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  1. Out of curiosity, have you tried the pillow mint formula from Chocolates and Confections? PM me if you'd like it. It doesn't include butter, but it is a similar product, being a crystallized pulled candy. I've always been able to make it through the whole batch no worries. Also, do you mind if I ask for your exact recipe? Your post has me curious now. Does it include any cream of tartar? I'd like to give your recipe a try. Ive always seem with butter mints that they crystallize during storage, having 2 minutes to cut just doesn't seem like enough working time.
  2. It sounds like you agitated the fudge a bit too early, that will generate large crystals. I can't think of too much to be done with it aside from adding cream like you did to make a chocolate sauce or something. Usually at this point I cut my losses before I spend too much time making something I didn't really have a need for in the first place. Also, a large batch can be tricky. How are you cooling the syrup before agitating it? It's easy for it to be just a bit warmer then it should be on a large batch.
  3. My solution is no different then what's mentioned above, I temp the item, wipe as cleanly as I can on a paper towel, and put the thermometer in water. Whatever remains on the probe dissolves pretty quickly. I should mention that most of the boiling I do is for hard candy, so after a while I've gotten into the habit of just temping once to make sure it doesn't go too far, I can tell by the bubble size when I'm nearing the end. I know we all have our preferences, but I was never a fan of clipping a thermometer to the side of the pan. For me, it gets in the way of washing down the sugar crystals for pulled sugar, and impedes stirring for items like taffy or caramel.
  4. Absolutely! The following is the one I use for work (hospital kitchen) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000LDI8PK/ref=cm_sw_r_sms_apa_i_WRE6DbGRPTPEX And this second one is my go to for any sugar projects https://www.amazon.com/dp/B009Z27WIC/ref=cm_sw_r_sms_apa_i_HTE6DbJD68AG3 The latter has a longer probe that I find helpful for a deep pot. I've gone through alot of thermometers, I've settled on these, they are very reliable for everyday use,l and give a quick read. But they are sensitive, that why I say don't touch the bottom of the pot, it'll give you a higher reading. Otherwise, I have a thermoworks type k thermocouple, but I feel like I use that less and less
  5. For what it's worth, in my personal experience, I've never had a IR thermometer give me an accurate reading on a boiling syrup. I've tried on many occasions, but it's just not reliable. Use a probe thermometer for sure when temping a sugar syrup, Cooper Atkins are my personal favorite, very quick reading. Also, when using a probe, be careful not to let it touch the bottom of the pot. And just a side question, would the pan you made the brittle in have been the same as last year? I just ask because there seems to be a pretty dramatic difference in color.
  6. I think you have alot of affordable and practical options when it comes to gloves. Just my personal opinion, I wouldnt get anything that is labeled 'sugar gloves,' its just a way to mark up the price on regular gloves. When I pull sugar, I my first layer is a nitrile coated glove, like these: Ironton Nitrile-coated Gloves, 12 pr And second layer is a pair of 6 mil venom steel, like these: https://www.amazon.com/Venom-Nitrile-Gloves-Resistant-Disposable/dp/B01CO9RKGQ/ref=asc_df_B01CO9RKGQ/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=167121456202&hvpos=1o1&hvnetw=g&hvrand=12591415589683233649&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9061195&hvtargid=aud-801381245258:pla-338155820524&psc=1 The first really takes the brunt of the heat, then the second just make handling the sugar easier. I used to use vinyl gloves, but they would tear so often with the heat of the sugar, and I would never want to take chances of a small piece of glove being pulled into a batch of sugar or taffy, thus the 6 mil thick gloves, I've never had those tear on me. Since your not really handling the caramel, I'd recommend the gloves from the first amazon link, after use they wash up real easy, and just hang to dry. Otherwise I dont think theres any reason you couldnt use a pair of those ordinary yellow dish gloves. I used to use those when I first started pulling sugar, they worked well for handling the heat, but they seemed to impart a flavor to the sugar, so I stopped and searched out another solution. Hopefully that helps, I've used many types and combos through the years, the two linked above are what I consider both ideal and affordable.
