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  1. I just came across, the panning attachment at Design and Realization is on sale for $415, not a bad price for a panning attachment, down from $550. I'm not sure how long it will be for, I just randomly came across it. . https://www.dr.ca/confectionery-coating-pan-attachment.html
  2. Where did you get your caramel formula? What kind of mold were you using? Caramel that has been poured or deposited into a silicone mold shouldnt have problems releasing. And if you print a marzipan board, please post pictures! Hopefully I can get to panning caramels one day. Really, I just assumed I'd have trouble with them sticking. When cutting caramels for wrapping, If two pieces touch more a few minutes, they just stick together, then after separating them, I sort of have to shape them back to where they were. Of course if the caramel is cooked to a higher temp, it isnt as big of a issue, but I imagine myself adding caramel centers to the pan and they either all slowly stick together until I have 1 large clump, or they just adhere to the sides of the pan. I did try chilling centers before and didnt like the outcome. Granted, it was about 30 min in the freezer, not 30 min in the fridge, but as soon as I started to add chocolate, I had so many doubles and triples it was insane! But if the centers were crystallized, I dont see any problem in panning them. I meant to include this in my last post, on the note of crystallizing caramels. I have done that, not intentionally, but totally by accident. A years ago I made a slabbed caramel. On it setting up, I started pulling it as you would taffy. I'm not totally sure why I did this, I think it may have been just to see if there would be any texture change or softening like you would get after pulling taffy. Anyways, I thoroughly pulled it and set it back into a rough slab shape. Came back to it about an hour later, totally opaque, and very crystallized. I tasted it, it reminded me of fudge, it had that short texture and sliced cleanly. I trashed it at the time, but that actually could be a very real starting point for caramel centers that are easy to produce. No depositing required and I imagine that the pieces would have no problems in the coating pan. I'm sure the crystallized caramel could be formed into a slab and cut into desired size to pan, or while it is still malleable, pull into a rope and cut the pieces like hard candy drops, and let them crystallize individually.
  3. I chuckled to myself when I saw this topic, this is something I tried to figure out a few years ago. I searched for molds that would let me make a small cube, so I can then pan them and round out. Honestly, I really didn't find anything that I thought was suitable, but I did have some ideas, but please keep in mind that I havent tried any of them. One idea was adding cocoa butter to a caramel, so when it is cut into cubes of the desired size, it would help with there not being too much cold flow. Its sort a weird balance with caramel, obviously, you don't want too hard of a caramel, that wouldn't be pleasant to eat, but too soft, and you unable to pan them, and there would be too much cold flow, making it rather frustrating when trying to make a bunch of little centers. Caramel is a great center to pan, and Sugar Babies are a good example of that. But in looking at the ingredients, you see the caramel centers for that candy have modified starch, which would help in a massive way to stabilize the candy and give it a soft chew. I feel like panning a caramel without additions like that would be a difficult thing to replicate without stabilizers like that. Hopefully cocoa butter would aid with that, but again, its not something I've been able to try. Another idea I had for the panned caramel was coating the centers in chocolate by hand, then finishing in the machine rather then try to actually build up the layers of chocolate inside the pan. Really, I don't think it needs to be pretty, I think speed is more of a factor here. You could coat them all very quickly by hand, stick them in the fridge to set up, then start panning. It wouldn't really matter if they looked uneven or ugly, or even if the chocolate is tempered, everything would smooth out. Something I also looked into was a marzipan roller board, used to making spheres from marzipan. It is, however, a bit expensive for me without knowing for sure if I'll be getting the desired result, and a 3/4" sphere is a bit large for a center before panning. http://www.pastrychef.com/MARZIPAN-ROLLERBOARD_p_1073.html Then there's something like these https://www.amazon.com/niceCube-Mini-Ice-Cube-Trays/dp/B01L7ZFBXW/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1520952783&sr=8-4&keywords=mini+ice+cube+silicone 3/8" actually does sound like a good size for a center before panning. I almost picked these up a while back, but over the years I've accrued white a few a these types of inexpensive molds "just to see if it would work," and don't really want to add to that collection. But really, this is something I put a lot of thought into over the years. I've also wanted to pan fondant to make something like Junior Mints. And now as I write this post, those mini ice cube molds look more desirable. I could pour the warm fondant into them, scrape the top as clean as you can on a silicone mold like that, and pan. Fondant centers should set up hard enough that they don't stick....hopefully. Hopefully this helps! I love that you built your panning setup, and seeing the products that resulted from it!
  4. The cocoa butter felt more set up then I was planning on. It did seem a bit difficult to remove, I think there was a hefty coating of cocoa butter, but again, this is my first time using the tape. I think I was just thrilled not to have any of the cocoa butter sticking to the mold like the first time!
