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Everything posted by ChristopherMichael

  1. You shouldn't be asking anyone but yourself. Nobody knows your business better than you do and no one will be able to answer the question about if you should do it or not. In my years as an owner and running businesses for my folks when I was younger to now, I have learned that never ask someone for their advice, because it just doesn't matter in the long run. Either you do it or you don't and that question can only be answered by yourself. By the way, from experience, I would never sign a 10+ year lease. If the business fails, which no one ever thinks will happen to them, you will be responsible for the entire contract, which they will come and try to get from you. This I know from experience. So if you do sign some long to term lease, make sure you have a very, very good lawyer that can get you out of it (unlikely) or be prepared to file for bankruptcy or to pay up. I know people will try to disagree with me, but I've been in the situation, so I know from experience and trust me, it's not fun. So a 2 1/2 year contract with a 4 year option after that, is a pretty safe option. Just remember to give yourself outs if need be, because you don't want to ruin the rest of your if you don't make it. Sorry if I seem a little negative, but I'm just telling you from the real world aspect of the risk you will be taking. But even though I have been experienced a failed business once before, there's still nothing else better than working for yourself.
  2. Once you get the chocolate tempered, you can throw out the thermostat on your melter, because once it's tempered you must keep an eye on what the chocolate does and its consistency, not the temp. One thing that I have found out, is that the seed method is not for me, I now strictly do it by hand on marble or other surface that absorbs the heat. I use to seed and I always got to many crystal and they just expanded way to fast. So if your using your Rev2 to temper and it's not working, go back to the basics and table top/manually temper your chocolate, it worked for me when I left my chocolate in the melter to long and it got all out of whack. I'm sure if it doesn't work there's a ton of smart people on these boards and they might have other ideas.
  3. This book is by far the best book for someone who wants to learn to become a professional chocolatier or for those pastry chefs that want to learn or open their eyes a little bit more to chocolate. Unlike most of the other books (with the exception of Wybauws), this book is more geared to professionals. I own a tone of chocolate books, including books by Andrew Shotts, Recchuiti, Nick Malgieri, etc. and none of them seem to be geared for a professional kitchen or student, but more for the weekend warrior. Actually, those other book (again, with the exception of Wybauws) tend to confuse or contradict a lot of things I learned in school and tend to confuse or screw things up. This book by Peter Greweling actually helps you to understand why things are happening and how to avoid or correct a problem at the same introducing you to new techniques. He also seems to gear the recipes for a commercial kitchen environment. If I would have to decide on one book, this is by far the best book out there, at least in my opinion. I would even recommend this over Wybauws book, because it seems to go into more detail at a less confusing way (you can say an easy read). Again, this is just my opinion and you may or may not agree.
  4. The reason given is that by using more cream you are increasing the fat and increasing the chances that your emulsion will break. By using milk to replace the water that has been sucked out by the spices you are not adding 'extra' water, just replacing the removed water. ←
  5. Well I never noticed but almost all chocolate companies add soy lecithin to their chocolate instead of using so much cocoa butter, except for Michel Cluizel. I still have never heard of a chocolatier adding more to their ganache.
  6. So I found the following: Today lecithin is ubiquitous in the processed food supply. It is most commonly used as an emulsifier to keep water and fats from separating in foods such as margarine, peanut butter, chocolate candies, ice cream, coffee creamers and infant formulas. Lecithin also helps prevent product spoilage, extending shelf life in the marketplace. In industry kitchens, it is used to improve mixing, speed crystallization, prevent "weeping," and stop spattering, lumping and sticking. Used in cosmetics, lecithin softens the skin and helps other ingredients penetrate the skin barrier. A more water-loving version known as "deoiled lecithin" reduces the time required to shut down and clean the extruders used in the manufacture of textured vegetable protein and other soy products.9,10 In theory, lecithin manufacture eliminates all soy proteins, making it hypoallergenic. In reality, minute amounts of soy protein always remain in lecithin as well as in soy oil. Three components of soy protein have been identified in soy lecithin, including the Kunitz trypsin inhibitor, which has a track record of triggering severe allergic reactions even in the most minuscule quantities. The presence of lecithin in so many food and cosmetic products poses a special danger for people with soy allergies.11-13 Does anyone any other chocolatiers that use Soy Lecithin?
