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  1. My regular airbrush broke, so I took out a spare Badger 250 to spray some colored cocoa butter but I could not get it to spray anything. I tried adjusting the tip up and down, adjusting the air pressure, checking that the siphon tubes weren't clogged....but I couldn't get it to spray any cocoa butter. Anyone here use this brush? Care to share any secrets to getting it to work?
  2. I can't think of any explanation either. There was no oil or other fat in the molds. They are kept well away from any possible contaminants like that. I also cleaned and polished them with alcohol immediately prior to use. I'm going to try again next weekend and see what happens. The only thing that I could think was different this time vs all the other times I've shelled is that I may have burnt the colored cocoa butter as I overheated it when I melted it, taking it to 70*C. I don't know if that could cause this issue, but I'm going to try next week using the same CCB and new CCB to see if it makes a difference.
  3. Appeared to be so. Totally matte.
  4. Had something strange happen today that hasn't happened to me before. I sprayed my molds with colored cocoa butter, then filled the cavities with white chocolate. Tap to remove air bubbles, then invert to let the chocolate run out. The problem was that ALL of the chocolate ran out. Barely any stuck to the mold to create the shell. Most of the cavities had a little chocolate in the bottom and bare sides, like the chocolate just slid right off the molds. I have no idea why this might have happened. I have been using this same kind of chocolate for a long time. It had a good temper. Has anyone run into something like this before?
  5. Its probably more of an American thing. I see it mostly in ice cream, but occasionally in bonbons. Here is Susanna Yoon's (Stick With Me Sweets) interpretation: https://yorkavenueblog.com/sweet-treat-birthday-cake-bonbons/ And this is my version that I mentioned in the original post. It is white chocolate ganache with actual birthday cake mixed in (frosting and all) along with a layer of vanilla buttercream icing:
  6. Yes, you can freeze them. I know a couple of large chocolatiers that do Christmas production during the slow summer months and freeze until needed. Taste, texture and color are all unaffected if done properly. The devil is in the details though. Proper packaging and proper thawing is essential.
  7. What flavor is birthday cake?? When I hear "birthday cake bonbon", I think sweet and vanilla, but that doesn't seem to really convey the flavor of birthday cake. My last birthday cake bonbon came about because I had some leftover birthday cake. It was a vanilla cake and I actually mixed it into a white chocolate ganache and piped it into molds. But short of baking a cake and mixing it into a ganache, what are people doing for this flavor?
  8. Kerry - how precise do we need to be with the 1% silk? Tenth of a gram? Nearest gram ? Does going a little over 1% cause any issues?
  9. It was time to buy some more cocoa butter, so I bought a 3.5KG bucket of food grade, deodorized CB (about 50% of the cost of the callets). This is how I deal with it. I soften it to make it easy to scoop, then I take out what I think I will need in the near term (a couple of months). I melt it down (60C) then cool it to 33C and temper it with silk from the EZ Temper. Then I pipe it into chocolate molds and let it fully crystalize for 24 hours. Each tablet weighs about 6g. Then I put some of the tablets in a jar in the EZ Temper for gorgeous silk, while keeping some of the tablets for recipes. One great side effect is that the next batch of chocolates made in those molds have ridiculous shine. My previous cocoa butter required an EZ Temper setting of 33.8. This new cocoa butter needed 33.6 degrees. I guess each variety or batch is slightly different.
  10. I'm doing white...so I will have to really up the cocoa butter. 33% sounds pretty high, but clearly my 20% was not high enough. I am tempering the ganache with 1% silk. (Also, in your post above, I think you meant "Milk 28%")
  11. Update: I reformulated the recipe so that water was 23.43%, cocoa butter was 20.50% and milkfat was 21.9%. The ganache ending up being too soft and, although I could cut it, it did spread a little so that my little squares weren't perfect. I think I will remove some cream and add more chocolate to reduce the water and milkfat and increase the cocoa butter closer to 22%. Trial and error, I suppose.
  12. Thanks. The recipe I want to convert uses Opalys white chocolate, which is 33% cocoa butter. Is it as easy as adding more chocolate or cocoa butter - I don't need to worry about rebalancing the sugar and water? Is there a difference between adding chocolate (which increases cocoa butter and sugar) and reducing cream (which increases percentage of cocoa butter, reduces water and reduces milkfats)?
  13. I have a recipe for ganache that I use in molded bonbons but it is too soft to use in a framed ganache. The recipe for the ganache used in the molded bonbons has water content of 24.76%, sugar content of 31.94%, cocoa butter content of 16.3% and milkfat content of 18.3%. This makes a ganache that pipes in very fluid, self levels and crystalizes to a very soft creamy texture. Another recipe I did for a framed ganache had water content of 28.74%, sugar content of 22.72%, cocoa butter content of 19.05% and milkfat content of 17.81%. Higher water content but also higher cocoa butter content, so it would seem that the cocoa butter has the most impact on the firmness of the ganache. If I want to convert the first recipe to a framed ganache, what would be the best way to go about it?
  14. I used the recipe from Stephan Leroux's book Le Praliné for framed hazelnut praliné and I had no trouble cutting it. It is a much higher percentage of praliné to chocolate than a traditional gianduja. Also, I think you might be confusing Valrhona Guanaja, which is the brand name of their 70% dark couverture chocolates, and Gianduja.
  15. My favorite.....used mainly for pates de fruit and caramel. https://www.matferbourgeatusa.com/automatic-funnel-5
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