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Freezing Chocolates & Confections

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#1 aidensnd

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Posted 04 November 2004 - 12:51 PM

Just wondering how well frozen ganache defrosts, anyone?

#2 bkeith

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Posted 04 November 2004 - 01:49 PM

I freeze and thaw ganache all the time, and it works great.

I will say, though, that the majority of ganache I use is either for truffles or cake fillings. I don't often use ganache glazes, so there may be an issue there. Typically, after a ganache thaws, I have to warm and re-emulsify it, and that could introduce air bubbles which would make a coating ganache tough to work with.
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#3 Abra

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Posted 04 November 2004 - 02:27 PM

Is there an actual reason to freeze it? I have some left over in the fridge right now, and it seems like it should last virtually forever there.

#4 Dee

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Posted 04 November 2004 - 02:53 PM

I have definitely had ganache turn moldy on me in the fridge, so I think it's safest to freeze and I've had no trouble doing so. But, yes, I agree that it depends on what you're using it for. I find even after refrigerating leftover ganache and then reheating it, that the texture is a bit grainy and not really suitable for pouring as a glaze. But it's fine for using as a filling or mixing with other ingredients.

#5 chefpeon

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Posted 04 November 2004 - 03:50 PM

Yep, believe it or not, Ganache can get moldy in the fridge. It takes quite a while though.
Personally, I have never had a problem using previously frozen ganache as a glaze coating.
To me frozen ganache is as multifunctional as the fresh stuff. However......
when I take my ganache out of the freezer, I let it come to room temp before I rewarm it.
One time (ok, lots of times), I have taken it directly out of the freezer and stuck it in the micro to rewarm, and it seems when you're trying to warm it up quickly from a frozen state, it has more of a tendency to break and get all weird because the micro puts hot spots in it (even if you do stir it a lot).
The really funny part is.....that it takes less time to make a fresh batch of ganache than it does to
stick frozen ganache in the micro. D'oh!

#6 Redsugar

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Posted 04 November 2004 - 04:15 PM

Ganache is typically prepared with cream, butter, and chocolate. It is strongly advised when thawing ganache to defrost it thoroughly in the refrigerator to prevent it from going grainy.

After thawing in the refrigerator, allow the ganache to come to about room temperature; then gently heat the mixture to about 90° -- the melting point of chocolate is precisely 91.4° F. By all means, keep the temperature below 120°. The safest method is to use a double boiler. (Since cream has been added, tempering ought not to be such a critical concern – although some cooks have complain that the cocoa butter separates and they were left with a congealed mass of thick chocolate paste!)
"Dinner is theater. Ah, but dessert is the fireworks!" ~ Paul Bocuse

#7 McDuff

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Posted 04 November 2004 - 07:19 PM

The really funny part is.....that it takes less time to make a fresh batch of ganache than it does to stick frozen ganache in the micro. D'oh!

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My boss is always after me to make bigger batches, but this is right. It takes no time at all to make so why bother making thirty pounds when ten will do for a while.

#8 aidensnd

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Posted 05 November 2004 - 11:24 AM

Have any of you tried freezing a cake with ganache in it? I have a layer cake with ganache as the filling and it would be heloful if I could assemble and crumb coat the cake, freeze it, and then when I need it just let it defrost overnight in the walk in before I glaze and finish it. Any thoughts on the practicality of this?

Thanks

#9 chefpeon

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Posted 05 November 2004 - 04:28 PM

Have any of you tried freezing a cake with ganache in it? I have a layer cake with ganache as the filling and it would be heloful if I could assemble and crumb coat the cake, freeze it, and then when I need it just let it defrost overnight in the walk in before I glaze and finish it. Any thoughts on the practicality of this?

Thanks

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No worries.....it totally works. You're right on the money.
:rolleyes:

#10 Dee

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Posted 07 November 2004 - 11:34 AM

I totally agree also it's so much easier and faster to make fresh ganache instead of all the fuss of reheating, since it takes so much care to make sure it isn't overheated so it doesn't separate. I'm obviously rushing the process. But it's good to know it can be done.

I'm sort of veering off course here, but when covering a cake with ganache, in my case I use a recipe containing just chocolate, cream and butter -- why would the ganache be cracked all over after being in the fridge? I've solved this by just not putting the glazed cake back in the fridge for longer than what's required to set, but it seems to me I should be able to put the cake back in the fridge to keep it at least overnight. Is there an ingredient I should be adding that would prevent this or any other suggestions?

#11 chefpeon

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Posted 07 November 2004 - 12:32 PM

I've had my ganache covered cakes crack also, but only because they were getting old and dried out. Then it's time to toss 'em or put 'em on the half price shelf.