  7. Anyone use lecithin in their ganache. I noticed today that Recchiuti uses it, it's actually the 2 ingredient listed on his boxed chocolates, just after chocolate and before cream, butter and sugar. Does it extend shelf life? Does it give you a creamier ganache? What's the benefit in using it?
  8. The butter I use has 85% butterfat and it doesn't matter if it's salted or not, because they both have the same butterfat content. It may not be the case with other butter.
  9. The only problem is that in this area my products won't command the prices that they would there. I'd guess that it probably evens out. ← I guess you're correct. What are you going to charge for each piece? The average here is about $2 per truffle/bon bon.
  10. That's a great deal. I wish I can find a deal like that here.
  11. they do give a space in the refrigerator and freezer, but there are 6 other bussiness's using it already, so there were lots of stuff in both, and i'm worred about the chocolate picking up all those other flavors. they don't give you a locked area. I would be fine with a straight $14.50 an hour, but they are already getting $485 and there is no way 8 hours a week is enough. ← What area is the kitchen in?
  12. The average in SoCal are usually anywhere from $20-25 an hour or at least that is what I found.
  13. I talked a supervisor with the Orange County, CA health department earlier today and he told me if something is sold by piece (not prepackaged), then you do not need to label anything. If you sell something that's prepackaged (boxed chocolates, etc.), then you must list all ingredients in order of amount used. He lead me to believe that this was a federal law, but I didn't ask him if it was or not. Maybe some chocolatiers are avoiding this law by saying they do sell by the piece and that the box is just a way of packaging it (like a bag would be for groceries, fast food, etc). I do know that John & Kira's Chocolate in PA label the bottom of there chocolates, they're artisan chocolatiers and do a very large volume (at least for a smaller producer). Recchitti in San Fran. also labels their product on the bottom of the box.
  14. Anyone have a source for invertase?
  15. Just call the health department for the county you're going to be selling in. Here in CA you must produce everything you give samples of or sell in a commercial/restaurant kitchen. The only kicker is that you don't have to have proof of it, it's pretty much the honor system, or at least it's that way in Orange County. My only advice is to talk to the health department directly and they will tell you exactly what you need to do.
  16. I don't know if anyone has ever heard of Romanicos in Miami, but I ordered some truffles from them and I had the same problem. I was looking at their flavor chart and eating the truffles wondering if I was actually eating the truffle flavor they said I was. Sorry for dropping in on the thread and writing about something non Chicago, but this just reminded of that experience. Sorry.
  17. I saw that you guys were talking about Penzys. We have one here in CA and it's not much to write home about. Just to give you a heads up and don't expect a lot.
  18. Thanks for correcting me. Now I remember why I thought they were expensive. I was actually going to buy some a few months back, until they told me the shipping costs. They wanted to charge me twenty something dollars to ship two containers (if I remember correctly, it was more than the puree itself) and I live in CA where they're located. I still wouldn't mind trying some, but they need to charge less for shipping.
  19. I heard they have a great purees, but aren't they expensive.
  20. I actually did it with both the manufacturers cream and heavy whipping cream, but same result. It appears that I only get the very firm ganache when I pipe them into balls and try to roll them, but if I put the ganache in a frame I get a softer ganache when set. I don't know why I get different results when I pipe them or frame them. When piped, they seem to set really fast and get hard. When I put the ganache in a frame, it takes over noight to set and it's much softer. Any ideas?
  21. I figured it would shorten shelf because of the incorporation of air. That's why I found that to be kind of odd. I personally like a more dense, soft ganache. Thanks for your reply.
  22. I see it all over the place. I have even seen it at Smart and Final. It's also available at Restaurant Depot and I believe from Sysco as well. I even bought it in half gallon containers.
  23. Thanks for the info! So why don't people use manufacturing cream instead of heavy cream?
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