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Spraying Chocolate: Equipment, Materials, and Techniques

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#1 cakedecorator1968

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Posted 20 March 2006 - 02:28 PM

Hello everyone,

Just wanted to start a thread how to spray chocolate with a paint sprayer.

Please describe what has worked well for you and what has not.

Do you like a Wagner Airless Spray Gun?

#2 Mike Hunt

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Posted 20 March 2006 - 03:10 PM

Hello everyone,

Just wanted to start a thread how to spray chocolate with a paint sprayer.

Please describe what has worked well for you and what has not.

Do you like a Wagner Airless Spray Gun?

View Post


Tried this a long time ago but it was nothing to do with cooking :rolleyes:

I put a warm chocolate/cream mixture in a reusable aerosol.

Worked OK considering and I would imagine that it would give reasonable coverage if used within the limits of the mixture solidifying.

#3 Trishiad

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Posted 20 March 2006 - 05:14 PM

I have the Campbell Hausfeld (there was a thread a couple of months ago). I use it with cocoa butter thinnned chocolate and colored cooca butter. I love it, it loves me.

I use it for spraying chocolate molds because my airbrush didn't love me. It 's trickier to clean than an airbrush but works much more quickly.
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#4 joiei

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Posted 20 March 2006 - 06:14 PM

I have used the wagner, the proportions I used was half chocolate, half cocoa butter heating the cocoa butter then melting the chocolate into that. I used Cocoa Barry and it worked. You will need to create a place to spray, like tape newspaper on what ever surfaces the sprayer will be possibly sprayed on. I would take a big box and line it to create a booth. Before you spray, make sure whatever is being sprayed is cold to frozen. Use a light hand, it is easier to spray more but hard to take it off. Then, when your finished, you have to completely disassemble the sprayer to get all the chocolate out of it. If you don't and it hardens, it can make the next job harder by not spraying. I can probably field strip a wagner sprayer now i have done it so many times. If you have any other questions, just 'pm' me.
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#5 stscam

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Posted 21 March 2006 - 11:32 AM

What models of Wagner and Campbell Hausfeld are you using?

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#6 Trishiad

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Posted 21 March 2006 - 02:25 PM

Steve, my Campbell is the HV101. I got it at homedepot.com and I think it's the same one they sell at chef rubber

#7 gfron1

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Posted 20 September 2007 - 12:44 PM

I'm making mini cheesecakes using a 2" cone silicone mold - actually 100 of them. They are turning out cute as buttons. Now I want to ramp it up a notch. I was thinking about spraying them with white chocolate to make them easier to handle (and of course cool looking).

My hope is that I can just go get the Wagner as outlined above. But, I don't have access to cocoa butter (except a very small quantity from a previous job (1/3 C.)). Can I spray tempered white chocolate on? Has anybody done this?

Chef, Curious Kumquat, Silver City, NM


#8 Kerry Beal

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Posted 20 September 2007 - 02:20 PM

I'm making mini cheesecakes using a 2" cone silicone mold - actually 100 of them.  They are turning out cute as buttons.  Now I want to ramp it up a notch.  I was thinking about spraying them with white chocolate to make them easier to handle (and of course cool looking). 

My hope is that I can just go get the Wagner as outlined above.  But, I don't have access to cocoa butter (except a very small quantity from a previous job (1/3 C.)).  Can I spray tempered white chocolate on?  Has anybody done this?

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I think you'll need to thin it with the cocoa butter. I suspect white chocolate unthinned might be a bit too viscous to spray. I've got a 30 lb bucket of cocoa butter - how soon do you need it?

#9 gfron1

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Posted 20 September 2007 - 02:22 PM

Uhhh...tomorrow :) But, like I said, I do have a very small amount and I'm not spraying that much. What would the ratio be of cocoa butter to chocolate?

Chef, Curious Kumquat, Silver City, NM


#10 alanamoana

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Posted 20 September 2007 - 02:39 PM

you could probably thin it with vegetable oil if absolutely necessary. usually for spraying it is 1:1 with cocoa butter. probably wouldn't want to put that much vegetable oil in it, but then again, that's what coating compound is.

edited to add: make sure your product is frozen and very cold when you spray, that way, you'll get a nice velvety effect. if your product is only just cold from the fridge, the spray won't set up enough and you'll probably get uneven coverage that won't be velvety.

Edited by alanamoana, 20 September 2007 - 02:40 PM.


#11 Kerry Beal

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Posted 20 September 2007 - 02:41 PM

Uhhh...tomorrow :)  But, like I said, I do have a very small amount and I'm not spraying that much.  What would the ratio be of cocoa butter to chocolate?

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I can't find my notes on this, but I'd say 2 parts chocolate, 1 part cocoa butter. Health food stores often have cocoa butter. Check with the skin creams.

As Alana mentioned if you spray warm chocolate on a frozen dessert you get velvet. On room temperature goods you get a shinier surface.

Edited by Kerry Beal, 20 September 2007 - 02:44 PM.


