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Report: eG Chocolate and Confectionery Conference 2010

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#31 ejw50

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Posted 18 April 2010 - 08:29 PM

First of all, Steve did an AMAZING job planning.

Here's my mental notes. I am sure some are wrong.
Will post pics and vids later.


day 1, demos with chef Amanda Haba and Chef Briea Nathan
of Albert Uster.


Macaroons

- they used convection oven. no mention of leaving door
open a crack or anything like that.

- Chef Haba tried lots of recipes, had lots of failures.
Kind of reassuring, actually.
Like this recipe she gave, almost fool proof. Somebody mentioned
PH. Supposedly, somebody who has worked in PH's shop said
he does not use the recipe in 'Patisserie'
nor the one in 'Macaron'

- Asked about whites. Chef Haba said she will take out whites
morning of (rather than days before or week before)


- making of italian meringue - Incorporation was slow,
mixer speed was medium or so (not high). vs. Fast incorporation
and high RPM. At one point, felt bowl was too cold, used torch
to heat it up and correct, preventing syrup
from sticking to sides.


- To mix dry, used food processor instead of sifting technique.

- Chef Nathan likes to use a scraper to make Meringue/nut paste.
Better feel of dough, better control of process.

- Favor silpats over parchment.

- Piping Macaroon Dough - pipe, stop piping, circular motion,
finish going forward. Maybe not totally going forward, but think that way -
pulling backward gives unwanted peaks in dough. Chef Nathan
uses middle finger in off-piping hand to gauge distance from
silpat. Piping too close = no feet on macaroon.


Chocolate airbrushing


- Albert Uster has a nice luster dust spray product

- with airbrushes, cocoa butter should go in at 95 F, which will come out
at 85. Going in hotter than 95 will result in runny airbrush
effect. Used an infrared reader to measure temperature, decreasing
messiness by a lot.

- when doing finger technique, temperature not as important
because finger will create temper

- Be sure to keep the airbrush warm - If you need to cool it,
do not put airbursh into the fridge along with jar.

- Immediately after airbrushing, wipe mold face down against
a paper towel to clean. This prevents cocoa butter
from getting into the chocolate (extra important for white chocolate).


Chocolate filling


- They did not go over tempering, they had tempered chocoalte available.

- Used standard ladle filling technique.

- In absence of vibrating table, used a more violent rocking technique to air out bubbles.
After filling, rocked hard back and forth, then turned mold 90 degrees asn
rocked hard back and forth. Much more active and noisy than
just rapping it against the table or tapping it a few times.

- After dumping, Chef nathan uses a scraping angle where you are pushing excess out
(vs pulling) with the spatula.


Ganaches -


- We asked about tempered vs. non tempered chocolate. Chef Haba did
not feel strongly that you needed tempered chocolate to make ganache.

- their chocolate salted caramel recipe subbed ~10% milk for cream.
Chef Haba said for fat % reasons.

- They used immersion blender for all ganache

- when using jam/marmalade + ganache, jam/marmalade goes first.

- After piping, they wait for 24h for evaporation. This prevents
gap between ganache and bottom, better for shelf stability.



did not take extensive notes at capping or popping out stage.


lab work


thermometers - reinforced that IR thermometers are the way to go.
Going to get one on ebay for sure.


On overseeding the melt- Steve: It's above 80, it will melt.
Kerry - Immersion blender. Can strain if necessary (we strained
as immersion blender was in use and we were short on time).


On overfilling molds. Kerry - use finger to get out

On gaps after backing - Kerry: To prevent, vibrate more after backing.
Can repair in variety of ways.


On dipping: Jim (form Steve): Wicked 'hard', almost redipping
the piece, where surface tension helps pull off excess chocolate.
Much faster than vibrating it by hand or wicking just the very
bottom off, with no loss in finished product.
Chris: use cake cutter wire to scrape bottom of praline.
Kerry: Not necessary to use knife to scrape top of praline
(as I saw once on food network competition).


Fruit purees, my opinions. Steve brought 4 and we tried
them all. Frozen Raspberry puree and passion fruit were not superior
to a good frozen raspberry at whole foods or passion fruit concentrate
in chinatown. Cherry and mango were definitely superior to whole foods frozen equivalents,
For me, still not worth it for chocolate work, but possibly worth it for pastry work.


flavor preferences. Taste really subjective.
Example: mango bonbon that we made .
Susan loves it, Mary and I think alcohol is strong,
Chris and Jim hate it (too much mango).
For me, reminder of two things:
1. taste is subjective even among experienced chocolatiers
2. a reminder to pay attention to molding and shelling technique
since unlike taste, technique is universal. Kind of like
playing defense in basketball - even if offense is up and down,
defense is consistent.

