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Chocolate Lab and Teaching Room

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128 replies to this topic

#31 RobertM

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Posted 17 September 2009 - 12:34 PM

I hate it when work comes inbetween the fun stuff - I'll have to take pictures of the candy kitchen I just built and post them alongside yours and Liors...

#32 Kerry Beal

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 02:55 PM

frogs - 1.jpg
frogs - 2.jpg

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Well the chocolate room finally got it's inaugural run today - nothing is where it is going to end up (except the sinks and likely fridge) - but you have to start somewhere.

A couple of the students from Niagara college came over because they had some contract work to do and needed a kick start. We made about 12 plates of chocolates, cut some pates de fruit on the guitar and had a wonderful lunch that the girls brought with them. Kristina had made a wonderful ragu that she put on penne with fresh basil and parmesan, Carolyn supplied an excellent chickpea salad and a nice bottle of wine, and Ruth brought along a nice loaf of pumpkin seed bread she had made in the bakeshop at the college very early this morning. There were some great brownies for lunch dessert too - oh and some cookies.

I had made a batch of cheese biscuits using the gjetost cheese that I got at Wegmans - very interesting to have a caramel-like cheese biscuit!

So here is the chocolate room as it stands now - molds against one wall will move to shelves around the ceiling as the shelves get built - allowing another stainless table on that wall (likely the stainless table that the microwave in on now). The stainless table that is still in the garage will probably move in beside the fridge and will hold whatever hubby puts together as an airbrush booth. You can see the exhaust vent for it - I'll head over to a coworkers place sometime this week to pick up the exhaust fan that she said I could have.

Edited by Kerry Beal, 24 January 2010 - 03:14 PM.


#33 Beth Wilson

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 04:56 PM

Wow! What a nice space! What will you do with all that space you will free up in your kitchen when you move all your chocolate stuff down to the laboratory! Oh, the possibilities!!!

It is really coming together :wub:

#34 Kerry Beal

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 05:07 PM

Wow! What a nice space! What will you do with all that space you will free up in your kitchen when you move all your chocolate stuff down to the laboratory! Oh, the possibilities!!!

It is really coming together :wub:

You wouldn't believe the exercise I got today - running up and down the stairs over and over to get things from my upstairs kitchen to take to my downstairs kitchen. Some duplication is going to be required!

#35 Chocolot

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 07:44 PM

Looks great, Kerry. Your lighting looks really good and bright.

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#36 ejw50

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 08:14 PM

pretty sweet! That's a lot of molds! I see the melter, looks like a freezer?


What are the buckets? pails of praline or cocoa butter?

#37 John DePaula

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 08:29 PM

Wow, that looks really great, Kerry! Congrats!
John DePaula
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When asked “What are the secrets of good cooking? Escoffier replied, “There are three: butter, butter and butter.”

#38 Kerry Beal

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 08:35 PM

pretty sweet! That's a lot of molds! I see the melter, looks like a freezer?


What are the buckets? pails of praline or cocoa butter?

There is a 5 cu foot freezer under the stainless table, buckets of cocoa butter and fondant - the bucket of glucose is in the front hall right now. And there are a whole lot more molds elsewhere in the house. Somewhere there must be a box I didn't find - cause we only had about 5 heart molds today - and I know there are a whole lot more of them somewhere.

#39 ejw50

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 08:46 PM

how do you clean your molds? With that dishwasher in the room?
Or by hand, with polishing at the end? Or something in between?

#40 RobertM

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 06:38 AM

Kerry - you're place looks amazing!!! I'm still trying to organize mine - will post pictures once I feel it's good enough to compete with your space...

#41 Kerry Beal

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 07:34 AM

how do you clean your molds? With that dishwasher in the room?
Or by hand, with polishing at the end? Or something in between?

I run them under hot water and clean the surfaces with sponge. Really dirty cavities I clean with a vase brush (soft cotton mop) from Lee Valley. The dishwasher isn't hooked up yet - it's 220V and the electrical inspection only got finalized last week. Hubby was not prepared to do any wiring of his own until the inspection was over. So I hope that sometime in the next year or so he'll get it wired up!!!

I must confess I'm not really much of a mold polisher anymore - though while I had 3 people here yesterday I got out a couple of polishing clothes and let them have at it.

