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Spraying Chocolate: Equipment, Materials, and Techniques

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300 replies to this topic

#31 John DePaula

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Posted 24 September 2007 - 09:42 AM

First of all, I have to say that the pieces turned out absolutely gorgeous! Love the effect you get with the spraying.

Next, I wanted to ask more about the "hand cream." I've heard that cosmetic grade hand cream is probably ok to use EXCEPT if they put preservatives in that are "external use only..."

P.S. If you're going to do a lot of spraying, then it may be helpful to setup a spray box. Just a large box that has the side facing you cut out. Then you can fold it for easy storage and not worry at all about cleanup.
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.”

#32 Lior

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Posted 24 September 2007 - 09:53 AM

Rob! The mini cheese cakes are just lovely! I wish I were your neighbor!! Yummy!!

#33 gfron1

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Posted 24 September 2007 - 08:36 PM

First of all, I have to say that the pieces turned out absolutely gorgeous!  Love the effect you get with the spraying.

Next, I wanted to ask more about the "hand cream."  I've heard that cosmetic grade hand cream is probably ok to use EXCEPT if they put preservatives in that are "external use only..."

P.S.  If you're going to do a lot of spraying, then it may be helpful to setup a spray box.  Just a large box that has the side facing you cut out.  Then you can fold it for easy storage and not worry at all about cleanup.

View Post

Thanks John for the complements and tips. The hand cream seemed safe (and 2 days later no one that I know of ended up in the hospital). I read the label very carefully and it contained nothing but cocoa butter - no preservatives, no colors, no fragrances. So, my assumption is still that the "external use" was because the factory isn't food certified. Which, I acknowledge, is reason enough to not use it in a commerical setting...which I'm not.

Chef, Curious Kumquat, Silver City, NM


#34 John DePaula

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Posted 24 September 2007 - 10:25 PM

First of all, I have to say that the pieces turned out absolutely gorgeous!  Love the effect you get with the spraying.

Next, I wanted to ask more about the "hand cream."  I've heard that cosmetic grade hand cream is probably ok to use EXCEPT if they put preservatives in that are "external use only..."

P.S.  If you're going to do a lot of spraying, then it may be helpful to setup a spray box.  Just a large box that has the side facing you cut out.  Then you can fold it for easy storage and not worry at all about cleanup.

View Post

Thanks John for the complements and tips. The hand cream seemed safe (and 2 days later no one that I know of ended up in the hospital). I read the label very carefully and it contained nothing but cocoa butter - no preservatives, no colors, no fragrances. So, my assumption is still that the "external use" was because the factory isn't food certified. Which, I acknowledge, is reason enough to not use it in a commerical setting...which I'm not.

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Ok, whoa... (backing up now...) let me get a clarification here. Sorry if I'm a little dense.

Are you saying that the cocoa butter you used was marked "external use only?"
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.”

#35 gfron1

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Posted 25 September 2007 - 06:14 AM

(Note: short, jovial response not appropriate here based on John's response)

When I realized my only option in town was the hand cream from our health food co-op, I bought the cream and called the 800 number on the package. It was a small operation so the person I spoke with had definitive knowledge of the product. I explained what I planned on doing with it. There was a clear under and overtone to the response. Basically he explained that (overtone) their plant was not certified for food product use and they did not market their product for that use. His less legalistic response (undertone) was that there was absolutely nothing in there except cocoa butter, and that nothing else is processed in their plant except cocoa butter - to which he added his "health food store" response that they don't use any additives of any kind in their products. He made it clear that it wasn't what the product was designed for, but didn't dissuade me.

In the end, you would have had to have heard the conversation to appreciate it (I think we've all had similar ones however). When I hung up the phone I had no concerns about using the hand cream.

Chef, Curious Kumquat, Silver City, NM


#36 David J.

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Posted 25 September 2007 - 07:57 PM

I spotted a picture of someone using a small dual action airbrush for chocolate and this got me to wondering.