- shelling, after dumping out excess chocolate

Uster Chefs liked to put mold face down to create a lip.
Some egullet'ers like it on side. Tried both ways. I felt lip makes things later
easier (piping, capping), but face down reduces margin of error on shelling.
I thought putting on side was safer overall, and did not create a pool
of chocolate on the bottom. Pluses and minuses of both.

- Tried out single-use polycarbonate use that has cocoa butter
print on the inside. Donated by Linnea's.

http://linneasinc.co...?idproduct=7371

Mold is floppy, so hard to use. I did not have the skill to use it.
Did give a great marble effect though that was accidental.
It should've been hearts, instead it looked like realy nice marble.
Kerry figured out it was from chocolate melting the cocoa butter
and the vibration smearing it. Pictures are taken, will post.


- Did not like the smell of any of the oils except for mints.


- Events of day 1 was reminder that mis en place is much
more important in unfamiliar kitchen and with unfamilir equipment
and unfamiliar recipes. At home, everything is second nature and error correction
is easy. In new kitchen with new equipment, margins are much smaller.


- Jim and I struggled to make a wet caramel at the scale of Schott's
book. We quadrupled the recipe on Steve's suggestion.
In future, we would make dry caramel or quadruple recipe.



- Steve recommends a perpendicular angle when scraping into bowl
(different technique from the Uster chefs)


- For molds, Steve recommends piping at lower tempeatures approaching 80(chocolate melts at 80),
Mike seemed to like 85 or so. I tried lower temperatures and higher temperatures with
the same ganache this day and have to admit
I still like piping at 88-90 or so in a cool room.
Don't know what others's experiences are here.

- Learned a neat airbrush concept from Mike on white chocolate.
Idea was to use an ivory cocoa butter, which is just enough contrast
with white chocolate and gave it a really nice pop. I would
not have thought white-ish on white would work so well.

- Also learned a good reminder from Mike to pay more attention to temper
technique in a foreign kitchen. Technique and error correction that is second nature
and automatic in your own kitchen is not so in new kitchen.

- Tried both giant revolation temperer and mol d'art, still think Mol d'art is easier to use.


day 2 talk


- Steve had nice easy way to think of preservation from Wybauw.
Wybauw's ideal ganache is 1:1 choco:cream. Remove some cream, add butter, increase shelf life. now add glucose (invert), increase shelf life. You're at 4-6 weeks now.

Now add sorbitol, increase shelf life again. Now add alcohol, you can get up to a year.

Wybauw didn't run AW experiments, so is not a rigorous study. But nice qualitative way to undersatnd it.

- Somebody (forget who) objected a little, shelf life (safe) vs. shelf life (taste) are not the same.

- Steve showed Shott's taste combo table. Then pointed out rosemary+caramel
is not one Shotts lists as OK, but many people use it (Elbow I think?). So taste
is subjective. Chris mentions a book, the flavor bible (?), where author goes through
flavor combinations and say what worked.


- Talked about the importance of naming. Steve had a "bananas foster" that nobody would try. But we couldn't imagine that "banana" or "banana caramel" or "banana rum" would have problems. But they're similar things. Hypothesis was that 'bananas foster' is an old dessert that nobody has anymore and nobody is familiar with it.



decorations


- Gold leaf on molded pieces - from Kerry. INstead of carefully
unfolding and putting in mold, use static electricity to 'stick'
it to the top after unmolding.

- Fruit powder can be substituted for luster dust for color.
Flavor is strong enough to give flavor.

- discussion on coloring molded pieces. Erica wanted to change things up
but customers still think blue = lavender and red = raspberry.
Mixing up colors ends up confusing customers.
Many note that airbrushing really attracts customer, taste
is sometimes secondary. Reminiscent of classic dilemma in the arts of
'artist' vs 'practical'. Mention that molds can be used
to reveal insides - examples coffee bean molds, cherry mold, etc...

