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  1. At home, I always use a homemade spray booth - a large cardboard box with a hole cut in the top, an AC filter covering it and a box fan on top of it pulling air out. It has always worked great for me. I don't even use a mask now when I spray. Just remember to change the filter every so often as it gets clogged up with cocoa butter.
  2. With New Year's upon us, I am always on the lookout for a good champagne truffle recipe that I can include in my holiday collection...Anyone have a favorite recipe they'd like to share? Something with a decent shelf life would be ideal.
  3. Sorry I didn't see this question. Yes it worked very well. Nice crisp images.
  4. I have some gently used polycarbonate chocolate molds that I would like to rehome. I am asking $13 $10 each (plus shipping in the US). If anyone wants the whole lot (15 molds), $200 $165 shipped in the US (shipping elsewhere will be based on cost). All molds will arrive clean and polished ready for use. 1. Pavoni PC112 square - 21 cavities, 10gr ea. - Qty: 2 2. Pavoni PC113 round - 21 cavities, 10gr. ea - Qty: 1 3. Chocolate World 1345 lined Rectangle - 27 cavities, 14gr. ea.: Qty: 5 4. Chocolate World 2116 Dome - 32 Cavities, 14gr ea., Qty: 2 5. Chocolate World 1143 Round - 21 Cavities, 14gr. ea. Qty 2 6. BakeDeco Fluted Cup, 30mm diameter x 35mm high, 35 cavities, Qty: 1 7. Fat Daddio Heart Magnetic Mold, 18 cavities, Qty 1 8. Fat Daddio Indented Corners Magnetic Mold, 15 Cavities, Qty: 1
  5. I've done something like that before with stamps I bought at Hobby Lobby. I used gold cocoa butter and stamped onto the finished and unmolded bonbon.
  6. A good option for a home chef is the Martellato mini-guitar cutter. It will allow you to cut slabbed ganaches (or other centers) that are 250x250mm (vs i think 350x350 for a regular guitar cutter). I use one and it is just wonderful and satisfying. Very high quality, just like the professional versions. It' snot cheap for what it is, but it is much cheaper than the full size cutter. Fewer options for sizing, but enough for the home chef. I just use a 22 mm frame and can get 64 perfect centers from a slab (49 if I use the Martellato frame system, which for some reason is 240x240 - I'd recommend making your own frames from plastic sheets). Also, you'll still have issues with centers that have nuts, but that will be true with any guitar cutter.
  7. 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.
  8. 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?
  9. 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/
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
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