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Everything posted by lebowits

  1. I've posted a file to the FB group for those that have access. There isn't a way to post a non-image file to eG. If you don't have access to the FB group and would like a copy, please PM me with your e-mail address and I'll send it to you.
  2. I can bring my table top temperer and a guitar.
  3. I'm in! I sent the fee via PayPal as requested and booked a room.
  4. I also make a champagne truffle based upon a recipe published in one of Wybauw's books. It uses Marc de Champagne so it doesn't require cooking down a bottle. It's a piped ganache so it's suitable for any molded piece. Being made with a mixture of milk/dark chocolate, it looks stunning inside a white shell.
  5. Good catch! I completely forgot about my own Mojito piece.
  6. What about popcorn (salted of course) or something with red bean paste?
  7. If you need something really "rich" but that doesn't take all night, add the vanilla to the milk and bring to a boil. Take off the heat and place the pot into a 200F oven for 2 hours. Re-scale the milk to the proper weight after removing the vanilla pods.
  8. I bet Art and Wilma could help us with this!
  9. A pastry brush will apply a suitably thin enough layer of cocoa butter for the purpose. It will be much thicker than what an airbrush will put down but it has the advantage of costing only a couple of $.
  10. Don't focus on "fast". Focus on using the pallet knife to spread a consistent, thin layer. The longer the pallet knife, the wider the swath of chocolate you will lay down. At the end of each "pull", I clean the bottom of the pallet knife against the edge of the slab. This pulls off the excess chocolate and lets me spread it along the edge of the slab. It only takes a minute to get a nice "foot". Of course, you're right. Practice makes perfect!
  11. To address the parchment paper issue... I also use parchment with some of my slabs. Before I put the paper down, I either spray the surface I'll place the paper on with non-stick food spray or alternatively, I moisten a sponge and wipe the surface down. This causes the paper to stick completely. You can use a bowl scraper (straight edge) to wipe away any air bubbles trapped underneath. This technique works with acetate or other "guitar sheets". I too have a Dedy guitar. I love it. I can cut several slabs in a fraction of the time it would take me to get something looking good by hand. I clean mine in the sink with very hot water. Just for the record, I use Greweling's technique, though I've tried both. I use a long bladed offset spatula to spread the tempered chocolate so that I get a thin layer. Over time, I've gotten fast enough that I can do this very quickly, before the chocolate really begins to set.
  12. I highly recommend FIKA (fikanyc.com). The flagship store is in Tribeca located at 450 Washington Street. Hakan is a very talented chocolatier and has a great crew. Tell him I sent you!
  13. I've been following ChefSteps for a little while. In fact, I made mint chocolate chip ice cream this weekend after being inspired by a recent article. I even ordered Xantham Gum since I'd never tried using it before. I have to say, that I like the creamy texture that comes out. The ice crystals seem smaller resulting in a much smoother product.
  14. Of course I'm interested in both the workshop and the master class! Let me know what I can do to help.
  15. That was my suspicion, but wanted to be sure.
  16. I don't have an Aw meter. They seem to be rather pricey. Chef had one in the class but it needed to go back to the manufacturer for re-calibration. Reducing the chocolate didn't necessarily help with the Aw. One of the things I was trying to do was to create a slightly softer and smoother ganache. Removing a bit of the chocolate took out a small amount of sugar, but more importantly, reduced the amount of dry matter with respect to the amount of liquid. This in a very small way, helped give me a softer product.
  17. In the class I took recently in Chicago with Chef Mattieu Barriqualt, a table was included which indicated the expected shelf life of a ganache or other center within a range of Aw. I've reproduced the table below for reference. Chef Barriqualt has been consulting with a company for quite a while in crafting products with a shelf life of nearly a year. During the class, he related some of the things they were doing to achieve an Aw < 0.65 and while it was technically interesting, I'm not sure that any of us would or possibly even could achieve this mark. Aw Shelf Life Expected =============================== > 0.90 < 3 weeks 0.85 < Aw < 0.90 3 – 6 weeks 0.75 < Aw < 0.85 6 – 12 weeks (3 months) 0.65 < Aw < 0.75 3 – 6 months < 0.65 > 6 months As I was reworking one of my own very simple ganaches (2:1 74% chocolate), I was able to get it under to 0.84 from a previous 0.87 with small substituions of sugars (replacing some glucose with invert & sorbitol) and reducing the amount of chocolate by a few grams. Happy formulating!
  18. What is the red "pearl" in the corner of the cut piece that causes the raised bit during enrobing? I'm sure that you could do that with a number of things, but I'm curious....
  19. We're all looking forward to the day when we can all meet you in person!
  20. Aw of 0.63? That should give you more than 6 months of shelf life! Aw of 0.85 will give you 8 - 12 weeks. ;-)
  21. I'm taking these classes this week. We had a full day of lecture yesterday during which Chef made a number of ganaches using the same technique but changing one parameter. We'll examine and taste the results today. Tomorrow we start Chocolate Technolgy II. It's very technical, but I'm expecting that I'll be working hard to get my centers "balanced" over the next few weeks if they aren't already.
  22. keychris - what did you use to make the holes? That's gorgeous!
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