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Demo: Basic molded chocolates and slightly beyond

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#1 Trishiad

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Posted 06 November 2005 - 10:38 PM

I meant to get to this weeks ago and got sidetracked. I apologize and hope that this demo, in conjunction with John's fab demo, will completely demystify molded chocolates. Because I needed Honey to take the photos this was done at home. So, please also accept my apologies for the dog bowls, etc.

It's usually too cold in the kitchen in the morning to make happy chocolates so instead of wasting precious gas on the heater, I cranked on the oven and made these. Not only do they warm the kitchen to a chocolate favorable 68 degrees but they also make for a nice afternoon snack!

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So, here's the stuff: Baby tempering machine, Mommy tempering machine, Vibrating table, gold leaf, luster dusts, PCB colors, Polycarb mold (I get mine from Tomric), natural cotton batting, offset spatula, some paintbrushes, and a rubber scraper all on top of plenty of parchment for easier clean-up. Oh, and a pastry bag and some scissors for the ganache.

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Make yourself a nice ganache so it has time to cool while you get things ready and temper your chocolate. If you're using a machine you will start the tempering process now.

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Polish your mold well with the natural cotton batting (found at most fabric stores). It can be washed and used again and again.

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If you're not using a tempering machine you may want to create a set-up like this. Grab a big bowl, put a heating pad in it and set it to low. Add a few towels and a probe thermometer followed by your bowl of tempered chocolate. You can monitor the temp of the bowls and add or subtract towels as needed to maintain a good working temperature.

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Just before filling, I hit my molds with a blow dryer just enough to ensure the poly is the same temperature as the chocolate. I find that although the ambient temperature is just right, sometimes the various objects haven't quite warmed up enough. This step will secure a glossy bonbon.
Fun time! Warm some colored cocoa butter in the micro and drop it on your finger or directly into the cavity....

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Swirl it around the inside of each cavity. Get creative. Use as many colors as you like and have fun, it's not that serious. You'll notice I smeared some gold leaf into one row of cavities in this same fashion.

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For more complete coverage and that super-trendy, high-color look, use a fluffy brush to coat the entire cavity.

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Tap in some luster dust for a little more drama and texture.

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You may prefer to create definition with a different shade of chocolate. I used my favorite tool, my finger, and swirled in some milk chocolate. On the next row I used a spoon to pool some milk chocolate in the bottom of the mold. One could use an airbrush with some white chocolate here too (if one could make friends with her airbrush).

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Let these set a bit and fill the entire mold with dark chocolate. I like to use a deep silicone spatula because I can use it again later when cleaning out the bowl. Many chocolatiers prefer a ladle.

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Give it a quick scrape with your offset spatula (just so things don't get TOO messy).

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Set the mold on your spiffy "new" vibrating table for a few seconds. OR smack it around violently on the counter, bouncing it from side to side while doing a little dance to release bubbles and get some exercise.

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Turn 'er over and dump out the extra. I do this over a sheet of parchment and use the chocolate another day. I worry that pouring it back into my tempered chocolate may upset things. It probably wouldn't but we all have our neurosis.


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Swirl that baby around to get out all the extra and make a nice thin shell.

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Give it another scrape and set it aside to dry.

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Now the shells have that velvety sheen which means they're dry and are ready to be filled. Fill a pastry bag or a squirt bottle (if you don't mind washing it) with ganache and pipe into the shells. Be sure to leave 1/8 inch of space for the bottom and don't allow the ganache to touch the rim of the shell or the bottom may not adhere properly. In this batch I have piped a drop of ganache, added a glaced cherry and covered it with ganache. Now you want to give your ganache an hour or two to develop a slight crust. If you're working with caramel you may have to wait a day before bottoming.

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Use your silicone spatula to add chocolate with the same technique you used to fill the shells. Give it a couple of taps and swiftly scrape of the excess. Don't muck about here. The more you mess with it, the less successful your bottoms will be.

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Leave the mold in a cool spot for an hour or so and them turn the bonbons out onto a sheet of parchment. You may have to give it a little whack to get every last one out. Use a gloved hand to place them on a pretty platter or into a gift box.


