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Molded Chocolates: Technique Questions [MERGED TOPIC]

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#31 Wendy DeBord

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Posted 28 February 2006 - 01:34 PM

Wendy, I use the funnels for accurate placement of tempered chocolate in molds where the final piece will be solid (usually .25oz bars, small hearts, etc.).

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ditto, works well.......

#32 ejw50

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Posted 10 April 2007 - 08:26 PM

I am having this problem, maybe somebody could help me with it.


I am trying to make molded chocolates colored with cocoa butter.
All standard technique - I spray the cocoa butter in, chill, put the chocolate in, chill, fill, wait, cover with chocolate, chill, demold.


Sometimes I am getting the cocoa butter sticking to the mold instead of to the chocolate. This leaves an ugly chocolate that has the look of something untempered. (If I knew how you all posted pics, I would)


Is it a matter of cocoa butter thickness? Temperature or cooling rate? Cleanliness of molds?


Any help would be appreciated.

Edited by ejw50, 10 April 2007 - 08:27 PM.


#33 John DePaula

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Posted 10 April 2007 - 08:49 PM

First of all, you don't want your cocoa butter to be too hot: Probably around 31ºC ± 1ºC.

Secondly, when you put your next layer of chocolate, you want to be sure it's tempered and at the upper end of the working range. If it's too cold, you might get some sticking.

I'm sure I don't have to say this, but after you've chilled the molds, be sure that they've come to room temp before adding any chocolate; otherwise, condensation can really mess you up.

Take a moment to review: Chocolates with that showroom finish
John DePaula
DePaula Confections
Hand-crafted artisanal chocolates & gourmet confections - …Because Pleasure Matters…
--------------------
When asked “What are the secrets of good cooking? Escoffier replied, “There are three: butter, butter and butter.”

#34 nicolekaplan

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Posted 11 April 2007 - 07:47 AM

i would also check out the post on beta 6 cocoa butter crystals from a bit back
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#35 Desiderio

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Posted 11 April 2007 - 09:03 AM

The only time I had this kind of problem , was when my chocolate was too warm .Check the temperature and make sure is well tempered ( on parchment paper smir so chocolate and see how it sits and ).I wouldnt use the refgrigerator , because it will set the chocolate even if is out of temper, giving you the false sense that is tempered .I alway work at room temperature ,it works better for me.
Vanessa

#36 alanamoana

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Posted 11 April 2007 - 09:27 AM

The only time I had this kind of problem , was when my chocolate was too warm .Check the temperature and make sure is well tempered ( on parchment paper smir so chocolate and see how it sits and ).I wouldnt use the refgrigerator , because it will set the chocolate even if is out of temper, giving you the false sense that is tempered .I alway work at room temperature ,it works better for me.

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yeah, but the room temp in your basement workshop is like 60 degrees :laugh: :raz:

#37 Desiderio

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Posted 11 April 2007 - 11:35 AM

:laugh: Hahahaha right .
If I work out of my kitchen I usually crank up the ac to 68.
Vanessa

#38 alanamoana

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Posted 11 April 2007 - 12:03 PM

i would also check out the post on beta 6 cocoa butter crystals from a bit back

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Nicole, are you referring to the use of the packaged cocoa butter crystals that Albert Uster has started carrying? Or is there a topic regarding tempering that talks about crystallization?

At any rate, Jean-Pierre Wybauw sort of poo-poo-ed the idea of using Mycryo or any of those other products as proper pre-crystallization technique should work without these doctors. Particularly when it comes down to price, these items are very expensive.

#39 nicolekaplan

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Posted 11 April 2007 - 02:52 PM

there was a thread not too long ago about beta 6 crystals, i am not computer savy enough to find it and link it here. i am not suggesting you should use them to temper your base chocolate, only that there is both beta 6 cocoa butter from albert ulster and beta 6 colors from chef rubber, and maybe other products by now, for color only, that are great and will take care of the "sticking" problem caused by the "less pricey" products. beta 6 is the finest level of "milling" per se of cocoa butter crystals and therefore the least likely to cause problems.
nkaplan@delposto.com

#40 ejw50

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Posted 12 April 2007 - 07:46 PM

Thanks for the tips. I will check the temperature of the cocoa butter and chocolate. I think the chocolate temper is OK, as I don't get any streaking, spots, color-change-to-white-over time thing. It doesn't seem to be all of the chocolates, just some of them - maybe 5/30 or so.




