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Lysbeth

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Everything posted by Lysbeth

  1. Lysbeth

    Pre-made Truffle Shells

    Lebowits, since this topic died at some point you may no longer be needing this suggestion. But I too have struggled with the sealing plate. It's true your chocolate should not be in temper and it can't be too warm, but still I've always ended up with a mess. And once I sealed one tray, enough chocolate got stuck to the plate that I couldn't get a nice seal on the next tray (wanna buy a sealing tray, anyone?) This past Christmas I decided to use tempered chocolate in a piping bag with a very small hole. I then placed a tray with truffles on a half sheet tray and I put that on my vibrating table. This was the best thing I figured out since working with truffle shells. I start the vibrating table (on low, otherwise the shells start to turn in their little cubbies, not fun!) and then, as I am capping the cavities, I can be sure that any possible air pockets will be filled in and all the bottoms looked nice and even. After the chocolate sets I usually take a minute to loosen all the shells in the tray by hand (I turn them a 1/4 turn) so that once I am coating them I know they will not stick. Using the piping bag and the vibrating table took maybe only 2 minutes per tray, if not less, and the end result was great. Even the finished truffle looked nicer because I did not overfill the bottoms and have odd bumps. I hadn't worked a whole lot with ready-made truffle shells before, but this past Holiday season I rented space without storage so I had to shuffle all of my equipment and ingredients back and forth. So I had no choice but to use the shells. I really don't think people cared at all. They just wanted my flavors and I actually had many nice comments on how the boxes looked when they were done (I was really worried about this, but I guess it worked out...)
  2. I actually do put my molds in the fridge. Following what Wybauw suggests, I wait until I see signs that the chocolate is beginning to crystallize in the molds, then I put then in the fridge in a spot that has good (well the best my fridge has to offer) circulation for 10 minutes or so. I then take them out, fill, back off, repeat the fridge as before. When I can see that the chocolates are starting to separate from the mold (I just flip it over and look for the change you can see when that happens) I take them out of the fridge. Again usually 10 minutes or so. If I'm not seeing that separtation happening, I put them back in the fridge for a few minutes longer. I don't always knock the chocolates out of the mold right away. Sometimes I will actually leave them in the mold overnight or longer before removing them. If some are sticking, then it's back into the fridge for a while. ← You're right, I should have said "may go out of temper" , if you wait for the chocolate to start to crystallize you will be fine.
  3. Stuckey, something I learned with Callebaut is that you really need to take the initial melting temp to 113 to 115F (45-45C). If you go lower. not enough of the "unstable" crystals will melt out and you won't have enough heat to melt enough of the "stable" crystals in the seed chocolate. Cocoa Barry is the same. Also, If your room is very warm (say 82F or 28C) you will get streaks on your chocolate if you mold it because it takes too long to set. If you were to try and fix this by putting the molds in the fridge your chocolate will cool too quickly and go out of temper like David said. If you can work in a room that's about 72F (or 22C) that should work, so crank up your A/C!
  4. Our Costco now also carries them in three packages of eight and they are made with butter so they are the real deal AND they are a real steal at about $5 per box! They are imported from Holland from a large reputable bakery (Daelmans) I once spent a morning with a vendor on the open air market in Holland making these. Too bad he wouldn't share his recipe, I'm still looking for one that's close to the real stroopwafel. With the recipe from King Arthur I thought the cookies were too crumbly.
  5. Lysbeth

    Candy Pads

    ".... they don't know of anyone in the US who makes it." If I remember correctly, I believe Fabrice said that they import the pads from France. BTW rraaflaub - I love your site, I just saw it for the first time today. Your chocolates looked so good I had to order some right away.
  6. Phew, I finally had some time to make something from the book this weekend. When everyone was still asleep I whipped up a batch of nougat and it was sooo good. I couldn't wait to cut into it so it was still a little soft at the time, but that didn't matter. The only thing I would do different the next time is leave the cherries whole rather then quarter them. Because they were quartered they left some streaks when I tried to stir them into the sticky nougat. But again, that didn't affect the flavor, so it was all right. Great recipe, great flavor, just the food cost is a little high at about $15 per batch (and this was using a cheap honey too...) Now I can't wait to try the aero bars and the soft caramels. My poor crowns... my dentist is going to have a field day.
  7. Lysbeth

