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Cooking with "Chocolates and Confections" by Peter Greweling (Part 1)

Confections Chocolate Cookbook

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#511 Chris Hennes

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Posted 18 April 2008 - 03:08 PM

If you're just getting started with Greweling, I would suggest picking up boxes of dark, milk and white wafers (easier to work with than bars, IMO), some cocoa butter, and some glucose. I find that most of the other stuff he calls for is relatively easy to track down, so that's what I started with. You can make a lot of his recipes with just those things and supermarket staples. Maybe add apple pectin to the list if you want to try his jellies.

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#512 emmalish

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Posted 18 April 2008 - 03:13 PM

I'll definitely do that, Kerry. I had a quick look through last night and got a good feel for the ingredients I may need (and found a half dozen recipes I want to try right off the bat). And I think I know what basic equipment I'll need for both enrobed and molded chocolates.

I guess I was wondering about any helpful items you've found while working with chocolate that might not occur to a beginner? Like I see a lot of people use a heating pad in a bowl to keep their chocolalte warm while dipping. Or Chris' trick of using a cake slicer to wipe the bottom of his enrobed chocolates on to get rid of excess.

edited to say thanks, Chris! I was thinking that about the wafers vs bars as well.

Edited by emmalish, 18 April 2008 - 03:17 PM.

I'm gonna go bake something…

wanna come with?


#513 Chris Hennes

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Posted 18 April 2008 - 03:27 PM

I guess I was wondering about any helpful items you've found while working with chocolate that might not occur to a beginner? Like I see a lot of people use a heating pad in a bowl to keep their chocolalte warm while dipping. Or Chris' trick of using a cake slicer to wipe the bottom of his enrobed chocolates on to get rid of excess.

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Well, it's the opposite of the advice you're looking for, but I gave up on the heating pad thing. I found that especially when using milk, but even dark chocolate, I always ended up getting it just a little too warm at the edges of the bowl. So, with the PB&Js, once I got into a groove, I was dipping maybe 20-30 chocolates, then I would microwave for 5-6 seconds, stir like mad for 10 seconds, and dip 20-30 more chocolates. The PBJs had a perfect temper except for the one time I used the micro for 10 seconds instead of 5-6. And no extra equipment as long as you have a microwave :smile: .

I like to use Silpats (actually, generic non-Silpat silicone mats because I'm cheap) instead of parchment, since the bars won't slide around on it. I think that's a tip from John DePaula (sorry if I'm misattributing it, though).

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#514 Kerry Beal

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Posted 18 April 2008 - 03:32 PM

I'll definitely do that, Kerry. I had a quick look through last night and got a good feel for the ingredients I may need (and found a half dozen recipes I want to try right off the bat). And I think I know what basic equipment I'll need for both enrobed and molded chocolates.

I guess I was wondering about any helpful items you've found while working with chocolate that might not occur to a beginner? Like I see a lot of people use a heating pad in a bowl to keep their chocolalte warm while dipping. Or Chris' trick of using a cake slicer to wipe the bottom of his enrobed chocolates on to get rid of excess.

edited to say thanks, Chris! I was thinking that about the wafers vs bars as well.

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Well, I'd start with a reliable thermometer, a scraper for molds, the right bowls for melting/tempering/holding your chocolate. I like a heat gun to warm the chocolate. I also like silicone spatulas that can go in the microwave (dollarama). A scale, dipping forks of some sort, piping bags, parchment.

I use glucose, invert sugar, essential oils, coverture in both bar and wafer form.

I second the apple pectin if you can find it, along with fruit purees.

#515 emmalish

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Posted 18 April 2008 - 03:39 PM

Well, I'd start with a reliable thermometer, a scraper for molds, the right bowls for melting/tempering/holding your chocolate.  I like a heat gun to warm the chocolate.  I also like silicone spatulas that can go in the microwave (dollarama).  A scale, dipping forks of some sort, piping bags, parchment.

I use glucose, invert sugar, essential oils, coverture in both bar and wafer form.

