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lebowits

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    Olney, MD

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  1. Sorry to hear that you won't be there Ruth. We'll all miss you.
  2. Sorry that I haven't been active in the conversation. Life has simply been a bit overly busy recently. That said, I'm happy to be attending and look forward to NOT spending the entire weekend in bed with bronchitis like I did last year. No deathly pallor for me! I'm arriving late afternoon on Thursday. Would anyone care to meet for dinner? Inquiring minds want to know!
  3. I'd like to attend this year as well. Please add me to both master classes and the dinner on Saturday. Steve
  4. lebowits

    Looking for a formula....(help!)

    You'll have to ask Melissa Coppel! *** Apple Carré ***
  5. lebowits

    Chocolate Workshop 2017 Las Vegas

    I'm in this year and looking forward to seeing you all!
  6. lebowits

    Adding Lemon to a Scone Recipe

    I agree. I expect that you would only need to worry if the new ingredient was going to add 1) moisture/water 2) appreciable fat or sugar. They may be other things to look out for, but these are the 2 I think about first.
  7. I started working on my first production run for "fall" sales. These are rosemary caramels. I was very happy with the shine on these. This is also the first time that I've used Valrhona (Ivoire) for molding.
  8. I've seen this done a couple of times. I would need to go back and review the formula & method for making the pipeable marshmallow. That being said, it needs to be the first element piped into the molded shell. It will not lay completely flat. Piping another element (e.g. ganache) on top should give you a flatter surface to seal over.
  9. lebowits

    Molded chocolates workflow

    After I cook the sugar to caramel and quench it with the cream, I bring it back to a boil just to make sure that there aren't any lumps. I then take it off the fire and add butter and then pour the entire mass into a bowl with the bit of milk chocolate. Alternately, the butter can be added later after the mass has cooled to 90F and you'll get a firmer texture. and then pour the entire mass into a bowl with the bit of milk chocolate. I don't know that the little bit of chocolate included makes much of a difference to the texture, but it does seem to add a vague hint to the flavor.
  10. lebowits

    Molded chocolates workflow

    Sorry to be coming late to this party and much has been said already! I make to types of caramel. One is a slab that I cut and hand dip. This is cooked to what is referred to as "firm ball" (approximately 238F). I use Greweling's formula using sweetened condensed milk though there are 2 others that work just as well. It's a matter of preference. The second caramel I make is a soft, pipable caramel. These are a "traditional" dry caramel that I cook to color before adding warm cream. I often infuse the cream with a flavor (e.g. rosemary) or add salt at the end. Butter is added once the sugar and caramel are combined and taken off the fire. I also add a bit of milk chocolate to the mixture (a tip given by a friend) that I believe adds a nice texture and flavor note, but this is optional.
  11. The 50/50 mixture for spraying chocolate seems to be a common formula. When I took a class at Callebaut we used that mixture in an HVLP gun (Fuji I think).
  12. I have a pair of Badger 175's which are siphon fed, dual action air brushes. They're connected (one at a time) to an Iwata Smart Jet compression. I use a quick disconnect and the appropriate adapter from the Iwata to the Badger brushes. I warm and keep my cocoa butters in a dehydrator with a thermostat and melt them slowly over a period of about 24 hours prior to use. I also keep the brushes in the dehydrator when not in use so that they warm up and melt any left over cocoa butter which can then be easily sprayed out between color changes. My only complaint (if I have one) is that occasionally I want a bit more pressure than the Iwata puts out, but overall, I'm very happy with this setup. I also build a "poor man's spray booth" using 20"x20" furnace air filters that I assemble using packing tape into an open box. I then place an inexpensive box fan on top of the contraption to pull the air up through the filters. This keeps all the excess airborne cocoa butter away from my face. I think the whole setup cost me less than $100 (US) to build.
  13. I'm really sorry to hear of your loss and am glad that your family (including furry creatures) are safe. First, make sure that the electrical service to the house can support what you're thinking of. Some of the equipment (like a Selmi) require 3-phase power. Most residences aren't designed with this in mind. Also consider having 20A outlets in a number of places so that you don't overload the circuits. Simply having too many devices running at once can do this (and lead to a fire if you're not careful). Lastly, make sure that you have enough SEPARATE electrical circuits in your workshop. This will reduce the chances of overload and keep you more productive. For the counter tops, I would suggest at least 1 marble table and others stainless steel. You want to stay away from "soft" materials that can absorb things, and not that any of the materials mentioned are soft to our touch, you simply don't see it in commercial kitchens that I've ever been in. P.S. I love my Chocovision too but would really enjoy having a Selmi or similar machine. It would make me so much faster. Of course a vibrating table would be nice too, and loads of refrigerated and freezer spaces. ;-)
  14. Online Metals I've used Online Metals to buy metal bars in the past. I've tried stainless steel (unpolished) and aluminum bars. The aluminum are my favorite as they are much lighter. I simply wash them in the sink with warm water and soap. I then let them dry on a rack after removing excess water. While I know that many people use Mol d'Art melters, I decided to use a Chocovision tempering machine. I've been using it for years and it's been great. I keep multiple bowls/baffles and can temper different (or the same chocolate) several times a day depending on my work flow. Of course, when I made this choice, Kerry hadn't brought the EZ-Temper to market yet here in NA!
  15. lebowits

    Mousse Ganache

    The caramel powder will absorb any available water in the ganache. This can be good as it binds more water and reduces the water activity. If you want the "crunchy" texture that the powder provides, then covering it with chocolate is a good idea.
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