First of all, you don't want your cocoa butter to be too hot:  Probably around 31ºC ± 1ºC.

Secondly, when you put your next layer of chocolate, you want to be sure it's tempered and at the upper end of the working range.  If it's too cold, you might get some sticking. 

I'm sure I don't have to say this, but after you've chilled the molds, be sure that they've come to room temp before adding any chocolate; otherwise, condensation can really mess you up.

Take a moment to review:  Chocolates with that showroom finish

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#41 reenicake

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Posted 14 April 2007 - 05:55 PM

If the stuck chocolates are all in the same area of the mold, check that you are not slightly warming the surface of the mold with how you grip it when filling or emptying out... this is not usually a problem with the actual shell but with a thin coat of colored cocoa butter the warmth of your palm is enough to make it unfriendly and stick.

#42 reenicake

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Posted 05 June 2008 - 11:14 AM

Hi everyone, I have not been on here in months (blame life getting in the way!). With the current uproar over BPA in plastics, I am worried to know that polycarbonate has very high amounts of BPA. All my good chocolate molds are polycarbonate!! I tried a search on eGullet but did not find any info on this. Granted, chocolates do not spend half as much time in the mold as, say, ice cream in a freezer container, but I am concerned about all the scraping and wiping releasing bad stuff into the chocolate.
Do you think I should be concerned? I really don't find anything else as good or as efficient as the polycarbonate molds, they are workhorses. But especially for kids BPA is very bad. Any info/links appreciated.

#43 Kerry Beal

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Posted 05 June 2008 - 05:08 PM

Good to see you back rennicakes. I had similar thoughts when I first heard about this. I try to avoid using plastics in the microwave for this reason.

I suspect given the viscosity and low temperature of the chocolate that the risk of compounds leaching out of the polycarbonate are probably fairly small.

#44 Lisa Shock

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Posted 05 June 2008 - 05:19 PM

Hi everyone, I have not been on here in months (blame life getting in the way!). With the current uproar over BPA in plastics, I am worried to know that polycarbonate has very high amounts of BPA. All my good chocolate molds are polycarbonate!! I tried a search on eGullet but did not find any info on this.  Granted, chocolates do not spend half as much time in the mold as, say, ice cream in a freezer container, but I am concerned about all the scraping and wiping releasing bad stuff into the chocolate.
Do you think I should be concerned? I really don't find anything else as good or as efficient as the polycarbonate molds, they are workhorses. But especially for kids BPA is very bad. Any info/links appreciated.

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BPA is water soluble, so transference via chocolate is unlikely.

http://www.enn.com/h...h/article/37290

I personally have removed most polycarbonate items from my home, chocolate molds are problematic.

So far, the main concern is small children being exposed since they seem to be most affected by it. Fortunately, most consumers for fine chocolates are adults. Chocolate is not recommended for children under the age of 1 year.

http://geoparent.com...byallergies.htm

#45 Lior

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Posted 05 June 2008 - 11:20 PM

Thank you Lisa!

#46 reenicake

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Posted 06 June 2008 - 05:41 AM

Thanks everyone... so little heat and no water should prevent transfer of BPA. Not incidentally also a mantra for chocolate!
Will scratches/surface gouging make a difference do you think? The students can sometimes be pretty hard on the molds we have for classes. I think I should put together a sheet about chocolate mold care to hand to them.

#47 Kerry Beal

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Posted 06 June 2008 - 06:33 AM

Thanks everyone... so little heat and no water should prevent transfer of BPA. Not incidentally also a mantra for chocolate!
Will scratches/surface gouging make a difference do you think? The students can sometimes be pretty hard on the molds we have for classes. I think I should put together a sheet about chocolate mold care to hand to them.

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I've never found little pieces of polycarbonate in my chocolate, no matter how hard I abuse the molds, so I suspect that gouging is only hard on the molds.