I second the apple pectin if you can find it, along with fruit purees.

View Post

Essential oils! Excellent. Can always use those.

What do you use for a scraper? I've seen some instructions say to just use the edge of a chef's knife. I was thinking of using an offset spatula. Got all the other equipment already except the heating gun. When do you use that?

Chris, I saw earlier when you said you had problems with the heating pad. I was meaning to ask you how you kept the chocolate liquid throughout the enrobing process. Thanks! That makes sense.

I'm gonna go bake something…

wanna come with?


#516 Chris Hennes

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Posted 18 April 2008 - 03:51 PM

Chris, I saw earlier when you said you had problems with the heating pad. I was meaning to ask you how you kept the chocolate liquid throughout the enrobing process. Thanks! That makes sense.

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Yeah, the real trick is to not be skimpy with the amount you temper: the more mass you have in the bowl, the slower it cools down. I just spread the leftovers out on parchment until it hardens, then break it up into little bits and add it back to the box. Then, be very gentle with the microwaving.

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#517 Kerry Beal

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Posted 18 April 2008 - 03:55 PM

Essential oils! Excellent. Can always use those.

What do you use for a scraper? I've seen some instructions say to just use the edge of a chef's knife. I was thinking of using an offset spatula. Got all the other equipment already except the heating gun. When do you use that?

Chris, I saw earlier when you said you had problems with the heating pad. I was meaning to ask you how you kept the chocolate liquid throughout the enrobing process. Thanks! That makes sense.

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For a scraper I like the Ateco 1375 and I'll sometimes back that up with a 6" Richard drywall scraper that my dad has polished any burrs from.

I use the heat gun to warm up the chocolate when it gets cold and thick. See here - tempering demo.

#518 emmalish

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Posted 18 April 2008 - 10:58 PM

Oooh, I hadn't seen the tempering demo. Thanks for that link.

Well, we've suddenly got a great dump of snow here in Vancouver. I'm going to hold off on the trip to Sugar Arts until we've got better weather. It's a weekend to stay home, not drive an hour through the snow.

edited to say never mind, the snow was coming down hard and getting deep last night, but this morning it's almost all gone. So I'm going to get my toys today after all.

edited again to say I've been, and Patrice was wonderful. I got a couple molds, a stencil sheet (want to try those buckwheat beehives), dark, milk & white chocolate (pellets), some coloured cocoa butter, powdered cocoa butter (he recommended this – anyone else use it?), glucose, trimoline, & praline paste. For the latter three, instead of buying the huge 5kg pails, he suggested I go to the corner store and pick up a tupperware container and he sold me a smaller amount, which was a huge help. He didn't have the caramel rulers (would have to special order them), but he did have some bottomless cake forms so I got those (and I can use them for baking as well). AND, as if that weren't enough, he gave me a couple transfer sheets so I can play with that too. I had a great shopping day! I can't wait to play with all my toys!

I'm still planning to make caramel this weekend. I'll save the molded chocolates for later, after I've read through the book more thoroughly and decided which recipe I want to try first.

Edited by emmalish, 19 April 2008 - 01:38 PM.

I'm gonna go bake something…

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#519 merlicky

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Posted 19 April 2008 - 02:12 PM

I've actually had good luck using the heating pad technique. I guess the temperature depends on the heating pad you are using. The low setting on the one we have heats up to 87-88°F so it is the perfect temperature to keep the temper.

I just put the heating pad on top of a larger glass bowl and smush the glass bowl with my tempered chocolate right down into it. Even with the heating pad, I still have to hit the chocolate with the heat gun every once in a while, but typically only when I am enrobing large quantities of chocolates.

#520 alanamoana

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Posted 19 April 2008 - 03:01 PM

Chris, I saw earlier when you said you had problems with the heating pad. I was meaning to ask you how you kept the chocolate liquid throughout the enrobing process. Thanks! That makes sense.

