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Everything posted by Chocolot

  1. My pots are stainless steel, and I'm using the same ingredients, scaled-- milk solids are cream (organic valley) and butter. It's so odd, my smaller batches always turned out about the same, and now my larger batches are, too... only soft! I'm also making the larger batches into thicker layers (1/2" instead of 1/4" inch), but I can tell by the caramel that sticks to the thermometer and spatula are softer to begin with, too. I'm familiar with the cold water test, but what's a slab test? Thanks for helping! ← Slab test is spreading a small sample of the syrup on a cold surface ie granite, marble or even SS. If it is spread thin enough, it does the same thing as the cold water--it cools it down quickly and lets you see the finished texture. Are you using any milk besides cream? You usually need some milk solids to give caramel stand up quality. I'm wondering if you are cooking the larger batch longer (because of limited heat capacity) and more of the sugar is inverting, causing a softer finish? How has the weather been? If you are in a low pressure, the thermometer can be off several degrees. That's about all I can think of. Good luck on the next batch.
  2. What materials are both of your pots made of? Are you using the same ingredients, i.e. cream same percent? What milk solids are you using? Caramels are tricky on the end temp. I often do a slab or cold water test to verify final temp. It isn't the size of the batch that is causing the problem. I make the same recipe, scaled of course, in a 3 qt pot and a 30 inch copper pot.
  3. The class was great. Learned a lot and took lots of pictures. If it is ok, I'll post my blog address, if not, if someone can tell me how to post pictures, I'll do it here. Here are some notes from class. I just jotted down as fast as I could, and some might not make sense. If you don't understand, just ask and I'll try to remember. Patrick Peeters June 28, 2008 All ingredients should be at room temperature. Don’t have to boil UHT cream. Just bring to simmer and pour over callets. He always uses a Robot Coupe for ganaches. He says they are much smoother than by hand. He likes to use European butter. It is 82%. US butter is 72%. You can add butter with cream but he prefers to add it last for better mouth feel. You must know the cocoa butter percentage in your chocolate to calculate your formula. You can freeze your finished bon bons, but follow the normal freezing guidelines—thaw in stages and don’t unwrap for 48 hours. Invert, honey, and glucose all help water activity. Sorbitol is a sugar that binds water, but we are afraid to use it here, but it is normal in Europe. Greatly increases shelf-life. It also is a laxative if too much is used. You don’t have to table a ganache if you have prepared it properly. He used a can of Badger compressed air? and a little Badger siphon feed air brush. Don’t mix milk and dark chocolate. It throws off the melting point and messes everything up. Mycryo was developed as a substitute for gelatin during the Mad Cow scare. It is an insulator? Vegetarians like to use it. If it is past its due date, use it 2 degrees warmer—it has changed to beta 6, from beta 5 crystals. When using a transfer sheet with a layer of chocolate, first spray counter top or sheet pan with Pam. Smoothly roll out the transfer sheet. This makes a smooth area that won’t slide around. Spread with tempered chocolate and smooth to a thin layer. When just starting to set, use a toothpick to “cut” the chocolate. Top with parchment and roll up transfer sheet, chocolate and parchment. Put in fridge until set. Remove plastic and parchment and you have some fun designs in chocolate. When molding, don’t over-work the colored cocoa butter or it will over crystallize and not release. Vibrate the filled mold on the table top to release air bubbles. When you dump it out, keep it horizontal or the shells will be uneven. You only have to wait to close the molds until the filling is firm enough to cover. There is no reason to wait over night. Hit the filled molds very gently with a hair dryer to soften the chocolate and make it adhere better to the bottom. If you over melt it, it won’t release from the mold. Infusing tea in hot cream for more than 10 minutes leads to bitterness. Cold cream refrigerated over night is better. JPW designed the Mold d’art melter
  4. If you can explain what you mean, I will try to find out.
  5. I have the opportunity to have a workshop with Callebaut's Patrick Peeters this Saturday. Are there any specific questions any of you want me to ask him?
  6. I just dug deeper and found an envelope with a nice note. They thanked me for mentioning their name on my blog, and sent the mold as a thank you! I think I will mention them again Ruth
  7. This is my first post--I have been reading for months. Thanks to all of you for your great posts and information. I only hope that I can contribute something as we go along. FedEx just dropped off a box from Chocolat-chocolat. Inside is a Made in China Poly carbonate mold of a flattish cacoa bean. I didn't order it, and there is no invoice. I received a large order of molds last week, and thought perhaps this was a back-order, but it isn't. I wonder if they are testing the China molds? It is clear with 32 impressions and looks like the European molds I have. Did anyone else receive one?
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