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Everything posted by Darienne

  1. Today’s caramel-wrapped (Kerry’s recipe), chocolate-dipped (70% Callebaut) pretzel rods were a great success. Gave them to our dogs’ vet and the clinic vet techs and was extremely popular as a consequence. Kerry’s caramel went well. No problems. Dipping the pretzel rods was another matter. They are long and the caramel hardens quickly. Still all in all it went well. Then dipping them into the chocolate was another challenge. Always these challenges. Long thin rods are not the easiest things to dip…but maybe there is a secret we didn’t know about. The coated pretzel rods looked lumpy and amateurish to me…until we put the contrasting finishing milk chocolate touches on them. Slipped into a single clear cellophane candy envelope, sealed shut and finished with a Cheers & Chocolates label and suddenly they seemed transformed. They were things of beauty, well, at least in our eyes. . . Husband Ed said he liked the chocolate coated raspberry marshmallows better…although he still wants nuts in them…
  2. Thanks Kerry, I have downloaded the entire eGCI section...terrific!...and will use that recipe. The toasted pecans sound good. I don't usually like milk chocolate very much, but it certainly went well with the pretzel taste. My partner in things confectionary, Barbara, is coming today and we will dip some pretzels. We are using an old folding wooden clothes drying rack thingy and hanging the pretzels up from this to dry using plastic coat hangers. Works really well. Thanks again. ps. The hanging up part came after the dipping in chocolate part. And after holding them up for a few seconds to begin the hardening process. I don't like the way the commercial preztel rods are all flat and not rounded at all.
  3. The kids down the road asked me if I could make them some pretzel rods dipped in caramel and then in chocolate. They are my official candy tasters and recipients. I have tasted two different kinds of these pretzels and was not impressed. Now I have read through all the postings on the two caramel oriented forums: Trouble shooting with caramel and Caramel popcorn, but neither deals specifically with dipping 'something' into caramel...and then later into chocolate. And I have also consulted my various confectionary books with no useful results. Any ideas here? Please?
  4. My digital thermometer has a little magnet on the back...which took me only a year to find...and so I can hang if on the stove hood and that really helps with keeping everything where I want it.
  5. Thanks EJW50 for the information. ps. Can someone please tell me what the snapback thingy means? Not chocolate, but of some importance no doubt.
  6. FROM EJW 50: "Lastly, thanks to this forum for explaining how the spatter technique works and some of the difficulties." ok. What is the spatter technique please and what are its difficulties?
  7. Hi Lior, I do use chunks also. Fishing a big chunk out is so much simpler for me than diddling about with little bits. Thanks.
  8. NV refers to natural vanilla. The 811 block and discs are the same chocolate. The C811 is thicker (less viscous) than the 811, the D even thicker. Due to less cocoa butter. I prefer the 815 to the 811 - less sweet. A nice basic chocolate that doesn't interfere too much with the flavours in your centers. Click here to link to callebaut dark chocolates ←
  9. Not to add more confusion... But you ARE adding more confusion. OK. So, one has more or less cocoa butter...but what does that mean to me, as the newbie? This will be a long and delicious project I guess...although I wouldn't count on a Canadian supplier sending out samples to try.
  10. Because I am so new to the chocolate world, I am overwhelmed by the number of chocolates available for use. I am looking at the Qzina catalogue and I can see at a glance semi-sweet chocolate couverture in the following percentages of chocolate: 49, 52, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58 and 62. And this is only the dark chocolate, of course. Please don't tell me that it is just a matter of choice. Choice based on what? I can't afford to experiment with that many 5 kilo blocks, financially and time both at this point. I took classes with a professional chocolatier who uses Callebaut 815 at 57% , but the Qzina rep said I should use Callebaut 811 at 52%. I asked why, but he hasn't answered me yet. I've asked twice now. I am small potatoes or callets, I guess. I called the company and there is a 1$ difference in a 5 kilo block. Some one throw me a rope, please. A chocolate rope, I hope.
  11. Hooray for Lior and this new topic! My experiences have been limited. However, when I dipped pretzels...OK. I like pretzels...in 70% the result was boring. It was less boring in 56% but still lacked oomph. Then, I dipped them in milk chocolate...and I don't like milk chocolate...and voila! they were perfect. Yummm Then with the marshmallows: orange and then raspberry...too sweet for my taste and also very intense. Wondered if anyone would eat them. Dipped them in 70% dark and perfect. My confectionary partner's birthday gift and she loved them.
