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Jim D.

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Everything posted by Jim D.

  1. @Muscadelle, beautiful but I am confused. Does the color come from the "highlighter dust" or do you also spray with metallic cocoa butter? And can you explain what the dust is, some sort of luster dust?
  2. Yes, I sometimes make fillings ahead and vacuum-seal and freeze them. They are fine, BUT (painful experience showing here) they must be heated up very slowly, especially if they contain white chocolate. They "want" to separate and must be coddled. I break them up into small clumps and heat a few, then a few more. It ends up almost being more trouble than it's worth, but if I happen to have a lot left, it seems a shame to throw it out. If I'm making some new but also using old (as I am today), I make the recipe for the new, then, at the end, mix in the old (slowly and with immersion blende
  3. In both of these cases there might be an issue knowing if a juice concentrate needs to have some water added to it (as one would normally add water to orange juice concentrate to make juice). If the concentrate seems considerably more viscous than a juice or purée might be, then I would add a little water. I say that because if you have too little water in the recipe, you may throw off the balance of fat (including cocoa butter) to liquefiers and have a split ganache. But--and there is always a complicating factor--Greweling's passion fruit ganache calls for reducing the purée so you end up
  4. I have often wondered the same thing about that recipe. So what I have done is to use fresh lemons, juice them, then strain out the seeds and add some of the "globules" (I'm sure that is not the correct term) of lemon pulp to the strained juice. So it's sort of a compromise. It can be quite difficult to do this if a particular lemon has tiny seeds. The recipe has worked fine when I used mostly juice. I used Meyer lemon once. As I am sure you know, the flavor is milder.
  5. The books are no longer available.
  6. @RWood, I assume you have read through the discussion in this thread, particularly on the Grex. I strongly recommend it, the 0.7mm needle is what you need, but I would get the gravity flow, not the side. With the cup on the side, you are adding an unnecessary extra path for the cocoa butter to travel, and cocoa butter needs as straight a path as possible. The California Airtools compressor should work fine for what you want. If you think you will ever do more with chocolate and require a spray gun, you might want to think more air capacity, but this one is fine for an airbrush.
  7. Thanks for those great ideas. I was about to ask you if there was an alternate term for "rubber policeman," thinking it was an inside term that chemists use and Google would not have heard of it. But I suppose Google should never be underestimated--multiple sources for such policemen popped up immediately.
  8. Me too. I have a tiny little sharp knife that I sometimes use. I would love to find a tiny angled spatula that would fit into a cavity, but it would have to be so small that there would be no room for the angled part. There must be some tool somewhere that would do it. The finger approach has the added advantage of heating up the ganache a tiny bit to nudge it into flatness. I have never been able to figure out why some (not many) dark ganaches self-level and most do not. Over the years I have been gradually inching up the temp at which I pipe to get as much fluidity as possible without m
  9. About ventilation for spraying cocoa butter: There are many approaches and solutions to this. Many people (me previously) use just a big box with a hole cut in the back and a furnace filter attached there, with a powerful fan behind the box. It did not work all that well for me. As soon as the filter gets clogged with cocoa butter (which happens quite soon), it doesn't really work any longer. The professional chocolatiers we saw at the most recent Las Vegas eGullet workshop have separate rooms with huge fans venting (I assume) to the outside. Some will argue, however, that when the ducts
  10. Be sure and check hours for businesses you plan to visit. Réunion, for example, is open only on weekends and only for takeout at this point.
  11. Are you using "truffle" in the true sense of a ganache or other filling rolled into a ball (or other shape) then dipped in chocolate or something such as cocoa powder, coconut, or nuts--or in the wider sense of a bonbon filled with ganache or other filling then sealed with chocolate? If you are making a ganache and have Ewald Notter's book, his recipe for lemon is very lemony, and lastingly so. He calls for both juice and zest. But his is too fluid to roll into a ball. If you need it to be firm enough to roll into a ball, then I think, as Kerry has already said, you can add (more) lemon ze
  12. It is a wonderful combination. Recipe is from Ewald Notter. Yes, the ginger is chopped, then steeped for a long time in the hot cream (I understand that you cannot add ginger to a dairy-based product as it will curdle, somehow steeping avoids that). Notter uses white for the shells. I usually use white (or Cacao Barry's caramelized white), but it also works in dark.
