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Jim D.

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Everything posted by Jim D.

  1. Another situation you must be concerned about is "over-tempering," the condition where too many Type V crystals have formed. You can tell from the viscosity of the chocolate and (probably) from its setting up too quickly on parchment. Over-tempering doesn't usually happen until you have been using the chocolate for a long time, but I've had it happen early. There are two remedies: (1) raise the temperature (being careful not to raise it above approximately 93F) and/or (2) add untempered chocolate (chocolate you have deliberately raised well above 93F and to which you have not added any see
  2. This is a puzzle. The Ghiradelli wafers appear to be real chocolate (as opposed to "coating chocolate"). From the spec sheet, they seem more like milk than dark chocolate (they contain 41-50% cacao, plus sugar, milk fat, and vanilla), but that does not matter a great deal in terms of tempering. I don't see any reason to heat the chocolate all the way to 120F, but again, that does not do any harm, just means the process of cooling down takes longer. You are using the seed method to temper, so there is no reason to lower the temp down to 85F, then warm it back up. The only issue that might
  3. You might try the proportions of the original recipe you posted but omit the cocoa butter, so: 100g of milk chocolate, 10g of honey, 50g of cream. That provides a ratio of 2:1 chocolate to liquefier. I start with chocolate from the bag (so, we assume, still in temper), melt the chocolate until there are a few pieces left, take it off the heat, then stir to melt all of it, which (unless you have overheated it by a lot over 90F/32C) should still be in temper. Meanwhile heat the cream and honey to 105F/40.5C. Use just a spatula to emulsify the chocolate and cream mixture. Sometimes an i
  4. Actually that ganache does not look curdled/broken/split to me. Here is an image of such a ganache: If I'm misinterpreting your photo, then the fix is to add warm liquid (skim milk, purée, liquor, water, NOT cream).
  5. Good luck on your venture. As expensive as it may be, a humidity-controlled case is the way to go (IMHO). Especially if you decorate the chocolates with colored cocoa butter, they will lose their shine and have a matte look when humidity hits them. This does not affect the taste but certainly makes them less appealing to the eye (which is, of course, what you want for the sake of sales). I get around this issue in the shops where my chocolates are sold by, first, insisting they have refrigeration available and, second, by sealing each box in a plastic bag to protect from humidit
  6. Some people do it that way, but most (as far as I have seen) spread some chocolate on top of the mold, apply a transfer sheet (with a design pre-printed on it) or plain guitar sheet, then spread the chocolate with a scraper. After the chocolate has crystallized, the acetate sheet can be removed easily. Unless one is an expert, this makes a mess, with chocolate flowing down the sides of the mold. And it is also difficult to remove the chocolate between the cavities with the scraper, but not doing so means they can be very difficult to get out of the mold. Perhaps you can detect that I speak
  7. Those are really beautiful. If you don't mind telling, how do you get such subtlety when painting with cocoa butter? Mine is almost always too fluid to stay in place and runs all over the mold. And, in the case of the bonbon on the far right, the blue color had to be painted first to get the gradient effect.
  8. Can you describe what the ganache looked like? And what were the approximate temperatures of the cream and chocolate when you first tried to emulsify them?
  9. Like pastrygirl, I take shelf life very seriously. But I got even more serious about it when I discovered mold inside a bonbon not long ago. I went into a panic, notified people who had bought the chocolate in question, had to take the boxes off the shelves of a retail outlet. They had been stored in an air-conditioned room with temp around 65F. Turns out that's not low enough. Now I am careful to freeze anything that's going to sit around, and during the period when customers are stopping by to pick up chocolates, I keep them in the storage room, but now with the temp set at 60F. For re
  10. My Easter 2021 offerings: Eggs: (clockwise from top): strawberry cream with strawberry pâte de fruit, dark caramel with sea salt, coffee ganache & rum buttercream, crispy hazelnut gianduja. Bonbon assortment: "bananas Foster," "caramel macchiato," cherry with kirschwasser, coconut macadamia, pecan praline gianduja with toasted marshmallow, almond praline gianduja with salted caramel & shortbread, orange blossom mousse, cookie butter, hazelnut crunch with chocolate shortbread, lemon cheesecake, and dark caramel with sea salt.
