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Jim D.

society donor
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    Staunton, Virginia

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  1. So you didn't follow Andrey's 86F/30C idea?
  2. Perhaps @Kerry Beal will weigh in about the tempering of cocoa butter. I must agree that when Andrey said 86F, I was puzzled because I had always thought the working temp of cocoa butter should be about the same as dark choc (ca. 90F), but there is no questioning Andrey's results. To tell the truth, I have had as many successes as failures with c.b. sticking to molds regardless of the temp. I am also reasonably sure that the temp inside an airbrush or paint gun fluctuates much more than we would care to know! That's why the Krea Swiss heated guns are so intriguing--just wish they made one suitable in size for cocoa butter.
  3. There are various approaches to the optimal temp for spraying. Those of us who took Andrey Dubovik's online course learned from him that 86F is the temp at which c.b. should be sprayed--and in (what seems to me) a very cool room. As far as I know, it is still a theory that the action of spraying tempers c.b., and when you think about it, how could we ever know one way or the other? I am not aware of any device that can measure the temp of c.b. as it is flying through the air. It would seem to me that at 95-99F there would likely be few Type V crystals remaining. But your experience must be evidence that temps that high don't have a negative effect on the result. I also find that if I scrape the mold immediately after spraying it, the time spent scraping results in the c.b. in the airbrush dropping in temp and therefore requiring very frequent reheating. You don't find that to be case?
  4. I find this happens most often with white as a backing layer (as pastrygirl suggested, the layers are getting too thick). I don't think there is any way to stop it: crystallized cocoa butter tends to crack, especially the longer you wait to remove it. It's the same principle governing the making of stripes--if you wait too long to remove the tape, the stripe has little chunks missing. If the white I see in the photo is in fact a backing layer, I don't find the little chips make any difference--the colored cocoa butter underneath will still show and nobody will notice a slight variation in the color. (I can't believe I'm defending being casual about blemishes in chocolates, but that's what happens after doing this for too long!)
  5. One additional thought: If you go to the archive of The Chocolate Life (it has fairly recently moved to its present format, but the old forum was really useful), there is this link, where Clay Gordon mentions his relationship to a display case manufacturer--and that company is located in New Jersey, no less! Might be just down the block from you.
  6. Miriam, Have you posted this question on The Chocolate Life forum/classifieds? If you don't know that site, it's https://foodmaven.io/thechocolatelife/. It's moderated by Clay Gordon, who (along with others on that forum) knows a great deal about equipment related to chocolate. If you don't get the information you seek on eG, you might try that. Jim
  7. Good idea. I would have to see whether it masks the maple flavor, which is surprisingly (to me) "fragile."
  8. And that is with no added sugar beyond the maple syrup and what is in the milk chocolate.
  9. For the record (about maple ganache): I just tasted three variations, all involving a milk chocolate ganache with maple syrup (all were molded in 72% Arriba dark): (1) the maple ganache alone, (2) the maple ganache paired with a fairly thin layer of a ganache made with Arriba and cream (in a ratio of 1.5:1--chocolate to cream), and (3) the maple ganache paired with a thin layer of the same Arriba ganache plus habañero oil. Result: As far as (1) goes, the dark chocolate definitely tempers the sweetness of the maple. In (2) there is an added punch of dark chocolate that counteracts the maple sweetness somewhat better. I really like (3), but the habañero distracts a bit from the maple--it doesn't conflict with it, just makes it less obvious. And since the goal was to make a maple bonbon that had obvious maple flavor, I will use (2). The Aw reading of the maple ganache was 0.55--which both surprised and pleased me.
  10. @teonzo, thanks for all those great ideas. I hadn't thought of something peppery/hot. I don't really care for jalapeño--it seems to taste too much of green peppers to me and the degree of heat in fresh ones is impossible to predict--but I do have some habañero oil on hand that I can try in a dark chocolate ganache. I also have some bitter almond oil from Germany that is really strong and some cocoa nibs, so I should have a fun day experimenting.
  11. There is already a little in it (Notter's recipe calls for it), but I can try adding more. I have only a day or so to experiment since I have to inform the restaurant and the wine shop whether or not I can provide maple bonbons, so I'll be trying the suggestions offered so far. I forgot to mention initially that I also need to taste the ganache molded in dark chocolate (Felchlin Arriba 72%, the darkest I have) to see how much that helps. I've also got to test the Aw to see what omitting the invert sugar has done to the water activity.
  12. Sounds like it's worth a try. I thought of using dark chocolate instead of milk, and that would eliminate some sweetness, but I think it would make the other problem (maple taste) worse. I even thought of using completely unsweetened chocolate, but don't have any to try.
  13. I have been asked by a customer to make a maple ganache using local maple syrup. A friend went to a maple festival in the Allegheny Mountains and brought me a bottle of the darkest one they had (these supposedly have the most flavor). I used Notter's recipe for maple pecan ganache, but used walnuts instead. The first attempt was far too sweet and had a weak maple flavor. So I eliminated the invert sugar completely, substituted cocoa butter for some of the milk chocolate called for, and tried again. At first taste, it's very good and quite maple-y, but after a few seconds, the excessive sweetness hits the palate. I bought some Amoretti natural maple flavor to bump up the flavor (haven't added it yet), but the sweetness is a barrier. Any ideas on what to do? If it were a fruit flavor, adding some citric acid would probably do the trick, but it seems questionable in this case.
  14. Greweling's coconut filling is very soft (in my unsuccessful attempt, too soft to cut), so it would pipe very well. But you would have to grind up the coconut a lot to get it through a piping bag.
  15. As Tri2Cook stated, it must be oil-based flavoring. Although I have not tried them, the Boyajian oils get fantastic reviews; the company is famous for its flavors. Here is a link to the orange oil.