- Kerry mentions one chocolatier who distinguishes flavors
by 2 dots. Every single chocolate uses the same mold, just
the two dots difference. lame - o.


- discussion of whether you sell stuff you don't like.
Steve says no - it's part of his value added artisanal story.
Others (I missed who) says yes. Example (I think): doesn't like cardamom,
but for people in other parts of world, no alcohol, cardamom is
a more familiar spice, why not?

Edited by ejw50, 18 April 2010 - 09:29 PM.


#32 psantucc

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Posted 18 April 2010 - 10:33 PM

PSANTUCC- you also learned there is another forum member who not only knows what Xtabentun is, but also loves it as much as you do... LOL - That xtabentun/mocha truffle was truly dangerous!

Alright, I confess - THAT'S my favorite thing I learned!

Here's some information for those not yet fully converted to the way of Xtabentún:

http://en.wikipedia....entún_(liqueur)

My linkhttp://www.cancun.com/Editorial/Xtabentun/

I love the myth behind the drink - I've never read anything else like it.
Little surprises 'round every corner, but nothing dangerous

#33 RobertM

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Posted 19 April 2010 - 06:45 AM

Now that I finally got to attend a conference, got to meet some amazing people, and experienced first hand what the concept of the conference is all about, my mind is racing with thoughts and topics to suggest for next years conference. When I get them firmed up in my head, I will share them with the group.

I'm still on a 'high' over the weekend - or...is that the sugar rush???

One thing though can NOT be said enough - Thank you Steve for putting on such an awesome weekend.

#34 chocoera

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Posted 19 April 2010 - 07:38 AM

PSANTUCC- you also learned there is another forum member who not only knows what Xtabentun is, but also loves it as much as you do... LOL - That xtabentun/mocha truffle was truly dangerous!



amen! xoxox pat :)

#35 Chris Hennes

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Posted 19 April 2010 - 07:46 AM

OK, back home now and sorting through the 1500 photos that my wife took. As promised, I'll try to only post the flattering ones: anyone looking for blackmail material please contact me to discuss the price 'cuz I've got plenty :raz: . (Seriously, I have a lot more photos than I'm posting, so if you have any particular requests I can dig through the files and see what I've got).

OK, day one: Albert Uster Imports, where Assistant Pastry Chef Amanda Haba and her assistant Briea Nathan demoed some molded chocolates, macarons, and a showpiece.

First, Amanda and Briea broke out the big guns to pulverize something for the macarons:
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Briea mixed the macaron batter together, doing the final incorporation by hand:
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Here's a shot of the texture of the macaron batter once mixed:
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We had quite the crowd for the AUI event, as you can see:
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We then got into some hands-on work as Briea and Amanda helped us with our macaron piping technique:
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A lot of us took turns piping them, here's Erica while others look on:
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Here are the macaron shells after baking:
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Pat and Erica watch as Amanda makes the ganache to fill them:
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Et viola! We have macarons, simple as... well, simple as letting the pros at Albert Uster do the heavy lifting:
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Next up, a quick demo of some molded chocolate decorating techniques. First, some schmearing:
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And airbrushing (of chocolates and lungs, as you can see: don't try this at home! Kerry points out that we should all be wearing respirators for this operation.):
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Amanda fills the molds:
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Next up, the assembly of a small chocolate showpiece. Briea and Amanda may have the coolest job ever here at AUI. Amanda started by making the leaves using an angle palette knife simply dipped in chocolate and the pressed onto parchment:
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The parchment is then placed in a tube that has been cut in half to give the leaves a curved shape:
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Once set, Briea used those leaves and assembled a small chocolate flower:
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They wanted to do a velvet texture on it, so they cooled it down the quickest (and funnest) way possible:
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Some airbrushing, some luster dust, and here you have it:
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This was a great set of demos, and it was nice to get some hands-on time as well, so thanks very much to the folks at Albert Uster for letting us come over and invade their space for the afternoon. Amanda and Briea were wonderful teachers and I'm personally looking forward to playing around with some of these techniques now that I'm home.

