humidity. are REAL BAD, but if you have Air Conditioning in your home. do it in there because water will destroy your chocolate real quick. GOOD LUCK,

Eric


Clay Gordon
03/07/17 12:14:47PM @clay:

Balpreet Singh:

Hi clay,

I have a question.. According to you which chocolate tempering machine will be best suited for Indian climate.

I was thinking of Savvy. As per my research it have three temperature settings.

whats your thoughts.

The climate of India is no different from many other places. What is important are the temperature and humidity of the space you are working in. Given the same working conditions, tempering machines suold function the same.

The next question is about capacity and what you plan to make. If you are doing mostly enrobing your chocolate requirements are different from if you are doing lots of bar molding.

Three zone tempering offers benefits over two, but they don't really matter if the room you are working in is too warm or the humidity is too high.

All that said, I represent the FBM brand for a reason and recommend them over Savvy. Three zone tempering is available in FBM machines from the Unica (40kg working bowl) on up.


Keith Ayoob
03/06/17 03:33:07PM @keith-ayoob:

Hi Clay,
Hope you're enjoying Amsterdam.  I'm just wondering if you've heard any rumblings about cadmium in cocoa.  I'm asking because I came across a report by Consumerlab.com that analyzed chcoolate bars and cocoa powder.  As you can imagine, the cocoa powder, rather than the bars, had the highest amount of cadmium, as it's a purer form, but there was variation, depending on country of origin.  South America had higher cadmium in the cocoa than West African cocoa.   I'm a bit concerned, both as a chocolate geek and as a practicing nutritionist at a medical school for the past 32 years nutritionist in NYC for 30+ years.  I've done some digging in the scientific research and cannot come up with anything that pinpoints chocolate specifically.  

The health research on cocoa flavanols is very exciting and positive, but this latest info on cadmium is concerning.  Granted, it may not have turned up in the scientific literature because not many people have 2 or 3 cups of hot chocolate (made with a LOT of cocoa powder) and about 50 grams of very dark chocolate daily, either.  I'd like to say I'm interested in the flavanols but truth is, I just like the stuff and the older I get the more bitter I like it.  Any insight you might have would be helpful.  

Thanks very much.  Also -- thanks very much for your previous recommendations about chocolatiers in Paris!  It's given us a few excellent trips so far and may be turning into an annual event for us. --Keith


Jason Mancillas
02/07/17 11:09:41AM @jason-mancillas:

I recently saw a posting on Chocolate lifes fb page on a bean to bar class in vegas.  I am interested in the class but wanted to know what the cost is. 

Thanks in advance

Jason


Clay Gordon
02/07/17 11:14:34AM @clay:

Jason -

Jason Mancillas:

I recently saw a posting on Chocolate lifes fb page on a bean to bar class in vegas.  I am interested in the class but wanted to know what the cost is. 

Thanks in advance

Jason

Jason - if you contact Jean-Marie directly the class will cost $1050. There is no ChocolateLife member discount per se, but if you are considering purchasing FBM equipment the cost is $500. If you are an FBM customer the cost is $350.


beth campbell
01/08/17 12:13:42PM @beth-campbell:

hi Clay,

I am about to expand my small business and in need of equipment upgrades.  I would like to know how much a consult would cost specifically about equipment and processes.  I am in Canada. Thanks, Beth


Clay Gordon
01/08/17 01:33:10PM @clay:

Beth -

I will contact you privately by email.

:: Clay


Jack Meyer
12/20/16 12:33:29PM @jack-meyer:

Hi Clay,

Would you be able to provide me with a contact to get a quote on a RUMBO?


Steven Shipler
10/30/16 05:56:24PM @steven-shipler:

Hi Clay,

I am wondering what beans you have available right now, also specifically I am wondering about getting my hands on some Hacienda Tranquilidad the Wild Bolivian cacao or if you know who is selling that bean.

Curious if you can sell them by the sack as we are a rather small artisan chocolate maker here in Scottsdale, AZ.

Thanks!


Deb Wisniewski
09/20/16 05:18:09PM @deb-wisniewski:

Hi Clay - I'm working on a Jamroom site and I have long admired the way you have your site set up. We are doing a Ning-to-JR move and I'm wondering what skin you used for the Chocolate Life. It looks great. Did you move from Ning? We're going to use the hosting services for JR as well.

I apologize for asking you about this on your site... it was the only way I could figure out how to contact you.


Clay Gordon
10/28/15 03:39:34AM @clay:

Enna - 

Yes the Rumbo is available in the US. I am traveling in Europe at the moment and have to leave to make an appointment, but I will get back to you via email ASAP with more information.

:: Clay


eg
10/26/15 01:09:58PM @eg:

Hi Clay,

Is the Rumbo available in the US? I emailed the company here but never heard backhttp://www.boscolo.it/macchine-cioccolato/rumbo

Was hoping to get a price (northeastern US). Spent some time trying to send you a pm but couldn't figure it out.

Thanks,

Enna


Jennifer Smith
09/17/15 04:01:26PM @jennifer-smith:

Hi Clay,

I am interested in getting information about the FBM Prima temperer.  Will you email me with info? I would also like to know if you know where I can see one in person?  I'm in So Cal, but I will be at the NW Choc. Fest if you know of one in Seattle.  Thanks, Jennifer


Mark Schutz
09/07/15 08:28:53PM @mark-schutz:

 I am looking for a used savage firemixer 14, how and where can I post a classified ad for this need thank you


Clay Gordon
09/04/15 08:36:30AM @clay:

Mark - 

There is a section of the Forums, Chocolate Education, that would be the right place to post something asking for input from members.

:: Clay


Mark Heim
09/02/15 12:47:48PM @mark-heim:

Hello Clay,

I am a retired confectioner (40+ years) and now consultant and part of PMCA and a member of the Education Committee.  PMCA currently offers several courses during the year on a variety of topics, several of them I have led or taught.  However they are targeted more for the larger companies.  So they get very technical, including the chemistry behind the confections, covering the basic confectioney forms a large company would use, and also cover equipment for mass producing.  We have had several artisan confectioners attend in the past but their major complaint is that the course is too technical, too much time spent on industrial sized equipment, and a lack of time spent on how to generate their own new ideas and artisinal techniques. 

We are now looking to offer courses geared more to the artisan confectioners by limiting the chemistry, eliminating production equipment discussion, and offer more into what an artisinal shop owner would be more interested in such as how to make a variety of a single confection.  Also to reduce the course length (to reduce cost) from 4-5 days to maybe 3.  As an example a caramel course would be more on unique ingredient use, forms, and techniques they could use to achieve color and texture.  It would have about 3/4 or more of the time making these products.  However they would have instructors who could explain the "why" of how things do or do not work as they have the fundamental chemistry knowledge as well as artisinal techniques.

Would it be appropriate to start a forum or other technique to get help from the artisinal confectioner to see what would be an ideal course for them, as far as topics, depth, course length, etc.  The information generated would help design courses targeted just for them.

Any suggestions or help would be appreciated.

Thank you,

Mark Heim


Andrea B
08/14/15 11:16:43AM @andrea-bauer:

Strange - until I looked just now, there was a bean-to-bar class listed for September 25-27...  Maybe something came up and they had to cancel it.  I'll check their schedule every few months and see if they post it again.  If you hear something different from them regarding September let me know.  Thanks, Andrea


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