  13. Having just finished making a yuzu and ginger ganache, I can attest that chipping off the yuzu purée was quite a task. I use one of those "chippers" intended to break up blocks of chocolate. My yuzu purée has quite a lot of solids in it, but is still very hard. The recipe calls for reducing it by half to intensify the flavor--and get rid of some of the water content.
  14. Thanks for the plug. I will happy to give a box to @Kim Shook, who has given so much to eGullet over the years, when she makes her Staunton trip. And as for you, @teonzo, when are you planning to open your pastry shop in the U.S.? I would suggest a location not too close to Staunton...especially if you make chocolates!
  15. I was going to point out that fact. Any place I have taken them as a gift, e.g., for breakfast, no one has ever eaten a whole one. They are generally accompanied by a sharp knife for dividing them.
  16. The prices are pre-tax, which is 2.5% in this state. Tipping is provided as an option when one is paying by credit card. Various percentages are displayed, along with the option to select "no tip." In recent years tipping at places where there is no table service has become widespread in the U.S. There are restaurants rebelling against tipping by following the European model of simply adding it to the bill and paying their workers a decent wage, but those are few and far between. I know someone from Europe on eGullet who asked me about prices of chocolates in the U.S., and he wa
  17. As I was scrolling down this page (before I saw your comment) I thought to myself, "I wonder how Bryan manages to produce those items for that low a price." So I was surprised by your comment. A "prosecco poached pear galette with hazelnut cream, raspberry crumb, and roasted hazelnut" for $4.50 does not seem out of line at all to me. Yes, the prices are higher than grocery store pastries, but not considering the ingredients he uses and the skills he possesses. Have you shopped in the U.S. recently? I am more familiar with chocolate pricing, and $2 for a small one-bite bonbon is more or le
  18. I hope you will enjoy your day here--if we ever get to the point where such trips make sense again. Réunion has been open only a few years. Another bakery and woodfired pizza place, Newtown Baking, is also worth looking at. And another restaurant worth seeking out is Zynodoa, just down the street from The Shack. Zynodoa is where my chocolates are on the menu. I grew up eating at Wright's Dairy Rite, and it's still flourishing. And across the street from me is Giancarlo's, run by an Italian pastry chef whose work equals anything I have seen elsewhere.
  19. I am familiar with it, and it is quite good. A pastry chef in my locality uses it exclusively. I don't think it is quite as good as Felchlin, but then I am prejudiced about Felchlin.
  20. I am interested in the opacity issue and the use of titanium. I use Chef Rubber's colors (already mixed). The Ruby Red lists titanium as an ingredient, but the color is not opaque. It turns into a muddy red brown when dark or milk chocolate are behind it. Is one to conclude that Chef Rubber did not intend for it to be opaque, and I am expected to spray a layer of white behind it, or is the issue that more titanium is needed? Kirsten Tibballs frequently calls for adding "titanium or white chocolate" to make colors opaque but doesn't mention proportions. Some CR colors similar to red (such
  21. Yes, lucky...except that it is all too tempting. Before COVID it was a great place to linger, very tastefully decorated, very welcoming. It also specializes in espresso. At the beginning of the pandemic, the bakery offered delivery only, so people placed orders during the week, and on Saturday morning, they had pastries at their front door. I'm not sure how the owner made this work financially (distances were up to 35 miles), but he did. Now it's open on weekends with takeout only, and is flourishing. When I went downtown to deliver some of my chocolates to a shop nearby, the area in fro
  22. We are very fortunate to have a small bakery named Réunion in Staunton, Virginia. Owner Bryan Hollar produces an ever-increasing number of luscious items in a very small space. The quiche is the best I have ever eaten. The ever-popular almond croissant A pumpkin custard cruffin topped with a Speculoos cookie (a flavor combination that I am going to borrow for Christmas chocolates this year).
  23. That is what pastrygirl wrote, no Grex GMAC between hose and airbrush. I wish the GMAC had an actual regulator that provided the psi being used. If I want to return to a setting that I liked, for example, for one of the more viscous cocoa butter colors, I can't do that.
  24. @Kerry Beal, from a PM I learned that she regulates the pressure at the compressor, no regulator at the airbrush end. I can't begin to count all the times I have tried with my Grex (same nozzle size). Maybe the cocoa butter is different--I'm grasping at straws here.
  25. Or perhaps a blunt "Eat chocolate, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow you [may] die"?
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