I was under the impression that one had to go to the huge paint sprayers for this work, but now I'm wondering if I could get away with my cheap Badger airbrush for small cakes.

Does anyone have direct experience with a small airbrush and thined chocolate?

Edited by David J., 26 September 2007 - 09:08 AM.


#37 alanamoana

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Posted 26 September 2007 - 12:05 AM

david, you probably can get away with it. i don't know about even coverage though.

to add an addendum to gfron1's experience with the cocoa butter:

i asked my colleague what he thought about using vegetable oil in a pinch (if you don't have cocoa butter)...he said it is fine, but you might not end up with the nice velvety effect that you do with cocoa butter. the cocoa butter is there not only for thinning the chocolate but also so that it sets up quickly on the frozen sprayed item. vegetable oil doesn't "set up" the same way as it doesn't contain the same crystal structure that cocoa butter does.

so, i'll give it a try one day, and post results...just because i'm curious what the visual results will be. the chocolate might have enough cocoa butter included to give you the velvety look...who knows. i guess i'd rather use vegetable oil instead of something i might question as to being food-safe.

#38 Qui

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Posted 26 September 2007 - 05:00 PM

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

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What model badger airbrush do you have?

#39 David J.

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Posted 26 September 2007 - 10:14 PM

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

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What model badger airbrush do you have?

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I have model 250-4 with the 4 oz jar, but I'd recommend the 250-1 mini with the 3/4 oz jars. I think that's a better size for colored cocoa butter work. You can see the mini in Chef Norman Love's hands in my recent trip report of his guest chef class at the French Pastry School.

#40 Delartful Delights

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Posted 03 July 2008 - 01:08 AM

Hi Everyone,

I'm wondering what you all think of the Cocoa Butter Sprays that you can purchase from Chef Rubber etc?

Are they any good? I'm thinking of using them in place of an airbrush to colour my Chocolate Moulds. Would you get a similar effect? Does anyone have any photos of chocolates made using this product?

I'm new to chocolate making, and am in the process of collecting supplies, to start making them. (Not quite a chocolate virgin as I took a basic class LOL)

Thanks so much for any advice and opinions,
Danni

#41 Marmalade

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Posted 03 July 2008 - 06:18 AM

Hi Everyone,

I'm wondering what you all think of the Cocoa Butter Sprays that you can purchase from Chef Rubber etc?

Are they any good?  I'm thinking of using them in place of an airbrush to colour my Chocolate Moulds.  Would you get a similar effect?  Does anyone have any photos of chocolates made using this product?

I'm new to chocolate making, and am in the process of collecting supplies, to start making them. (Not quite a chocolate virgin as I took a basic class LOL)

Thanks so much for any advice and opinions,
Danni

View Post


They are very good. I use the jewel line with an airbrush or finger or q-tip.
Jeffrey Stern
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#42 tammylc

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Posted 03 July 2008 - 12:28 PM

The colored cocoa butters from Chef Rubber are very good. But it sounds like you're referring to something else? Can you link to the actual product you're interested in?

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#43 Delartful Delights

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Posted 03 July 2008 - 02:23 PM

The colored cocoa butters from Chef Rubber are very good. But it sounds like you're referring to something else? Can you link to the actual product you're interested in?

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Yes, I am referring to the cocoa butter sprays. My chocolatier friend mentioned the Cocoa butter Sprays, and said he uses them instead of using an air brush. So, I just wondered what everyone thinks of his product and how it compares to actually air brushing the normal cocoa butters.
https://www.shopchef...me.php?cat=1151

Thanks!

#44 tammylc

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Posted 03 July 2008 - 06:17 PM

I've not used them, so I can't comment on the usability. But they're definitely not very cost effective relative to the cocoa butters - $22 for 100 ml vs $19.50 for 200 ml. And I wonder what they're using for propellant and how food safe it is?

