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Art

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    http://www.amanochocolate.com

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  1. Art

    Fine Chocolate

    Darienne: It is Claudio Corallo. He is a farmer/chocolate maker, out of Sao Tome. http://www.claudiocorallo.com/ -Art
  2. Art

    Water Ganache

    We had an absolutely wonderful time at William Curley's shop today. We just came back. (It is way late now -- like 1:00am.) Today, we went to William Curley's shop. William was such an incredible host. He invited us (us being my wife, myself, Martin Christy -- of the Academy of Chocolate -- and one of our top retailers Matt Caputo) William prepared a series of desserts for us to try. They were all absolutely incredible. William has quite a resume when it comes to various restaurants he has worked at. (I'll let people look that up if interested.). But more importantly, the flavor of all his de
  3. Art

    Water Ganache

    I'm in London right now (for the Academy of Chocolate Awards on Tuesday night), and yesterday, I met with Damien Allsop who is famous here for his water ganaches. I have to say, they are absolutely wonderful. The texture is perfect. The ganache is fairly stiff but very smooth and creamy. His flavors are perfectly balanced. This was especially noticeable when compared to chocolates that I purchased on Friday from another well known chocolatier / chocolate house. Their flavors tended to be either too strong or too mild with perhaps 20% being spot on. Damien's by contrast were all perfectly bal
  4. Thanks Ruth! The Chocolate Salon this year was incredible. Previously, the Salon was held in a smaller venue in Fort Mason. There were so many people last year that it was elbow to elbow. It would take 15 minutes to go from one side of the room to the other. They'd only let someone in when someone left making for some very long lines. This year, the venue was easily 3-4 times the size of the previous one with twice as many vendors. This was wonderful since it allowed there to be space between everybody's tables and people could spread out a bit. In addition, people could actually walk eas
  5. Art

    Fine Chocolate

    Thank you so much Darienne! It is really appreciated! We are completely humbled and blown away around here. I don't think it still has sunk completely in yet. Last year, our Madagascar won a Bronze and quite frankly, we were completely and totally ecstatic about that. This year, our Madagacar won a gold and then we won two silvers (Ocumare and Montanya) and two bronzes (Jembrana and Ocumare Milk). For me, the most amazing thing is that each of our chocolates placed. I love our gold immensely but the fact that each of our chocolates placed shows me that we are being consistent and that it w
  6. Art

    Fine Chocolate

    All the percentage does is tell you how much sugar is in the chocolate. Thus an 82% cocoa is approximately 18% sugar. A 70% cocoa is 30% sugar, and a 50% cocoa is 50% sugar. So if you are making a ganache, you can always simply add more sugar. The flavor you taste is due to the beans and how they were roasted and conched -- not so much the percentage. I had ganache filled truffles this last week at one of the nations leading restaurants last week made from our 70% Jembrana. It was absolutely incredible. So it isn't the percentage so much as how the ganache is prepared and more importantly wh
  7. Art

    Fine Chocolate

    Not having tasted it .... It probably has to do with the beans that Scharffen Berger used as well as how they roasted them. I doubt that there is anything that anyone can do. -Art
  8. Art

    Fine Chocolate

    The other thing that can cause them to be sold for cheap is if a store or chain that carried Scharffen Berger closed down. All that excess inventory gets resold to chains such as the one you describe. So it may have nothing at all to do with the quality of the product or closeness to an expiration date but may have something to do with where one of Scharffen Berger's vendors is financially. In either case, I'd grab what you can. -Art
  9. Yes, yesterday was spent out on the Bonneville Salt Flats launching rockets. (These are really big rockets -- not those little Estes toys that we all grew up with. Some weigh over 100lbs and fly up to 17,000 feet or so. You have to get FAA clearance in order to fly this high. About two or three miles away, was the "racetrack" which is just as flat as where we were. We could watch cars zoom back and forth at 200mph+ See these links to see some of the more impressive rockets that were launched yesterday: http://uroc.org/index.php?option=com_conte...1481&Itemid=715 http://uroc.org/index.php
  10. I have a 30 liter dewar and it costs me a bit more than $100 to fill it up. I need to buy a smaller one for smaller "projects".... -Art
  11. If you do not do it too long, you can gargle it or even hold it. I used to freak people out by sticking my hand in a dewar of LN2. Not only that I'd _leave_ it there until they were well past the freak out stage. It was pretty fun. The trick is that since your hand is warm, the LN2 evaporates and creates a thin film of "air" that actually insulates your hand, mouth, or whatever. The problem comes in when your hand starts to cool down so the LN2 doesn't boil as much thus there is less thin film of gas protecting your hand. Also you have to be careful as it likes to freeze in collection poin
  12. I know Anna. She is just as nice as she seems in the video. Her chocolates are pretty good too! -Art
  13. There are a number of different things that you can do with a bag of cocoa beans. First though, be sure to roast them. There are a number of "raw-foodies" out there who encourage people to eat raw beans. This is a bad thing and is bound to get somebody very sick one day. Cocoa beans can carry e-coli as well as salmonella and because of this, roasting is very important. A few years ago, Cadbury had to issue a giant recall because of bad chocolate and if it can happen to them, it can happen to anyone. To roast, you can spread out the beans on a cookie sheet and place them in your oven for about
  14. This is pretty odd. I have a hard time thinking the large machines used in the chocolate industry are all sent to the NSF folks for approval. NSF usually really comes to bare when water is involved. Unless you are making ganaches or water based fillings, it really should not be a problem. Chocolate by itself is considered to be a dry ingredient and as such, different rules apply than those that apply to wet ingredients. Generally, this simply means "smooth and easily cleanable" but stainless steel etc. isn't required. Hope this helps, -Art
  15. Art

    Fine Chocolate

    Thank you so much. One of the best parts of making chocolate (or cooking for that matter) is simply making people happy. -Art
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