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Stephanie Wallace

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Everything posted by Stephanie Wallace

  1. I used a table saw to cut most of the length and width, a jigsaw to finish the cuts and a radial arm saw to create diagonal edges on the scrapers.
  2. I just made a set of frames and scrapers from a $30 piece of high density polyethylene sheeting purchased from US Plastic; it is the same material used to produce those $400 sets.
  3. It is worth noting that formula development can be geared only toward developing optimal flavor/textural balance; shelf-life is not necessarily the greatest concern if chocolates are intended to be consumed within ~10 days from production.
  4. Measure out 500 grams of cream then boil until all of the water content has evaporated. Skim or strain the leftover solids, then weigh the remaining fat.
  5. You should look for recipes for brioche-like quick breads; omitting sugar from a sponge recipe will destroy the texture.
  6. Valrhona has just released a sugar-free chocolate. (click on "Xocoline")
  7. Wow, I've really been selling myself short at $10 per head! Regarding enrobing; it is worth noting that products by Valrhona and others that have been formulated for coating have an extremely large quantity of cocoa butter for couverture with such a low cacao content. Beyond lowering viscosity, this reduces the amount of cacao solids that hit your tongue, heavily accentuating the interior of your piece. Presumably, your ganache is always the focus of your work.
  8. If it's of value to anyone, I did manage to find Caraibe & Guanaja at Powers Market in North Bennington; though it may be a temporary thing.
  9. You should be able to use the powdered glucose as long as you take into account the loss of water. Glucose syrup is generally 12-20% water. Also note that subbing corn syrup will make your pieces significantly sweeter.
  10. Thanks for the info folks; looks like a day-trip to the city is in order. (Though gas will be more than shipping, I'm sure I can make a day in NYC worthwhile.)
  11. I'm in the general vicinity of Saratoga Springs for the next five weeks; does anyone know where I can find bulk Valrhona? I need to get my hands on some Caraibe and cocoa powder. ETA: Bennington VT area would be even better.
  12. Try finding mild beans from South America that HAVE NOT been heavily roasted. The majority of the bitterness comes from the caramelization of overly-roasted coffee. African coffees may be too heavy on the umami for an application such as this. You may also have more success at getting a decent extraction by brewing a coarser grind in a french press.
  13. The key really is not the number of ingredients, but whether or not the specific piece is geared towards showcasing the chocolate over the paired ingredient. Again, components like ganache and mousse can convey the subtleties of excellent chocolate (in some cases more so than eating the chocolate alone); baked items generally cannot. If you are willing to rework recipes when necessary to ensure that you are focusing on those individual chocolates (I'm guessing that you are), and if a reasonable portion of your customer base will "get it", go for it.
  14. ABSOLUTELY worth it as long the flavor of the chocolate will shine through directly in the final product, i.e. ganache, mousse, etc... though Felchlin's origin couvertures are truly excellent for the price. I would not limit myself to a single manufacturer, however, as different chocolates befit different scenarios.
  15. In my experience the best results are achieved when the sugar content is in the neighborhood of %30 to %35. Valrhona has finally release versions of their Grand Crus sans sugar in the U.S.; Araguani would work very well in this case. If you are trying to adjust ratios, remember that you cannot simply reverse the percentage to approximate the sugar content of your milk chocolate due to the additional solids. You must look at the nutritional information.
  16. Does anybody know of a source for black wax paper for lining chocolate boxes in the States?
  17. Does anyone know where to find black wax paper for lining the interior of chocolate boxes? Possibly even precut?
  18. I second this. I mean... WTF!!? I searched and searched in Paris and surrounding region and found nothing. Got excited about a place that had single origin options, and was horrified to see the open "coffee packets" on the tray as the waitress arrived.
  19. Does anybody have any advice on who is wholesaling Felchlin at the lowest price? EDIT: I cannot type...
  20. This could spin into a terrifying discussion, but I'll happily refrain from sparking it today -->Recent relevant reading on the subject from the Triangle Independent.
  21. When you properly mix the cream and chocolate you create an emulsion; tempering the chocolate creates a crystalline structure that traps the moisture in the ganache.
  22. A totally different approach: make a normal cream-based ganache with fruit juice or puree, temper your chocolate, hold around 88 degrees and emulsify cream brought to the same temperature (no higher). Add any additional butter, mix in the pop rocks, then pour into a frame. This is standard procedure for creating a ganache with praline or any other dissolvable sugar.
  23. Unfortunately the rest of the piece cannot be made until late Sunday (It's not a cake and will not last as long). While I would like to knock the BC out early for efficiency's sake, the real question is in what condition will the dairy products--particularly the butter--retain their peak flavor? Will making the butter cream actually stabilize those ingredients? And, could making it too early result in loss of texture (lightness)? The only truly important consideration is the excellence of the final product.
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