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and here's the final presentation! Notice the gold leaf; the colors; the colors with gold dust; the two toned; and even one that got a last minute dusting of lustre. Honey liked the photo so well, he put it on the website!

There are so many options. Have fun, be creative, be silly, and remember, it's all edible.

#2 theabroma

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Posted 06 November 2005 - 10:50 PM

This is fabulous! Great description, great set up, very instructive photos, and I liked the exercise suggestion.

But, where O where did you get that nice Mommy tempering machine? And the vibrating 'table'?

Best,

Theabroma
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#3 Trishiad

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Posted 06 November 2005 - 11:37 PM

Mommy tempering machine comes from Chocovision and is the third machine I have purchased from them. I always buy refurbished from them and have never had a problem that wasn't quickly and easily fixed. Saves hundred of dollars.

The vibrating table is a dental tool and this one was snagged off of Ebay. I just got it and although it really gets the bubbles out quickly, I did kinda like cranking up the ipod and shaking my booty while the bubbles were releasing.

#4 RuthWells

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Posted 07 November 2005 - 10:13 AM

Oh boy oh boy! I have luster dust in my caddy and new molds.... I can't wait to get started! Thanks so much for the inspiration.

#5 Genny

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Posted 07 November 2005 - 12:07 PM

Fabulous! Smashing, simply smashing. Now I have everything I need to do this perfect the next time. Yippeeee. I smell chocolate in my near future!!!! Thank you so much for the demo :biggrin: (wiggles, singing Happy Happy Joy Joy!)

#6 John DePaula

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Posted 07 November 2005 - 06:27 PM

Thanks for the beautiful demo, Trishiad!
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#7 aidensnd

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Posted 09 November 2005 - 12:16 PM

With the larger tempering machine, X 3210 right?, how many molds worth of chocolate can you temper at a time? I've been thinking about getting one but not sure if it has a large enough capacity.

#8 Trishiad

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Posted 09 November 2005 - 12:28 PM

Not sure. I usually have 2 or 3 machines running at a time. Sometimes they have 3 different chocolates in them, sometimes not. Because I don't have a store front requiring a constant supply of product, I do big production days and am working on molds and hand dipping and bars/barks all at once.
A wild guess: at least 20 molds, probably more.

These machines work well for me because I am working on many things at once. If for some reason I do run out and have to temper more, I start the machine and do the dishes that have been stacking up or start on another ganache or caramel or switch over to white chocolate work while I wait for the bittersweet. Sometimes, I start packaging things or trimming labels, cutting ribbon, or I just have a bowl of cereal and sit in the sun, it depends.

#9 Trishiad

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Posted 09 November 2005 - 01:01 PM

Okay, rather than you buying a machine and then cursing me because it can fill as many molds as I guessed, I thought I'd do some math:

.5 oz cavity (which is on the large side for a typical bonbon)
32 cavity mold
If you don't drain your chocolate back into the machine you'll be able to fill 10 molds. If you do drain into the machine or you're using a smaller mold or a mold with smaller cavities, you can do more. (i.e. I also have some 24 cavity molds which hold 1/3 ounce per cavity. At 8 oz. per mold I could fill 20, more if I drain back into the pot.)

#10 NhumiSD

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Posted 09 November 2005 - 01:54 PM

Hi,

Ive made molded chocolates but somehow they arent shiny. Any ideas to how to make them shiny. I do clean it with cheesecloth before i use them.

1. Regarding cocoa butter, do I just melt it or does it have to be melted to a certain temperature?

2. Regarding the home made tempering machine, at what temperature should it be set? Does the heating element just melt it and doesnt really go through the steps on tempering as I would temper by hand?

3. Thank you.

-Nhumi

#11 Trishiad

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Posted 09 November 2005 - 03:53 PM

First, I sure wouldn't use cheesecloth to polish a mold. It's pretty scratchy. If you don't want to make a trip to the fabric store for batting use a nice soft cotton ball. Just make sure it doesn't leave any threads behind.

I do find that warming the mold with a blowdryer just to match the temperature of the chocolate really does produce a shinnier bonbon.