  7. Does anyone have plans to pick up his book Pralinarium? I love the pictures, not sure how it is on content, but I'm sure there alot in there. Recently they just did another printing of the book, so I was looking into it, shipping to US is 40 euro. I'm kicking myself a little bit right now, his page shows that you can do a free local pick of the book from Warsaw, Poland. I was just there a few weeks ago! Totally missed out!
  8. Just an update, Triangles and Lips have been claimed! Still available are the following: Peanut Butter Cup. 2 molds, 21 cavities Blistered Tablets. 2 molds, 3 cavities Bonbon "Confiseur." 1 mold, 32 cavities. Enrobed Bonbon. 1 mold, 32 cavities. Fluted Oval. 1 mold, 36 cavities. Rectangle Swedge. 2 molds, 30 cavities Cherry Cordial. 1 Mold, 28 cavities.  Two Piece Magnetic Sphere. 1 mold, 32 cavities Still asking $10 per mold, and $15 for the two piece magnetic.
  9. What's the temp of the room your working in?
  10. I think your on the right track in describing birthday cake as sweet and vanilla, but realistically I think items that are labeled birthday cake flavor use an artificial flavor. A quick Google search shows birthday cake mixes containing natural and artificial flavor in the ingredients list, I think these companies know how to mix flavors to get what the general public would call birthday cake. And like I suspected, LorAnn oils do have a cake batter flavor meant for hard candy, and one labeled birthday cake that's for ice cream. Its a funny area in my opinion, because a vanilla cake with vanilla frosting and sprinkles has been condensed down into a flavor that we can't specifically put our finger on. Like you said, something white chocolate based sounds like your on the right track. You could add the LorAnn oil to it, but those types of centers in bonbons end up tasting so fake.
  11. Are you sure these are flavored and those colors aren't just creatively named? Or maybe I'm just reading things wrong, but I don't see any indication of the extra ingredients that would flavor them, It just says no preservatives, no added flavors and no added colors.
  12. How fluid is your chocolate? Cut a very very small tip off your piping bag or cone, it'll be easier to control even if you want to make larger letters. Also, before piping, clear any solidified chocolate that's in the tip by squeezing it, that will help with smooth and consistent flow.
  13. I normally dont do boxed items, but there was a request, box included espresso ganache, salted caramel, blueberry pate de fruit, peanut butter, peppermint fondant, and cashew caramel. Next in some licorice sticks and pops. In another post, I mentioned how a friend of mine works in a machine shop and had made me a form so I can get a more consistant shape on the lollipops. So he made one for me as a test, then I asked him for four others and gave him the measurements. So these are the molds that he made me, as well as the lollipops they produce. Next two pictures, peanut brittle and sesame brittle. In writing this short post, I thought of doing a sesame caramel. Any thoughts on that? It sounds delicious, but I'm not sure if it would have a weird chew. Anyways, just throwing it out there.
  14. Hi All, I normally dont post in the dessert thread, mostly stick to the confections one, but in the past few month I wanted to finally attempt making an entremet. So here are the results! First picture in my first successful attempt at glazing (the very first time will be posted about in another thread), these were just a simple raspberry dessert, not really sure what you'd call it, but it was just a recipe on a card that came with some silikomart molds, but I was just getting a feel for glazing, I wanted to see how it would set up. The second and third pictures are my first entremet. It was a dark chocolate mousse with three layers of sponge cake and blueberry jam. I was just using things I had on hand for the first cake, and it came out ok, layers were sort of weird, I overfilled the mold, but was able to save it, but I think I got the layers more dialed in with the second cake. Pictures four and five are my second entremet. Vanilla mousse, sponge, white chocolate coffee ganache, as well as a dark ganache. The white chocolate ganache was molded in a disk, but was far too soft. so it was spread on the sponge with the dark ganache placed on top. So it was six layers total, and like I said earlier, I think I was finally able to see whats a balanced amount of layers to go into the cake. It cut cleanly and the layers were surprisingly even. Anyways, just wanted to share!
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