  12. Thanks Habeas, When you say 'adapting', what do you mean? Are you adding something else, or more of some ingredient or less of some ingredient?
  13. I think this is definitely my 'marshmallow' phase...
  14. Oh!!!!!! I just discovered this thread. I am pretty new to eG and am finding my way around the various forums in some confusion. But marshmallows? I am in my marshmallow period and now I must download what? 32 pages of this thread...and on dial-up. A woman's gotta have marshmallows when she's gotta have 'em.
  15. Wow! I love this new topic. Chocolate, chocolate, everywhere... One thing I find that helps is to have a large supply of knives, spatulas, silcone and offset, scrapers, spoons, etc, all together standing up in one large round cannister type of containers. Thanks Kerry for all your great suggestions. The heat gun use is a goodie. And you are right. I was being financially conservative and not using parchment paper but rather my silicone sheets...and then they have to be washed. Have not tried the gloves yet. Use them to dye stuff and don't like wearing them.
  16. Hi Prairie Girl, Good advice and one that I am going to follow from now on. Thanks I was reading another one of the eG forums...Fine Chocolate I think...and someone made curry flavored marshmallows which intrigues me greatly. I think this is definitely my 'marshmallow' phase...
  17. New eG member here. I have just finished reading the 9 pages of this thread and am exhausted just reading it. What energy!! I really do admire those of you with the courage to start out in this business. If I were 30 years younger....???? One thing apparent is that American laws on setting up a food business seem much more stringent that Ontario laws for sure. Our public health inspectors ask for far less than yours do. I think. I could be wrong. The eG forums are amazing! I had never heard the term 'keystone' before...thanks for the meaning...and have still to find out what the BNI is and also what are 'ballotins' and 'Cambro' pans. Don't be concerned...I'll look them up. Good to know that caramels, praline pretzels and marshmallows are less heat sensitive...My son lives in Nova Scotia and I live in Ontario and I want to be able to mail him some chocolate confections in the winter. And what about those bacon marshmallows that Kerry suggested????
  18. Thanks Kerry. And thanks for encouraging me to join eG. That's what I intend to do...go for it!
  19. Hello all, I am a new member of eG and a great fan of the Greweling book, which is THE book as some have said. Slowly I am working my way through this long and interesting thread, along with a number of other long and interesting threads, and don't feel as if I have anything to say until I get further along in my reading. However, there is one question on my mind and perhaps someone could tell me where on this thread I might find the answer. Greweling never seems to use 70% chocolate in any recipe. He states in the intro that he is using 64% dark, but does he say why he never uses 70% at all? I find it wonderful to enrobe sweet centers, to counteract the 'sweetness' factor. BTW, the very best confection I have made to date is Greweling's Montielimar nougat. Joy reigned supreme while eating that nougat which was so perfect in every way. But can I do it again? Definitely a two-person job and I did it with my partner in candy, Barbara. Thanks for any 70% answers.
  20. Hi Emmalish, One thing I did find is that the marshmallows were VERY intense in flavor and sweetness...and I am not a sweetness buff. However, dipping them in the 70% chocolate completely changed the taste. The intensity of the marshmallow was so nicely tempered (ha! play on words...no doubt very familiar to you all) them and they were splendid. I also learned...another learning experience...is that the less icing sugar/cornstarch combo I used with them, the better the chocolate adhered. I am going to try chocolate next. I don't know what this obsession is about, but I am going with it!!!
  21. Thanks for all the replies and welcomes. This is the most fantastic forum I have ever seen and I am overwhelmed by it all...not to mention that I have yet to figure out all the ins and outs of it. I am very new to the confection world and just about everything I make is a first for me. I feel very much the newbie when I read all your posts and see all the confections that you 'whip' off. As for posting pictures...first I have to figure out mostly just how to post. Darienne
  22. Hello all, I am a brand new eGullet member and this is my first post. Recently I have been making fruit flavored marshmallows dipped in 70% chocolate. I had no idea that marshmallows were anything other than those dreadful things in a plastic package. This has been a great adventure for me so far.
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