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Everything posted by EsaK

  1. Thanks @Rajala! It's understandable that no one wants to really give, or is even able to give precise figures, as you mention why. Still, guidelines can be helpful, even if rough. For example if you get to low-mid .7 Aw values, you can be fairly confident that things should last at least a few months if kept for example under 20C. And if you're selling these things, be very careful if your recipes are .80 or above. It would be great to hear if you find something practical as to determining shelf lives from that book! Those tend to be pretty hard books to understand without better understanding of chemistry. Hope you get much out of it though!
  2. On the topic of Aw values and shelf life, @Rajala may I ask if you talked about this with the food safety professor? I think these have both been posted here earlier, so I assume it is fine to share them. One from Melissa Coppel, the less-precise from J.P. Wybauw. JPWs guidelines are obviously quite rough, as a filling with 0.85 Aw should be stored much less time than one with 0.70, when he has lumped them together into one bracket. MCs figures also have some logical inconsistency I guess, for example as 0.75 is said to be good for 15 weeks max, while 0.74 seems to be 12 weeks, etc.
  3. Thanks for posting this! I assume the temperature of the sample on both occassions was closely the same, right?
  4. I've had similar experiences and have been struggling a bit to find out the best practice for measuring Aw. The fluctuations can be quite wild. I can't come up with any other explanation though than evaporation or crystallisation "locking" the moisture over the few hours it is sitting. Would be great to hear if anyone has better knowledge on this! Logically I'd think the best practice would be to emulate chocolates waiting to be capped, so sitting in open container the same time as in the shells, as Jim D. did. Container has much larger surface area though, not sure if it matters.
  5. How does powdered cashew milk differ from just using cashews? 🤔 Drying cashew milk gets you just the nuts plus some gums etc? Or am I missing something?
  6. I'm wondering what's the benefit of having a special chocolate display case? Isn't it better to use that money towards an AC/air-to-air heat pump (I'm not sure if that's the name in the US) to cool the whole space down, get a chocolate/wine fridge and just build/get a display case without cooling? Obviously differs from place to place and what's available, but in general for example for 6-7K, you might get all of the three, instead of just the display case. That way your whole space can be kept around 20C year-round, with humidity in check (obviously big variations geographically here too) and a more personal display case. I think I've seen many US chocolatiers go this route, possibly the most known examples being Elbow Chocolates, andSons etc who I think have cases without any cooling but presumably the whole space instead. Happy to hear pushback!
  7. Why not just leave that bit out, at least the onion? I'd guess that that was the main culprit of being off-putting? Rosemary/thyme caramel, cranberry jelly and crispy chicken skin and chocolate layer is already very much ticking the boxes in my view. 😊
  8. IKEA stainless steel pot with sugar to cover the bottom, 110C, slow mode. Sugar stays granulated after heating to 110C and staying there for 5 minutes or so.
  9. And there wasn't a problem. Apologies if my post came out as if there was! The issues I had were with different pots and pans, not the one I did this quick test with. Hmm, can't remember having the issue that way around, at least not with a medium like water. If you just put a pan in there, turn the dial to 120-150C or whatever, intensity on the highest, and a piece of some protein for example, you'll likely get quite a pretty hard sear on it, might even burn. But if you wait until the pan control shows 120C or whatever, then put your protein in, I doubt you'll burn anything. I'm not an expert, but my amateur guess is that the temperature ramp up is so intensive that it overshoots quite a bit in that phase, and if you have something in the pan during that time, it's very possible it burns? My pots and pans are from various places and various kinds (some IKEA, carbon steel De Buyer, miscellaneous stainless steel pots).
  10. Just did a quick test with a small pot and +5cm or so water in there. Heated to 50C. Pan control said 50C in a minute or something. Thermapen climbed very slowly to about 40C, at which point I started stirring. A few moments after and Thermapen read 50-51C. Bought mine from the same place as you did. I argued with them for quite some time after realizing that it works very inaccurately with many of my pots and pans. Can't really recommend the place if you're looking for great customer service.
  11. Alright. Could be a faulty one? Honestly pretty hard to say from here I'm afraid. I think, though I haven't checked this in a long time, mine at least gives the same temp with the probe and a Thermapen. I haven't deep fried with mine, but based on other stuff I've done, I would expect it to recover to the set temp pretty quickly (and overshoot some if using the speedier settings). All in all I think mine behaves more or less as expected, assuming the pans I use don't have grooves on the bottom or anything like that.
  12. 220-240V yep. I haven't done more precise testing in a long time after purchasing it, but I think a large part of my issue was that the pan temp control doesn't work accurately unless your pan is precisely like the sensor would want it to be (anything other than a completely smooth flat bottom for example). Can't remember if I have had issues with the probe control being unreliable. I don't know what kind of issues did you have, what kind of inaccuracy?
  13. Think mine is European version, at least the plug is. I swallowed my disappointment though and kept the machine, even though the temp control isn't what you'd expect for the price and requires certain types of pans.
  14. Did you go with the Color due to the cleaning and your kitchen having the capacity and drains to hose the machine inside out? Unrelated, but I thought having one machine for white and milk, and changing them for example once a week, wouldn't be an issue. Then a CW rep told me that it is a pain in the ass to go from milk to white, and takes several kilos of chocolate to flush the machine so that white is totally white. I guess one is going to be worked with the melter still.
