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Chocolates with that backroom finish

Confections Chocolate

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60 replies to this topic

#1 Mette

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 08:14 AM

Ok, so we tend to show off the jewels of the production, but certainly in my kitchen, there is a lot of stuff produced that is less than picture perfect.

Let's bring them out into the light - as long as they taste good, the looks are bonus.

I'll open by demonstrating how not to make a beautiful cocoa butter swirl. It was beautiful, but the swirl stayed firmly in the mould. It is salty caramel and almond. Tasty!

IMAG0634.jpg

#2 Mjx

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 08:19 AM

Those are actually rather cool looking; makes me think of the exteriors of older, brutalist architecture. In fact, if I were an estate agent showing such a building, I'd want a tray of these by the door, for prospective buyers to snack on. You must be able to do worse than that!

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#3 Kerry Beal

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 12:04 PM

What an excellent thread - I shall be able to contribute a lot here I expect.

#4 Kouign Aman

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 12:43 PM

Fabulous title.
"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

#5 tikidoc

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 01:45 PM

Ditto, Kerry. I am giving molded chocolates a try for the first time this weekend. I should have plenty of offerings.

#6 minas6907

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 02:37 PM

Oooo, what a nice topic, I've stopped myself from posting my chocolate because it wasnt very nice looking. Heres my first attempt at doing a molded chocolate with color, I know I didnt do everything correctly, I suck at tempering chocolate, I probably messed up the cocoa butter, I also dont want to do this again too soon.

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  • 1st Molded Chocolate with Colored Cocoa Butter.JPG


#7 Kerry Beal

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 09:44 PM

It was a kid's class - and I did let them do their own thing!

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#8 lebowits

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 06:00 AM

I too have suffered from less than beautiful results on far too many occasions. No pics yet, but wait for it; they'll come.

One of the phenomena I've routinely experienced, especially when molding plain chocolate shells (e.g. bittersweet 74%) is that some of the cavities come out looking stunning, while others have a dull finish. The cavities in the mold have been treated pretty much identically during my use and cleaning/polishing.

Is it likely that I either abused the molds in some way to get this or that perhaps some of the cavities weren't perfectly smooth to begin with?

I'm considering ordering a new set just to see what I can get out of them.
Steve Lebowitz
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#9 pastrygirl

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 07:41 PM

Ooh! Ooh! I have some! :sad:

IMG_0552.jpg

It was about 77F in the kitchen yesterday afternoon, but I needed to make bonbons, and I wanted to make them fast. I cast the molds and immediately set them in the cooler, before they had even start to set. I'm guessing this was where I made my mistake, because a few mornings earlier I made several rounds of larger hemispheres that got a brief chill and came out fine, but were chilled after they looked set (and it was only 71, so there was a smaller temperature difference). I noticed a few of the cracks as I was filling the molds, put them back in the cooler to set the ganache, capped, and turned them out to reveal a mix of about half cracked and half not cracked in both of the molds. 33 to sell, 31 for management to eat. Ouch. Just when I start to think I know what I'm doing, chocolate has a way of keeping me humble.

#10 minas6907

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 08:22 PM

I still think there pretty.

#11 janeer

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 09:21 PM

You people are way too self-critical

#12 Chris Hennes

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 09:45 PM

Cracked shells and missing outer layers is too critical? Both items would be completely unsellable.

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#13 Mjx

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 01:06 AM

Cracked shells and missing outer layers is too critical? Both items would be completely unsellable.


Naaah... A little clever marketing ('hand-crafted!' 'exclusive, very limited edition!' 'heirloom style'), and jacking up the price to about 250% of the cost of the ones that came out right, would have these bad boys flying out the door. There's one born every minute...

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#14 Tri2Cook

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 04:29 AM

A piping bag full of tempered chocolate with a tiny tip and some carefully applied "random" piping, being sure to cover the cracks... add a sign reading "hand decorated chocolates" and management has to buy their snack along with everybody else. :biggrin:
It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

#15 pastrygirl

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 06:47 AM

A piping bag full of tempered chocolate with a tiny tip and some carefully applied "random" piping, being sure to cover the cracks... add a sign reading "hand decorated chocolates" and management has to buy their snack along with everybody else. :biggrin:


Nice try, but I think piping on top of molded and often even dipped pieces is so ugly.

#16 Tri2Cook

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 02:01 PM

Nice try, but I think piping on top of molded and often even dipped pieces is so ugly.

Yeah, I was just being silly. Chocolates are not a finely-honed skill of mine so my best work would probably belong in this discussion... I'm saving my bad work for when they start the "Chocolates with that Igor's Dungeon finish" discussion.
It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

#17 Chris Hennes

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 03:30 PM


Cracked shells and missing outer layers is too critical? Both items would be completely unsellable.


Naaah... A little clever marketing ('hand-crafted!' 'exclusive, very limited edition!' 'heirloom style'), and jacking up the price to about 250% of the cost of the ones that came out right, would have these bad boys flying out the door. There's one born every minute...

OK, OK, so you could sell them. That doesn't assuage the misery when, after spending hours making the damned things and thinking they were perfect, you go to pop them out of the mold and they leave behind the top layer of cocoa butter: believe me, I've done it, several times. It sucks. It's not over-perfectionism, it's failure. I throw them away.

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#18 Kerry Beal

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 03:39 PM



Cracked shells and missing outer layers is too critical? Both items would be completely unsellable.