#42 Kerry Beal

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 07:36 AM

Kerry - you're place looks amazing!!! I'm still trying to organize mine - will post pictures once I feel it's good enough to compete with your space...

This is so far from organized that it's a bit laughable - but I realize working in it first is going to be more useful than trying to organize before I figure out my patterns. I certainly realize that having the guitar in the box over beside the fridge is not useful!

#43 RobertM

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 09:00 AM

Is that an exhaust pipe I see in the wall for an eventual stovetop? I notice you don't have any burners (or cooking surface) (yet?)

#44 Kerry Beal

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 09:14 AM

Is that an exhaust pipe I see in the wall for an eventual stovetop? I notice you don't have any burners (or cooking surface) (yet?)

Nope - that's exhaust for a spray booth.

All heating will be done in microwave or induction burner so that I don't have to have fire suppression or exhaust.

#45 RobertM

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 09:22 AM

Ohhhh - Induction Burner, how awesome - I really want to play with one of those -

#46 Lior

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 09:44 AM

OOOOOH! Kerry! It is so much fun!! Enjoy your space and slowly you will find the right arrangement!! Label everything cause in the beginning you forget what is where! :laugh:

#47 RobertM

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 10:17 AM

Kerry

Where are you thinking of putting/keeping your tempering unit? Do you think you'll buy additional units? I put open shelves in my chocolate kitchen, but, am sitching them over to open faced Ikea cabinets (no cabinet doors), for ease of finding what I need and the seperate units allow for having shelves of different heights to accomodate my various needs.

Will an induction burner allow you to cook something (such as a caramel) to the high temps required?

#48 Kerry Beal

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 10:33 AM

Kerry

Where are you thinking of putting/keeping your tempering unit? Do you think you'll buy additional units? I put open shelves in my chocolate kitchen, but, am sitching them over to open faced Ikea cabinets (no cabinet doors), for ease of finding what I need and the seperate units allow for having shelves of different heights to accomodate my various needs.

Will an induction burner allow you to cook something (such as a caramel) to the high temps required?

The Mold'arts just get shoved where ever there is space. Most tempering I do in an 8 cup pyrex measure in the microwave - the mold'arts get pulled out if it's easter bunny and egg molding time and I need a whole lot of chocolate tempered. I have 2 of the 6 kg, 1 of the 3 kg units. I likely won't buy any more of them.

I need to figure out shelving in a big way - I've got tons of supplies and equipment that needs to find a home in the chocolate room - but I've got to figure out where the space will allow me to put things and what should be open and what needs to be closed.

Induction works wonderfully for caramel, cause only the bottom heats so I don't end up burning myself on the handles or utensils that are in it.

#49 lebowits

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 01:10 PM

Induction works wonderfully for caramel, cause only the bottom heats so I don't end up burning myself on the handles or utensils that are in it.


Induction burners work EXTREMELY well for sugar (e.g. caramel) because they are capable of heating the pan so quickly. Of course this depends somewhat on WHICH induction burner you get. The higher wattage devices will heat more rapidly.
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#50 LuckyGirl

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 01:23 PM

When do you think you will be ready to start offering classes? I am very interested.

#51 Kerry Beal

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 02:21 PM

When do you think you will be ready to start offering classes? I am very interested.

I'm good to go - at this point small numbers until I figure the flow in the room.

#52 Beth Wilson

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 08:03 PM

I think I am the only one that is on the fence with induction cookers and caramel. Actually what I usually do is toffee.

I find sometimes it darkens it too quickly(on medium setting) and I have to really stir the caramel to keep it from burning before it reaches temp.

When I did the exact same caramel and cooked it on a lower temperature induction, I had better success with the colour not burning but I found the caramel really stuck in my teeth. I thought it was just me but I had a few samplers tell me the same thing. I cooked another batch on gas the same day, took it to the same temperature and this batch was fine.....no sticking in the teeth.

I have been reluctant to cook caramel on the induction cooker since.

#53 LuckyGirl

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 10:33 PM


When do you think you will be ready to start offering classes? I am very interested.

I'm good to go - at this point small numbers until I figure the flow in the room.


Can you PM me the pertinent details about what classes you offer?

Thanks.

#54 MelissaH

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 07:31 AM

Love it, and look forward to more pictures when you use it some more!