My cocoa butter says to warm it to 33c. I zap it on about 3/4 power for 3 minutes, shake it up and down, and use it.

The bowl and the heating pad are used simply for holding your chocolate at a working temperature. You must temper the chocolate prior to using this set up. You still have to check on it and stir it every little while but you don't have to zap it or wave it over the stove or whatever one might do to bring it back up to temp because it's staying at temp.

#12 lovkel

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Posted 09 November 2005 - 04:33 PM

Where can I get molds like the ones pictured? Do they have a particular name? My molds are all flimsy things, and have too few cavities.

Using the dental shaker thing is freakin' brilliant!

#13 Trishiad

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Posted 09 November 2005 - 06:30 PM

I get molds from Tomric but I know you can get them from JB Prince and probably Chef Rubber. Expect to pay about 10 times what you pay for baking store molds but you will not regret it.

Ah, the dental vibrator...I know...I am freakin brilliant!!....Seriously, I asked here at eG and was told exactly where to go. Chef Rubber sells them as Chocolate Vibrating Tables for bunches more than I paid.

#14 Rebecca263

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Posted 09 November 2005 - 07:04 PM

Brilliant, Trishiad, in more ways than just the chocolates, which are, the vibrating bit is also brilliant! I've always wondered about using cocoa butter, i'm going to do that with my next batch of chocolates, THANK YOU!
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#15 NhumiSD

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Posted 11 November 2005 - 10:19 AM

First, I sure wouldn't use cheesecloth to polish a mold.  It's pretty scratchy.  If you don't want to make a trip to the fabric store for batting use a nice soft cotton ball.  Just make sure it doesn't leave any threads behind.

I do find that warming the mold with a blowdryer just to match the temperature of the chocolate really does produce a shinnier bonbon.

My cocoa butter says to warm it to 33c.  I zap it on about 3/4 power for 3 minutes, shake it up and down, and use it.

The bowl and the heating pad are used simply for holding your chocolate at a working temperature.  You must temper the chocolate prior to using this set up.  You still have to check on it and stir it every little while but you don't have to zap it or wave it over the stove or whatever one might do to bring it back up to temp because it's staying at temp.

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Thank you. I will pick up some batting. Its just that at the restaurant, we have cheesecloth in hand. Cant wait to test them again.

-Nhumi

#16 Anna Skigin

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Posted 12 November 2005 - 12:22 PM

Great demo! Though I do it every day at my job, it's always nice to see how other people do the same and learn some new trick. Thanks!

#17 theabroma

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Posted 12 November 2005 - 01:39 PM

This has been so incredibly helpful and fascinating. You do get the genius award for the dental table ... among other things.

And I am wondering if you ever make any of your own molds? Would you have any suggestions for mold-making equipment sources?

And classes/training. Anything to recommend there?

Thank you!

Theabroma
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#18 Trishiad

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Posted 12 November 2005 - 03:12 PM

Welcome to eGullet Anna Skigin! Any tricks to share with me???

Theabroma, I've not made my own molds though I have been eyeing this scupture I have thinking it sure would be pretty in chocolate. I have seen mold making supplies at chef rubber. I have had molds made by Tomric. They made this great little "bar" mold with my logo on it. I should call it a tablet because of it's shape but I just can't seem to take myself that seriously.

Classes are a difficult subject for me. I did an online course which was helpful to me because it gave me some timelines for my exploration. Other than that I really didn't learn what I had hoped to. I spent a lot of time with library books, a lot. I spent a good deal of time looking at and eating the work of other chocolatiers. For me, it is helpful to define what I don't want before I can fully realize what I do want. I spent a great deal of energy buying chocolates and spitting them out. I sent many compliments, asked a lot of questions, and did a lot of spying. I have heard many people raving about the online course I took, it just wasn't what I wanted. You will have to make those decisions based on how you function. I am taking a class at Alber Uster in the Winter because it isn't too expensive and I thought I might be able to refine some of my processes. Because I don't have any "credentials", I sometimes worry that I make it all up a little too much and should probably get some actual Pastry Chef input. Sometimes.
Anyway, books, books, books, and a touch of eG have taught me what I know.