  5. It worked ok, really, it was better then I expected it to. For me, that kind of design isn't practical for what I do, I just wanted to see the outcome. For me, it was an accomplishment, especially to have such a bright white bonbon that was cast with dark chocolate. I should have paid more attention to making sure the tape was really pressed against the cavity. If I did do any tape designs in the future, I think I would go with a different product. Thats no very much tape for $5, and I think you could get similar results with another delicate painters tape, like what @Rajala is using, which would cost the same for a much larger roll that would last quite some time.
  6. Thank you so much! I was quite surprised at the stripes, but there was definitly some seepage, this bonbons are in the back of the picture, with the seeping side opposite of the camera :-). The tape I used is linked below. https://www.amazon.com/Scotch-FA2038-8-Inch-Artist-Curves/dp/B0027AC9RI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1520396642&sr=8-1&keywords=artists+tape+for+curves
  7. @Trufflenaut, when you are panning, are you using a polish, then glaze? I'd love to see what you have panned thus far. This is my really the best thing I could come up with. I'm not sure if I posted this email in one of the other threads, but it certainly applies here. When I first got into panning, I had trouble find a polishing solution, where as finding a glaze was easy. This is an email from a rep at TIC Gums. I was asking for a sample, but he gave me this instead. ------------- If you are looking for a very high gloss coating, your best bet would be to look for a supplier of shellac, but if you are looking for a non-animal alternative you can certainly evaluate gum acacia. In this process, you should make up a solution of sealing syrup comprised of 40% gum acacia in water. To prepare the solution: 1. Add 40 parts gum acacia to 60 parts water. 2. Heat up to 80°C to ensure the acacia is fully hydrated. 3. Maintain a temperature between 25-60°C while applying. For the application process, using the 40% gum acacia syrup, add a charge of ~1 part syrup per 100 parts dragee (by weight) to provide a protective film. Dry with air. Repeat this step two more times. This coating will have some shine, but not quite as much as a shellac will. ------------- This actually has been more useful then I thought it was in the beginning. When polishing dragees, I do use this solution, it works. Like he says, it does give a shine, not as shiny as the confectioners glaze will attain, and not with the same protective qualities as a glaze, but really, it may work fine for what you need, especially with the dietary restrictions of your friends. Additionally, the gum acacia (arabic) is easy to source.
  8. Chocolate Panning Attachments

    Wow...that is so cool, seriously. No joke, this is like an improved version of what I wanted to build. That frame supporting it is nice, your quite handy, seriously, I envy the skills. I wanted to build mine, but just ended up buying the one mentioned in the first post.
  9. Chocolate Panning Attachments

    Can you post pictures of your pan? It's been so long since I've read this thread, I'm having flashbacks to when I was wanting to build one!
  10. Hi all, thanks so much for the replies! I am too! Really, the last few years I didnt have the time to get into it, I hardly used cocoa butter in the first place on bonbons, I usually opted for a little luster for color. I was also intimidated by the warming of the airbrush, I didnt know to what degree exactly, then I realized I knew nothing about airbrushes, but overall its a lot simpler then I thought it would be. I dont have a dehydrator to put these items in, but just use a heat gun, and it works fine. If i see the color slows down, I just warm it a little and it picks right back up. I really thought it was going to be much more difficult. This is hard for me to say. The two layers of color on the hearts are rather thin. Theres globs of yellow on the domes that is definitely thicker, but they released fine. I have noticed, however, on the larger bonbons, like the hearts, I get those pesky release marks. The bonbons I molded initally were solid pieces, so I feel like the hearts took longer to set up, and quite frankly, me banging the mold and forcing the bonbons out probably didn't help either. So here is attempt #2 and #3. The first pic is bonbons that were sprayed with 50% cocoa butter and 50% white chocolate. I remember reading on a thread to use that proportion in thinning down white chocolate for spraying. However, the effect is very subtle. Later I realized that that mixture would be used for other applications instead of coloring a bonbon. Anyways, I ended up making a white cocoa butter to try again, in addition to some red I had also made. This time I molded empty shells, and really, I cant believe the results. I just used one mold with different effects on four sets on eight bonbons. First, I sprayed one side of the bonbon with white. Then I dripped a little red and white into the cavity and sprayed with just air, although some white spray still went through. Then I tried the artists tape mentioned previously to get a sharp line that seems to be so popular nowadays, and finally, I sprayed on side on the cavities with white, and the other with red. Frankly I'm shocked at how they came out, this went much smoother then I had thought. Thank you very very much for the tips. It was a pain choosing a compressor and airbrush, but I can tell this is something I'm going to have fun with!