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Yeah, the real trick is to not be skimpy with the amount you temper: the more mass you have in the bowl, the slower it cools down. I just spread the leftovers out on parchment until it hardens, then break it up into little bits and add it back to the box. Then, be very gentle with the microwaving.

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something i just figured out...a real 'doh' moment...after pouring the excess tempered chocolate out and spreading it rather thin, when it is about halfway set up i use a paring knife to score it into little squares. that way, when it is completely set up, i have even sized pieces of chocolate to use the next time and i don't have to break it up by hand.

#521 emmalish

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Posted 19 April 2008 - 03:46 PM

something i just figured out...a real 'doh' moment...after pouring the excess tempered chocolate out and spreading it rather thin, when it is about halfway set up i use a paring knife to score it into little squares.  that way, when it is completely set up, i have even sized pieces of chocolate to use the next time and i don't have to break it up by hand.

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Clever! I'm stealing that.

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#522 renam

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Posted 23 April 2008 - 12:22 PM

Hello everyone! I just ordered Razzel Dust to color my molds with. I've never done this before and I know there is a thread out there about it but I thought I'd just go ahead ask anyway. What is the best way to work with this? It says you can add vodka and make a mix and then apply to molded chocolates or the molds itself. Can I add it to white chocoalte (cocoa butter) and then apply it to the molds? I ordered from yourchocolateshop.com. I have raspberry, blue, copper and bronze. My church is have a 'Chocolate Sunday' coming up Mothers Day weekend where everyone brings something chocolate and I wanted to bring some molded chocolates with the razzel dust on the chocolates.
Thanks in advance for your input...

Rena

#523 Kerry Beal

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Posted 23 April 2008 - 01:19 PM

Hello everyone!  I just ordered Razzel Dust to color my molds with.  I've never done this before and I know there is a thread out there about it but I thought I'd just go ahead ask anyway.  What is the best way to work with this?  It says you can add vodka and make a mix and then apply to molded chocolates or the molds itself.  Can I add it to white chocoalte (cocoa butter) and then apply it to the molds?  I ordered from yourchocolateshop.com.  I have raspberry, blue, copper and bronze.  My church is have a 'Chocolate Sunday' coming up Mothers Day weekend where everyone brings something chocolate and I wanted to bring some molded chocolates with the razzel dust on the chocolates. 
Thanks in advance for your input...

Rena

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I'd either dust the molds with it dry (using a nice plooshy makeup brush) or mix with cocoa butter and paint into mold. If you mix with white chocolate, you'll lose the dazzle.

#524 emmalish

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Posted 23 April 2008 - 02:00 PM

When I picked up my supplies on the weekend, I asked for coloured cocoa butter, but I didn't look at it until I got home. It's actually AmeriColor Oil Candy Color. Dang. I've checked their website and it says it can be mixed with white chocolate. Do you think it would be safe to mix with cocoa butter? Or can it be brushed into the mold as-is? Or do I need to experiment?

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#525 Kerry Beal

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Posted 23 April 2008 - 07:36 PM

When I picked up my supplies on the weekend, I asked for coloured cocoa butter, but I didn't look at it until I got home. It's actually AmeriColor Oil Candy Color. Dang. I've checked their website and it says it can be mixed with white chocolate. Do you think it would be safe to mix with cocoa butter? Or can it be brushed into the mold as-is? Or do I need to experiment?

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If you can mix it with white chocolate you should be able to mix it with cocoa butter. I wouldn't brush it in the molds as is though.

#526 emmalish

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Posted 23 April 2008 - 10:21 PM

Thanks Kerry, I'll experiment with it a bit this weekend.

I have a question regarding the recipes in this book. If I want to use one of the truffle or slabbed ganache recipes to fill molded chocolates, would I need to modify the recipe at all? On p.92 it says "The ganache used in hollow-shell truffles typically contains approximately 25 percent less chocolate than a piped or slabbed ganache." Would I delete 25% of the chocolate from the recipe, and then follow the instructions for hollow-shell technique on p.93?

Edited by emmalish, 23 April 2008 - 10:45 PM.