  15. Are there people here that have Chocolate World automatic tempering machines and possibly enrobers and panning machines? I'm trying to figure out whether I'll go Selmi Legend + One + enrober, or CW Delight 24 x 2 + enrober (or possibly CW 12 which I've heard is coming to market). Or some other setup, but need to decide between these two players. I'd be thrilled to hear from owners or users of the CW machines; what you think of the quality, using them, any issues you may have had, if you're able to compare to Selmis, and any other thoughts.
  16. Yup. I paid about twice as much for mine, though I couldn't have survived thus far without it as it's been used in conjunction with the melter to handle the chocolates. In addition to being very nice to have for all things sugar. I tried to ask about the Rocook and whether it works essentially the same as the CF, but I never got a reply from them. It would be much much cheaper than the CF.
  17. Please let us know if you figure out that the screw feature makes cleaning much easier, even if you don't hose water through the machine! You can clean the One/Legend machines too by taking things apart, but I was told it is simply more complicated. Sounded like something you wouldn't want to do more than once a year, if even that. Though I wouldn't want to go through that hosing procedure in the clip, even if I had the facilities...
  18. Agreed, it is disappointing that for the price of Mol d'Art, you don't get a more accurate machine. Plus as you say, it's largely single purpose (though of course you can use it keep cocoa butter container, airbrush/gun or whatever you want at an OK temp. I have a pot that is 30-31cm in diameter, and you can dump a 275x175 mould in it (it's just the size that the corners of the mould lay at the edges of the pot). A 32-33cm pot would probably be very close to ideal, though mine works fine too. The CF is about 11cm tall, and my pot is about 16cm, total of about 27cm from the tabletop. For reference the 6kg melter is about 14cm tall. I wasn't asked and others may disagree, but in my opinion the melter container is not the best to pour from. It is as attached, and has this rim around it. If you pour from it, I don't think you can avoid having choc on that rim that you need to then wipe. Not terrible to be sure, but I think pouring from a pot is much easier and cleaner.
  19. This is something I hope am corrected if I've gotten this wrong. As far as I've understood, the removable screw really only helps the cleaning if you have a floor drain and a space that can handle getting wet so that you can hose the machine down as here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L0lrePB0KOg. If you don't have that space, my understanding is that you don't really gain much if anything from that feature. The screw pump is rather large too, unlikely to fit into most home sinks? Which, if correct, makes me think that cleaning the One/Legend models are as easy as the EX models, you just need to run chocolate through it until you think you don't have whatever you want out of it is not present anymore (and come up with a use for that chocolate that has some leftover oil/nuts/other type of chocolate in it to avoid waste). If you or anyone knows the above not to be correct, please do correct me!
  20. Alright, if you can work with for example 35-37C going into the Delta then in my opinion it ought to work. Though as said, you'll need to trial and error to see where you need to put the dial on the melter to get to that temp range after dumping choc into it and having it there for whatever time your production would usually dictate. Certainly not an automatic tempering machine level of a solution, but I think better than making a mess by dumping into the Delta. Also, I'd get at least the 6kg one, which is large enough to dump 275x175 moulds. Think the smaller models don't work with those moulds, if you happen to have any. Another idea, get the Control Freak (I'm not sure if other induction cooktops with similar temp control exist and would work, for example the Rocook) and big pot(s) that allow you to dump your moulds into them. Gives you precise temp control, helps with other cooking/caramels, potentially easier pouring back into the Delta (IMO easier and cleaner to pour from a big pot than the gastronorm container of the melter). I don't know what the price differential would be for you (whether you could find a discount on either, more likely the CF), but maybe something to consider.
  21. I've got a 6kg Mol d'Art melter. I'm not sure how the Delta works, but if you want to ladle chocolate from the melter to it that is precisely (for example within half a degree or something) some temp then you might be calling trouble. The melter requires tweaking and testing, and you're unlikely to get it precisely correct each time in my opinion. If it's not so precise whether the chocolate going into the Delta is slightly over or untempered, then I suppose this might work. But I wouldn't expect to get the melter to give you precisely the temp that you want.
  22. @pastrygirl any reason(s) why you're looking at the EX models, instead of One/Legend? Unless you have a kitchen where you can do the water cleaning of the machine (i.e. a floor drain) or see big benefits from being able to add inclusions (nuts, nibs etc) to the machine itself, I haven't been able to figure out the other real benefits? Curious to hear if there are other points.
  23. Not sure if there's a baseline per se, but I think somewhere around 40% seems to be fine. Can go higher for really punchy flavours, and lower for more subtle ones. Haven't tried banana, but could imagine it being a tough one to bring out the flavour? Interested to hear if you have issues with the powder getting stuck (guessing that was the issue with corn?).
  24. Yup.. Part of me thinks "how hard can it be...", while another part is screaming "STAY AWAY!!!" 🙄 Though, it sort of seems like if you skip the polishing part and accept that there'll be doubles and ones that look something other than uniformly round, that it COULD be doable!
  25. Thanks Kerry! I was going to write initially that dry ice isn't likely a solution this time, as that seems pretty difficult to get your hands on over here at small amounts. Need to think about ways of rigging the cooling air somehow then, not sure it's worth thousands of euros to have that from the factory..
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