I’ve been collecting materials for the past few weeks so that I could begin airbrushing chocolate. I’ll try to give you a quick overview of what I’ve done so far.
First, I needed a good place to spray the chocolate so that I’m not breathing the atomized chocolate and not getting it all over my clothing. Since I can’t afford a nice chocolate spraying cabin like Design & Realisation offers, I decided to convert the space by my stovetop which, of course, has a nice strong exhaust fan. I wanted something that I could setup and breakdown very quickly.
I went to a recycled building materials store here in Portland and found a nice piece of Corian kitchen counter top that was already cut to exactly the right dimensions. For only $10, it was almost like stealing. Next, I purchased a shower curtain to wrap around the exterior of the hood and keep the chocolate sequestered under the exhaust fan. I bought magnets at Home Depot but they weren’t strong enough so I ended up using some kitchen clips. Four rubber feet and a wooded dowel, also from HD, to support the corian and keep it above the burners were about $4. Total cost of my make shift chocolate spraying cabin: less than $20.
Here are some before and after pix:
I needed a hook to hold my spray gun, a Fuji XT-2, and the pull on the recessed cutting board was just the right size:
To begin with, I put my spray gun atop a heating pad and covered it all with a kitchen towel. I’m paranoid about the chocolate setting up inside the gun and I think the pre-warming helped. May not be necessary…
Although I specifically searched for a surface that would not be harmed by scraping, I decided at the last minute to just lay down some wide plastic wrap (film) to make cleanup quicker. I’m really
glad I did that. Be sure to tape it down or the spray gun will blow it around.
While the gun was warming up, I tempered some dark chocolate thinned with 15% cocoa butter. It seemed pretty thin but next time I may increase that to 30%. I loaded up the canister and off I went.
So here’s a pic of beginning to spray a chocolate bar mold:
Notice how big the splatters are… That’s not especially good for what I’m trying to achieve: a smooth, shiny, seamless, and bubble free finish. I still have a bit of a learning curve to go through to get the aerosolized chocolate blobs smaller.
I sprayed the mold pretty heavily, maybe too much?, and then filled with the left-over chocolate that I used for spraying.
Here’s a close-up of the bar mold after spraying:
Cleanup was as easy as removing the plastic wrap:Results
I was very happy that the bars did not have any bubbles, but the finish was less than what I wanted. You can see some splotchiness and they were not shiny at all.
Compare that to bars that were brushed in manually:
The bonbon cups were successful: bubble free and shiny.
The African mask, like the bars, was bubble free but the surface was not that great:
The spraying cabin worked perfectly. There was absolutely no chocolate spray outside of my work area and more importantly, in my lungs.
I need to figure out why the surface was not that good on the bars but other than that I consider it a good first step.