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Bentley

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  1. A $20 Badger 250 siphon feed airbrush with the large nozzle will be just fine for doing molded bonbons. Norman Love puts out close to 15 million pieces a year using one. It's a very inexpensive way to get started. Just get a few extra jars and siphon tubes so you don't have to clean them between each color.
  2. I used a 10gr chocolate bonbon mold to make some cocoa butter tablets and they did not crystallize very well. I tempered the cocoa butter and tested the temper. As shown in the photo, the top of the tablet (the bottom of the mold cavity) came out looking nice - smooth and glossy - but the bottom half is dull and grainy. My guess is that the heat from the crystallization was rising and took the cocoa butter at the top of the mold out of temper? What is the best way to crystallize a solid piece of chocolate or cocoa butter like this?
  3. Andy doesn't want to reveal how he does this one, but I figured out one way to do it, and I have a feeling the group can figure it out as well (not to copy his design for any commercial reason but all in good fun and because flexing our creativity makes us better). https://www.instagram.com/p/CNAxNMghh1k/
  4. My chocolate has always shipped free from Pastry Depot. Still, it probably will save more to use the 30% code instead of the free shipping code.
  5. I use the Melissa Coppel method of CCB tempering. I melt it to 45C then swirl the bottle in cold water to bring the temp down to 28C then spray. If I'm doing a larger quantity, I'll temper the cocoa butter with EZTemper silk.
  6. I had gone pretty far down the path of opening a shop...but I ultimately couldn't make the economics work. I'm in SW FL and Real estate is too expensive in my town, it's very hot year round here and shipping to most of the country is very expensive. And I'd be competing directly with Norman Love locally. To do what I was hoping to accomplish would require ideally locating in the midwest where I could ship to 80% of the country in 1 day for less than $10. In hindsight, I'm glad I didn't open up - probably would have lost a lot with the pandemic. Thanks for the info on prices. I would have expected a bigger difference. I wonder if the big guys like Chris Elbow or Kate Weiser are getting even bigger discounts for volume. I get most of my retail chocolate from Pastry Depot. They have a somewhat limited selection of chocolates, but enough for me and Atlanta is close enough so that I can use their free shipping option and still receive my package in a couple of days. Valrhona is on sale now there- 10 to 20% off.
  7. I'm just an amateur working out of my home for fun. I buy chocolate one bag at a time as I need it from a couple of different online sources. I pay about $90 for a 6.6lb of Valrhona Jivara, $80 for a 6.6lb bag of Valrhona Opalys, $105 for an 11lb bag of Cocoa Barry Ocoa. I'm curious what kind of pricing professional chocolatiers can get.
  8. @MuscadelleSince you seem to have some experience with Roxy and Rich colors, do they have a color wheel or similar guide for mixing different shades using the various color powders they have? Or is it just experimentation?
  9. That actually makes a lot of sense.
  10. A couple of thoughts....120 is too high for a piped caramel. That in the range of a typical cut caramel. Also, it doesn't sound like your syrup is caramelized, so there won't be much caramel flavor. It will just be very sweet. I would experiment with caramelizing the syrup to the amber color of your preference, then deglazing with cream and butter and cooking to around 104 for a runny caramel up to 106 for a piped caramel that oozes like lava to 108 for a caramel that can be piped but doesn't move much.
  11. Is there an easy way to make large quantities of chocolate non-pareils that are uniform in size and nicely round without factory depositors? Or is it just a matter of practicing with a piping bag?
  12. I had some correspondence with this chocolatier, and his technique involves temperature differentials. He splatters white and then does the color swirl (A color lightly mixed with white), let's it crystalize then puts it in the cooler. Then he sprays the cold mold with white and the temperature difference between the mold and the spray makes the spray contract from around the cold splatters. Then when filled with chocolate (dark or milk), you get the dark circles around the splatters.
  13. Can you provide your recipe and technique - then it may be possible to see what is not working properly.
  14. Making purees is more complicated than it sounds. You need to adjust for the sugar and water content of each batch of fruit in order to get a consistent product. If it is something you plan to do on a regular basis, you should invest in a quality refractometer and a pH-meter. The basics involve adjusting your purees to a brix of around 18-22, with a pH no lower than 4. You can adjust the values by mixing fruit from different orchards and adding sugar, invert sugar or glucose (depending on the desired sweetness and the tartness of the fruit). For some tart fruits like passion fruit, citrus, etc, you can mix in quantities of a neutral fruit like pear (also lowers overall food costs). Once your number are in range, you then need to adjust for taste/flavor. You can use flavor extracts or compounds here, fruit reductions, etc. It's very much a combination of science and art.
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