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org


#36 chocoera

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Posted 19 April 2010 - 07:57 AM

words can not describe the love and respect i have for my eG'ers :)
a favorite thing i learned? well....always have to remember to think outside the box. when you're producing the same thing every day due to what customers expect, its hard to be encouraged or inspired enough to try something new because you're always on a deadline and you need to get things on the floor and what if it doesn't work? (which it usually doesnt the first time or two) but going to the conference and getting a fresh perspective on decorating or flavors or ganache-balancing has been awesome.
i loved learning about the different sugars when it comes to preservation or texture of a ganache, and steve's presentation was amazing and informative and even though i knew one or two things it was amazing how he found something on a subject i THOUGHT i knew, and boom...it takes on a whole new meaning.
i am really encouraged to try those nasty macaroons we love so much too.....the folding technique was super, i can't wait to try (and fail) but try again!!!!!!

anyway, yes, a fresh perspective on flavor and the ganache balancing science was my favorite educational thing and i would LOVE to see this again at the next conference, i don't think we can ever stop learning about these topics.

BUT MY FAVORITE THING WAS ALL OF YOU. i can not tell you how excited i am about our friendships and how supportive we are of each other. besides...you guys are so frickin' fun :)

and super duper love to our newest, plus one :0)

Edited by chocoera, 19 April 2010 - 07:58 AM.


#37 Darienne

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Posted 19 April 2010 - 08:06 AM

Back to Chris Hennes: what is that can Breia has in her hand? Thanks.
Darienne


learn, learn, learn...

Cheers & Chocolates

#38 Chris Hennes

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Posted 19 April 2010 - 08:32 AM

Darienne, are you asking about this one?
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In that one, she's holding a can of "cold spray," which is basically just compressed air I think, that gets cold as you spray it and helps to set the chocolate up. She's using a dab of chocolate on the end of the petals to hold them in place, and the cold spray makes it so she doesn't have to hold it there for several minutes while it sets up on its own. It's the same thing that they are using to cool down the piece in this one:
Posted Image

Chris Hennes
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#39 Darienne

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Posted 19 April 2010 - 08:43 AM

Merci beaucoup. :smile:
Darienne


learn, learn, learn...

Cheers & Chocolates

#40 Chris Hennes

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Posted 19 April 2010 - 08:54 AM

Here is a link to Steve's slides on flavor development and ganache theory. Thanks, Steve!

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org


#41 curls

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Posted 19 April 2010 - 08:58 AM

The conference was wonderful, so glad that I was able to attend and meet so many interesting people! Thank you Steve for all that you did to make this conference a success.

Truly jazzed that I was able to take Kerry's class, and looking forward to incorporating her lessons every time I work with chocolate. Another great opportunity, working with Plus One and learning to airbrush. What a fun way to color molds!

Glad for the update to Pringle007's initial post, your car damage is quite scary, very glad that you and your passenger are ok.

And a followup... mentioned to someone on the first day of the workshop that I had ordered metal to use for caramel rulers online. The place I ordered from is http://www.onlinemetals.com they will cut to whatever lengths you like.

#42 lebowits

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Posted 19 April 2010 - 09:09 AM

Here is a link to Steve's slides on flavor development and ganache theory. Thanks, Steve!


Thanks for posting this Chris. For those who attended, I've updated the presentation to fix a few spelling errors, a bit of formatting, and corrected the table of "experiments" in the ganache theory section to include the addition of invert sugar.

If anyone has any questions on the material, please don't hesitate to send me a message.
Steve Lebowitz
Doer of All Things
Steven Howard Confections

Slicing a warm slab of bacon is a lot like giving a ferret a shave. No matter how careful you are, somebody's going to get hurt - Alton Brown, "Good Eats"

#43 ejw50

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Posted 19 April 2010 - 09:43 AM

For those interested in day 1 demo, here are a bunch of highlights.


1. - Macaron dough folding technique mentioned by chocoera, answering questions about it.

2. - correct texture for Macaron dough

3. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GIZ52xvQgII - Macaron dough piping by chef Nathan

4. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VYfWcvIWqrA - Macaron dough piping done by curls, with coaching from Chef Nathan

5. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZMR2p8g1DUY - correct mixer speed and incorporation technique for Italian Meringue.


6. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fKTWMC60WMM


7. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H0zZhEWXVbo


8. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tdF7jcKctXo


9. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4JWnEbz2nws


10. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1u7c-5uAtj0


11. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LrtHUKEYWak

12. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wyUcheF4WQI

13. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wn_G3_MZ6a0

14. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=klcVEzdBzjk

15. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1u7c-5uAtj0

16. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O4YIEWGNt0I

17. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UQdOVUlrhZU

18. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IroUXEtPjt4

19. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ST8iJu5ErQA

20. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NMVi-JPDKC0

21. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jcxLrjmQujQ

22. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ko6fvcegPFE

23. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2tpviMphLLQ

24. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y3Dk0RHyR0o

25. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N1opiwtk4DE

Edited by ejw50, 19 April 2010 - 09:55 AM.


