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Sebastian

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Everything posted by Sebastian

  1. Well, it could be any of the above, or all of the above i'm afraid. Without having a temper meter, the reality is you don't know where along the tempering spectrum you are. Tempering isn't a simple binary 'yes/no' answer - there's a whole range of temper. From the photo it appears that you're somewhere along that spectrum, but you could be sufficiently over or under tempered to cause some problems. I suspect that's not the main driver of what you're seeing however. I tend to think it's more along the lines of Edward's thought - where the cavities in your mold may not be perfectly clean - either residue from past moldings if the moulds have been previously used, contaminants from the factory if they're now, or even mineral deposits from your water if you've cleaned them prior to use. It could be some combination all the above. They do look delicious!
  2. High fat and high viscosity don't really go hand in hand. I'm afraid it's simply a variation of a standard formula, processed in a standard fashion. It's a fine chocolate, but won't have magical rheological properties i'm afraid. ALL milk chocolate has milk proteins. While it can be true that higher protein chocolate can have higher yield, it's not always true, and emulsification plays a huge role. It will not have the texture or rheology of a ganache. If it did, Cargill would not be able to pump and mould it. I'm quite familiar with the formulation 8-) The cadbury's product is more a function of packaging + processing - the processes used by Cadbury are quite different than those used by Cargill, and of course in this instance, the packaging is irrelevant.
  3. It can be done; however it will be very easy to denature your milk proteins and may impact your sugars glass transition state (depending on the formulation), which may result in a really good tasting product that's increased it's viscosity quite a bit, or it may also end up getting very hard, granular 'bits' in it that you'll have a tough time processing out.
  4. Chocolate mfrs who go for a caramalized milk chocolate are doing it through one of two ways: 1) a crumb process (proprietary process(es) that combine milk, sugar, sometimes liquor, and often other ingredients. the goal here is to get the milk proteins and the reducing sugars to react, and do so in a way that's storable and transportable and suitable for use in chocolate. 2) the second is not that different - there are a couple producers of dried milk powder out there - most are spray dried, but there are some roller dryers as well. they'll do much the same thing - combine reducing sugars with their liquid milk stream with the intent of getting them to react during the drying process. Both approaches can work wonderfully. Both can be very expensive, which is why more people don't do it. Most people in the western world (ie the world that consumes chocolate) prefer 'modern' caramel flavor profiles as opposed to the more purist classical caramel (ie no dairy) flavor profiles. This is a generalization of course, and not true for everyone, just general demographics. If you're looking to make your own caramel and combine it into the chocolate, your biggest challenge will be that the moisture of the caramel will wreak havoc with your chocolate viscosity and potentially water activity (important because higher Aw can lead to micro issues). Viscosity will be your barrier before Aw is most likely.
  5. You may not, i would. It's defiantly not production quality. She's inferring that she's got a 'new' way of 'tempering' that doesn't require one to actually temper. Which would be new science, and against physical laws that we know to be true. Quite amateurish at best, terrible research and misleading at worst. I applaud you for looking at new ways to do things, don't get me wrong, it's the piece i'm criticizing. We do, however, already know the answer to this one.
  6. Sebastian

    Cacao Noel

    if you're finding $7/lb to be normal, you're either: 1) in an incredibly remote place 2) battling with terrible currency exchange rates 3) buying really, really, really small quantities 4) paying too much I'm not going to comment on who's making what product, but you can get literally the exact same thing for 1/2 the cost. I'd urge you to shop around.
  7. I think it's fair to assume that a homemade video off the NYT web site probably isn't going to break new scientific ground. If it sounds too good to be true, chances are..... NYT should definitely get some feedback on this one.
  8. Sebastian