#48 Lior

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Posted 27 October 2008 - 10:40 AM

I was wondering if anyone has a super duper technique to "close" their molded chocolates. I hold my mold over my melter or chocovision and from the side near me , ladle chocolate on the first row. I kind of shake my mold while adding more chocolate to the next row as this continually forces the extra chocolate into the next row of shells. So between shaking and ladling I don't have too much extra to swipe off and it keeps the sides clean. Hard to explain. Then I take a good spatula and holding it at a perpendicular angle to the mold, swipe from me to the opposite edge and then it falls into the back of the bowl or back into the melter. Today my white choc was a bit thin for some reason and the ganache was dark. Although I did not overfill with ganache,there were some spots after closing as though the ganache level was too high and did not get closed. I wonder if it could be for a different reason other than overfilling ganache. Usually my technique works well. I HATE imperfect backs of any kind (on chocolates, of course!)

I have seen it done differently but couldn't perfect it another way! :wink:

Edited by Lior, 27 October 2008 - 10:41 AM.


#49 mrose

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Posted 27 October 2008 - 04:40 PM

I was wondering if anyone has a super duper technique to "close" their molded chocolates. I hold my mold over my melter or chocovision and from the side near me , ladle  chocolate on the first row. I kind of shake my mold while adding more chocolate to the next row as this continually forces the extra chocolate into the next row of shells. So between shaking and ladling I don't have too much extra to swipe off and it keeps the sides clean. Hard to explain. Then I take a good spatula and holding it at a perpendicular angle to the mold, swipe from me to the opposite edge and then it falls into the back of the bowl or back into the melter.  Today my white choc was a bit thin for some reason and the ganache was dark. Although I did not overfill with ganache,there were some spots after closing as though the ganache level was too high and did not get closed. I wonder if it could be for a different reason other than overfilling ganache. Usually my technique works well. I HATE imperfect backs of any kind (on chocolates, of course!)

I have seen it done differently but couldn't perfect it another way! :wink:

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This is what I usually do. I close the molds & let it set up. I then take a wide knife & scrape the mold so all excess is off. To cover not perfects bottoms, I then dip the knife in chocloate & put a very thin coat over then bottom & scrape all excess off. Just like a top coat of dry wall compound to smooth everything out. I know the issues you are referring to since I also use a chocovision machine.
Mark
www.roseconfections.com

#50 HQAntithesis

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Posted 28 October 2008 - 01:42 AM

It's a little more time consuming, but if you want you can use a guitar sheet or acetate to cap your chocolates. It makes for the most 'perfect' finish and also allows you to have more filling and a less thick base. You ladle chocolate on just one edge of the mould, put the plastic so that it covers the open surface of the mould and then, using a squeegee or triangle spatula, pull the chocolate across to the other side. Not sure how understandable that explanation is... :hmmm:

That leaves a slight dimple though so if you're really fussy you can go over it twice and then it becomes really really flat.

#51 Lior

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Posted 28 October 2008 - 06:00 AM

Mark- thanks! When you close the bottoms first is it similar to my method? I mean you use more chocolate than needed and then swipe it off? When I tried to give a second tin coating it improved a bit but was not perfect. I will try it on them again. So many thanks!!

HqA, thank you for the great idea. I understand that the row of chocolate at the beginning is then under the acetate and then I swipe the acetate? I bet thatmakes it shiny? I wonder if a transfer would be an idea? Maybe a waste... I do have this hang up about perfect bottoms (again, on chocolate :raz: ) To go over twice means not removing the acetate and adding more choc and then swiping again? Or re doing the whole process? Thank you so much!!! :rolleyes:

#52 mrose

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Posted 28 October 2008 - 06:35 AM

Mark- thanks! When you close the bottoms first is it similar to my method? I mean you use more chocolate than needed and then swipe it off? When I tried to give a second tin coating it improved a bit but was not perfect. I will try it on them again. So many thanks!!