#44 lebowits

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Posted 19 April 2010 - 11:16 AM

Beth - Hope you, hubby and puppy are doing OK - Betsy and I've been thinking about you 3.
Steve Lebowitz
Doer of All Things
Steven Howard Confections

Slicing a warm slab of bacon is a lot like giving a ferret a shave. No matter how careful you are, somebody's going to get hurt - Alton Brown, "Good Eats"

#45 Chris Hennes

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Posted 19 April 2010 - 11:19 AM

Days two and three blend together in the photos, so here they are combined. My wife was taking all of these, so apologies if there are too many of me! :smile:

On the second and third day we used the kitchen and a classroom at L'Academie de Cuisine:
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To start the day we had a presentation by 2 Dr. Balu M. Balasubramanian about going from cocoa beans to chocolate liquor, part of the process of going from "bean to bar":
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After that, Steve led a discussion on developing new flavor combinations:
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As you can see, we hardly had any flavors to experiment with. You know, only a few gajillion...
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Hardly any molds, either :wink: -
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To get things started, we fired up two melters and two temperers, so one white, one milk, and two dark chocolates. Chocolate was generously donated by the folks at Cargill, whose brands, Wilbur, Peter's, Veliche, and Gerkens, I was not familiar with until we started playing with them. I think we were using the Wilbur, but I'm not positive on that. Here's Eric with one of his melters:
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Kerry taught a beginners class while that was going on: here they are opening the box that Lior sent (very quickly!) from Israel:
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Now, onto some production shots: here Mary and I discuss the production of a mojito ganache. Getting the amount of lime right proved tricky...
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Kelly set to work airbrushing immediately for her exotic creations:
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Erica beating the hell out of a mold to get the air bubbles out:
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Steve and Jim discussing flavor development (I think... could have been Checkers Burgers, too):
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Kelly's class was a big hit, of course. At least, Beth seems to have really enjoyed it:
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Susan learning how to mold:
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Pat's turn:
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And Beth:
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Donna learns the finer points of smacking the crap out of a mold to get the air bubbles out:
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Kerry likes to teach dipping by using Oreo cookies:
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In the other room, Art started up the panning machine:
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And we batched out a bunch of shells for later filling:
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We learned quickly that a commercial gas burner has a little more "oomph" than the ones at home. Stir faster!
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Art offering our photographer a sample:
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Mary and Jim tasting Shotts's Salted Caramel Ganache. I believe it met with their approval (it was probably the most successful Shotts flavor of the weekend, in my opinion).
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Me pouring on the booze (surprise, surprise):
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Jim checks the fill level of the molds:
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Mary showing some tricks to one of the culinary students there assisting us (and keeping us from trashing the place :smile:) --
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Filling the molds:
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The most exotic flavors of the weekend were Kelly's White Pepper bon bons, and her "Caprese" bon bons. Here you can see the sun-dried tomatoes in the Caprese, and the white peppercorn in the others, ready for the ganache:
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Jim shows one of the culinary students (whose names I did not catch, I'm sorry!) how the molds get filled:
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Erica and Mary check the fill level on the shells:
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Beth standing in front of an empty bowl with a guilty-looking grin on her face. Beth, tell me you didn't eat the WHOLE BOWL!!
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And that was the end of day one, finishing off with a clean kitchen:
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More to come!

Chris Hennes
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chennes@egullet.org


#46 Marmish

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Posted 19 April 2010 - 03:46 PM

Beth standing in front of an empty bowl with a guilty-looking grin on her face. Beth, tell me you didn't eat the WHOLE BOWL!!


HEY! Just the one on the right. Ahem. I learned that I've come farther than I thought and that I need to just jump in with both feet. That there isn't a nicer and more supportive group of people around - which I already knew, but was reinforced in many ways in the short time that I was there.

On another note, Milo is hanging in there for the moment and has made some improvement.