#12 bripastryguy

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Posted 20 September 2007 - 02:42 PM

GFron1,

You really need the cocoa butter to adjust the viscosity of your spray mixture. I have never tried straight chocolate but give it a shot. The Wagner works great, just make sure you clean it out after every use and heed the advice about covering everything, the overspray gets messy.
"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 bripastryguy

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Posted 20 September 2007 - 02:45 PM

my ratio is

1 part BS or SS choc : 1 part unsweetened chocolate : 1 part cocoa butter

Melted, strained through a very fine strainer and keep very warm. Your items that will be sprayed should come right out of the freezer to get the best velvet appearance and texture
"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

#14 gfron1

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Posted 20 September 2007 - 02:46 PM

Okay - 2 more questions then.

Cocoa butter from the skin care section...Kerry, are you sure? I'm feeding this to 100 little old knitting ladies, so I'd prefer to not kill them (even if they will have baby soft skin).

Also, this velvety spray effect - I've seen plenty of pics - but, does it end up being hard or soft? Meaning, my hope was for this to be finger food. Will it become fork food if I spray it?

Chef, Curious Kumquat, Silver City, NM


#15 alanamoana

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Posted 20 September 2007 - 02:49 PM

if you can make the sprayed layer thin enough (viscosity and coverage combined), then it will be a nice thin shell, barely noticeable except for a slight texture differential between the shell and your cheesecake.

if you spray too heavily, then it can become obtrusive.

it should still be finger food regardless.

if you have inexpensive white chocolate, i would do a small test with the vegetable oil. i mean, that's what they use to thin out the "chocolate" in fountains, right?

#16 David J.

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Posted 20 September 2007 - 02:51 PM

GFron1,

You really need the cocoa butter to adjust the viscosity of your spray mixture. I have never tried straight chocolate but give it a shot. The Wagner works great, just make sure you clean it out after every use and heed the advice about covering everything, the overspray gets messy.

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There are quite a few models of sprayers. HVLP, straight, airless/air and those which spray stains, those that spray thinned laytex, etc.

Which one is the best suited for chocolate?

#17 alanamoana

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Posted 20 September 2007 - 02:57 PM

david j,

i've used the wagner with great success...the model i have is: model #120 which cost around $70 when i bought it four years ago in new york city at a local hardware store.


edited to add: there are probably a lot of specialty chocolate sprayers on the market from chefrubber, pastry chef central and their ilk, but they are very expensive. it also depends on what specifically you're using the sprayer for. this one isn't good for detailed colored cocoa butter applications in molds, etc. this is for bulk spraying of showpieces and individual desserts. especially things that you want to have a "velvety" surface.

Edited by alanamoana, 20 September 2007 - 03:00 PM.


#18 David J.

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Posted 20 September 2007 - 03:24 PM

david j,

i've used the wagner with great success...the model i have is: model #120 which cost around $70 when i bought it four years ago in new york city at a local hardware store.


edited to add:  there are probably a lot of specialty chocolate sprayers on the market from chefrubber, pastry chef central and their ilk, but they are very expensive.  it also depends on what specifically you're using the sprayer for.  this one isn't good for detailed colored cocoa butter applications in molds, etc.  this is for bulk spraying of showpieces and individual desserts.  especially things that you want to have a "velvety" surface.

View Post


That's what I'm looking for. I just completed a class on Chocolate Decorations, Petit Gateau and Entrements where Norman Love used a large sprayer to coat the cakes in a 50/50 mix of chocolate and cocoa butter and I'd like to be able to reproduce it at home without hundreds of dollars of compressor/tank/and spraygun. Something that works for low volume production, is inexpensive, and is easy to clean.

I've got a cheap Badger for the smaller colored cocoa butter jobs.

#19 Kerry Beal

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Posted 20 September 2007 - 04:26 PM

Okay - 2 more questions then.

Cocoa butter from the skin care section...Kerry, are you sure?  I'm feeding this to 100 little old knitting ladies, so I'd prefer to not kill them (even if they will have baby soft skin).


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As long as it says 100% cocoa butter it should be fine.

#20 gfron1

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Posted 21 September 2007 - 06:22 AM

My cheesecakes are mostly complete and frozen rock solid in my commercial freezer. I have enough hand cream (cocoa butter) :blink: for about one good solid spray over them all - so no mistakes are allowed here!

I'm reading all of your comments to say that the chocolate does not need to be tempered - just melted and I'm assuming brought back to room temp. Any final temperature guidance for me? I think I'm going to use white chocolate for the spray - does that change anything?

Chef, Curious Kumquat, Silver City, NM


#21 Kerry Beal

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Posted 21 September 2007 - 06:30 AM

My cheesecakes are mostly complete and frozen rock solid in my commercial freezer.  I have enough hand cream (cocoa butter)  :blink:  for about one good solid spray over them all - so no mistakes are allowed here!

I'm reading all of your comments to say that the chocolate does not need to be tempered - just melted and I'm assuming brought back to room temp.  Any final temperature guidance for me?  I think I'm going to use white chocolate for the spray - does that change anything?

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Warmer than room temperature. Actually warmer than tempered. I seem to recall that something in the 45 C range sounds right.