Here's my thought (could be wrong) but......
my ganache has never had butter in it. The times I did try using butter, I found the ganache to be a bit too thin, or I'd get a weird bloom on it once it set. I have never used butter since. And never had a problem. My ganache is just cream and chocolate. That's it. No cracking....no bloom.
My theory is that adding butter adds extra fat. When solidified, fat is somewhat hard. This extra "hardness" in a set ganache cake with butter in it is probably what is causing the cracks. If you leave the butter out, the ganache is probably somewhat more "flexible" and won't crack.
This is just a theory. Try leaving the butter out of your next batch and see if that works for you.
And report back. I'd like to see if I'm right...... :rolleyes:

#12 bripastryguy

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Posted 07 November 2004 - 02:20 PM

On most of my individuals we use ganache (choc, cream, half and half and cornsyrup) More often I find that it freezes and defrosts without a problem. However I will get the occasional cracking, but my walkin sucks so I think thats the problem in my case.
"Chocolate has no calories....
Chocolate is food for the soul, The soul has no weight, therefore no calories" so said a customer, a lovely southern woman, after consuming chocolate indulgence
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#13 boulak

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Posted 07 November 2004 - 02:29 PM

I'm with chefpeon as far as using chocolate and cream only when ganache is used as a glaze. Depending on the type of ganache, the season, and the chocolate, I add up to 10% glucose which aids in the flexibility chefpeon addresses and inhibits the cracking addressed in other posts. The shine is really nice as well.

Edited by boulak, 07 November 2004 - 02:35 PM.


#14 Wendy DeBord

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Posted 07 November 2004 - 09:53 PM

O.k. you guys, it figures I disagree a little. I've never had ganche crack on a cake.....so it leads me to assume that it's about the cream to chocolate ratio and you might be making a stiffer ganche then I.......? OR are you pouring it over buttercream and that's what's cracking?

I always use either cornsyrup or butter in with my chocolate and cream. (Never used half and half in a ganche and I'm curious about it Brian. More details please?)

It has to be about ratios, NO?............think of a truffle. My truffles have more butter then my ganches and they are far softer........so adding butter doesn't make it harder and more likely to crack unless your using less cream to chocolate and making a firmer ganche then I.

Then to further desend.........mine doesn't do well with moisture so how the item is wrapped and defrosted is critical or I'll get water spots.

#15 chefpeon

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Posted 08 November 2004 - 12:32 PM

It has to be about ratios, NO?


Well, yeah, it is all about ratios. My theory stated above addressed the additional fat butter adds to the whole ratio of the ganache. I had thought more fat could add to one's cracking problem, but then, like I said, I could be wrong.

Here's how I judge my ganache. I just use chocolate and cream, since it's always worked fine for me, however, I am going to try adding some glucose or corn syrup to it in the future and see how that works....I could always use more gloss.
Anyway, if my ganache is barely warm and still quite liquid, then I know it's perfect for pouring.
Won't crack. If it's barely warm and very thick, then I know I have a high ratio of chocolate to cream and if I heated it up and poured it, it would A) be too hot to apply to a buttercream covered cake, and B) will probably crack once it sets up.

So here's my question.....for those of you who use butter in their ganache, why do you use butter? For flavor? Aid in pouring? Both? Does it set up better? Way back when, when I did use
butter, I got a grayish bloom on my poured cakes after about a day or so. Does that happen to you or am I just a dork? :raz: :raz:

#16 bripastryguy

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Posted 08 November 2004 - 01:23 PM

Sinclair,

The half and half lends to the fluity of the ganache, and balance of cost-sometimes cream is outrageously expensive or chocolate so in order to keep within my margins I will use the two as a variable

12 # good quality, ss or bs choc
3 quarts heavy cream
2 quarts half and half
1 quart corn syrup

and I always emulsify the ganache and allow it to mature overnight in the fridge.
"Chocolate has no calories....
Chocolate is food for the soul, The soul has no weight, therefore no calories" so said a customer, a lovely southern woman, after consuming chocolate indulgence
SWEET KARMA DESSERTS
www.sweetkarmadesserts.com
550 East Meadow Ave. East meadow, NY 11554
516-794-4478
Brian Fishman

#17 ejebud

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Posted 28 March 2005 - 07:12 PM

Hello B&P folks!! I purchased an 11 LB block of Callebaut Bittersweet today and broke it down into smaller 1 LB chunks. Each piece is vacuum sealed and I'm wondering what the preffered method of storage is. Freezer, or cool dry place. Also, what is the trick to getting a more uniform chunk? Mine weren't too bad, but it would have been nice to use the lines on the slab. Thanks all,

Eric
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Class of '85


#18 tan319

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Posted 28 March 2005 - 08:59 PM

please don't freeze
2317/5000

#19 chezcherie

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Posted 28 March 2005 - 09:10 PM

here is a photo of a chocolate "chipper" that works very well. clickety
i believe i paid $5 for mine (not $19.99!) works great for breaking up large blocks, even along the lines. i also use an old, bad serrated knife, if i am away from home (where my chipper lives).
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#20 Trishiad

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Posted 28 March 2005 - 09:18 PM

bittersweet chocolate keeps quite well for a good long time simply stored in a cool dry place. no need to freeze it.