HqA, thank you for the great idea. I understand that the row of chocolate at the beginning is then under the acetate and then I swipe the acetate? I bet thatmakes it shiny? I wonder if a transfer would be an idea? Maybe a waste... I do have this hang up about perfect bottoms (again, on chocolate :raz: ) To go over twice means not removing the acetate and adding more choc and then swiping again? Or re doing the whole process? Thank you so much!!! :rolleyes:

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I close the bottom like you do. Put some on top (most of what is needed) mostly in middle then use it to fill all the way down. The top coat is done by dipping spatula (wide putty knife 6") and using it at about a 45 degree angle put on a light coat. Scraping off excess in same swipe. You should also put this on in the opposite direction from when you bottomed the mold (acroos the short side). The knife I use was sold with wallpaper supplies & has a beveled edge.
Mark
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#53 Desiderio

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Posted 28 October 2008 - 06:51 AM

I think the issue is more of not overfill the shells, but I know sometimes its hard, I tend to fill the molds more than suggested and occasionally I have the trouble you mentioned. Expecially with ganaches that set up firmer or the ones I reuse. What I do to back up the bottoms is to do half mold at the time, I use an offset spatula, the mold rigth on the melter, I hold the shorter side of the mold, I put some chocolate on the half length wise, I spread the chocolate all the way on tha side (like if the mold has 4 rows length wise I do 2 at the time) I make sure is well coated and tap the side of the mold with the spatula to release air pockets the I turn the mold and do the same. Warming up the top of the shells to be coverd also help for a smooth bottom coating.
Vanessa

#54 Lior

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Posted 28 October 2008 - 07:19 AM

I find it so interesting how we all have our techniques!! I never tought of going back with a thin layer in the opposite direction to the initial closing!! Great!

And why it never occurred to me to do half and then the other half...!! I guess it is also an option to use the long side as the first row and then swipe a shorter swipe...

I can't wait to try all these methods! I do like the acetate idea as it must give extra shine, even though it is the bottom. I see it as a fancy closure like found sometimes on a necklace.

#55 sote23

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Posted 28 October 2008 - 11:55 PM

It's a little more time consuming, but if you want you can use a guitar sheet or acetate to cap your chocolates. It makes for the most 'perfect' finish and also allows you to have more filling and a less thick base. You ladle chocolate on just one edge of the mould, put the plastic so that it covers the open surface of the mould and then, using a squeegee or triangle spatula, pull the chocolate across to the other side. Not sure how understandable that explanation is...   :hmmm:

That leaves a slight dimple though so if you're really fussy you can go over it twice and then it becomes really really flat.

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If you ever get a chance, take a few pictures next time you use this techinque. Sounds interesting, but i'm still a little confused.
Luis

Edited by sote23, 28 October 2008 - 11:56 PM.


#56 Truffle Guy

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Posted 29 October 2008 - 05:53 AM

I was wondering if anyone has a super duper technique to "close" their molded chocolates. I hold my mold over my melter or chocovision and from the side near me , ladle  chocolate on the first row. I kind of shake my mold while adding more chocolate to the next row as this continually forces the extra chocolate into the next row of shells. So between shaking and ladling I don't have too much extra to swipe off and it keeps the sides clean. Hard to explain. Then I take a good spatula and holding it at a perpendicular angle to the mold, swipe from me to the opposite edge and then it falls into the back of the bowl or back into the melter.  Today my white choc was a bit thin for some reason and the ganache was dark. Although I did not overfill with ganache,there were some spots after closing as though the ganache level was too high and did not get closed. I wonder if it could be for a different reason other than overfilling ganache. Usually my technique works well. I HATE imperfect backs of any kind (on chocolates, of course!)

I have seen it done differently but couldn't perfect it another way! :wink:

View Post


I do something similar but use the scraper the whole time to "herd" the chocolate all over the mold and then scrape off. I then use the shaker to get our air bubbles. I hate dimples so I always go back over very quickly to get perfect bottoms. Also, I sometimes will take a hair dryer to the back of the mold if the chocolate doesn't have a smooth seal. You can do this for a short time and not impact the shiny part of the shell. I also always hit the mold with a hair dryer before the first seal so I can scrape off any possible ganache and warm up the edges of the shell so the seal is better.

#57 ejw50

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Posted 29 October 2008 - 07:19 AM

It's a little more time consuming, but if you want you can use a guitar sheet or acetate to cap your chocolates. It makes for the most 'perfect' finish and also allows you to have more filling and a less thick base. You ladle chocolate on just one edge of the mould, put the plastic so that it covers the open surface of the mould and then, using a squeegee or triangle spatula, pull the chocolate across to the other side. Not sure how understandable that explanation is...  :hmmm:

That leaves a slight dimple though so if you're really fussy you can go over it twice and then it becomes really really flat.