Jump on into a bowl full of chocolate and see what you can come up with.

And I seriously cannot take credit for the dental table. It was Lloyd who led me to it. Without Llyod, I'd still be researching foot massagers.

Edited by Trishiad, 12 November 2005 - 03:17 PM.


#19 theabroma

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Posted 12 November 2005 - 04:50 PM

And I seriously cannot take credit for the dental table.  It was Lloyd who led me to it.  Without Llyod, I'd still be researching foot massagers.

View Post


I must confess that the above left me with an image of those Dr. Scholl's footbath spas, which led me to the ultimate in recycling: tired, dis-tempered chocolate for pedicures. But that's a whole 'nother thing.

Thanks so much for the demos and suggestions.

Theabroma
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#20 Anna Skigin

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Posted 13 November 2005 - 12:08 AM

Thanks, Trishiad!
First of all I must say that English it not my native language so please exuse my stupid mistakes. :) As for tricks - I'm VERY new in that chocolate thing. I want to learn and one of the places where I can do it is here, on that great forum.
But I can say that there's some differense in the prosess . After we turn the mold and dump out the extra we also swirl it , after that we put it aside to dry a little bit (several minutes) and then we scrape it with... (and here I have a problem. The word that I found in my dictionary for the thing we use for scraping is palette-knife. Does that make sence?)
Here's a picture of that thing
Only then we put it to special chocolate fridge for about an our or two. That's the main difference that I found. :smile:

And also I have a question. You said you're learning from books. Can you recommend smth? I already have "fine Chocolates" and ordered "Chocolate obsession". I also found a lot of books in French but I don't know the language. :sad: Can you recommend smth in English? THanks a lot!

#21 Mette

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Posted 13 November 2005 - 12:42 PM

They look lovely - and tasty - mmmmmmmm!

I felt quite inspired by this post to get the old chocolate making equipment out and try my hand at the gold leaf idea. The whole thing got a bit out of hand and I made the entire christmas assortment, about 5 kg. of a variety of chocolates (further powered by the fact that I start a new job tomorrow and will have very little time to make chocolates).

Here's a peek at what the recipients can expect :

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They are:
top row: Solid milk chocolate in keeping with the festive spirit (and something for the kids), creamy coffee and cognag ganache in dark chocolate cup with whit choc and nibs, dark, milk and white choc with almonds, walnuts and pistachios
Middle row: Praline and black pepper ganache in dark chocolate, mocca marzipan in milk chocolate with a snakeskin imprint, raspberry ganache in dark chocolate with gold leaf (what a great idea, Trishad!!!)
Bottom row: maramalade and Grand Marnier ganache in dark choc, crabapple liquer and cider vinegar ganache in milk choc done with powdered colour and cocoa butter.

Thanks again for the inspiration. My friends and family will appreciate it.

/Mette

Edited by Mette, 13 November 2005 - 12:43 PM.


#22 Trishiad

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Posted 13 November 2005 - 03:08 PM

Mette, very very nice! I too use that tall mold upside down but I fill it with a cinnamon spiced hot chocolate ganache, small world.

I love the sheen on your milk chocolate dome. Is that clear cocoa butter with luster dust or did you use a sheer coat of yellow cocoa butter and then dust?

#23 Trishiad

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Posted 13 November 2005 - 09:10 PM

Palette knife, yes. Hmmm, books for Anna....
Fine Chocolates, Wybauw
Chocolate Bible
The Art of chocolate, Elaine Gonzalez
Chocolats et Confiseries
Dessert Circus, Jacques Torres
Pure Chocolate, Fran Bigelow
Real Chocolate, Chantal Cody
Candymaking, Kendrick and Atkinson
Lenotre's Ice Creams and Candies
The ultimate Candy Book
Oh Truffles, Au Chocolat
Truffles and other chocolate confections, Pam Asquith
Truffles, Candies, and Confections, Carole Bloom
A Passion for chocolate


I have gleaned information from each of these books. Some I own, some I borrowed from the library, some I sold back to the used book store. I've heard good things about the Geerts book too, I just haven't shelled out the cash.