#21 chocophile

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Posted 29 March 2005 - 05:19 AM

The ideal temperature for storing chocolate is between 55 and 60 degrees F with a relative humidity about the same (55-60%). One important aspect of this is that, insofar as possible, the temperature and humidity should not vary much. It is also important that the chocolate be wrapped to protect it from any incidental contact with moisture, against the possibility of the cocoa butter picking up any odors (cocoa butter is an odor magnet), and to keep the chocolate from "drying out." A dark cool corner of a basement or a temp/humdity controlled wine cellar set for red wine (which is what I have) is just about perfect.

Ideally, you are able to leave the chocolate in the wrapper that the manufacturer provides. If you can't then you want to use multiple layers of protection - at least two. Freezer-weight zipper-close bags are good for this purpose, as long as you make sure to expel as much air as possible. A home vacuum-sealer is great for this too.

One of my favorite wrappings to use is the new Press-N-Seal plastic wrap, especially the newer freezer-weight kind. This has got enough weight and the sealing ability makes it possible to wrap the chocolate VERY tightly. After you wrap this way (you could also use freezer paper or similar), place the wrapped block inside a heavy weight plastic bag, squish out the air, and seal. Whatever you do, do not use aluminum foil as an inner wrapping layer that directly touches the chocolate.

Stored this way, chocolate without any dairy ingredients can be expected to easily last 18 months or more and chocolate with dairy ingredients at least 6-12 months (depending on the existing expiration date). If you need more time, find a slightly colder spot in your basement, say 48-55 degrees, ideally one where the temp does not swing wildly (the major problem is change in dew point which is where moisture condenses out of the air). This temp is about where white wine is often served, so a chiller/cellar set for white wine is perfect. Conventional refrigerators (and freezers, especially frost-free ones) are also dehumidifiers and so aren't the best places to store chocolate.

There's no need to freeze the chocolate, in other words, unless you think you won't be able to use it up within a year or more from buying it.

You can freeze if you need more time than this, but it's important to ensure that no moisture is in the packaging otherwise it will condense on the chocolate and possibly cause sugar bloom. Double-bagging with freezer-weight bags is a must. It's also best to freeze/thaw in two steps: to freeze, first put the chocolate in the fridge for a short time to ensure that there is no moisture condensing (if there is, insert a paper towel to absorb the moisture and pop back in the fridge, check after an hour, and if the moisture is gone, remove the towel) then pop the chocolate in the freezer. When thawing, take it out of the freezer and put it in the fridge for several hours or overnight (depending on size) then bring the block out and put it in a cool place away from heat or sunlight to let it warm up to room temperature.

:Clay

PS. Freezing is most often used to protect the dairy ingredients in ganaches and other fillings. I advise against freezing unless care is taken to ensure that the recipe is freeze-compatible. Taking the temp down to about 34-38 degrees F works like a charm as long as sufficient care is taken to protect against condensation as the chocolate warms up.
Clay Gordon
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founder, New World Chocolate Society

#22 bripastryguy

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Posted 30 March 2005 - 07:31 PM

Ted,

I have the necessity to freeze my chocolate in the warmer months due to my lack of storage space and we dont have any AC, I find it stays better in the freezer than the fridge ( I dont have the option of a cool dry place)
"Chocolate has no calories....
Chocolate is food for the soul, The soul has no weight, therefore no calories" so said a customer, a lovely southern woman, after consuming chocolate indulgence
SWEET KARMA DESSERTS
www.sweetkarmadesserts.com
550 East Meadow Ave. East meadow, NY 11554
516-794-4478
Brian Fishman

#23 Sebastian

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Posted 31 March 2005 - 05:50 AM

Wow - lots of differing opinions. We freeze chocolate all the time, and we manufacture the stuff. It's a great way to preserve the flavor and extend the shelf life. Dark chocolates are less of a concern in this area than milks are ( in fact, dark chocolates, as with many wines, improve with age ). The only concerns to be noted when freezing chocolate are 1) ensure you've got them tightly sealed and 2) when you bring them out of the freezer, watch the relative humidity to avoid condensation as they come out of a cold, dry environment into a relatively warm, moist environment.

