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    Wenatchee, WA
  1. It was super easy! Nice work Kerry!
  2. Well let me know if it worked! Seemed to on my end. Paid CAD $365 for workshop, one master class and the dinner!
  3. Bummer on no beaver
  4. Alright...I give in. Sign me up for the afternoon bars master class. Might have to work an extra two weeks contracting with the Forest Service to pay for it, but it'll be worth it. And of course I'm in for the dinner. And I looked at those Diamond machines, on their website seems like they are primarily used for bean to bar melanging, but I'm assuming you could also use them for nut paste grinding (which is what I would be interested in using them for...). Do you have one Kerry?
  5. Chocolates with that backroom finish

    The very important reason to warm your shells with heat before sealing
  6. Well I took the plunge! Kerry put in the confirmed category, because I just booked my plane ticket! Niagara 2018 here I come! I will have lots of questions for all you chocolate business owners, so get ready Woot Woot! I'm pumped!
  7. Put me down as a very big maybe...as many of you know there's a strong chance I'll actually be giving the biz a real go this winter. That means more flexibility to travel and the option to use it as a tax write off, the downside is that I will be counting pennies a little more stringently than in the past. I'd of course love to come, and will work my darnedest to make it work, but will have to be tentative at this point.
  8. Vanilla sticker shock

    I just paid $83 for 50 Grade A Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla beans on eBay. I remember paying $20-$30 for 1/2 lb. of the same quality a couple years ago. But pricing it out, I'm only paying $1.66 per bean, which compared at $10/bean at the store, so I'll take it. I guess when it's something you need/want for your operation, you'll bite the bullet and pay for it...
  9. Here's my report...I notice from my pics that I guess I don't like talking pictures of people , so here are all my foodie photos! Green curry from Mengrai Thai. Finally caught the group after a 3 hour delay in Denver and a missed Morato demo Bloomed chocolate dipped marshmallow from Cacao 70 in the distillery district...we had many ideas as to why it bloomed, but forgot to ask Kerry her opinion (and no, I did not buy it!) My "make your own" pizza and salad of Friday night...both were fabulous. Rodney and Kat did a spectacular job keeping us fat and happy over the weekend! A couple of Saturday morning delicacies, I sure do love French pastries! My progressive pics of the panning we did between Saturday and Sunday...cocoa puffs pre-panned, after panning the first day with a finished product for contrast, and Sunday's final product. Learned a lot and have a much better appreciation of panned items than I did before! A few highlights from Saturday night dinner, the caprese salad was to die for, even if tomatoes are not in season in Toronto right now. Everything was amazing, a truly delightful dinner, worth every penny! I loved the blue crock the chicken dish was in and of course dessert! Kat outdid herself on that ice cream . And I guess I should've taken a picture of wine, as I might have overindulged a bit on the red wine selection As per a recommendation from Matt and Matt, Gaylene and I went on a public transit adventure in the blustery cold weather Sunday night to enjoy some lovely Pho and salad rolls from the Golden Turtle. A nice little cleanse after eating all those darn lovely French pastries! This was probably the highlight of the weekend, the official "winner" of the fuji airbrush. It will have to wait until next fall to get utilized, but I cannot wait to start working with it. We'll see how much of a pain it will be getting it through customs and onto the plane Other than panning I did work on a couple chocolates, just didn't get pictures of them, or of the spread of amazing products that everyone worked on throughout the weekend or what was brought to the social...so it's a good thing that others are better at taking photos than me or we'd have a piss poor report As always, Kerry outdid herself in another fantastically successful workshop. The weekend went way too fast, but it was so great to spend the time that I did with like-minded folks playing with chocolate!
  10. Hey Kerry does Rodney have a panning machine at his shop? If so would it be something we could play around with during the course of the weekend? And you have me right, I'm in for everything but the masters class. And I have limited internet in Jackson other than the weekends to reply on here, so if you don't get an immediate response from me about something, Facebook me, it's easier to work with over here in WYO.
  11. I'm also in for Saturday dinner!
  12. Hey Kerry, I'm definitely interested in doing this, I'm guessing the easiest way would be to call them up and place the order over the phone? I really appreciate you doing this for all of us border crossing folk
  13. I forgot to report back on the chocolate tasting party! I've been a little busy putting in new countertops and working on new cabinet doors in my house right now so I completely forgot! It went great. Had 16 people for the tasting, they all gave really great feedback, mostly affirming my own suspicions, and I think the strawberry cheesecake was the hit of the evening with the fig jam and fig balsamic coming in a close second. A great time was had by all!
  14. Were all 3 around the same spot or in different areas. What I've found is depending on how I hold the molds the heat from my hand will sometimes throw certain shells out of temper and those will be the ones that won't release. I follow Kerry's lead when that occurs and first put them in the fridge to see if they will release, and then if that doesn't work, pop them in the freezer for a few minutes then try again. I've also found that after they come out of the freezer, if I put light pressure on the mold at opposite corners while having the mold slightly off the table it will sometimes help to release the chocolate, depending on the mold. It happens to all of us at one time or another, more often then you'd think
  15. Airbrush help

    I'll jump in...I have my cocoa butter in a food dehydrator set at ~100 F, I also put my airbrush in there so it's nice and warm when I start. When I'm ready to go, I take the cocoa butter out of the dehydrator, shake it for 5-10 seconds, pour it into the airbrush and spray. Then when I'm done spraying, I pop the molds in the fridge for 5 minutes or so to set the cocoa butter, and if I'm doing multiple layers, I fridge between and then warm back to room temp before the next layer, then repeat the process. I'm not sure about what temp the molds are, I never check that, but my house is around 64 F, so I'm guessing the molds are close to that. I also agree with Kerry and Ruth that the temper of your chocolate is the more crucial element as it seems that many people have a different process with cocoa butter spraying and achieve similar results, but if your chocolate isn't in good temper then it's a nightmare...trust me! I've also found that because of the way I hold my mold when I shell the heat from my hand will heat the mold up enough to throw things out of temper. When that happens the molds head to the freezer for a bit once they are finished. I also chill my molds after I shell them, once they've started to set, which will counteract the heat from my hands most of the time. Latent heat of crystallization can be a bugger! I hope this helps! Good luck, and don't get frustrated, (I know that's easy to say as I've been frustrated plenty of times airbrushing), but I'd focus on getting a really good temper and see if that doesn't help with the airbrushing. And I wouldn't worry so much about the cocoa butter being in temper, as like Kerry says, the cold air tempers the cocoa butter as it goes through the airbrush, just get it warm, give it a couple shakes, then go for it!