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About minas6907

  1. Truffles at Costco

    I'm not entirely surprised. Like you mentioned, fresh truffle cost quite a bit, but I've seen canned/jarred truffle in a few different places in the $15 range. I never tried them, I think it would be too dissapointing after using fresh truffle.
  2. I just have two items from the last month or so. The first is a chipotle butter ganache, and the second, a peanut gianduja.
  3. Recently I got a new job in a kitchen in another facility, so I've been a bit more busy lately, which is good, just not as much time for the candy stuff :-). Heres what I have from the last few months. The first picture are cacao nibs that I panned. They sort of joined up into clusters (I wanted them to stay small, but I couldnt make it happen haha) I polished them and they look like crap, but eating them is quite nice, I love the crunch. Next are peanuts I caramelized in sugar, panned in 54%, then dusted with peanut butter powder, by far the most fun to eat! The next two pictures are espresso beans, just different shots, and the polish came out alot nicer on these ones. Next is sesame brittle, then peanut butter and chocolate taffies, assorted butter cookies for my granny, watermelon berlingots, banana berlingots, bacon caramels, banana sticks, and finally my pride and joy, candied baby pineapples.
  4. Panning - but not for gold!

    I love the gloss on those malt balls! When you say caramel coated almonds, they are just engrossed in caramelized sugar, or is it a different product?
  5. Many people have sworn to me by the pizza dough at Traders. I personally haven't used it, but basically have heard only good thing (even from my wife who has a pastry degree). To be very honest, it doesnt take much space to make a dough, but it does to roll it out and top the pizza, which you'll still have to do. But the price is right and certianly a convenience to pick up a bag of dough along with groceries.
  6. Chocolate Panning Attachments

    Alleguede, sorry for taking so long to reply, I've been busy and also wanted to be detailed. About the cooling system, I really dont have one. I've been thinking about different options (that are small and reasonably priced), but havent really been able to come up with much. I've seen a portable a/c unit used, as well as a setup using a blow dryer attached at one end to a cooler with dry ice and a flexible hose coming out the other. I really havent found something effective yet. Another factor I'm not able to control is the room temp, which on an average day could be 75ish or warmer, and during winter it can be 50-60. I've been panning on cooler days, and so far the summer has been pretty mild here in southern California. My first attempt at panning was with milk chocolate, and that was sort of a pain. The weather was a little warmer, so it had trouble setting up in the pan, and I've seen that also with the white chocolate, its just much softer. With dark chocolate, it seems to definitly set up faster, so I would have some chocolate in a disposable piping bag, pipe in a small amount to cover, and just wait for it to set up, which for untempered chocolate, it happens quite quickly in the pan. Something else I was messing around with to build chocolate up was engrossing by hand in a bowl, and then smoothing out in the pan, which has worked ok, but its not perfect, it helped when it was a little bit warmer in the kitchen. About the polishing, I'm not as worried about purchasing a polish and shellac as I was before. It's something that I just want to know how to do, but will likely not offer it to any customers (unless I really get good at it) but everything I've made really has just been tests and trials to see how things work. I had some recent success with gum arabic solution that the rep from tic gums emailed me. Recently I panned some expresso beans using Callebaut 54% . I had already made up the 40% gum solution, so I sealed the espresso beans first, then started engrossing. It went ok, alot of doubles and triples formed (I think I have a tendency to add too much chocolate) then those formed triples...all in all, there were plenty of nice small ones, but a fair about of large clusters. Then I tried polishing again, only using the same gum solution. I added around 7 or 8 charges, with the last few significantly small then the first, each time blowing with cool air from a blow dryer. So heres the results, they came out quite nice, have a smooth feel on the tongue, and look much better then any attempt to polish before. I was tempted to add the confectioners glaze, but had a feeling I would have screwed them up. Anywho, any thoughts are welcome, thanks!
  7. Ok, thanks for that! I ended up not purchasing the Callebaut powder. I already had purchased a bag of cocoa powder from Luker Cacao, and when I looked at it I realized it actually was high fat. I dont use cocoa powder for too much, so I dont want to start hoarding it haha. And cool tip actually, about the recipe for hot cocoa, I never thought to store the vanilla bean in a cocoa mix, I'd totally be down for that, sounds a lot more interesting them just storing it in sugar.
  8. Updating the Kitchen Essentials

    Id say for myself its my matfer black steel pans. I used to work at a french place that used them. It took a little time to get used to (formerly I was used to cooking on aluminium pans) but once you do, they work like a charm and are bullet proof, I know its not as long as some of the items mentioned above, but ive had those for about 10 years. When me and my wife got married, I was a bit picky as to what could come along and what couldn't from her kitchen, she wasnt very disappointed (and she expected it). Most of her cookware went to her roomies, and id say the only about the black steel pans, it took her some getting used to, but she likes them now.
  9. Chocolate Panning Attachments

    Hey thanks for all the info Kerry, and thats an interesting pdf, i look forward looking through it when I get some time. Hopefully I can get to panning some more items soon, the weather is warming quite a bit, so I may have to put things on hold for the summer months.
  10. Chocolate Panning Attachments

    Ok, well thats reassuring that I should really be expecting perfection. Im looking forward to getting some of the malt ball centers, although im hoping I can play with them before summer really kicks in. Also Kerry, you mentioned panning with dextrose, do you have general guidlines I can go by just to give it a try? I was thinking of getting a container of it. Thanks for all your help (and everyone else), im glad I ended up getting the pan, its opened up alot of avenues.