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Everything posted by egypt803

  1. Hi Baylee Thanks for replying and I'm sorry it took me so long to notice - I don't know why I didn't see it! I warm the chocolate just enough to make sure its fully liquid with no lumps. Do you think making it slightly warmer would make a difference for the pattern coming off? Thanks Katherine
  2. Thanks Chelseabun and hello - I think so too!
  3. Thanks Smithy and hello! I am of the West Riding of Yorkshire, near Huddersfield, it is very lovely indeed, in a wind-swept/moor-y/rainy kind of way I like your location - rambling in the southern USA - my husband is about to go and do some of that as he's doing the first part of the Appalachian trail from Georgia in a few weeks
  4. Just thought I would say a quick hello - I found this site a couple of months ago when searching for chocolate advice but its taken me this long to get round to having a proper root around. I used to make cakes and be a member of a very lively forum but have since moved on to chocolate and haven't really found the same sort of home for sharing ideas and advice so I'm hoping this might be it. Anyway, my background is cakes and I did a course at Slattery's chocoatiers a year or so back to learn how to better use chocolate to decorate cakes and, after a session on chocolate lollies I became a bit obsessed and have been playing about ever since. Have started a little fledgling business selling them from my Facebook page (www.facebook.com/bagstockandbumble) now my kids have started school and will see where it takes me... So nice to meet you all and thanks for the advice already and hope to find myself in the position of being able to give advice at some point in the future x
  5. Hi. Thanks both of you for your responses. I use mylar sheets to spray the cocoa butter on to. I started using acetate but found mylar to be much sturdier and more scratch resistant and can be reused again and again. I have had success airbrushing food colouring and it coming off onto the chocolate so I'm hoping that its not the sheets that are the problem
  6. ooh - i could fill this whole thread by myself. have been experimenting with airbrushing and stencils. it feels like it WILL work - eventually - bit it really isn't at the moment...
  7. Hi I'm experimenting with spraying cocoa butter to get patterns on chocolate lollies and I was wondering if any experts had any advice for me... I'm using a badger 250 airbrush and spraying through a stencil onto plastic sheets but when I pour the chocolate behind there is almost always some of the pattern left behind on the sheet. I'm confident that the chocolate is tempered and am just wondering if anybody knows why this happens and if I could do anything to prevent it and get more consistant results? Do I need to grease the plastic first to help it release? It is to do with the temper of the cocoa butter? I haven't been tempering the cocoa butter - just heating and spraying at approx 40 degrees c as I understood that that would be OK - maybe I'm wrong. Anyway, like I say any advice would be much appreciated. I've attached a photo below to show you what's happening.... Many thanks Katherine
  8. Hi Kerry Thanks for your reply. Yep - I've mainly just been trying to keep the chocolate in temper. When batches have failed I have tempered it on a marble slab and most of the time that seems to work - though some lollies still get the bloom which is why I was wondering if it was something to do with the conditions whilst its setting - or something that I was doing to it. To be honest, the way we were taught to do it, I haven't been measuring the exact temperature of the chocolate at all. They just said to keep making sure the chocolate never felt too warm whilst it was being melted and to make sure to only heat it until it was just gone. If for some reason it failed, we were taught to put it back in the microwave and heat it for maybe another 30 seconds or so until it was completely liquid and thinner in consistency, pour 2/3 onto the marble slab and table temper until the 'sludgy' stage and then add back to the melted stuff - mixing and then reheating slightly with a heat gun if necessary to get rid of lumps. Its frustrating because that approach was working so well for months and then suddenly something has gone to pot and I can't work out what! Best Katherine
  9. Hi Lisa Many thanks for replying - I hadn't thought about the heat of my hands - I'll keep an eye on that. Cheers Katherine
  10. Hi everyone I'm having trouble with my chocolate constantly blooming in the last few weeks and any helpful advice would be gratefully received. I'm fairly new to chocolate - I've only been playing around with it since I took a week's course towards the end of last year - but I've got quite into making chocolate lollies. For the first few months everything was going fine. I tend to heat pretempered couverture gently in the microwave and finish melting with a heat gun to keep it in temper. I would get the occasional bits of bloom if I was a bit too heat-gun-happy but almost every time the chocolate would be fine and shiny with a lovely snap. My problems started just before Easter when all of a sudden most of the batches I was making started to fail. I'm assuming my problem may be humidity. Since Easter I have been checking regularly and the relative humidity is almost always over 60%, sometimes 70% which - from what I gather - is quite high. I don't know what it was previously as I never bothered to check when things were working OK but I assume it was lower over the winter. What I'm really confused about is that sometimes I would make several lollies from the same batch and some would be fine and some would have quite severe bloom. I always thought the chocolate would either be tempered or not tempered so I don't really understand why some would work and some not? Also, the bloom always seemed worse on a particular type of 'fried egg' style lolly for which I would pipe chocolate in the shape of the egg white and then swirl it round with a cocktail stick to give it a nice texture. I was just wondering whether this swirling would in some way cause the chocolate to bloom? Can this happen? Can tempered liquid chocolate be caused to bloom because of how you move it around whilst its setting or is that nonsense? Anyway, I'd really appreciate any advice - I think I'm going to invest in a dehumidifer but if anybody has any light to shed in the meantime I'd be really grateful Thanks Katherine
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