#22 alanamoana

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Posted 21 September 2007 - 09:33 AM

I'm just curious for my own sake...can you use vegetable oil for this? That was one of my suggestions and nobody responded in the negative...but that doesn't mean anything...

gfron1, i usually cover the ground with parchment (or newspaper) and have my items to be sprayed on a cooling rack. i put the rack on the ground over the parchment and stand above the items with the sprayer. you want the sprayer to be a couple of feet away from the items. you also want to make sure to get good coverage by being able to sweep back and forth rather than focusing on one item at a time. turn the rack 90 or 180 degrees and finish the other side. test the spray before directing it on your items so that you don't get clogs or glops of spray.

by doing it on the ground, i can also control the mess from the sprayer. if done on a counter or table top, it is best to have some sort of three sided cardboard blockade made to avoid spraying your entire house with chocolate...which isn't fun to clean up.

yes, warmer than temper is fine. because you're spraying on a frozen item and you're forcing the chocolate through a small opening and then atomizing it, and you're keeping the item refrigerated, temper doesn't matter.

#23 Kerry Beal

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Posted 21 September 2007 - 10:18 AM

I don't know about the oil. I know what once everything reaches room temperature that it will be solid when you use cocoa butter, but I'm not sure if that would be the case with oil in chocolate.

What happens when you take the oil laced chocolate back out of a fountain? Does it solidify?

#24 gfron1

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Posted 21 September 2007 - 12:03 PM

because you're spraying on a frozen item and you're forcing the chocolate through a small opening and then atomizing it, and you're keeping the item refrigerated, temper doesn't matter.

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(Slapping forehead)...of course. Thanks.

Chef, Curious Kumquat, Silver City, NM


#25 alanamoana

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Posted 21 September 2007 - 12:07 PM

I don't know about the oil.  I know what once everything reaches room temperature that it will be solid when you use cocoa butter, but I'm not sure if that would be the case with oil in chocolate. 

What happens when you take the oil laced chocolate back out of a fountain?  Does it solidify?

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if you're using coating compound, not chocolate/couverture, it will solidify. but that's because there's no cocoa butter to worry about.

i'm just wondering if it will work for this situation because the item is being sprayed frozen and meant to be kept chilled/refrigerated until service. it wouldn't really matter if it melted/liquified a bit if it sat on a plate for a couple of hours.

just seemed like it might be a good idea if you didn't have cocoa butter. i'll ask my colleague about it, he's got a lot of info on this.

#26 gfron1

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Posted 22 September 2007 - 04:09 PM

Can I just say you guys are incredible! What a huge success. Everything went perfectly. I'm so tired right now but I'll post pics and techniques shortly.

Chef, Curious Kumquat, Silver City, NM


#27 gfron1

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Posted 22 September 2007 - 09:18 PM

Here are the pics. First, here is the El Rey white and the hand cream ready for melting. I chopped them both a bit more. I simply heated in the microwave until most of the chunks dissolved and then babied it until completely dissolved so as to not overheat.
Posted Image
Here are tools. I had a 5.2HP painter. I could have bought the cheaper ones, but my fear was that the chocolate would have been too thick to work through easily (that wasn't a problem at all). You can also see the colored buttercream - Aztez Orange from Chef Rubber.
Posted Image
eG member Patrick A assisted on the project. We heard the recommendation to work on the ground, but I'm tall and my back ached at the thought, so we set up on our prep table. We draped the table with butcher paper. As I sprayed, Patrick would hold up the paper behind where I was blowing to catch overspray - worked like a charm. I did the 2:1 ratio and it was very thin, but apparently, just right. I would compare it to the viscosity of a cheap Wal-Mart paint - watery indoor latex. I checked the temp, simply by touch - waiting until slightly warm to the touch.
Posted Image
This photo shows the coverage:
Posted Image
Here's the final product before decoration. This was a passionfruit cheesecake.
Posted Image
Unfortunately this pic is blurry, but I tempered some chocolate onto a transfer sheet with a weave design and added my signature card. The event was a fundraiser for our local women's fiber art guild. I didn't know that my colors would match theirs - see the edge of the seating card:
Posted Image
Thanks again for everyone's suggestions and guidance. As always - you're super!

Chef, Curious Kumquat, Silver City, NM


#28 Kerry Beal

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Posted 23 September 2007 - 05:09 AM

Those look fabulous!!!

Was there much cleanup?

#29 Tri2Cook

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Posted 23 September 2007 - 05:25 AM

Awesome Rob!
It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

#30 gfron1

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Posted 23 September 2007 - 06:10 AM

Was there much cleanup?

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Clean up was very fast the way we did it. The sprayed area was just crumple the paper and toss. Because of how we used the paper, there was no overspray to clean off the floor. The painter was my fear knowing how stubborn chocolate can be. I just let my water get as hot as it could and filled the paint container, washed out the chocolate by hand, re-filled and sprayed it until the container was empty and the water was running clear (just like when you use paint). I then hand washed the container and did some spot check cleaning of the nozzle. I'll check today to see if there is any residue, but I didn't feel any. Less than 5 minutes of cleaning.

Chef, Curious Kumquat, Silver City, NM






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