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sbain

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    Albany, California

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  1. First go at some enrobed truffles. It was fun! These are kirsch dark chocolate ganache in a dark chocolate shell and rolled in pistachios. I really like the flavor combo of cherry/pistachio.
  2. Those look fantastic @Pastrypastmidnight and I am excited to try some sponge toffee. Do you add any special flavors, or just straight yummy sweetness? And love your packaging too
  3. Those are gorgeous! Can I ask how'd you do the cheesecake crispy crust?
  4. I am currently doing a more scientific test (same recipes, made each week, comparing how they age), but I was mortified a few months ago when I bit into an old (4 week?) raspberry ganache bonbon and it was moldy inside! Yikes. That was stored at room temp (60-70F). They usually seem to get eaten before that long, so it had never been a problem before. but now that I am selling some wholesale I am getting paranoid. I never want someone to bite into a moldy bonbon, especially one of mine!
  5. @pastrygirl can I ask you a follow-up question? when you do a chocolate and caramel mix, does it improve your shelf-life? My cream based ganaches only seem to be good for a week or two, while my caramels last for many weeks, so I am hoping adding caramel to a cream-based ganache (thus reducing Aw) it would improve stability. How's my logic?
  6. I am taking the plunge and just signed up for Melissa Coppel's Chocolate Intensive class in Las Vegas January 7-10. I am sooo excited! Anyone else planning to go?
  7. @BVWells did you decide to take Melissa’s January course (intensive)? I have been thinking about someday taking her course too, and wondering if this is maybe the right time for me too.... excited and a little nervous (ain’t gonna lie ). It’d be my first real course
  8. I used a food-grade putty. It was OK but if Kerry says white chocolate, go with white chocolate!
  9. Super helpful thread. Thanks everyone for sharing their wisdom. I am just starting to offer some wholesale and bumping up against shelf-life issues that weren't really a problem at the farmer's market. Thinking I might follow @pastrygirl's advice and shift away from cream-based ganaches and stick to bars and caramels. Pastrygirl, can I ask about your flavors? I currently only do one caramel (burnt orange) and it's very popular. I'd like to offer 2 more...
  10. UPDATE: Success! thanks for your help everyone. I used your advice and added in some melted cocoa butter to my "chalky sand" (about 20% by weight) and then blended with immersion blender and got it so a nice creamy consistency. used it for the bottom layer of some 2-layer bars (blonde & milk) with feuilletine (note: they were a little too sweet for me. next time will use blonde and dark, and add some crushed almonds)
  11. Hi folks. asking on this old thread because you seem to be masters of caramelized white chocolate. I tried it today and wound up with dried out powder! Weird. I am using good couverture chocolate (Eitienne Guittard 31% Creme Francais). I baked it on a sheet at 250 F for about 30 minutes, it came out as a wonderful amber brown color, but when I tried to stir it it was dry and crumbly. I let it cool and now it is a sand/pebble consistency. I tried to melt it again and it wont melt, it gets hot (120F+) but stays solid. And the worst part is...it tastes amazing! Help! What am I doing wrong? Do I need to add cocoa butter? if so how much and when? Thank you!
  12. Those look like perfect mangoes 🥭 Well done!
  13. An update on my problem: you fixed it! getting the bars right into the fridge (once they start to firm up) totally worked. Don’t know I wasn’t doing this from the start (maybe I fell asleep during that class? Latest batch of bats (below) are nice and shiny. thank you all for your advice and support!
  14. Thanks @Jim D. I have "the Grewling" and I should probably go back and reread the relevant chapter on tempering (it's been a while :). To be honest I have sort of cobbled together a few different processes (seeding and THEN tabling to accelerate the cooling process, which, as has been pointed out, may be overkill and/or a bad idea). Moreover, I have also finally decided to buy a Chocovision Revolation V to hopefully simplify my tempering, so I will be getting used to a few new things now. Wish me luck! Speaking of the Revolation V, anyone have any good advice for a first time user? Maybe there is a thread already about the machine? Thanks again -seth
  15. Thanks @pastrygirl. I was using the heat gun sparingly only on the chocolate still in my bowl to keep it at working temp (NOT using it on the just poured molds/bars). I was doing two molds at a time -- pour chocolate, then add inclusions. I will drop back to one at a time like you suggest. The bars are a good size, around 3.5 ounces, so maybe that's enough mass to push them out of temper when they crystalize? I will try going straight into the fridge! Another question: do you guys clean your molds completely between uses, or (assuming a nice clean release of the molded bar) could one then pour another bar without washing everything? That's save me a bunch of time...
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