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Everything posted by Marmalade

  1. I understand the thickening problem with the wheel machine, especially if you walk away from the machine for too long. But like most machines, regardless of how automated, you do have to babysit it. Whenever I run into thickening, I just bump up my temperature a few tenths of a degree to break some crystal down for a while then bring it back down once my chocolate has thinned down as needed, and continue the day on.
  2. You can get a non-automated tempering wheel melter for $4200, and a vibrating table for about $950. With two wheel melters you can work dark and milk, capacity is about 25 pounds each. This is enough to work all day and you can add chocolate if needed. Way easier than Mol’d’art melters because you have the wheel and spout-constantly stirs for you and filling molds is much easier than ladling. Contact BAKON USA in Torrance, Ca. These are a great starting point without too high of an investment, and a good company too. I have been doing business with them for years.
  3. Heavy copper kettle is best. 😀
  4. What’s the purpose of the chocolate? Is this for simple tastings, or for making ganache, or for making filled chocolates? I think you’ll find that with a lot of the small chocolate makers, they do not have enough science and quality control to get you good covertures with the right viscosity for production if that is the case. If you’re just looking for a chocolate for tasting, then you were on the right track with many of the recommendations I’ve already seen here.
  5. Check the water activity level, also known as Aw.
  6. Yes, I have use this quite frequently with success. Make sure to use the absolute minimum required because even though it seems like a very very small amount, it can affect the taste of your ganache. Of course, to the average pallet, most people would not notice it all.
  7. Have you tried getting down to 27c? I know you’re having problems bringing it down but your thermometer could be off or you just need to take it lower.
  8. I would suggest either using the powdered form directly, or using the fresh root grated and making an infusion with hot cream (then strain out root) which will then be used in your ganache.
  9. All Guittard chocolate is now soy lecithin free. It’s excellent quality. Try that!
  10. For sure, just freeze it, keeps for weeks.
  11. Did it successfully for years. Maybe it depends on the yogurt maker, but I kept my colored butters in the same bottles that my airbrush used. Yes, I did have to let them cool down a little before use, but a few minutes and a few good shakes and it was in temper and ready to go.
  12. It's also helpful to know the minimum price you will sell your product at first off. Then figure out all your overhead expenses that are fixed-your labor, rent, equipment, insurance and other business related payments that you must absolutely pay every month to stay in operation. Figure your material costs per unit. Then figure out what is the minimum number of units you have to sell to cover all those costs. Once you know that, you know what your break even point is and each additional unit beyond that number of units increases your margins-economy of scale. The first "x" number of units is going to pay the bills and keep the business running, each additional unit of production is going to have a lower marginal cost. Does that make sense?
  13. Here´s some good discussion on this topic http://www.thechocolatelife.com/forum/topics/store-markup-on-chocolate-bars http://www.thechocolatelife.com/group/startupcentral/forum/topics/wholesaleretail-pricing?commentId=1978963%3AComment%3A20643&groupId=1978963%3AGroup%3A17188 http://www.thechocolatelife.com/group/startupcentral/forum/topics/pricing-thread?commentId=1978963%3AComment%3A50392&groupId=1978963%3AGroup%3A17188 there´s more on the chocolatelife.com but those will definitely get you started. There´s also a good tiered pricing spreadsheet I´m also attaching
  14. I use an IR/Laser thermometer all the time with success. I'm also at 9,000 feet. I know water boils here at 90C or about 191, and so adjust all my sugar temps down appropriately. I get perfect chewy caramels every time using an IR thermometer and pulling off the heat right around 220F. Of course, this is not a clear product like a syrup is. I wouldn't trust it on a plain sugar syrup-though I do use the IR for cooking fondant and have good results too.
  15. Yes, you are definitely messing with the chemistry of the fat (cocoa butter) by adding vegetable oil. I can't say exactly how, but you're not going to get a good temper or shine. There is no quick fix for properly tempered, pure chocolate.
  16. If it's nut filled centers you're having problems with the softening issue in, the problem is most likely due to fat migration. Nut fats and cocoa butter don't mix, and the fat migration is caused by the cocoa butter entering the center as well as some oil migrating from the center towards the cocoa butter. Better to use a milk chocolate shell as some dairy fat helps mitigate this problem.
  17. You need to add a fat-soluble flavoring (usually oil-based, NOT water based).
  18. Taxo is not bad, but it doesn't really stand out on its own as a flavor, I found. People like it who know it, but it's not a blockbuster. I actually prefer a Taxo sorbet much better-I know everyone here makes the ice cream with milk, but I just can't seem to find a way to like it. But the sorbet is killer. I'll try reducing the pectin for Mora and see what happens. I've done a lot of experimenting but still can't find a solid, failproof way to the pate de fruit to set right every time.
  19. Been making pate de fruits here dozens of times, some successful some not. Looking for some answers still. I make my own fruit purees from fresh fruit. Some of these fruits are not available in the US so I have to just experiment and see what happens, ie. Taxo, Naranjilla (sometimes aka Little Orange-though it doesn't resemble an orange in the least), Passion Fruit. After on and off success with Ecuadorian blackberries (different than the variety you find in North America-these are acidic, dark, and not nearly as sweet initially), I tried something new. Brought the fruit up to 20 Brix just like the Boiron puree before starting the recipe. Then used the Boiron recipe. I am using Chef Rubber's Pate De Fruit pectin. Also, I'm at 10,000 feet nearly, and water boils at 192ish F. What always happens is, the fruit starts to set up once it approaches 70-75 brix on the refractometer, and once it's ready to pour into the slab, it's already turning lumpy which makes it hard to pour and harder to get a nice, smooth, even flat surface. I just can't fathom how you could have time to put the jelly, say, into silicon molds. So what I want is a recipe that will gel after I pour it, not start jelling in the pan before I even have a chance to pour it. What's the problem? Is it my pectin? The altitude? The fruit? I also make a Passion Fruit pate de fruit, and it pours perfectly most of the time, and then gels perfectly in the frame. So I'm thinking, is there too much pectin in the blackberries naturally? I don't know, but any troubleshooting tips would be much appreciated.
  20. Who is your supplier for edible inks, I see there are quite a few out there...will any of them work for chocolate? Also, if I understand correctly, you use the special paper. Do you buy it from Tomric or will other papers work? Thanks for the help!
  21. Really nice description, can´t see the photos either though! Would love to hear and see more! Thanks!
  22. I've made the PF Honey Butter ganache too. People love it. I think it works best with a citrus-based honey.
  23. You shouldn't rush it. Ideally, your working environment should be about 64-68F or so. You should let the molds harden at least 5-10 minutes out of the fridge first, then try putting them in the refrigerator (not the freezer) for 10 mins or so. If you are using clear molds, you should be able to see the chocolate releasing after removing from the fridge. But if you force it out by banging or twisting the mold gently, the parts that are not ready to release will be dull. Be patient, wait for the chocolate to release by itself and you will get shine all around.
  24. Pinstriping tape for airbrushing doesn't leave any residue on molds. It peels off absolutely clean without leaving any trace.
  25. I have the D&R pan. Has given pretty good results with almost everything. Works best if you can keep the ambient temperature between 16-19C. Let me know if you need any tips. It's a mix of art & science.
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