  11. I'll respond to more of your questions when I have a little more time, but you might want to check out the hemisphere/demisphere molds I have for sale in the Classifieds section of the forum. I was not satisfied with the size of the existing ones (too small to provide a real taste of the filling) or too large (would not fit in the trays I use for boxing). My listing provides the dimensions and shows some of the bonbons I have made with them. I agree with pastrygirl that any shallow mold (eggs, hemispheres, the so-called quenelles) have the issue she mentions. BUT bonbons made with them alm
  12. So what else have you got to do now that the EZ is done? I always thought you were someone who enjoyed a challenge. The "EZspray" airbrush.
  13. I keep my airbrush warm in a dehydrator, and that helps a lot, but the brush does cool off. Yes, that is the Krea product to which I referred. I looked into it, but it would take so much cocoa butter that it would be completely impractical. But they are on the right track.
  14. I use the same equipment and have almost exactly the same experience. I am not sure how the compressed air (which is probably at room temperature) could be a significant factor in cooling the cocoa butter in the cup, but the metal cup certainly is. I am afraid that this is one of those "that's the way things are" situations. The cocoa butter is much warmer than the surrounding air and will cool as time passes. If my room temp is somewhat warmer, then I can do 2-4 molds without stopping, but usually I play it safe and run the heat gun briefly around the cup and the airbrush after each mold.
  15. Yes, that's it. And I also got mine from Nashville Wraps. I still had some from a previous order, so was able to compare the two, and there was/is definitely a chemical odor in the newer one. It also looked different, so for this particular color (which was out of stock for quite a while) they must have a different source.
  16. An odd topic to be sure, but at least it's seasonal: I reordered straw/grass/crinkle-cut paper for Easter baskets from my same supplier last year, and, unlike the previous supply, this batch has a off-smell, something chemical. The supplier said no one else had reported the issue, but I know it's there. What can I do to minimize the odor? Last year I had some powdered vanilla and mixed that with the straw; it helped a little, but vanilla is a rather expensive way to reach the goal. I thought of putting the batch outdoors in the sun for a while, but can't find a container large enough. Ye
  17. I ended up using Brimar Packaging in Ohio and am satisfied with them. There is a thread on packaging that is very useful.
  18. It is available from my website: https://www.santiagochocolates.com/ganache.html
  19. Me too. Often it seems impossible how much they crystallize overnight. Sometimes I am looking for a softer texture, but that is difficult (nearly impossible) to predict. I can attest to the deliciousness of pastrygirl's peanut butter gianduja. I think she has mail order possibilities. 😉
  20. In my experience selecting the ratio of chocolate and nut paste is tricky and varies depending on the consistency of the paste. I buy hazelnut praline paste from Cacao Barry (50% nuts, 50% sugar) and mix it with chocolate (dark or milk) with twice as much paste as chocolate. This is what Peter Greweling recommends. With almond praline paste (which I make myself), however, I find that I have to use 400g chocolate and 500g paste--more chocolate because the almond paste is much more fluid. To be honest, I must say that I no longer worry too much about tempering the gianduja. For one thing, i
  21. As a huge fan of irony, I love this. On a (slightly) more serious note, I have found that "firm" toothbrushes work better. Ever since dentists started recommending soft toothbrushes, the firm ones are more difficult to find. And regarding Colgate: Not long ago I got a batch that shed its bristles. Not something desirable in a chocolate. Doesn't Colgate know its target audience better than that?
  22. Thanks for the information. I'll have to take a look at the distance factor. It also seems that the viscosity of the cocoa butter (which varies from moment to moment) and the amount of cocoa butter on the toothbrush play a role.
  23. Your splatter is very nicely done, more even than most people (including me) get from a toothbrush or a spray gun. What did you use?
  24. I have used peppermint, bitter almond, lemon, lime, and orange. They are especially helpful when you want to add flavor to something without significant water (such as meltaways, gianduja, chocolate).
  25. @EsaK, I just checked the price of the Control Freak induction burner. It's about three times the cost of the Mol d'Art 6kg melter. Yes, it would be great to have around for other purposes, but.... Thanks for the dimensions of the various pieces of equipment. That helps a great deal.
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