View Post


If you ever get a chance, take a few pictures next time you use this techinque. Sounds interesting, but i'm still a little confused.
Luis

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I too would love some pics. Or even some more details - the spatula is in contact with the mold, and the acetate comes after? I am not sure how the acetate come in to it.

#58 Lior

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Posted 30 October 2008 - 02:22 AM

okay! I tried the acetate and transfer method but on closing bars, as I wanted to make bars. But it should be exactly the same with closing molded chocolates. It is brilliant. I did half the mold with a transfer sheet-although I am almost ashamed to admit that I am not a fan of transfers and artificial colors (I know I am the odd man out-sorry) but it was fun using anyway. On the other half I used a piping bag as I don't have acetate I have to get. Both worked really nicely-perfect finish.
Method:
After I filled the cavities of the 50g bars and knocked out air bubbles I added a row of extra melted tempered choc. :rolleyes: Becasue I did half a mold I put the extra chocolate in the center of the mold. I took the mold to my counter and placed it on baking paper. I then lay the transfer sheet on top of the half I was working on and with a good triangular spatula swiped from center to edge so the extra chocolate came off onto the baking paper and the transfer adhered nicely to the chocolate. I waited till it hardened a bit and then did the other half with the acetate(piping bag in this case!). Both came out lovely.

For picky finishing perfection freaks, this is a good method!

#59 stscam

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Posted 30 October 2008 - 03:30 PM

To close the bottoms of molded chocolates we ladle a 1/2 cup or so of tempered chocolate onto the mold (which I hold with my left hand). Then we place one end of the mold down on a sheet of parchment paper, holding the other end elevated a couple of inches. Using a clean, straight, metal bench scraper, we pull the scraper down the length of the mold in one steady tug. This usually ends up with nice, clean bottoms on the bon-bons. The chocolate that ends up on the paper can simply be allowed to set and reused at your convenience.

Couple of tips:

Once you've poured the chocolate onto the mold, use the scraper to tap it rapidly to clear air pockets.

We set the scraper up so that the blade tails behind the handle. Did that make sense? In other words, we pull the scraper across the cavities, not push it.

The scraper can be cleaned between each pull with another scraper, a knife, or any straight edge (we use the top of the baffle on our X3210). A lumpy edge on your scraper will give you a lumpy bottom.

If you end up with a hole or nick in a bottom, you can use some of the tempered chocolate you just scraped off to fill it. I usually just use a finger tip, but a small palette knife would work too.

Overfill a cavity? If the filling is liquidy try using a small syringe (available in drug stores) to suck up the excess. If the filling is firmish, try a larding needle to scrape out the excess. If you get filling on the top sides of the shell, try scraping the filling down to the tempered chocolate so you'll get a good seal.

Hope this helps.

Cheers,

Steve Smith
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Glacier Country

#60 ejw50

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Posted 30 October 2008 - 07:07 PM

okay! I tried the acetate and transfer method but on closing bars, as I wanted to make bars. But it should be exactly the same with closing molded chocolates. It is brilliant. I did half the mold with a transfer sheet-although I am almost ashamed to admit that I am not a fan of transfers and artificial colors (I know I am the odd man out-sorry) but it was fun using anyway. On the other half I used a piping bag as I don't have acetate I have to get. Both worked really nicely-perfect finish.
Method:
After I filled the cavities of the 50g bars and knocked out air bubbles I added a row of extra melted tempered choc.  :rolleyes: Becasue I did half a mold I put the extra chocolate in the center of the mold. I took the mold to my counter and placed it on baking paper. I then lay the transfer sheet on top of the half I was working on and with a good triangular spatula swiped from center to edge so the extra chocolate came off onto the baking paper and the transfer adhered nicely to the chocolate. I waited till it hardened a bit and then did the other half with the acetate(piping bag in this case!). Both came out lovely.

For picky finishing perfection freaks, this is a good method!

View Post



thanks for the extra description! ONe question, this seems messier to me than the other way. That is, your sheet (or bag) will have all sorts of chocolate on it ,and acetate is kind of floppy. It seems like it would get everywhere. Also, it seems like when you use the spatula on the acetate (which is on the chocolate?) it would leak over the sides of the mold.





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