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Jim D.

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Everything posted by Jim D.

  1. I have now edited my earlier post with the images to include this dome. A cynical viewer might think CW has used the same image for all its domes! Perhaps they need to add a new category, something along the lines of "difficulty of unmolding."
  2. Now I am more puzzled than ever. On the top row below are the two molds I use, CW 1157 (18g, 29.7mm diameter x 25mm tall) and CW 1433 (15g, 29mm x 25mm). On the bottom row is CW 2207 (14g, 29mm x 21mm), which @pastrygirl and @Kerry Beal use, and CW 2116 (14g, 29mm x 23mm), which @gfron1uses: To me the shapes look the same. But perhaps the 4mm less tall of the third one makes a difference?
  3. I just remembered that @gfron1 uses domes that look deep (I don't know the weight). Perhaps he could weigh in on any unmolding difficulties he has had with them. I think @pastrygirl uses them as well.
  4. I remember that story vividly; I'll bet that mic picked up some choice language. In fact, I often think of the incident when I am banging molds on the counter (thankfully I'm not doing this at a show!--and thankfully polycarbonate and granite both withstand great abuse). I think it was you who recommended the domes that are a little more flattened out, such as CW 2207:
  5. A tip that might be of use to others: For a soft, sticky ganache or other filling that needs to be flattened out after being piped or even moved around in the shell a bit, you can dip a paintbrush (stiff bristles work best) in melted cocoa butter and uses it to move the filling as you wish. The brush does the moving, the cocoa butter keeps it from sticking. I discovered this when I was following Greweling's suggestion of creating a cocoa butter layer between two fillings that might experience moisture migration in the shell. So I was brushing on a layer of cocoa butter over a pâte de fruit
  6. They definitely are not always soft, but don't usually set up as firmly as a dark- or milk-based ganache. I think balancing the ganache is the key. For that I use a formula calculating amount of cocoa butter, fat, water, etc. When I have my Christmas chocolates more under control, I'll run your recipe through it and see what it says. It is based on Melissa Coppel's and Ramon Morato's formulas, but is annoying to the degree that it requires you know amounts of the categories in each product you use, and, as we know, labels often don't provide all that info.
  7. @Rajala, I am more puzzled by the fact that you were using a hemisphere. My followup post to my previous one was going to be that I have trouble with domes, almost never with any other shape. But I mean domes, not hemispheres. I was going to say that I almost never have trouble with hemispheres falling out of the mold without an issue; in fact, any "flattened round" cavity does not often give me trouble (such as the ones called quenelles, the cocoa pods, the flattened domes). Nor do molds with some design to them (ones I call "grooved domes," the CW pyramids, squares with designs--all give
  8. I had a similar issue today with some cavities releasing the chocolates without any coaxing at all, others took banging on the counter, still others took time in the freezer. I also find this very frustrating because there seems to be no logical explanation. For what it's worth, my space was 20C, the molds were room temp, I don't heat the molds (I have tried it for caramels that tend to leak, but it seems to make no difference). All molds had been painted then sprayed with colored cocoa butter--all done at the same temp, same place, more or less same time. I don't think there is any limit
  9. Looks beautiful (like all your work) and sounds delicious. Any chance you can provide the recipe?
  10. @heidih, you certainly brought back memories. My Aunt Polly, a "home economics" (as it was called then) teacher, and I made that recipe from that same cookbook as our first "gourmet" effort together. I learned so much at her side over the years. I can still remember finding a proper wooden board to hold the baked Alaska, soaking it in water so that it wouldn't burn, then putting the dessert into the oven, never believing for one second that the ice cream wouldn't melt. Guests were in awe--and so were the bakers!
  11. As I write this, I have just finished using my Delta, so everything is fresh in my mind. I can provide what I have learned over many batches made with the machine. I heat my chocolate to somewhere in the 110-115 range. I do it overnight in a dehydrator before using the Delta, so it is ready to be poured into the machine. Before I had the dehydrator, I melted the chocolate in a large bowl in the microwave. Either of those methods will speed the melting process along. But before melting, I remove 250-300g of the chocolate and set it aside (small pieces work best). You are right that one dr
  12. I temper with silk from the EZtemper and test each time before spraying.
  13. I also continue to try to find the "right" procedure, while having the suspicion that there may not be a right way. I dutifully temper the cocoa butter and test it before use. I do not work in an especially cold space. I think one factor that has not been mentioned is humidity, and I often wonder if that is important. It will always be a mystery to me: In a recent batch, most bonbons released with no issues, but some (far too many for my sanity) left cocoa butter behind in the molds. I can't think of any sensible explanation for these erratic results. The adjoining cavities were washed,
  14. I'm inclined to think the temp has more to do with it. There are professional chocolatiers with shiny bonbons who don't use alcohol (in one case I know of, the molds are not washed at all between uses). Dubovik does not use alcohol, and his bonbons are blinding (so to speak). On the other hand, as much as I admire your stamina, when I translated 18C into 64.4F, I knew I would need to continue sacrificing some shininess--it's difficult to make chocolates in an overcoat!
  15. Thanks for checking. I think it would be fine. Melissa's info is available on a Cacao Barry site, and Wybauw's in his books. Is this FB group open to those interested in chocolate?
  16. The Art of the Chocolatier. The other book you mention was authored by Peter Greweling.
  17. How fine were the cookie bits and how did you manage to pipe them while still leaving them large enough to have crunch? That's the question!
  18. I used ground graham crackers for my experiment (totally ground). The issue with leaving "bigger than sand" pieces is that they won't pass through the tip of a piping bag (and if you cut the opening to be larger, it's impossible to pipe without making a huge mess).
  19. You bring up the issue I encountered when I tried to make a pipeable cookie layer (rather than inserting an actual cookie and surrounding it with something to keep it crisp). I ground up cookies and added chocolate (I tried various chocolates as well as cocoa butter), and it worked in terms of being pipeable and being much better at filling up the cavity without leaving gaps, BUT the layer was no longer crisp. I know of a chocolatier who regularly makes a pipeable layer of ground graham crackers for a cheesecake bonbon, but I had no success with it at all.
  20. That's what I was assuming. Here gingerbread is a soft cake.
  21. Sounds very good. If you don't mind, I have more questions: What made the third layer crispy? Did you use something like gingersnaps ground up or ... ?
  22. @Rajala, tell us what the layers are in the gingerbread filling.
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