    Cacao Noel

    $7/lb is extraordinarily high. I know a fair bit about them - the powder is fine, but you can find much more cost effective alternates that are, quite literally, exactly the same.
  9. Mycryo is a very, very expensive way to temper (or add cocoa butter). It's a per-crystallized cocoa butter that acts as a seeding agent (ie labor saving device for those who hand temper). It's 100% cocoa butter that is spray frozen in a cooling chamber to shift the crystallization envelope towards the higher end (much like freeze cone technology does for finished chocolate). As Edward notes, because it's precrystallized, if you add it to chocolate that is too warm, you'll just melt out the crystals and turn the whole thing into pure liquid cocoa butter, negating the reason for using it, so knowing how and when to use it are important. Personally, I'd just use regular good old fashioned cocoa butter and save the 60% mark up.
  10. lecithin is an ampiphillic emulsifier - which means it has two ends - one that is attracted to water (hydrophillic), and one that's attracted to fats (lipophillic). It works to reduce surface tension (ie make things slippery) by the reducing the old addage of 'oil and water don't mix' - so it effectively works to form a slippery bridge between the oil in a recipe and the water in a recipe so that they don't turn into a sticky syrup (reduces the surface tension of a phase transition). Bread staling, i think (i'm not a baker), comes about from the absorption of atmospheric moisture - the hydrophillic component of lecithin would likely preferentially bind some of that water; however lecithin is used in such small quantities that I don't think it'd be an effective anti-stalent in bread. I've never seen a test looking at that; i'm sure someone's done the science to look at it.
  11. I can tell you a great deal about it. what specific questions do you have? Just as with any supplier, some of their products will be better than others.
  12. most industrially produced cocoa powder is very finely ground, in the single micron range. While i've never looked at shawn's powder, it could very well be that he's simply having trouble grinding it that finely, and may be, by nature - coarser. most 'little guys' aren't going to have the equipment to grind that finely. A second possibility (related to the first), may be that he could be experiencing difficulties in his winnowing (the parts that removes the shell from the nib - or the good part of the cocoa bean), and his powder may have a higher than typical shell content - which will be very, very difficult to grind into a fine powder. If it's either one of these scenarios - i'm afraid you're not going to get it much smoother. hard to say definitively w/o looking at it personally however.
  13. The oil(s) used oxidized. Lipids that are soft (butter) or fluid (oils) at room temperature are highly unsaturated, meaning they are very susceptible to oxidation degradation. one of the tell tale signs of oxidized oils is off flavor - from cardboard to fish. By the time you get to fish, your oils have been heavily oxidized. If there's any question at all, simply take a spoon of the oil used to make them and taste it. if that's the source, you'll know immediately.
  14. Ti02 is the ONLY white colorant approved that you can use to whiten chocolate, actually. Yes there are food and non food grades. It will come to you as a white powder, very very fine. if you try to simply blend it into your chocolate, you'll get a lumpy mess. best to calculate how much you think you'll need (i'd start with 0.2-0.4%), take out a small amount of chocolate, and mix your titanium into that to make a paste. you'll probably have to work at it for quite a bit to get it dispersed. once you're happy with the dispersion, slowly add more liquid chocolate to your paste (i'd advise against doing the other way round). the more agitation you can give it the better. keep it away from brass or you'll likely get some other colors you don't want. if you've got the ability to send it through a small chocolate refiner, that's the idea way to disperse it.
  15. Beautiful lana - sorry for late response, have been traveling again. The marbled eggs are my favorite, although they're all nicely done!
  16. I don't know that i'd call it fun - both my feet are covered in blisters, i'm averaging 1 hr of sleep a night (it's a very complicated project i'm running), and it's so hot during the day my equipment with LCD screens aren't working 8-) I do, however, enjoy it! I just wouldn't call it fun 8-) by the time i tell this story to my grandkids, i'll be walking uphill both ways in the snow in the jungle....
  17. The short answer is there's not a short answer - i'm actually in the jungle now doing cocoa work - my connection isn't very stable so short and sweet the answer will be! generally speaking, 'colored' chocolates (ie with cocoa mass) can accept up to approx 0.7% before you get a reversal of effect. Some whites can go higher, and factors such as surface area of your solids, moisture content, amount of naturally occurring emulsifiers in your other ingredients, when the lecithin is added, how much energy is put into the chocolate both before and after it's added, the makeup of your actual lecithin itself (not all are created equal..), etc all have a hand in determining the outcome..
  18. Glad it worked. Remember, there's a law of diminishing returns on lecithin - adding a little helps a lot, but adding more may actually make it worse. Be judicious in it's use! It's continuing to thicken at such a fast rate because of the physical form the milk sugars are in - i'm afraid if the mfr doesn't know about it or recognize it, there's not much you'll be able to do on your end about that one to prevent it... Now, lets see some phots of your edible art!
  19. If you can get your Aw down to < 0.6 on both the caramel and the marshmallow, you should get great shelf life from a microbiological standpoint. It should be easily doable with both. If you want them to avoid moisture migration from the caramel to the 'mallow (or vice versa) you should get them both to have the same Aw (if they're both the same, the water that's there will be quite happy where it is, and won't want to travel in hopes of finding greener pastures...). Most folks don't have an Aw tester, so this might fall into the category of 'interesting but completely unhelpful' - if so, i apologize 8-)
  20. No problem. May need to consider a 'payment in kind' system where i share my knowledge, you share your product *wink* just kidding. Start with 0.5% fluid lecithin in your white chocolate. You may be able to request a sample of pgpr from Paalsgard, which will probably be sufficient material to last you for many years 8-)
  21. Hey Lana - i'm still here, just traveling a lot, so not much time to post 8-) what you're experiencing is almost certainly being caused by the crystalline state of the sugar (lactose) in the milk powder. There's not much you can do about that (it's a function of how the mfr made it - they probably don't even realize it themselves, or how to fix it for that matter...). There's also a good chance their muscavado sugar has a higher moisture content than it really should, which may also be contributing to the problem. HOWEVER - adding lecithin will absolutely thin it out for you. Something else to consider, if you can get some, is another type of emulsifier called PGPR. It will affect the viscosity, but in a different way. Lecithin changes something called the apparent viscosity and the plastic viscosity. PGPR will affect something called the yield value - if you're looking to use it where decorations are not important (ie if you don't use a utensil to leave a characteristic 'mark' on the top of your chocolate, for example), PGPR may be for you. It will turn it into a very, very fluid substance. You can use it in conjunction with lecithin. If you can source some and want direction on how to use it / how much to use - just drop me a line and we can walk through it.
  22. If you've got a good mixer, rehydrate it and make caramel (if it's NFDM, doesn't work as well with whole milk powder)
  23. If he said the same thing as he did in hist last book, it'd make it awfully hard to sell the next book, wouldn't it 8)
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