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  1. In preparation for launching a business venture, I have spoken to a number of successful chocolatiers, and the main lesson I learned was that chocolate is a business. You have to make sure that your margins are acceptable and that means watching your cost of goods sold like a hawk. All of the chocolatiers I spoke to used a wide variety of chocolates in their confections. It was a mix that allowed an average chocolate cost that was reasonable for the blended margins they were trying to achieve. You wouldn't just use a single origin grand cru couverture for everything because you could never charge enough to run a decent profit. You might use it for one piece in your collection, but it wouldn't make sense to enrobe your Oreos with it. Some pieces are about featuring a particular chocolate and in other cases the chocolate is a vehicle for another flavor. Everyone I spoke to used just about every one of the chocolates on your list for one application or another, so don't feel you have to choose just one.
  2. Bentley

    Pecan pie Bonbon

    Looks delicious!
  3. Bentley

    Pecan pie Bonbon

    I saw on instagram that you produced your pecan pie bon bon. What's inside?
  4. Does anyone know the source of the transfer sheets used by the amazing Marie Belle Chocolate shop in NYC? If I had to guess, I'd say Valrhona Signature is doing them, but it's just a guess. They are so unique and beautiful.
  5. I want to start working on mixing my own colored cocoa butters, but not sure where to start. Do you just buy the primary color powders and mix from there or are you working with a wider variety of pigments? What is the best resource to learn how to create different shades? For example, if I have a sample color that I want to match, how would I go about figuring out which pigments to use and how much of each? Are there formulaic guides or is it all just trial and error and experience?
  6. The following was posted on his Facebook page today: "This afternoon, chef Jean-Pierre Wybauw — Mr. Chocolat — has peacefully departed this life surrounded by his loved ones in the privacy of his own home. JP suffered from ALS. In spite of all his future plans, the inexhaustibility of his ideas and the good care he was surrounded with, the pain and suffering made him long for the other side of life. Today, in the first place, we say goodbye to a devoted husband, a father and a brother, but we don’t forget the creative thinker that he was, with his endless passion for chocolate, a passion that brought him to all corners of the world. His knowledge will live on forever in all the books he so passionately worked on. Passionate and creative, he was also known for his sense of humor and his sensitiveness: a sincere longing for a world where injustice would have no place. We thank everyone who loved him and especially those who have stood by him, whether they were close or far away, in the last months of his suffering. A burial service will be held privately. This message is the death notice." I never met him but I learned a lot from him. Rest in peace, Chef.
  7. Do you know what kind of machine would be used for this?
  8. Thanks for the info, Kerry!
  9. Bentley

    Andrey Dubovic online classes

    Are the techniques they are teaching in the class useful for production environments or are they mostly too involved and/or time consuming to be practical/economical for the typical shop?
  10. Not a bon bon but I am curious how these eclair toppers are made....is it an edible ink printer?
  11. Is that a hibiscus flower? I could see doing that on beautifully in some nice colors.
  12. Bentley

    Andrey Dubovic online classes

    @Rajala What color powders do you use for your colored cocoa butters? Do you use any kind of color wheel or similar method to acheive a variety of colors? How do you achieve consistency among batches over time? I've been thinking about getting into making my own CCBs but so far I don't have the time to figure it all out.
  13. I have never seen a true gianduja with that degree of fluidity. My guess is that it is more of a hazelnut ganache that uses cream. Because of the high percentage of cocoa butter and cocoa solids in dark chocolate, you need to use more cream to get a more fluid consistency. It will definitely affect the water activity reading. You could thin the chocolate with cocoa butter but that won't give a very pleasant texture to the crystalized ganache. Offtopic: Have you seen Susanna's self-leveling marshmallow? Now that's MY holy grail! Also, I heard or read that Christopher Elbow does slabbed ganaches because of the economics. He said it was difficult to run satisfactory margins doing mostly molded pieces because of the much higher labor costs involved. On the other hand, Norman Love doesn't really do any slabbed ganaches and still does a great business. More than one way to skin a cat, I suppose.
  14. Bentley

    Inclusion of Cookies in Bonbons

    My method is designed to make sure the cookie rounds will fit the mold after cooking. If you cut them before cooking, they can spread and be too big. For cutting, I use the wide end of a piping tip that fits the mold I use. I have only found one actual cookie cutter that is the right size and it is sold in a set of 10 or 12 cutters of different sizes. I have no use for the other sizes, so I never bought the set. The piping tip works great and is easy to source.
  15. Bentley

    Inclusion of Cookies in Bonbons

    For the times when I used cookie layers, I did it as a bottom layer rather than mixing it with the ganache (piped the ganache, placed a cookie on top then capped with chocolate. I made the dough, rolled it out pretty thin, cooked it to a soft consistency, then used a cutter to cut small circles that fit inside my mold, then finished baking to a drier, crunchier texture. Then I removed the discs and arranged them on a tray and used my airbrush to spray a layer of cocoa butter on the top and sides, then once that set, I flipped them over and coated the bottoms. That way, you're not dipping in chocolate and creating that overpowering chocolate taste that you experienced. I didn't test them beyond a week, but they were still crunchy after that time.