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Jim D.

society donor
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Everything posted by Jim D.

  1. 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.
  2. 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
  3. I ended up using Brimar Packaging in Ohio and am satisfied with them. There is a thread on packaging that is very useful.
  4. It is available from my website: https://www.santiagochocolates.com/ganache.html
  5. 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. 😉
  6. 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
  7. 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?
  8. 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.
  9. 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?
  10. 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).
  11. @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.
  12. I have seen many comments that the temp control on the Mol d'Art is not very accurate. For my purposes that would not be a huge factor, but it's a disappointing flaw in a device that so many people swear by. There is also the issue that, for what it does, the Mol d'Art is expensive. Thanks for the suggestion of the Control Freak. I like the idea that it would have so many other uses. I would, of course, have to get a large enough container for dumping, and it's always going to be difficult to dump something rectangular into a round bowl. Another issue I would need to look into
  13. No, I'm not looking for the same temp. In fact, when I add untempered chocolate to cope with overtempering, I want to be sure it is NOT in temper and have discovered that the tempered chocolate in the Delta is quite forgiving about the temperature of the added chocolate. In other words, I can add chocolate to the Delta that is as high as 100F/37C without causing the choc to go out of temper.
  14. My question about the Mol d'Art is not on message, but this seems a logical place to post it: I use a Chocovision Delta to temper and hold chocolate to make shells. The problem with dumping them is that the bowl of the Delta is round and its diameter is not quite large enough. The mess is almost more than even I can endure. I have tried various methods of dealing with the issue, with no success. What strikes me as workable would be to have a Mol d'Art melter beside the Delta, dump molds into the Mol d'Art, keep the chocolate at the right temperature, then, when the chocolate le
  15. I too hate tempering Opalys. In making shells, at first it is too fluid and the shells turn out too thin unless one takes precautions. Then, at some unpredictable point, it gets quite viscous, and shells are too thick. Sometimes I have heated it to the 90F/32C point to get it to work. Once before, when I was complaining about Opalys, @Kerry Bealhappened to be going to the Valrhona factory and asked them about it. Her report: "they said the white was very susceptible to over-crystallization so you had to take care not to scrape the last bits off the table into the bowl - keep the sides of
  16. Opalys is my regular white chocolate. I'll look for macadamia honey. Good ideas.
  17. I'm still thinking over the baklava possibilities, and honey definitely has to be in the mix. Any honey plus white chocolate ganache I have found sounds as if it would be teeth-torturingly sweet. I don't see that a milk or dark chocolate ganache would be part of the baklava taste.
  18. Another thought just popped into my head: There is such a thing (I had to consult Google) as dried honey. I have no idea what it tastes like, though I have some molasses powder that tastes fine, but it might even be possible to put all the flavors (not the rosewater) into the gianduja. But I think I would go with the two layers for the sake of contrast.
  19. I agree. I wouldn't expect feuilletine to stay crisp when mixed with a ganache. What I would try is to make pistachio gianduja instead of a ganache. It has more flavor than a ganache can deliver. What I do is to toast some pistachios (very slightly--I know some people disagree with the toasting, but a side-by-side test left me thinking toasted is better). Then melt pistachio paste and white chocolate to make gianduja, plus some feulletine (if you want more crunch since pistachios aren't really very crunchy). Pipe a tiny amount of the gianduja into each cavity, sprinkle in the pistachios,
  20. I know what you mean by looking "forced." I have that same trouble when using a sponge, whereas others seem to have it all blend together with no obvious separation between the colors. If you want to be really depressed, take a look at the Gallery section of Monde du Chocolat. Coming close to replicating the Easter eggs are a goal of my life. Someone suggested that somehow blending in some white cocoa butter makes it all come together.
  21. My Valentine's Day assortment for 2021: Top row: (1) "pecan pie" (dark caramel, pecan praline gianduja, pecan shortbread), (2) coffee ganache with Kahlúa & hazelnut praline gianduja, (3) "crème brûlée" (vanilla buttercream with crunchy caramel), (4) milk chocolate & caramelized sesame crunch, (5) dark chocolate ganache with absinthe, (6) "raspberry rose" (dark chocolate ganache with raspberries and a dash of rosewater). Bottom row: (1) Speculoos cookie butter & milk chocolate, (2) passion fruit ganache, (3) dark caramel with Maldon sea salt, (4) banana &am
  22. Jim D.

    Shortbread

    Perhaps I should not use an electric mixer to cream the butter and sugar to start--although doing it by hand does not sound like an easy task (yes, I do know electric mixers have not always existed!). But why would the "crater" effect not happen with larger pieces made from the same dough?
  23. Jim D.

    Shortbread

    @jmacnaughtan, others on eG have mentioned making a pipeable layer with crushed gingersnaps or graham crackers, and I have experimented with that concept. You are certainly correct that it takes some "playing around" to get the right mix of the crushed item and whatever holds it together. Cocoa butter and the crushed cookie tasted horrible; chocolate tended to cause the layer to lose its crunch. Most recently I tried @Rajala's idea for a gingersnap bonbon. It calls for partially crushing gingersnaps and adding chocolate, ghee, and coconut oil, but my attempt lost the crunch (I finally made
  24. Jim D.

    Shortbread

    No, but I will the next time I make them. Thanks.
  25. Jim D.

    Shortbread

    350F, for about 15 minutes or until they brown slightly.
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