    Candy Pads

    I've ordered from Murnane and they were able to make a 5 ply with brown on both sides but the interior is still white. It's a nice pad, but a bit pricey (0.20 each for a 4 x 4 box). Although I have no idea how this price stacks up against other manufacturers since I haven't found any (except for the guys below), it just seemed like a lot of money for a pad (add that to the box, the glassine, the satin ribbon, the ingredient label, the insert, candy cups if you use them, legend, marketing etc. and you end up with packaging at $3...) Anyway, I digress, Fabrice from "Qualita Paper" once told me he has large 5 ply brown on brown pads that he will cut to any size. The pads are 39"x27" and there are 90 pads in a box for about $800.- (this is back in 2005.) Their price for a 5 1/2 x 5 1/2 pad came to about $0.40 each. You could try them if you want as well. I think they made Paillard's pads if I remember correctly.
  8. I completely agree, I am so impressed with this book because is seems to be all-inclusive. It has many different techniques in it that I haven't seen discussed anywhere else, or if they were discussed, it wasn't in as great a detail. I love the pictures and the troubleshooting tables. I still can't believe it was only $40.95 at Amazon. With its 388 pages, the many color photographs and the measurements given in metric, oz and percentages (plus yields on every recipe) this is the best book I think I own so far. I have a lot of the other chocolate books that are out there and like ChristopherMichael said the only other one that comes close is JPW's book which is nice because it is really technical and it has much information about shelf life.
  9. Tammy, Thanks for telling us about your adventures, it is interesting to read what you are going through with the start of your business. I wanted to comment on your questions about donations. I am just playing around with chocolate and I was hoping to start a business, but then I got pregnant and now, well now I have my hands full with other stuff. Any way, I have donated a lot of chocolates to local fundraisers such as hopitals, schools and a local clinic and I can tell you that the exposure you get is tremendous. I have always been allowed to leave my information or present the chocolates myself and many people usually attend these events so you have a rather large audience at once. Also, it gives me the opportunity to try something new and get immediate feedback from people. So it's been a good way to do something for the community, but really, I have also benefitted from it because I viewed these events as a marketing tool (it's cheaper than placing an ad in a local flyer.) Just pick your events wisely and know that you can't do them all! As you go along you will probably come up with some "rules" for yourself that will help guide you through the requests you get.
  10. I have been looking for companies that will made custom boxes for chocolates/candies, just like the ones Jaqcues Torres, Norman Love, Robert Linxe etc. use. For some reason I am unable to find anything on-line that has been helpful. At this point I use stock gold foil boxes with printed ribbons, but I am ready to order my own packaging. Can anyone point me in the right direction? Thanks, Lysbeth
  11. Valuesoft purchased Mastercook from Sierra years ago and it was hard to find for a while. They have since come out with several upgrades, one of them a simple option to send recipes to your PDA (file/export/export to PDA.) Version 9 is now available and is about $20.- You can look at it here It does have a lot of options, but I find that I use more and more of them as time goes on.
  12. Thanks, I didn't know that clicking on "cached" would give me the archive article. Cool!
  13. Did anyone perhaps save the article and the recipes. The link in the first post no longer seems to work and I would be interested in reading it/trying the recipes. I have Chef Van Damme's book On Baking, but he does not discuss any of these tips and tricks in it. It is more along the lines of a classical baking book like Professional Baking from Wayne Gisslen.
  14. Gary, that's what I used for my vanilla marshmallows and they turned out great. Like you said, vanilla seeds everywhere, so they look nice and tasted great.
  15. Lysbeth

