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Miriam G

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  1. Take a look at this: Though I find the concept of talking to my food containers creepy. Guess I'm old school.
  2. Thank you again, Teo. Really helpful ideas and information! 🙏
  3. Teo, that is super helpful, thank you. I can definitely be more careful and consistent about covering with a piece of cellophane before closing the containers, as I have noticed condensation when I open the containers, sometimes. I will pay close attention to this going forward, as well as look into the vacuum bag option. Thank you again, everyone, for your feedback and guidance.
  4. Thank you all so much for your responses. This is very helpful and I'm breathing a little easier now. Jim, I don't actually use any dairy products. Everything I make is vegan (dark chocolate only) and the liquids for my ganaches are either coconut milk, coconut cream, soy milk, or some combo thereof. So I would think that would decrease the risk even further, right? Yes, she is assertive. And I'm fine with assertiveness as long as it's based on facts and data (and a touch of humility doesn't hurt either). I'll tell her what the 'old broad' said 🤣 Thanks again!!
  5. I've been having a discussion with an assistant in my kitchen about the potential dangers of cooling and then rewarming ganaches and other bonbon fillings, before actually filling the molds. The issue is that I usually make all my fillings over the course of 1-2 days, and then the shells after that. So that means that my fillings are refrigerated immediately after making them, and then I gently rewarm (and re-emulsify with an immersion blender) before piping into my shells (which happens anywhere from 1-3 days after making them). My assistant says that in her 7 years of working in chocolate shops, she has only ever piped fillings on the very same day they were made, as cooling and rewarming encourages bacteria growth. She's very adamant about it and says that my process is risky and incorrect. I have an AW meter and ensure that all my fillings are between 0.65-0.8AW. Is this not sufficient? Is she correct that I am creating additional risk for bacteria by cooling and rewarming? I don't want to put my customers' health at risk or damage the integrity of my product. But I'm also a very small operation and do not have the people power to make exactly the needed quantities of all the fillings for 10-15 flavors in one day and ready to pipe exactly when the shells are ready. I am open to changing our process if necessary, but would like additional verification and not rely on one person's limited experience. I am also looking for a food scientist or lab to talk to about it. Thank you for any and all input. -Miriam
  6. Thanks for the additional info! The tip about not doing it on a warm day is a good insight. I hope the CW one will be big enough to get me started, and if there's a lot of demand then maybe I'll sell enough to have money to burn I should be so lucky to have such problems.
  7. Mina, thank you so much for the detailed response. I do appreciate all the thoughts and info. The feedback I've heard about the KitchenAid attachment is that it's cumbersome and takes some finagling to get it to work properly. All hearsay, not from any personal experience of mine. After more research and your response, I decided to go with the Chocolate World one, https://www.tcfsales.com/products/1527-7-liter-chocolate-panning-machine/. It has the built in cooler but it's tabletop so not such a huge thing. And while certainly not cheap, still a lot more doable than the Selmi. Thanks again for the feedback, I'm happy to give an update once I've used this one!
  8. I have very limited experience, but an expert ready to provide further instruction when I'm set up. Have you used the Kitchenaid attachment? I was also considering that, but I've read a bunch of things from people who said it was more trouble than useful. The machine will be used in production for a retail store, so I'm trying to decide what the right balance is between volume capability and cost.
  9. I'm looking at investing in a panning machine, but am wondering if it's worth the significant $$ for a more 'professional' one like the Selmi (hello, second mortgage??) or the Chocolate World one. OR, if something like the ChocoVision one (http://tinyurl.com/yxmvl35v) would serve my start-up purposes just as well. I notice the less expensive ones don't have built in blowers. Does this mean they would need some sort of other cool air blowing mechanism? I saw Kerry's ingenious creation in a previous thread, with the hose and the IV pole, but I don't think I'm quite up to being that creative. I welcome any advice, guidance, or amusing anecdotes. Thanks, Miriam
  10. That would work. I'm definitely interested.
  11. Oh fabulous! I knew of them but didn't even know they were in NJ. I will definitely reach out. Thanks again!!
  12. Thanks, Kerry! Do you know if it's in Western or Eastern Canada? If Eastern, it may be feasible (I'm in NJ). Would love more info. Thanks!
  13. Thanks so much, Jim! I didn't know about that site but I will definitely check it out.
  14. Hi! We are opening a retail location for our chocolate business this spring, and are in the market for temperature/humidity controlled chocolate display cases. We prefer the jewelry style displays. Everything I've looked at in the U.S. is so expensive (over $10K). I'm willing to invest in quality but I also have a budget for this project, that I'd like to stay within. I've seen similar looking cases from Asian manufacturers (on Alibaba) for a fraction of the U.S. prices. Is this a case of 'you get what you pay for?' Does anyone have recommendations for U.S. vendors who you feel provide good value and service? I'd also be open to buying used cases if we found the right one, but then I'm concerned with how to get it serviced if anything goes wrong (same issue with the Asian ones). Attached is an example of the type of cases we're looking for. I appreciate any help or advice!
  15. Love the 'mad scientist' sensibility...great videos!
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