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#45 pastrygirl

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Posted 03 July 2008 - 07:09 PM

And I wonder what they're using for propellant and how food safe it is?

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Do you think it would be any different from pan spray propellants?

#46 Kerry Beal

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Posted 04 July 2008 - 08:45 AM

I played with one can of spray gold cocoa butter over at a shop I was teaching in. It was impossible to control the amount of spray - I ended up with a lot more spray in the mold that I would have liked.

It may have been more useful when spraying on finished product than into a mold however.

#47 ejw50

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Posted 05 July 2008 - 09:11 PM

I've not used them, so I can't comment on the usability. But they're definitely not very cost effective relative to the cocoa butters - $22 for 100 ml vs $19.50 for 200 ml. And I wonder what they're using for propellant and how food safe it is?

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I have a can that I still haven't used.

question on cost. Does anybody else use the el cheapo Badger airbrush that Norman Love uses? Have any of you gotten a chocolate + cocoa butter mixture to spray from these to get the velvet effect? It didn't work for me, but maybe I was doing it wrong.
Rather than buy a whole new brush, I just bought a can of the velvet spray stuff.

#48 Kerry Beal

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Posted 06 July 2008 - 06:29 AM

I've not used them, so I can't comment on the usability. But they're definitely not very cost effective relative to the cocoa butters - $22 for 100 ml vs $19.50 for 200 ml. And I wonder what they're using for propellant and how food safe it is?

View Post


I have a can that I still haven't used.

question on cost. Does anybody else use the el cheapo Badger airbrush that Norman Love uses? Have any of you gotten a chocolate + cocoa butter mixture to spray from these to get the velvet effect? It didn't work for me, but maybe I was doing it wrong.
Rather than buy a whole new brush, I just bought a can of the velvet spray stuff.

View Post

You know for the velvet effect that the cocoa butter mixture should be warm and the chocolate item frozen?

#49 Tri2Cook

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Posted 06 July 2008 - 06:46 AM

question on cost.  Does anybody else use the el cheapo Badger airbrush that Norman Love uses?  Have any of you gotten a chocolate + cocoa butter mixture to spray from these to get the velvet effect?  It didn't work for me, but maybe I was doing it wrong. 
Rather than buy a whole new brush, I just bought a can of the velvet spray stuff.

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I tried the canned stuff for velveting dessert components and it worked (you have to work with a frozen or very cold item to be sprayed as Kerry said) but it's just too expensive. Much more cost effective to buy pails of cocoa butter and a sprayer (I just use the ol' Wagner power sprayer) for that job unless it's a one time thing. For the chocolate/cocoa butter ratio, I started at the 1:1 that I'd read about and worked my way down from there until it started getting a bit difficult to work with. My goal was to use the minimum amount of additional cocoa butter that I could get away with and still get the result I want. The ratio can go surprisingly low without trouble if you keep the sprayer in a pan of warm water when not spraying. I've gone as low as 3 parts chocolate to 1 part cocoa butter but 2:1 is what I usually work with because the resulting shell seems to be of better texture on the plate. The 3:1 seemed to make a shell that wanted to flex and bend rather than cut or break. That's strictly based on observation though, no extensive testing or anything was done by me.

Edited by Tri2Cook, 06 July 2008 - 06:47 AM.

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

#50 ejw50

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Posted 06 July 2008 - 08:01 PM

You know for the velvet effect that the cocoa butter mixture should be warm and the chocolate item frozen?

View Post




Yeah, I tried that, but had problems getting it to work when I tried it. Maybe my temperature was too low. I tried a 2:1 chocolate:cocoa butter ratio. I've gotten straight cocoa butter to work on chocolates. But maybe (probably) I was doing it wrong . Will try again sometime.

Edited by ejw50, 06 July 2008 - 08:03 PM.


#51 gfron1

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Posted 12 November 2008 - 08:23 PM

I pulled out the ol' Wagner Power Painter today to coat this Pistachio/Rose/Pomegranate cake:
Posted Image
I detailed the process at my blog.

