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Mary F

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Everything posted by Mary F

  1. Hi Kerry Its been awhile, but looks like I came back just in time for a deal! I received samples of this chocolate after I attended a food show here, its funny they were still trying to market it. I would also like some contact info if you don't mind. Btw, saw the catalog with your DVD's in there, congrats!
  2. I also use a small agency, he shopped around and came up with Hartford. I pay $350/year for 2 million liability coverage. And my agent now uses me for corporate gifting!
  3. I have had this same problem. It seems that I don't get a good strawberry flavor but when I add more puree it seems to sweet. ditto with using jams and syrups. I tried the powder, but again just couldn't get it to come out. Will have to give the Fragoli a shot, thanks for the tip!
  4. Stunning presentation. You must be exhausted after such a big production, but congrats. I am sure it will all be worth it! Hopefully you can take a day or two to rest up before they come knocking on your door!
  5. patris- congrats on the article! Love the name Puff girls! mrose- I live about a mile from one (of two) of Fran's stores. While I dont have a storefront, I have been able to make it work being in the same town. A few of my accounts have previously used her. I made sure I had a different style or product to offer. There are several other chocolatiers in the area and it seems that it does pave the way for the higher end confections. I know it is competition, but each chocolatier offers such a different product in the end the client is going to go with what they like. Have faith in your product, I have seen the pictures they are gorgeous! When I was asked to make a salted caramel (just like Fran's), I told the client they should go to Fran's for the real deal if thats what they want..but then went into the descriptions of what I offer. Maybe that individual went to Fran's to get their salted caramel fix, but I also sold her some boxes for corporate gifting for Valentines day.
  6. Hi, thought I would chime in. I usually have to do a big yearly inspection and then one every 6 months to get updated info or review things with the inspector. I have had two different inspectors in the last year, so then I have to do a big inspection again. The yearly inspection involves the inspector watching me while I actually work. She usually talks or asks questions while I am working. Pretty much a check list is followed for little things like hand washing, gloves, temperatures, etc. My kitchen is inspected once a month, so she doesnt focus on equipment or the surroundings as much as she does on my process. I too tote everything back and forth in containers. I do have to buy ingredients and bring them in sealed. i.e., no used home kitchen ingredients. She does look at the labeling and packaging. And finally storage of the finished product. I am in my kitchen twice monthly and then deliver the day after production, so she seemed ok with this. But long term storage, I would need to rent space in the kitchen. I think if you go in prepared you will be fine! Goodluck!
  7. Thanks Kerry, Wonderful pictures. Loving the tip on the liquid filling! Thanks so much for sharing.
  8. It looks like you can rent the DVD here: http://smartflix.com/store/author/416/Culi...tute-of-America I have never tried renting from here, but might be worth the rental fee to check it out before the purchase. Or check your local library system.
  9. Jennifer, You may also want to look into insurance, it is not that expensive and well worth it. They will require you to have the kitchen certified before they will issue it.
  10. Will you share what is in each chocolate? I use the butterfly mold too, people seem to love the look of it.
  11. Great pictures! I got a good laugh at the top one (and the story), have had days like that. I call them defective, pass them off to friends, never had one turned down because it looked ugly! Your packaging is gorgeous!
  12. Mary F

    Molds

    I second that, it is really hard to guestimate the size molds you need. Also, for starting out, I think the less detail the better until you get the hang of getting rid of all the bubbles. A nice simple heart without detail is perfect.
  13. Chris, Try rolling the truffles twice. Once after piping them, let them set up for a few minutes and then re-roll to get a more round shape. It will be hard to obtain a perfect round shape, but that may help work out some of the bumps! And, really as everyone else has said, the taste is what it is all about when you are getting started. The rest will come after rolling a ton of truffles!
  14. Wonderful read! Thanks for sharing your story! The people here have always been a great source of inspiration and information. Happy holidays everyone!
  15. Hi purple-klick, and welcome. I hand roll about 75% of my truffles and I double roll them. Both times are done with a very thin coating, but doing that initial roll is enough to keep the ganache from leaking through. Not what you wanted to hear, I know, but it is what it is!
  16. Desiderio, Your chocolates are gorgeous as they always are. I was lucky enough to get some of those boxes on the closeout as well. I normally use a different box, but the prices were amazing! Great job on getting through the 500 truffle day, I had one of those on Tuesday and its incredibly hard to balance with another job and family! Thanks for sharing the photos..they can be very inspiring!
  17. I have frozen the ganache/marshmallow layers with no problem!
  18. Mary F

    Costco

    I have also had the yeast last for months. buy it, split it with a friend, and you never worry about running out of yeast! Phillippine Mangos, Crabmeat, Great selection of cheeses, Olive oil, Lemons, Limes, Trio of peppers, Bananas, snacks for kids, Spiral Ham, books, cleaning supplies, frozen spinach ravioli (I know, I should make my own..but its a good fast meal when I need it!), christmas gifts, packaging, ribbon... We also have the business costco and costco home in the area. come to think of it, what don't I get at costco??? oh, and the Maui costco has this amazing Macademia Popcorn crunch, which I consume a whole container of once a year!
  19. Thank you for another great report! YUM!
  20. Hi sorry, got behind in answering..busy last few days. Luis, I use a standard chocolate box to seal them in as I know it does not have a smell that could affect the chocolates. I am able to stop the seal manually, but again have had a timing issue where the box and chocolates were quickly crushed, so it took some practice. I found that I could not get the timing down on anything smaller than a 1/2lb box, (but I use an acrylic slide top for my smaller amounts, so that may weaken it) John, I had looked into freezing after the jpw class and started to try it this summer, so havent gone longer than a month or so. And, have only used them for family/friend gatherings so far to get a good idea. As my friends are brutally honest I think I have gotten good feedback. For the most part they have not been able to taste the difference in fresh vs frozen. I really want to start working with some seasonal ingred here in the northwest so this is good news..will continue the testing with more longer periods. Hope this helps!
  21. I use my foodsaver on sturdy boxes. There is a timing that you must get down or end up with a crushed box and chocolates. I would think sealing the chocolates themselves without a box would be very hard, they are too delicate. After trying several methods of freezing, this is what worked best for me. I would also worry about the firm foodsaver containers having a smell that would affect the truffles.
  22. John Schraffenberger has a recipe in his book for a simple chocolate sauce with just chocolate, water, and sugar. He suggests using lowfat milk as a sub for the water if you want more body. Its intriguing, I just havent gotten around to trying it. I usually just do a thin ganache (I like my dairy fat!)
  23. Wow is right! That is some serious motivation and hard work!
  24. thanks for starting this topic. I gave up on a good recipe years ago, so hoping one will be shared. I had resigned myself to eating them when in Hawaii. The problem with Malasadas is that they don't seem to store well, so it will be hard to get them into work at their best! Good luck, let us know how it goes.
  25. Kerry, I had the same thing with the lemon oil. No flavour at all, but had used all dark. Thanks for trying the 50-50 mix, that was my next trial. Too hot to play with chocolate here (no air-conditioning in Seattle!) Did you use oil or powdered cinnamon in the marshmallows? I have had luck with the powdered and a tiny bit of oil added for an extra kick.
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