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#527 tammylc

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Posted 24 April 2008 - 04:55 AM

Shells can support a looser ganache than you need for hand dipping. But they don't *have* to have one. I tend to use a fairly stiff ganache in my molded chocolates, for personal preference and shelf life consideration.

i use the recipes as written pretty much interchangeably.

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#528 Kerry Beal

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Posted 24 April 2008 - 05:35 AM

Thanks Kerry, I'll experiment with it a bit this weekend.

I have a question regarding the recipes in this book. If I want to use one of the truffle or slabbed ganache recipes to fill molded chocolates, would I need to modify the recipe at all? On p.92 it says "The ganache used in hollow-shell truffles typically contains approximately 25 percent less chocolate than a piped or slabbed ganache." Would I delete 25% of the chocolate from the recipe, and then follow the instructions for hollow-shell technique on p.93?

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Or you could just use the recipes as it and while they are still soft, pipe them into the hollow shell truffles. No rule says the fillings in hollow shells have to be more fluid. The advantage to them that I see is that you can use a filling you make that is too soft for truffles.

Edit: Oops, didn't realize Tammy had already posted and said just about the same thing!

Edited by Kerry Beal, 24 April 2008 - 05:43 AM.


#529 renam

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Posted 24 April 2008 - 06:55 AM

Thanks Kerry and thanks for tidbit about using cocoa butter instead of white chocolate. That's good to know.

#530 John DePaula

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Posted 24 April 2008 - 09:31 AM

Thanks Kerry, I'll experiment with it a bit this weekend.

I have a question regarding the recipes in this book. If I want to use one of the truffle or slabbed ganache recipes to fill molded chocolates, would I need to modify the recipe at all? On p.92 it says "The ganache used in hollow-shell truffles typically contains approximately 25 percent less chocolate than a piped or slabbed ganache." Would I delete 25% of the chocolate from the recipe, and then follow the instructions for hollow-shell technique on p.93?

View Post

Or you could just use the recipes as it and while they are still soft, pipe them into the hollow shell truffles. No rule says the fillings in hollow shells have to be more fluid. The advantage to them that I see is that you can use a filling you make that is too soft for truffles.

Edit: Oops, didn't realize Tammy had already posted and said just about the same thing!

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That's true but I would just add that it's so much easier to fill your shells if the ganache is still at least semi-liquid when you pipe it into the shells. The thicker the ganache, the more time you'll have to spend filling the shells. Can be done, just not fun.
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When asked “What are the secrets of good cooking? Escoffier replied, “There are three: butter, butter and butter.”

#531 emmalish

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Posted 24 April 2008 - 09:42 AM

That's true but I would just add that it's so much easier to fill your shells if the ganache is still at least semi-liquid when you pipe it into the shells.  The thicker the ganache, the more time you'll have to spend filling the shells.  Can be done, just not fun.

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So, would you recommend modifying the recipes to get a thinner ganache?

I'm gonna go bake something…

wanna come with?


#532 tammylc

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Posted 24 April 2008 - 10:17 AM

That's true but I would just add that it's so much easier to fill your shells if the ganache is still at least semi-liquid when you pipe it into the shells.  The thicker the ganache, the more time you'll have to spend filling the shells.  Can be done, just not fun.

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So, would you recommend modifying the recipes to get a thinner ganache?

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I usually fill my shells when my ganache has cooled to 85 degrees, and even ganaches that get quite stiff later are pretty fluid then. So just ignore the instructions in the truffle recipes re cooling and tabling.

Edited by tammylc, 24 April 2008 - 10:19 AM.

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#533 emmalish

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Posted 24 April 2008 - 10:26 AM

Thanks everyone! I'm looking forward to trying out my molds this weekend. Still haven't decided which recipe to try. I'm leading towards the chai tigers, but I'm not certain...