    cookie tins

    In the past I have bought mine from US Container
  16. Lysbeth

    Rice Pudding

    Room temp, just when it's cooled after it was made, with dried cherries macerated in brandy and whipped cream folded in.
  17. Chocolatenewbie - yep, you just drizzle the (tempered) chocolate into the rotating pan right on top of the nuts. Use a ladle and pour it very slowly. I think that knowing to take your time with this process is half the battle. Let me know how it goes.
  18. Chocolatenewbie, did you first cool the nuts in the freezer? This really helps the chocolate set up fast. Also, it is very important to pour the chocolate into the coating pan VERY slowly, while the pan is rotating on a low speed. You can only add a little chocolate at a time, then you wait for it to set while the pan turns and when the chocolate is no longer glossy or liquid, you may add some more chocolate. If the nuts stick at any point you can use a spatula to scrape them off the sides of the pan, again while it is still turning. You'll probably have to try it a few times before you get the hang of it, but you'll get it. It's all about the cool nuts and adding a little chocolate at a time. Just remember that it might take you 20 - 30 minutes from start to finish, so it's a longer process than most people think (but fun!) I made caramelized chocolate covered macadamia nuts last week and they are so yummie. Don't give up! This is a picture of one of my first tries using the pan. You can see that it already has a lot of chocolate on the side of the pan because at the time I was putting in too much. What happens is that it hits the side of your pan instead of your nuts and this causes them to stick. Also, you can see that the nuts are still glossy, so you need to wait until they are dull looking before you add the next amount of chocolate. I have also found that using a larger batch of nuts works better. Lysbeth
  19. Chiantiglace - I did stick them in the fridge for about that time. It's really strange as it wasn't a complete mold that would give me trouble. I also had colored half my dome molds one day and the other half the next. The ones I did first released better. The second ones I had more trouble with for some reason. I thought it was particularly intersting since all the ones that were sprayed came out in one piece. Maybe the color wasn't thin spread thin enough?
  20. Well, I unmolded my chocolates and they look beautiful. I am very happy with the result. The milk hearts are very nice with the yellow and white spray and the dark domes with the red and white swirl just pop. Not all the domes came out of the molds in one piece though. With some of them the red cocoa butter stuck to the mold. I know the molds were clean because I just used them recently. Any suggestions as to why this might have happened?
  21. It's even better than I thought, beautiful. Thanks for posting the picture! I can't wait to see it in person.
  22. Last year I purchased some 3D egg shape molds in an attempt to make little solid chocolate eggs that I wrapped in foils and presented in hollow chocolate eggs. When I finally got all those little guys wrapped and had my taste testers (the kids next door) try them, they all commented on how "hard" the chocolates were, both the milk (38%) and the dark (64%). This year I wanted to do the same thing with heart shapes, but now I'm worried that perhaps I am not doing it right. I know that the little "eggies" and other solid shaped chocolates you buy (even the good ones, as in couverture, not coating) are usually not as hard as mine were. Is there anything I can do to soften the chocolate a bit so that it can still be molded and unmolded? Or should I get some new tatse testers? I for one just let the solid chocolates melt in my mouth rather then trying to bite on it, so it hadn't occured to me. However, now my husband is saying they were a bit hard as well. I know that I could add some softened butter to the tempered chocolate to soften it, but I have only used this method to pipe large shapes freehand, such as chocolate initials that we hand out during Saint Nick's in Europe. I don't know if the same can be molded and unmolded without a problem. Any suggestions?
  23. Chocartist - Thank you so mcuh for your research! These sound like good options. I have to finish some chocolates for a fund raiser for tomorrow, but if I have any left I will try to play around, or else I will try first thing next week. I am very excited about adding the white chocolate as an option, as it will leave the product more pure. For most people 64% is too dark anyway to eat as a solid piece. Thanks again, I'll let you know how things go!
  24. Ajl92 - Those are beautiful, nice job! I have mine waiting to be capped and unmolded. Funny, the first combination I tried was also red and white on a dome. I also sprayed some yellow and white for my passion fruit, but I think I may need some green in there too (they were out). I haven't filled these molds yet with milk chocolate, but I will this afternoon. I can't wait. It looks like the results are similar between the Chef rubber and the PCB colors from what I can tell from the pic anyway. I might just have to order some and try them out.
  25. Chocartist, I think you are cathching on to my concerns. I could have already gone into the kitchen, tempered some chocolate and added whatever has been suggested so far (although ratios still seem to be a little iffy). For some reason I have a hard time "screwing" with a good quality chocolate and perhaps ruining it, it just breaks my heart to even think of it. Now, the molds that I used last year were just small egg shapes molds that make about 1" long candies and they are about 3/8" deep. These make halves so you need to "glue" them together (so filling them halway won't work as now you can no longer make the two halves meet). I guess the best comparison are the eggs and hearts that Dove makes. Now their chocolate is also "softer" but I believe that it is still all couverture. I agree I do want snap and all that, but really, these eggs just seemed too hard to bite into. My heart molds are not 3-D so maybe beause they are only half the thickness, they will be better. I will try those today with just plain old tempered chocolate and see what I think. BTW - I use Cocoa Barry 64% and 38%
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