Chef, Curious Kumquat, Silver City, NM


#52 mostlylana

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Posted 27 November 2008 - 01:22 AM

Nice cake! I have read the threads on airbrushes and spraying chocolate with great interest. Thanks for all the great info everyone. I recently came back from a chocolate workshop in Italy. We spent a day with Paul DeBondt - one of my favourite chocolatiers. He demonstrated one of his fabulous eggs made with many layers of sprayed chocolate before filling the mold with the appropriate amount of chocolate and spinning. I would love to attach a photo but I have barely learned how to post let alone attach photos! In any case, I now feel that I 'need' a spray gun. I'll tell you what I've learned so far given that I am a research-aholic... First - Paul DeBondt said that the gravity feed sprayers are best for chocolate. He continued to say that for spraying cocoa butter you need a tip of about 1.2mm up to 1.7mm (although 1.7 is on the large size). For spraying chocolate he said you need a large tip size - about 3mm. He only thins his chocolate with about 30% cocoa butter so it would still be quite viscous and would require a large nozzle. Because I would like to get a gun that would spray both cocoa butter AND chocolate - that ruled out the airbrushes - tips are too small for chocolate. In looking for spray guns with tips ranging from 1.2mm to 3mm - I found nothing! I did find one made in Canada with a 1.2mm and a 2.8mm nozzle. The fellow did tell me that a 2mm isn't double a 1mm. He did some math and multiplied something by pie to show me that a 2mm is much bigger than double a 1mm. He said the difference between a 2.8mm and a 3mm is about 25%. The difference between a 2.5mm and a 3mm is about 50%. I figured I might need to thin my chocolate a bit more but I was sure the 2.8mm tip would work just fine. Then he told me that they use brass fittings and is this food safe? He said there are guns out there made from all stainless steel but they are expensive. I wasn't sure about the brass so I did some research on that. Like copper, brass is reactive and apparently the tarnish that builds up on it is poisonous. Lovely. So onward to look for a food safe spray gun. I found one made in Italy that has an all stainless paint channel and stainless tips. Unfortunately the biggest tip for that gun is 2.5mm. I can't seem to find much bigger so I think I am going to go for this gun. I thought I would first ask anyone who sprays chocolate (not coloured cocoa butter) what size tip you use - and how it works for you. Thank you!!

#53 Kerry Beal

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Posted 27 November 2008 - 04:58 AM

Nice cake!  I have read the threads on airbrushes and spraying chocolate with great interest.  Thanks for all the great info everyone.  I recently came back from a chocolate workshop in Italy.  We spent a day with Paul DeBondt - one of my favourite chocolatiers.  He demonstrated one of his fabulous eggs made with many layers of sprayed chocolate before filling the mold with the appropriate amount of chocolate and spinning.  I would love to attach a photo but I have barely learned how to post let alone attach photos!  In any case, I now feel that I 'need' a spray gun.  I'll tell you what I've learned so far given that I am a research-aholic...   First - Paul DeBondt said that the gravity feed sprayers are best for chocolate.  He continued to say that for spraying cocoa butter you need a tip of about 1.2mm up to 1.7mm (although 1.7 is on the large size).  For spraying chocolate he said you need a large tip size - about 3mm.  He only thins his chocolate with about 30% cocoa butter so it would still be quite viscous and would require a large nozzle.  Because I would like to get a gun that would spray both cocoa butter AND chocolate - that ruled out the airbrushes - tips are too small for chocolate.  In looking for spray guns with tips ranging from 1.2mm to 3mm - I found nothing!  I did find one made in Canada with a 1.2mm and a 2.8mm nozzle.  The fellow did tell me that a 2mm isn't double a 1mm.  He did some math and multiplied something by pie to show me that a 2mm is much bigger than double a 1mm.  He said the difference between a 2.8mm and a 3mm is about 25%.  The difference between a 2.5mm and a 3mm is about 50%.  I figured I might need to thin my chocolate a bit more but I was sure the 2.8mm tip would work just fine.  Then he told me that they use brass fittings and is this food safe?  He said there are guns out there made from all stainless steel but they are expensive.  I wasn't sure about the brass so I did some research on that.  Like copper, brass is reactive and apparently the tarnish that builds up on it is poisonous.  Lovely.  So onward to look for a food safe spray gun.  I found one made in Italy that has an all stainless paint channel and stainless tips.  Unfortunately the biggest tip for that gun is 2.5mm.  I can't seem to find much bigger so I think I am going to go for this gun.  I thought I would first ask anyone who sprays chocolate (not coloured cocoa butter) what size tip you use - and how it works for you.  Thank you!!