  11. Hello all, just an update on my airbrush situation. I got the compressor and airbrush hooked up...the compressor is a bit beefier them I imagined. It is supposed to be rather quiet, but it may seem loud to me because I'm just not used to having a machine like this in the kitchen, nor have I ever payed much attention to compressors. I did some tests on two molds, one was successful, other not so much. On the polycarbonate with the hearts, I dripped blue cocoa butter in a cavity, then sprayed with air to spread it out, then did the same with yellow for a more blotchy effect. Bummed that those hearts didnt release so well, only three pieces came out intact. The geodesic bonbon all released super well, no problems at all. For those I dipped the end of a spoon into yellow cocoa butter, then hit it with compressed air to splatter it. Then over that, I used the blue cocoa butter in a siphon on the airbrush, I had never thought I'd be able to get such a smooth gradient of color on a bonbon. The funny thing was, really, that I expected the blue color that was on the geodesic domes to stick, and I expected the hearts to release no problem. I just sort of imagined that such a fine transition of color would have issues, I'm shocked, however, that that wasnt the case. Still wondering about the hearts though. The cocoa butter was in temper, I dropped a few drops on the parchment and it crystallized in a minute or so, maybe I'm missing something else. But heres a pic of the compressor and my little work area, as well as bonbons. Thanks for all the help. All in all, I thought it was such a pain choosing the equipment, when I started I thought an airbrush and a compressor were always sold as a set, but there are so many other variables. All in all, the compressor and airbrush were about $180. Thanks for that Kerry. I do apologize, however, for not being clearer. I was talking about the quick connect from the compressor end of the paasche hose to the universal quick connect on the compressor. It indeed was the one I had linked to on amazon. However, I will be picking up a quick connect for the airbrush, and if I'm not mistaken, I think I can get a quick connect for the paasche, and and adapter for a badger, so I can connect my badger 250 without having to get a seperate badger hose. And for anyone reading this in the future, things became much clearer when I went to Home Depot with my air hose. When I was searching for fittings online, it was very confusing, it was much easier in person. Going to the store, I was able to make sure that the fitting was compatible with my air hose as well as being able to plug it into the display compressors to make sure it would fit. Thanks again for the help everyone, it is much appreciated!
  12. Hi all. After much time, I finally ordered a compressor and airbrush. I got a Paasche Model H airbrush kit, and a California Air Tools Light and Quiet 1P1060S Portable Air Compressor. Both have been ordered, but I haven't received them yet. I wanted to ask about fitting the hose to the compressor. From what I read on the amazon reviews and questions asked, the paasche comes with a 1/4" hose. The manual for the compressor says it has a 1/4" universal quick connect. So I'm pretty sure I need a fitting. The paasche hose doesn't look like it will connect into a quick connect. I narrowed the fitting down to this link. https://www.amazon.com/DuRyte-4-Inch-Industrial-Stainless-Coupler/dp/B01BSDALWO/ref=sr_1_cc_4?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1519401926&sr=1-4-catcorr&keywords=npt+to+quick+connect Does this look like the right fitting to connect the air hose to a quick connect on a compressor? I really do appreciate the help. Also, for reference, below are links to the compressor and airbrush. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01LYHYHEA/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004O7HTYU/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 Thanks again!
  13. Thanks for the replies everyone, really, I do appreciate it. Realistically, I dont think I can stay in the budget I had in mind, I rather spend a little more then frustrate myself with cheaper equipment. Right now I have my eye set on a compressor from California Air Tools. On the topic of airbrushes, I've read in misc posts here and other forums about the Badger 250-2, which is siphon fed. I figured I'd get one, its cheap enough. When it comes to cocoa butter, is siphon fed difficult to manage? I suppose siphon and gravity fed both have up and downs...which is part of teaching myself this. Realistically I'll learn more when I get up and running. Thank for the information. Thats what was a bit confusing, so each brand airbrush will have a different fitting and require a different hose? I really figured it would be universal. As for nozzles, can you elaborate? Are they all interchangeable? I'm looking for nozzle sets on amazon and not really finding anything. Really, I'm in the dark about which gravity fed airbrush to get. I figured either Paasche or Badger. From reading, I've seen that larger tip size is apparently what I want.
  14. Was the sponge toffee broken up into bit in the fudge, or did you just dissolve it completely and make a new product from it?
  15. Ok cool, I'll look into the Iwata compressors. Right now I am sort of leaning toward purchasing a separate compressor and airbrush. If I do, what else would I need? How do I determine the size of hose I need? Is it universal? Is there something I'm not thinking of besides compressor, hose, and airbrush? The cooler looked pretty cool at first, kind of a neat idea, but those vortex guns look spot on! In all truthfulness, however, I cant see myself getting one, just a bit too pricey. This is something I was wondering about. How necessary is a water trap? If you don't have one, am I right to assume that you could have water from the air spray out with the cocoa butter? I was looking at the PointZero on amazon, it sort of seems like a generic compressor and airbrush kit. I haven't seem anything else about PointZero aside from the product on amazon. Do you use the brushes that came with the compressor, you do you just use the compressor with nicer brushes? Thanks all for the replies, I was this process was less annoying haha.