#24 Mary F

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Posted 16 April 2007 - 06:24 AM

I had an event this weekend and misjudged the amount of chocolates needed. As my friends and family have been overwhelmed recently with testing, I thought I would give them a break. I plan to freeze the chocolates for upcoming gatherings with friends, but wanted to know if anyone else freezes their chocolates?
If so, how do you go about it? Do you freeze the same flavors together? Do you vacuum seal it?
And how does everyone feel about it?

#25 David Israel

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Posted 16 April 2007 - 08:21 AM

I had an event this weekend and misjudged the amount of chocolates needed.  As my friends and family have been overwhelmed recently with testing, I thought I would give them a break.  I plan to freeze the chocolates for upcoming gatherings with friends, but wanted to know if anyone else freezes their chocolates?
If so, how do you go about it?  Do you freeze the same flavors together?  Do you vacuum seal it?
And how does everyone feel about it?

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What I've learned, such as through Jean-Pierre Wybauw, is that it's fine--and a frequent practice among chocolatiers--to freeze chocolates, provided it is done carefully. Steps to take to maintain the quality of the product include:

a. Filling the container as full as possible to minimize air space;
b. Wrapping the container well or, ideally, vacuum sealing the container (although the amount of vacuum can't be too high, otherwise the chocolates will be damaged; I'd like to learn more about the vacuum sealing process myself);
c. Placing the sealed container in the refrigerator for 24 hours prior to freezing;
d. Upon removing the container from the freezer, placing it in the refrigerator for 24 hours; and
e. Removing the container from the refrigerator and allowing it to sit at room temperature for 24 hours before opening it.

The process of slowly thawing the chocolates prevents formation of condensation on the surface, which in turn would lead to sugar bloom.

I believe there's more information about freezing in Peter Greweling's book.

#26 lapin d'or

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Posted 16 April 2007 - 10:22 AM

I have frozen chocolates a couple of times now and have been fairly happy with the result. I have only done this for stuff to eat at home when I have made too much to eat.

I may have lost a little bit of shine but I'm not that good yet that you would notice and I have done very little with coloured/painted shells so no experience of freezing those.

I pack up a small selection of different ones in each bag so I can take out a whole bag at a time. I do not have a vaccum pump so I carefully wrap in soft kitchen paper and then double wrap in plastic. As noted above they get put in the fridge to cool before freezing and then when they come out again straight into the fridge for a day and then left in the bag on the counter for a day before opening.

I am hoping this freezing process will help me do some taste comparisons later on so I can see if I like the same recipe with one chocolate more than another. I am hopeless at remembering how something tasted even a few days back.

The fillings I have frozen include ganache, fondant and marzipan. I have not tried any caramel or fruit jelly based stuff.

Jill

#27 alanamoana

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Posted 16 April 2007 - 10:45 AM

i like the tempering process that is being discussed: fridge, then freezer, then fridge, then room temp.

i've never frozen chocolates, but i'd like to hear what people find when they do freeze relatively liquid fillings. if there's more water available to freeze, does the filling expand more than more solid fillings? so do you get more cracking due to expansion?

i can't remember what wybauw said, so i'll have to check the greweling book.

let us know how it goes mary!

#28 cheripie

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Posted 16 April 2007 - 01:47 PM

Andrew Shotts also informed our class of the freezing option. (The reaction from most of us was You can what?! :cool: ) It's changed the way I make things since I can now make a whole batch and not worry about waste. I recently went through the process as described aboved and the results were fine. What I froze included a chocolate with a layer of raspberry pate de fruit and a layer of raspberry ganache. The inside was as before freezing. I noticed the outside did loose a bit of shine, but not bad. I decided next time to use smaller containers, since I did have some extra room and though I did try to add some filler, it would be better to have less air in there. (I don't have vacuum.)

I also realized if I use smaller containers, I can be more selective about what I defrost; not having to taking out a whole batch if I don't need it. Especially since the process takes several days.

Edited by cheripie, 16 April 2007 - 01:49 PM.

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#29 John DePaula

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Posted 16 April 2007 - 03:51 PM

i like the tempering process that is being discussed: fridge, then freezer, then fridge, then room temp.

i've never frozen chocolates, but i'd like to hear what people find when they do freeze relatively liquid fillings.  if there's more water available to freeze, does the filling expand more than more solid fillings?  so do you get more cracking due to expansion?

i can't remember what wybauw said, so i'll have to check the greweling book.

let us know how it goes mary!

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Alana,

I believe that JPW said that he does freeze chocolates, at least at home to save for guests.

I know it's a common practice in France, using the methods already described by others' posts.
John DePaula
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--------------------
When asked “What are the secrets of good cooking? Escoffier replied, “There are three: butter, butter and butter.”

#30 Serj

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Posted 16 April 2007 - 06:56 PM

Hi,

What david said is exactly what we were taught at the FPS if that's any help...





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