Some wonderful moderator will probably provide an Amazon link for one or tow of these so eG will make a little profit, right? I'm sure some of our friends here could increase that list too.

#24 Anna Skigin

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Posted 14 November 2005 - 11:42 AM

Trishiad, thank you so much for your answer! Now I know what to buy! Thanks! :)

#25 Mette

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Posted 14 November 2005 - 12:04 PM

  I've heard good things about the Geerts book too, I just haven't shelled out the cash.


I'm just a lowly amateur but I do own the Geerts book (Belgian chocolates). The background information isn't great but the recipes are good in that they are very easy to tweak to your own liking or alter the flavouring for a completely different filling, without having to worry about the texture going weird (and good in themselves as well). And especially for the amateur (or someone in slightly un-cosmopolitan settings), it is useful in that it mostly uses quite common ingredients, available in non-specialist shops.

/Mette

#26 Mette

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Posted 14 November 2005 - 01:46 PM

Mette, very very nice!  I too use that tall mold upside down but I fill it with a cinnamon spiced hot chocolate ganache, small world.

I love the sheen on your milk chocolate dome.  Is that clear cocoa butter with luster dust or did you use a sheer coat of yellow cocoa butter and then dust?

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Thanks! It is done with clear cocoa butter and dust, which is a mixture of red and gold, as I'd run out of copper, which was my plan.

#27 Genny

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Posted 15 November 2005 - 04:03 PM

They look lovely - and tasty - mmmmmmmm!


Here's a peek at what the recipients can expect :

Posted Image

They are:
Middle row: Praline and black pepper ganache in dark chocolate, mocca marzipan in milk chocolate with a snakeskin imprint, raspberry ganache in dark chocolate with gold leaf (what a great idea, Trishad!!!)
Bottom row: maramalade and Grand Marnier ganache in dark choc,.

Thanks again for the inspiration. My friends and family will appreciate it.

/Mette

View Post


Mette, these are gorgeous! Can you post the Praline & Black Pepper Ganache as well as the maramalade & Grand Marnier Ganache recipes? Esp the marmalade one, that is making my mouth water!

Thanks so much in advance :biggrin:

Genny

#28 Anna Skigin

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Posted 16 November 2005 - 01:19 PM

Oh yes, please, I would love the marmalade recipe too! :) THanks!

#29 Mette

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Posted 18 November 2005 - 01:40 PM

Mette, these are gorgeous!  Can you post the Praline & Black Pepper Ganache as well as the maramalade & Grand Marnier Ganache recipes?  Esp the marmalade one, that is making my mouth water!

Thanks so much in advance  :biggrin:

Genny

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The praline and black pepper is from Wybauw: Fine Cocolates (I've scaled it down and upped the dark chocolate contents by 100 g. as it was very liquid):

200 g. whipping cream
200 g. syrup (original recipe calls for corn syrup but I use light sugarbeet syrup, which is the most widely available syrup in these parts)
200 g. praline
120 g. milk chocolate
140 g. dark chocolate
Freshly ground black pepper to taste - mine are quite peppery.

Boil cream and syrup, pour over chocolates and praline, mix till melted, add black pepper to taste. Mould as usual.

The marmalade/Grand Marnier filling was the first chocolate filling I developed myself (before I knew the 'rules' of ganache etc. :biggrin: ) and it is very much anticipated (and appreciated) by my friends and family. It is VERY intense, and has an almost indefinate shelf life.

200 g. dark chocolate
1½ dl seville orange marmalade (I use home made, but store bought, preferably english or scottish, is fine)
1½ dl. grand marnier
50 g. unsalted butter

Depending on whether you like 'bits' in your filling or not (and how big the bits should be), you can pass the marmalade through a sieve, give it a quick whizz in the blender or chop it a bit with a knife. Bring marmalade and Grad Marnier near to boiling, pour over chocolate, mix till melted and add butter at app. 35 C. Mould as usual. It is quite firm and can be rolled to truffels. Come to think of it, it would probably be nice made with white choc as well, a bit less intense.

I'd like reports back if anyone tries the marmalade/grand Marnier. Thanks.

Have fun.

/Mette





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