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VistaGardens

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  1. OK, so very late to this conversation. David, I am also in CA. I understand the labeling requirements. I mix my own colors, and there are really only four or five lakes that need to be listed, along with the metallic. So it is not overly cumbersome. As far as PUR color goes, it is not something that works if you want to put it in an airbrush. This is because the particulate size for PUR color colorings are too large. The exception is their yellow, which is tumeric. I purchased quite a bit of PUR color pigments only to find this out. The result was that they refunded my money and took the claim that it could be used for colored cocoa butter off their web site. If you paint with it by hand, then no problem. The colors you realize will not be similar to what you can achieve with the lakes. Hope this helps.
  2. thank you for all your work on this and looking forward to next year. I am in California but am happy to help with paperwork...
  3. VistaGardens

    Melanger experimentation

    So glad to find this thread. I've made pistachio gianduja and also raspberry cocoa butter. I bought a freeze dryer specifically to be able to FD the fruits to use with CB and use in the melanger. I used rice as the sacrificial lamb in cleaning out the melanger. I was so excited when I read that there was a small batch size drum and rollers, but sadly they are all sold out. Hope he brings more in. Very interested in the use of coffee in the chocolate! Thank you all for your great ideas and experimentation.
  4. VistaGardens

    Andrey Dubovic online classes

    Yes, herpstat and flexwatt tape. Perhaps this would be a good workshop for the conference in St. Louis? Making colored CB and the box. We could place a mass order ahead of time and perhaps get a discount. Kerry has to bring her saw... As for the cost, the herpstat was the most expensive part, but it works well with the granularity and control that is needed for chocolate. I picked up the cambro from Craigslist. living in los angeles, it seems that whatever I want finally comes around on CL! So I'd guess all in all it was about $300 or less, not including the glass jars. I keep it on all the time except during vacation, and it doesn't eat up much electric, and it doesn't heat the chocolate room up, because of the cambro. throws off less heat than the Mol d'arts.
  5. VistaGardens

    Andrey Dubovic online classes

    The box isn't "hard" to make, but it does have a few steps. The short version is that I took a cambro and cut a hole in it using a special saw like they use to cut casts off of arms and legs (Kerry would know...) and then inserted a thermostat for a reptile box into it. I then lined it with heat tape that is hooked up to the thermostat. While not made for chocolates, reptiles and chocolates seem to have the same constant gentle heat requirements. By messing with the container size and pan size, I was able to make a double decker container, and I keep the opaque on top, and the transparent and ones made with organic coloring (which don't play nicely with the airbrush) on the bottom. The photo below is the bottom layer and the heat tape is on both bottom and sides. Here is the top layer. As you can see, it holds quite a few 4 oz glass containers. All in all it can hold about 55 jars. There is more room on top than on bottom due to the nature of the cambro and the hardware on the inside.
  6. I am happy to help with whatever can be done via internet, as I am in CA. Just let me know. I can also come out a day early if you like to help set up if needed.
  7. VistaGardens

    Andrey Dubovic online classes

    Sort of late to the party here as I've been on vacation for a couple of months, but wanted to chime in on the colored cocoa butters and temps. As I mentioned a long while back on this thread, I make all my colored CBs, in varying degrees of transparency. Rather than strain thru pantyhose, I mix, let cool, then heat up again and it seems to work well for me. I have about 40 colors that I work with. I used to let them go solid, and store in plastic bags, breaking off a piece as needed and heating it with the gun. This was fine, but when painting a mold with 10 colors or so it was a PITA. Heating the colors via a microwave or in a water bath just wasn't getting the love for me and it took a long time. I came up with making a box that I can store all my colors in and it keeps them at a consistent temp all day all night - ready to use whenever. The colors are stored in glass jars and I pop each one out when I need it, paint, and then pop it back in. Because the box is insulated, and I have a thermostat on it, it works well. I only turn it off when I go on vacation, it doesn't eat up a lot of watts. Anyway, something like this might work well for others.
  8. VistaGardens

    Andrey Dubovic online classes

    you asked about dry colors. I make 95% of my colored cocoa butter using FD&C Lakes, and found this company to have very reasonable prices and good quality: FlavorsandColor. You can find them on Amazon, and they are very helpful. Just remember to put LAKE into your search results. They also have the Titanium Dioxide for opacity. Using Blue #1, Red #40 and the two yellows, along with the TD if I want opacity I can get pretty much every color but a good purple. Think that using Blue #2 and Red#3 would fix that, but they are more often cited as "toxic" so I've stayed away from them. Can't wait to hear how you like the class!
  9. Bravani (sp?) the owner mentioned that the new units now are shipping with two scrapers. One helps scrape, the other to help aerate. The newer and the older are interchangeable on the same machine.
  10. White chocolate shell, orange butter ganache with lots of grand marnier (sp?)
  11. Thursday dinner info here. There are enough folks with cars to offer rides for those who need it to dinner on Thursday. We will meet down in the lobby of the Hilton Garden Inn at 6:30. It will take about 20 minutes to get to Nautica on Queen St. in Niagra Falls. Right now it looks to be about 5-6 folks. Let me know by text if you want to come along, and I'll up the reservations. Thanks! Elizabeth
  12. Hello to all those who want to do Thursday night dinner. I stumbled onto a fantastic place today in Niagra Falls, about 20 minutes from NITL. It is Nautica, a Bosnian restaurant. If there are enough cars I suggest we go there. Dinner would run about $35-40 with tip person with a bottle of beer or two. There is a brewery across the street for those who might want to go later. Beef, pork, veal, chicken (no fish or seafood,despite the name). There are salads, but no vegetarian meals per se. Unique and fresh flavors and very hospitable owners. Please text me at 310-403-1393 to let me know if you are going to attend. I'm looking forward to introducing you to some unusual and delicious flavors at Nautica. Looking forward to meeting you all. elizabeth
  13. Ruth, I am so sad to hear you are not coming. I was so looking forward to meeting you. i am up for dinner on Thursday. I am in NITL now and can try to make reservations for all, but it is easier if you would please text me if you would like to go... +13104031393. Text me by 5pm on Wednesday and I'll put it together and text everyone back on Thursday.
  14. Hey there Kerry, I need to hitch a ride to Tomric as well. And if anyone is headed up to Ottawa on Sunday night, I'd love to hitch a ride rather than take the bus and train...
  15. I've made about 20-30 of these recipes. First, the book does suffer from editing issues. And the photos don't always match the recipe they are attached to. As to the 96 alcohol, that is for 96% alcohol. Not 96 proof, but 96%. As for the book itself. Love it and have learned so much from it. The section on Aw is very helpful. But as a novice in working with chocolate, I could not have understood this book and how to figure out the editing errors if I had not already read Grewling's C&C from cover to cover. Wybauw is writing for the professional, and as such assumes that the basic tenants of working with chocolate are already known. The only wish I have for the book is that he had given more detail on the finishing and decoration techniques that are illustrated, but not explained.
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