I'm gonna go bake something…

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#534 John DePaula

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Posted 24 April 2008 - 10:53 AM

That's true but I would just add that it's so much easier to fill your shells if the ganache is still at least semi-liquid when you pipe it into the shells.  The thicker the ganache, the more time you'll have to spend filling the shells.  Can be done, just not fun.

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So, would you recommend modifying the recipes to get a thinner ganache?

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Depends on a couple of things:
1) How many are you making and 2) how thick the ganache is at ~84F.

I have some fillings that are pretty stiff at 84F. When I pipe them in, I know that I'll have to go back and flatten each one individually to allow me to get a good back on the bonbon. If I have to do this, I place a piece of plastic wrap over the top of the tray and press in the top of each one by hand. Very clean, but obviously not as fast as just piping in a filling that immediately goes flat.
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When asked “What are the secrets of good cooking? Escoffier replied, “There are three: butter, butter and butter.”

#535 Lior

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Posted 24 April 2008 - 12:36 PM

I'd worry about getting little holes or spaces that don't get filled up with the ganache, so the shape of the cavity is important, if there are corners or small triangular parts, the ganache should be more liquidy than not.

#536 emmalish

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Posted 24 April 2008 - 01:18 PM

How would you thin it? Would you leave some of the chocolate out of the recipe to begin with?

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#537 Lior

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Posted 24 April 2008 - 01:30 PM

Yes I would. I usually do about one part cream/liquid to one and a half chocolate, adjusting for dark, milk and white. A bit less for dark a bit more for white, then the shell fills up nicely and has a flat top and is not too liquidy after setting and not too firm. For firmer I prefer slabbing the ganache and cutting it, so there are a variety of textures involved. Some like it thinner others like it firmer. And the round moulds can be filled with a slighter firmer ganache than the angular cavities., so a real variety of texture as well as flavour can be accomplished by planning ahead! A larger cavity can also have pieces of things in them, such as cut up candied orange peel or roasted nuts chopped etc. A tall cavity can also, for instance have a nut or such plopped in it. Endless options!

#538 emmalish

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Posted 24 April 2008 - 01:37 PM

Thank you again! My molds are a bit fiddly, so I'll adjust the ganache to thin it. Fingers crossed... I'll post pics and let you know how they turn out.

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#539 Lior

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Posted 24 April 2008 - 01:47 PM

You can take a look at his reciped for filling cavitiesto get an idea of ratios also. Don't be afraid to try, you can always add a bit of liqueur or some more cream or even a bit of milk to thin it. If it is too thick you can add some melted chocolate and hope the ganache won't break! But that is how you learn about your material. If you need recipe help just ask! Good luck!

#540 emmalish

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Posted 27 April 2008 - 11:00 PM

Alright, here they are, my first molded chocolates...

Posted Image

I'll try to take a new picture tomorrow – I just realized I have the iso on my camera set waaaay too high (was playing with it for something else and forgot to set it back – oops).

I made the lemon mint ganache and just let it cool to room temp for piping into the molds. I have to say, molded chocolates? Very messy. I had chocolate dribbles all over the place. And my scraping down of the molds needs some work. I cut the recipe in half and it filled my two molds twice each. The first set, I overfilled the ganache so many of them leaked a bit (they'll be the first eaten). The rest were much better, but my bottoms turned out really messy looking, almost like they collapsed a bit while the chocolates set up.

Also, my ganache seemed fine until I piped it into the mold, and then it looked almost like it was separating a bit. But it seems to have set up fine in the end. When they first came out of the mold, the filling was nice and gooey. You can see it's set up solid now.

I have to say that so far I think I prefer enrobing, mostly because once the chocolate is in temper, I'm constantly doing something. With the molds, there's a lot of waiting for chocolate or ganache to set up before continuing to the next step. It would probably flow a lot better if I had more than just the two molds so I could keep them rotating.

I really like the flavour of this ganache. Next time I may make it as a slab (as it was intended) and see how that works out.

Does anyone know how long these should keep? Should they be stored in the fridge, or at room temp?

Edited by emmalish, 27 April 2008 - 11:06 PM.

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