#47 RobertM

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Posted 19 April 2010 - 04:00 PM

Hang Tough Milo -

#48 Malawry

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Posted 19 April 2010 - 05:26 PM

Thanks, ya'll, for letting me come poke around and ask questions for a few hours on Saturday morning. It was nice to meet some new people and see some cool chocolate stuff. I also learned a helluva lot in a very short amount of time! I'll try to come back and post a link when the story I'm writing about the conference runs.

#49 Marmish

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Posted 19 April 2010 - 05:49 PM

Steve - thanks to you and Betsy for thinking of us. It must have helped because the trip to the vet, at exactly the time you posted, was positive.

You mentioned marshmallows and thought you might be interested in these beautiful marshmallows that came through my blog reader today. They look so pretty piped like that.

#50 chocoera

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Posted 19 April 2010 - 05:50 PM

speaking of that awwwwwwwwwwwesome salted caramel ganache, um, is anyone allowed to post that recipe with credit to shotts of course? major craving...(hard to believe after only 24 hrs eh?) *darn it, hanging out with Canadians rubs off on you....eh?) :P

#51 Chris Hennes

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Posted 19 April 2010 - 05:53 PM

So I know I said I was combining both days into one post, but these posts are getting mighty long! So here we are on the last day...

We started out in the classroom discussing decorating techniques, and Kelly showed us her two bon bons from yesterday:
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Bob has a slick device for making what he calls "small" batches of caramel: it's a deep fryer, and it works extremely well (and the caramel was damned good).
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Here are some more bonbons that we finished up first thing today (they needed an overnight rest before they could be bottomed). I think these are Erica's cardamom ganache, but I'm not positive on that.
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Lots of tasting going on today:
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The culinary students learn how to temper chocolate in a melter:
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Discussing flavors:
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Our very own mad scientist, hard at work:
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I think Eric made a dozen ganache flavors over the weekend: here he is at work on one of them:
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Kerry and Bob trying to decide if it's too early to start drinking. Hey, it's five o'clock somewhere!
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Me capping off my version of Steve's cherry ganache bonbons:
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We did manage to make a bit of a mess (remember, this is one of four batches of tempered chocolate, and it's the one with the biggest pan!):
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Prepping some molds for bottoming, I think maybe they were a little over-full:
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Steve getting hands-on with his lesson on bottoming bonbons. It turns out that the trick is to hold the blade perpendicular to the molds as you sweep across. Also, be sure you are holding the mold level!
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Once you airbrush the molds you have to wipe the tops off to try to prevent scraping the colored cocoa butter into your uncolored molding chocolate:
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Wilma brought some bar molds to play with: here she is checking the fill level on one of them.
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Mike experimenting with luster dust (no, that is not a narcotic...)
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Pat discussing his color application technique with Bob:
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Steve demonstrating the use of the immersion blender:
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Jim working on his technique for capping off bonbons:
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Eric checks the white chocolate for temper before Erica molds her hearts:
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Steve demoing capping off bonbons. I think he did this demo 20 times this weekend. Thanks Steve! I still suck, but I'm learning...
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Kerry brought her silkscreening toys: here is her setup for her "Chocolate Doctor" transfers:
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Making the transfer:
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The complete transfer sheet:
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Kelly hand-painting the finishing touches on her Caprese bonbons:
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The main thing I wanted to practice was filling molds properly, so here I am doing it again:
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A wide shot of everyone hard at work:
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Eric played around with a disposable hemisphere mold that had a cocoa butter transfer already on it. It turned out to be too flexible to use normal techniques on:
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Steve showing us how to play the guitar:
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Mary hand-painting chile peppers on her habanero bonbon molds:
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Damnit! I can never get all the friggin' things out!
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But Jim can:
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This is why he's so happy: one shot, one kill complete batch out of the mold. He's ready to go pro:
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Bob showing us how his death machine... er... caramel slicer works:
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See where Bob's hand is? Brave man, he must REALLY trust Art!!
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Kerry hand-making a transfer sheet:
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Here's the completed sheet:
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Even the culinary students pitch in to help us learn how to pipe properly:
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Wilma sprinkling peanuts on the chocolate-covered caramels:
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Bob shows the culinary students how to hand-roll the caramels in chocolate:
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And now applying some peanuts:
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Tasting continuously is an important part of the process:
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Still working on our piping skills, of course. How do you hold the bag again?
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The culinary students got more than they bargained for! They got to play in the chocolate along with the rest of us:
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We only did one batch of slabbed ganache this weekend: Shotts' coconut lemongrass ganache. Probably should have dipped it in dark instead of milk, but even that may not have saved it. And the transfer sheets didn't transfer right, either! Bummer.
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Here are Kerry's transfers on oreos:
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The disposable mold was tough to work with, but the shine on the resulting bonbons was impressive:
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And for my final shot: we made a hell of a lot of chocolates this weekend...
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I'd like to thank everyone who came to the event, I had a fantastic time and learned a lot. I hope I got myself "over the hump" from my last few failures at home, and I'm re-energized to get back into the confections world now. Thanks especially to Steve of course, for putting it together, and to the folks at Albert Uster and L'Academie for indulging us. Finally, thanks to my wife for taking most of these photos! I hope they helped those of you who couldn't make it get a sense for what it is like. I'm ready for next year... Niagara here we come!!!