Naaah... A little clever marketing ('hand-crafted!' 'exclusive, very limited edition!' 'heirloom style'), and jacking up the price to about 250% of the cost of the ones that came out right, would have these bad boys flying out the door. There's one born every minute...

OK, OK, so you could sell them. That doesn't assuage the misery when, after spending hours making the damned things and thinking they were perfect, you go to pop them out of the mold and they leave behind the top layer of cocoa butter: believe me, I've done it, several times. It sucks. It's not over-perfectionism, it's failure. I throw them away.

Wybauw would recycle them into caramels - Black Devil's I believe they are called.

#19 Tri2Cook

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 03:55 PM

It's not over-perfectionism, it's failure. I throw them away.

This sounds a lot like me, though not particularly with chocolates because I just don't do them often. But the birds have had some fine cookie feasts over the years when baking at home because I got distracted and they got slightly more brown on the bottom than I could live with. I understand completely what you're saying, I just try my best to make light of it because they're getting tossed whether I call myself a dumbass and laugh or bang my head against the wall and get angry. :biggrin:
It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

#20 curls

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 06:08 PM




Cracked shells and missing outer layers is too critical? Both items would be completely unsellable.


Naaah... A little clever marketing ('hand-crafted!' 'exclusive, very limited edition!' 'heirloom style'), and jacking up the price to about 250% of the cost of the ones that came out right, would have these bad boys flying out the door. There's one born every minute...

OK, OK, so you could sell them. That doesn't assuage the misery when, after spending hours making the damned things and thinking they were perfect, you go to pop them out of the mold and they leave behind the top layer of cocoa butter: believe me, I've done it, several times. It sucks. It's not over-perfectionism, it's failure. I throw them away.

Wybauw would recycle them into caramels - Black Devil's I believe they are called.

You could sell them at a reduced price as irregulars/seconds. I know at least one chocolate shop that does this and they seem to sell really well.

#21 Shalmanese

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 08:20 PM

Or give them out as freebies to regular customers as an unexpected extra.
PS: I am a guy.

#22 pastrygirl

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 08:50 PM

Wybauw would recycle them into caramels - Black Devil's I believe they are called.


Good point! I guess with a single flavor you could just add a bit of cream and a bit more flavoring to make up for the additional chocolate in the shells, and use that as the filling for the next batch. I'll try to remember that next time catastrophe strikes. Usually my first impulse is to throw the rejects against the wall :laugh:

#23 Mjx

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 01:02 AM

. . . .
OK, OK, so you could sell them. That doesn't assuage the misery when, after spending hours making the damned things and thinking they were perfect, you go to pop them out of the mold and they leave behind the top layer of cocoa butter: believe me, I've done it, several times. It sucks. It's not over-perfectionism, it's failure. I throw them away.


With you on the misery. Except I can't even bring myself to throw them away, because when I was a kid, all the old people around me taught that waste is evil, so I'm stuck looking at my failures for days, until the last one has been ingested.

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#24 TylerK

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 07:12 AM

Great thread. I wish I'd taken some pictures of the cherry cordials I made at Christmas. About half of the shells got hairline cracks and I ended up with chocolates covered in tiny pink globules of crusty sugar.

#25 lebowits

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 12:54 PM





Cracked shells and missing outer layers is too critical? Both items would be completely unsellable.


Naaah... A little clever marketing ('hand-crafted!' 'exclusive, very limited edition!' 'heirloom style'), and jacking up the price to about 250% of the cost of the ones that came out right, would have these bad boys flying out the door. There's one born every minute...

OK, OK, so you could sell them. That doesn't assuage the misery when, after spending hours making the damned things and thinking they were perfect, you go to pop them out of the mold and they leave behind the top layer of cocoa butter: believe me, I've done it, several times. It sucks. It's not over-perfectionism, it's failure. I throw them away.

Wybauw would recycle them into caramels - Black Devil's I believe they are called.

You could sell them at a reduced price as irregulars/seconds. I know at least one chocolate shop that does this and they seem to sell really well.


Most people LOVE a "bargain"!
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"

#26 lebowits

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 06:31 AM

I received some new heart molds I ordered from JB Prince. After wiping them out I made a champagne gananche to fill dark chocolate shells. They came out pretty shiny. No cocoa butter, just straight chocolate.

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  • champagne hearts.jpg

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"

#27 Kerry Beal

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 08:04 AM

I think those belong in the 'other' thread - 'showroom finish'!

#28 Baylee Chocolate Lady

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 01:40 PM

Another consideration: if there is a crack, air can get to the ganache. If it is a alow time, you can end up with mold under your shell. Disgusting. I use them for samples and make sure they are consumed within a few days. This is in addition to the 'failure feelings'.

#29 pastrygirl

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 10:50 PM

Kerry, I wanted to thank you again for the reminder that the rejects can be re-purposed. Management hadn't eaten too many of the cracked ones I had left in the office, so I took them back and melted them down with a little cream and another splash of bourbon. That plus a the extra filling I had saved ended up being the perfect amount to fill two molds of 32. All came out perfect, shiny, and sell-able! As with so many aspects of cooking, it's not about never making mistakes, it's about knowing how to fix them. Thanks! :wub:

#30 Kerry Beal

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 04:26 PM

Posted Image

Look nice don't they - took a picture just before I binned them. Only chocolate that I've made that Anna has actually spit out! Hopefully next iteration will be better.





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