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    Kamloops, BC, Canada

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  1. Gorgeous work! I know it's been discussed before but how do you get those beautiful lines in your Irish Kiss? They're perfect!
  2. The recipe intrigued me so I looked it up. Your memory is almost perfect Edward but a couple little things... The glucose is 570g and there's also 40g of butter and 1 tsp. salt. Not much butter for a milk based recipe...
  3. yup, you're right Ruth. I am not successful using the 'moist' (wet sand) method. It's probably due to using organic sugar which isn't as refined. I didn't have an issue with regular white sugar. But the wet method works great for me. What I do is take the amount of sugar needed and divide it by 4. That's how much water I use. Seems to be the perfect amount to dissolve the sugar yet doesn't keep me waiting all day for it to cook out.
  4. I agree with gfron1 about adding sugar a little at a time when doing a dry caramel. Works great. I've switched to wet for an odd reason... I use organic sugar (which has molasses residue) and I found that the dry method was giving me a burned molasses flavour that I didn't care for. Oddly, the wet method doesn't give me this result even though I take it to the same temp. I was quite sad to give up my dry method - but I'm over it. Now that I do fairly large batches - approx. 500 caramels per batch - I find it much easier to use the wet method. I find the trick for wet caramel is to dissolve all of the sugar at a low temp. before increasing the heat. Really helps prevent crystallization. Thanks for the wet hand wiping trick pastrygirl. Good idea!
  5. I lay the foot down first. I really didn't like the idea of throwing away so much plastic so I use Silpat mats instead. Untempered chocolate tends to stick to the mat so I use tempered chocolate (tempered at the high end so I can get a thin layer). I use these frames from dr.ca http://www.dr.ca/set-of-5-ganache-frames-for-chocolate-and-confectionery-guitar-cutter.html To spread the chocolate, I use the 'sleeking ruler' shown in the photo. Works great to achieve a quick, thin layer. I use extra chocolate and make the foot longer than required. I find it easier and then I just lift off the 'gob' of chocolate once it's set before adding the ganache. I put my frame over the chocolate BEFORE it's set. That way the frame stays in place. Once the chocolate is set but still soft (takes just a few minutes), I use a butter knife upside down (so I don't cut the mat) and cut around the inside of the frame. If I don't do this, the chocolate cracks. The downfall to this method is you must use these feet (foots?!) quite quickly - I'd say within an hour. If you leave them overnight, they will be cracked. That's not that big of a deal. I just use my hair dryer to soften the chocolate and stick it back down before adding my ganache. Obviously I don't cut on the mat. I have a guitar - and yes, it saves a ton of time! It just takes me a minute to wipe the strings. I have cutting days where I will cut several ganache at once. At the end of the day I wash my guitar in the sink. It's really quite quick. I have the dedy guitar. It's awesome!
  6. Ahhh spraying... I hung up my spray gun a few years ago. I really need to get it out again and play. I'll repost the info I got from Derrick Tu Tan Pho about spraying. It's great basic info... "What he said is most important is temperature. He said to shake it until it reaches 32C -33C. He said the shaking is putting it into temper. However, he said if you are using a high volume spray gun at 40 - 50 psi and you have a cool room 18 -19C, you can get away with having the chocolate/cocoa butter at 45C because the high velocity of air is tempering the chocolate as it sprays (like an automatic tempering machine). He recommends a spraying distance of 10 inches to give the chocolate time to temper as it flies through the air (my words!). He said if the chocolate is closer to the temper range you can spray closer to the mold. He also talked about the temperature of the mold before spraying. He said it needs to be warm but not too warm. I know one of the posts here said 27C. He said that is too hot and will cause release problems. He said too cool a mold will also cause release problems. His advice - no warmer than 24C - somewhere between 22C and 24C. Once you've sprayed your cocoa butter it should be left to set up on the counter - not the fridge. He said if you put such a thin layer of cocoa butter in the fridge it sets too fast and creates Beta 6 fat molecules which are very hard. Then when you fill your mold with chocolate to make shells, it doesn't bond well with the spray and you have release problems - the sprayed layer will stick to the mold. He said it should set up between 3 - 5 minutes on the counter just like when you do a temper check. He said if it doesn't set up in that time you haven't been successful. Make sure they are set up completely before molding. Before you make shells he said it's no problem to leave the sprayed molds for awhile as long as they're at room temp. He said do not use the hair dryer to warm them before molding! He said the hair dryer will melt such a thin layer. He suggested to have your molding chocolate at the high end of the temper range to create a good bond with the sprayed chocolate. He even recommended around 33C for dark AS LONG AS IT'S STILL IN TEMPER - that's key." The following week I spoke with Thomas Haas - our master chocolatier in Vancouver - he said he uses an airbrush for cocoa butter. I asked him if he tempered the cocoa butter. He said he uses it 1 degree warmer than tempered for the airbrush and 4 degrees warmer than tempered for the spraygun in order to compensate for the air flow tempering the cocoa butter while spraying.
  7. I agree - Greweling is the way to go. Lots of understandable technical information to get you started. Wybauw is truly a master but his books are not as user friendly as Grewelings. To work with chocolate you need to understand it first. So some preliminary reading to start. You then need to learn how to temper... a little practice there. If you're interested in making ganache centers (which by what you are saying - you are!) - you will need to learn about making infusions and how to emulsify the ganache to get a smooth mouthfeel. Chocolate is fussy, but if you're willing to spend some time learning, you can definitely be successful. Good luck!
  8. Ilana, this is awesome! Thank you so much for posting it. It seems like such a long time since we've connected. I hope you are well and still loving making chocolates
  9. Thanks for the update on the spraying secret Ruth. Darn hey?! Gfron, what a great and simple idea - 2 heated guns! Kerry, thanks for the list of the pearls of knowledge. I've jotted a few down and will use them. I recall that Recchiuti also washes his molds in the dishwasher but I think it's without soap. Don't remember for certain though... I wonder why they use isopropyl to clean and buff the molds? Maybe to eliminate all of the fat? Thanks again for sharing everyone!
  10. Wow! Thanks so much for sharing everyone. What a rich learning experience. I LOVE those classy, simple decorations. A couple things I just gotta know.... That little yellow line on one of the chocolates looks like it goes down the side of the chocolate as well. How do they do it?! It looks like a perfectly straight line not a piped line?? And Ruth, this one's for you... When you were organizing for this workshop you mentioned that JMA had a secret to making showroom chocolates every time - and it was EASY! I've been holding my breath waiting for the reveal but no-one has mentioned it. Don't tell me it's getting one of those elephant size spray booths! Congrats on a job well done to all the organizers. I can only imagine the hours put into this event but the photos posted show what a success it was.
  11. Ahhh, I thought you were boiling with the leaves in the cream. Makes sense to me now I love cold infusions for most things. With coffee it's awesome - all the flavour and no bitterness. But I've always struggled with earl grey tea - probably as I'm not getting as much of the bergamot oils that the leaves are steeped in without the heat - and yet cold infusions work like a dream with orange peel. Maybe bergamot oil is more waxy??
  12. Good sleuthing! I looked for it and couldn't find the source. That's awesome! Thanks so much for posting the recipe. As for cooking temps... when I make caramels I add the butter just before the caramel comes to temp. This practice seems common in french caramels. I wouldn't take it to 120C - I think that might be too high. I've never made a fruit caramel but Genin's are soooo soft. That recipe is funny - it says for 4 people - HA! That's a lot of caramel for 4 people. Also note that google doesn't translate tenant l’ébullition properly. It means 'a light boil'. Long cooking time at a lower temp will help prevent too much flow in the caramels.
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