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org


#52 RobertM

RobertM
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Posted 19 April 2010 - 06:29 PM

I look so angry in that picture of me and my pot - really I wasn't -

#53 ejw50

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Posted 19 April 2010 - 06:42 PM

Pics from the first day's get together

donna_small.JPG

Donna with 3 kinds - black raspberry, peanut (in the peanut shell), plus one more
that I didn't get a chance to try. Tasty.


kelly_wine.JPG

Kelly with nice ice wine she brought

mike_small.JPG

Mike with two - one was straight dark chocolate, very creamy, very nice
texture. The other was what Kerry talked about - heating White chocolate
and stirring it every hour for 8 hours (or something like that), then
making a ganache out of it. Hard to see from this picture, but Mike had
excellent technique and attention to detail on his pieces.

steve_small.JPG

Steve with a cherry (that we copied the next day) and I think a passion caramel.

#54 ejw50

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Posted 19 April 2010 - 06:48 PM

bobs_small.JPG

Betsy, Karen, Chris, Mary, along with Bob's
cinnamon pyramids and his grandfather's popcorn (really good!)


no_explanation_necessary.JPG

No explanation necessary.

panner.JPG

the panner

#55 ejw50

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Posted 19 April 2010 - 07:02 PM

habanero_raspberry_small.JPG

habanero and raspberry (I think). There were 3 raspberries
on the day, I liked them all; interesting to see the different
textures and raspberry power that people chose to use.


passion_small.JPG

Passion fruit, same cocoa butter, but one in white, one in milk,
and did some in dark. I kind of liked the milk taste the best,
but we agreed that the white looked the best.

pic1.JPG

cherry (left), raspberry (I think), salted caramel (the beans),
and forgot what the pyramids were.

#56 RobertM

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Posted 20 April 2010 - 04:55 AM

Eric -

I spent a while last night looking at YouTube - thank you for posting those, simply amazing and very helpful to go back and re-hear what was said and watch techniques.

Thank you again

Bob

#57 Chris Amirault

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Posted 20 April 2010 - 06:04 AM

Great reports, everyone! I have a thousand questions, but I gotta start here:

Bob showing us how his death machine... er... caramel slicer works:
Posted Image

See where Bob's hand is? Brave man, he must REALLY trust Art!!
Posted Image


What is that thing? Rolling metal blades?
Chris Amirault
camirault@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics Signatory
Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

#58 RobertM

RobertM
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Posted 20 April 2010 - 06:20 AM

It's a Savage Caramel Cutter. In essence, it's several "pizza" cutters on a rolling pin. There are spacers in between each blade that can be adjusted to the size of cut that the operator wants to make. Yes, it's VERY sharp.

#59 carol lang

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Posted 20 April 2010 - 07:00 AM

It looks like you all had a great time and learned a lot. Thanks for sharing the pictures of the event, I really have enjoyed them.

#60 lebowits

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Posted 20 April 2010 - 08:08 AM

It's a Savage Caramel Cutter. In essence, it's several "pizza" cutters on a rolling pin. There are spacers in between each blade that can be adjusted to the size of cut that the operator wants to make. Yes, it's VERY sharp.


I have a variation on that which I call the "Rolling Pin of Death".
Steve Lebowitz
Doer of All Things
Steven Howard Confections

Slicing a warm slab of bacon is a lot like giving a ferret a shave. No matter how careful you are, somebody's going to get hurt - Alton Brown, "Good Eats"





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