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Check out www.dr.ca and go into chocolate equipment and scroll down. They have an all stainless gravity feed for $80/cdn - but it doesn't say what size the tip is. A phone call to them should get that info - but it is made for chocolate. (if you want to spend another $1900 or so you can get a spray booth to go with it).

Edited by Kerry Beal, 27 November 2008 - 04:59 AM.


#54 reenicake

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Posted 27 November 2008 - 10:46 AM

I pulled out the ol' Wagner Power Painter today to coat this Pistachio/Rose/Pomegranate cake:
Posted Image
I detailed the process at my blog.

View Post


that is amazing... almost looks like peach fuzz.
I don't know how I missed your previous (a year ago it looks like) project of passionfruit cheesecakes, but those came out excellent! As a knitter I thank you for your support of the fiber arts guilds...:D

#55 gfron1

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Posted 27 November 2008 - 11:04 AM

Thanks. I think its funny that I rarely use my Wagner, but when it comes time for the Fiber Arts Guild event, I always start spraying. Not quite sure what that means.

Chef, Curious Kumquat, Silver City, NM


#56 mostlylana

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Posted 27 November 2008 - 01:06 PM

Thanks to Kerry Beal - I think I might actually post a picture! Here is Paul DeBondt's fabulous egg...

Posted Image

#57 patris

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Posted 27 November 2008 - 01:09 PM

Thanks to Kerry Beal - I think I might actually post a picture!  Here is Paul DeBondt's fabulous egg...

Posted Image

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Wow, I totally can't stop looking at that. It's so... surgical.

And are those sausages on the table, or some sort of confection?
Patty

#58 Kerry Beal

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Posted 27 November 2008 - 01:14 PM

Thanks to Kerry Beal - I think I might actually post a picture!  Here is Paul DeBondt's fabulous egg...

Posted Image

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Wow, I totally can't stop looking at that. It's so... surgical.

And are those sausages on the table, or some sort of confection?

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I bet that's the chocolate sausage made with figs and chocolate as I recall. There is a similar egg in one of the books I have - can't recall if it's a Wybauw book or one of the showpiece books I have.

#59 mostlylana

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Posted 27 November 2008 - 01:16 PM

Yes - funny sausage hey? It's gianduja shaped into sausage with added nuts to mimick the bits of fat. I'm sure it works in Italy - don't know if it would work here...
Kerry, I checked with DR and the tip sizes are 1.5 and 2mm. They're checking to see if they can order in different sizes. Thanks so much for that reference - I love that it's all stainless.

#60 John DePaula

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Posted 27 November 2008 - 11:11 PM

Thanks to Kerry Beal - I think I might actually post a picture!  Here is Paul DeBondt's fabulous egg...

Posted Image

View Post


Wow, I totally can't stop looking at that. It's so... surgical.

And are those sausages on the table, or some sort of confection?

View Post

I bet that's the chocolate sausage made with figs and chocolate as I recall. There is a similar egg in one of the books I have - can't recall if it's a Wybauw book or one of the showpiece books I have.

View Post

I think it's in the Wybauw Chocolate Decorations book.
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.”





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