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  1. Thank you for all the input! Today’s attempt went better despite it being the batch I broke the butter on during the first turn. I did two book folds instead of 3 standard folds and I maintained a more consistent proofing temperature. I let them proof longer as well. Not perfect, and I can see the errors in the lamination, but I think I’m moving in the right direction. I appreciate all the help!
  2. So I finally tried croissants again (stuck in the house and all that ), and I used this recipe. They turned out okay, but aren’t as open inside as I’d like. A few issues I ran into along the way. 1. I did 3 simple turns. On the last turn, the dough tore in a few places and it was incredibly hard to roll despite putting it back in the fridge to rest twice during that last turn. 2. I struggled with creating a proper proofing environment. I used my cold oven with some cups of warm water. A few times while switching out the water the temp crept up over 27C. 3. I keep reading that croissants will wobble or jiggle when fully proved, but I can’t find a visual anywhere. There’s a video on my IG page. Does this look right? They rose for another 20 minutes or so after this point while the oven finished preheating. 4. The recipe I used had me laminate yesterday, then roll, shape, and bake today. The dough seemed really dry and seemed to crack when I rolled it. It was wrapped tightly in plastic wrap. Maybe that wasn’t enough? Maybe it dried out because of too much flour left on the dough from the bench? 5. I started a second batch today and I was distracted homeschooling and started when the butter was still too firm and it broke inside the dough in a few places. I let it sit for a bit and finished laminating. Is it worth baking them up or should I start over? 6. How do you like to shape your croissants? Notch or no notch at the wide end? Thank you in advance for any advice! I did up the temperature and underworked the dough as was suggested by a few people last time—I so appreciated the tips! The good news: they’re delicious. Seeing as these seem to take quite a bit of practice to master, that might also be the bad news.
  3. It’s a praliné made with graham cracker
  4. You can thin the pdf a bit more via any of the methods about—slightly lower temp, slightly less pectin, purée with a bit of something to loosen it. You can also just make sure that the ganache you pipe over it is nice and fluid. It will fill in any gaps left by the mounding of the pdf. A white or a milk ganache is going to be easier to pipe over a mound like marshmallow or pdf.
  5. In my experience both over crystallized chocolate (I had the same theory, @Kerry Beal) and shelling too thinly will prevent the bonbons from retracting from the mold. The freezer will fix both issues, but it’s a pain in the rear.
  6. It’s Greweling. “...fat added early in cooking is emulsified(...) Fat added late in cooking is not locked up in the emulsion (...) is also available to lubricate the cutters or knives (...)” page 236.
  7. Ramon Morató says butter added between 114-119 will incorporate better and that butter added after 120C won’t “bind to the dough” because too much water has evaporated. Someone else, and I’m sorry I can’t find the reference, said butter added at the end makes caramel easier to cut—it will lubricate whatever you’re cutting with.
  8. I second the salt suggestion—or cook your sugar darker.
  9. I don’t think it makes a big enough difference to cause any issue. Honestly, it comes down to your target shelf life. Do you need something to last, like, 6 months—a year? Maybe then it would make a difference. I can’t really think of a ganache that wouldn’t spoil before your pdf would spoil. I’ve seen many professional recipes advocate blitzing the pdf to make it able to be piped. I’ve made pdf for piping many ways. Making a set pdf and blending with a mix of purée and glucose. Alternatively, you could make a sorbitol syrup. Cooking to a lower temperature. Cutting the pectin in half. They all work. They’ve all lasted at least 6 weeks. I’ve never had spoilage from any of these methods. Some bonbons I’ve had up to 3 months at cool room temp. The only time I’ve ever had spoilage was when I tried a recipe from here on eGullet where someone used pectin NH to make a pipable pdf. I tried it last year. I used that formula and my pdf layer fermented within a month. It was also really wet and weakened the shell. Thank goodness I didn’t give any of those away to anyone else.
  10. Aspecialtybox and the labels are such a small batch that I’m literally printing at UPs and cutting with an exacto knife and straight edge. That needs to change ASAP. Just really good honey to give it some flavor. Other than that it’s pretty simple.
  11. It’s been a while since I’ve shared anything. I’m just now pulling out of my post-Valentine’s Day coma and starting to work again. Here’s what kicked my butt the past month . My dessert-inspired Valentine’s collection (strawberries and cream, salted caramel hazelnut, lemon meringue, key lime cheesecake, Venezuelan dark, dark chocolate raspberry, passionfruit caramel, cherry cheesecake, crème brûlée): Cute little 5-piece (raspberry caramel, salted caramel, lemon meringue, peanut praliné): Bonbons are great and all, but this sponge toffee is what I can’t stop eating : And just a shot of the pretty packaging my friend designed for V-Day (now I need to decide on regular non-holiday branding): I love seeing what everyone is up to! Can’t wait to see what Easter brings. I’m soooooo ready for spring!
  12. So, I’ve had Susanna’s bonbons and they are the best I’ve ever had. Both in terms of decor and taste/texture. But she is using the same basic techniques as other chocolatiers. Super clean molds, tempered cocoa butter for painting or spraying, thin chocolate shell, filling at just the right height, nice smooth caps. She is just meticulous about every single step. Her packaging in her boxes includes a clear tray with depressions for the domes to sit in and then a clear plastic cover to hold the bonbons in place. Maybe that’s what you’re seeing?
  13. You can totally mix up a big batch of your own colored cocoa butter and then just melt and retemper when you need to use it.
  14. So, I used to use acetate, but I think mine is too stiff and I would get cracks in my caps that I never get when I cap without the acetate. it’s also kind of messy. If I cap without acetate and work really quickly I can get almost no chocolate running down the sides of my mold, à la Susanna Yoon. https://www.instagram.com/p/BdXxdFYBV2_/?igshid=w37n31ueril1 I decided that plus the wastefulness of the acetate made it a less attractive option for me. It is super helpful if you have a very runny filling, you’re in a rush and your ganache is still too soft, or if you overfill, as was mentioned above.
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