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#55 isomer

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 07:57 AM

Congratulations, Kerry. The room looks fantastic!

#56 rena

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 12:54 PM

Wow Kerry your chocolate room looks great. Oh to have more room! That's one thing I lack at the moment. I'm just finishing up my business plan so hoping to get something going this year as far as a business is concerned. Anyway keep those pics coming. Would love to see you in action with making your chocolate confections.....

Rena

#57 Darienne

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Posted 01 June 2010 - 02:35 PM

Monday we had a playdate in Kerry Beal's new chocolate lab. The Three Chocolateers, Barbara, my confectionery partner, Mary her sister, and I all met in Kerry's lab to play and learn. Much learning.

Kerry is as excellent a teacher as you would imagine and we went over some splendid techniques for molding, piping, dipping, mold finishing, use of the guitar and Thermomix. Learned some new ganaches...Malt ganache...oh boy! Worked like dogs (Chocolate labs, I guess) solidly.

The well-stocked lab


Kerry and the Thermomix


Confectionery partner, Barbara, who has the best hands of the students by far


An excellent set up for dipping flat pieces
learning the correct technique.jpg

Learning to make molds (me)
I just need more practice.jpg

Me again, needing lots of practice
technique is all.jpg


A good time was had by all with well-filled containers going home to family and friends. Next year...panning? air brushing? transfers?
Darienne


learn, learn, learn...

Cheers & Chocolates

#58 dhardy123

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Posted 01 June 2010 - 09:51 PM

Sounds like a good time. It was too bad I couldn't come and meet you.

Maybe next year

#59 Darienne

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Posted 02 June 2010 - 06:19 AM

I do hope that you can make it next year.

There was a certain solidifying effect from the things we learned. Extra small tips...which way to scrape and which way to stand molds...stuff like that. I felt very good about it all. We've been doing it long enough, although not often enough, that we could assimilate most, if not all, of the information.

The lab is great. Wonderful floor. Sort of gray rubber with flattish bumps in a squared pattern. The sort of floor you could see yourself standing on for hours. (don't know what it's called and forgot to ask). Lots of sink space. Molds labeled and stored like VHS tapes on a high shelf near the ceiling. You can see that when Kerry has additional space and time, she'll organize it like the head nurse's medicine cabinet. A place for everything and everything in its place. It's what one needs for teaching such a complicated subject. I was mightily impressed (and jealous as hell!) :wub:
Darienne


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Cheers & Chocolates

#60 Kerry Beal

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Posted 02 June 2010 - 04:25 PM

I do hope that you can make it next year.

There was a certain solidifying effect from the things we learned. Extra small tips...which way to scrape and which way to stand molds...stuff like that. I felt very good about it all. We've been doing it long enough, although not often enough, that we could assimilate most, if not all, of the information.

The lab is great. Wonderful floor. Sort of gray rubber with flattish bumps in a squared pattern. The sort of floor you could see yourself standing on for hours. (don't know what it's called and forgot to ask). Lots of sink space. Molds labeled and stored like VHS tapes on a high shelf near the ceiling. You can see that when Kerry has additional space and time, she'll organize it like the head nurse's medicine cabinet. A place for everything and everything in its place. It's what one needs for teaching such a complicated subject. I was mightily impressed (and jealous as hell!) :wub:

The flooring is G-floor a material made for garage floors. I figured if it was impervious to oil from a car, chocolate and nut oils should be fine on it.

The original floor was polished concrete - we paid good money to get the concrete pad polished in the chocolate room. Just after it was finished, the roof was still open over the room and we had a real deluge. The floor got soaked and covered in sand and grit - and the builder put down some pieces of wood over the floor to 'protect' it. Hubbies main aim was to clean out the 4 inches of water that had made it's way onto his workshop floor - so nothing more was done. After the wood came off, it was clear that the polished finish had been ruined by the water and grit being ground down under the wood. Hubby spent days and several hundred dollars trying unsuccessfully to polish it - then we decided to put down the flooring.

DSC_2122.jpg

A dear friend came down from Owen Sound several months ago - she put labels on all my molds!

DSCN0051.jpg

I divided up all the molds into those for sale and those that were mine - I put all of mine above the sink on a shelf that hubby built for me (I could probably use at least as much more shelf space for molds however).





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