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A Polderman

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    http://www.pogohomes.com/

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    Bellevue, WA

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  1. I have large wooden bars with multiple impressions on them but what I meant by thickness of the stanch is that depending on your starch to flour ratio, the temp of your syrup or temperature of your starch bed as well as the length of time resting in the box, what point you flip them or the alcohol content all can determine the thickness of the actual corn starch shell in the finished product. My goal is to get as thin of a shell as possible but thick enough to dip without breakage because liquor in chocolate makes for a lot of truffles in my future! ::-) As for weekends, I don't have them. As a real estate professional I host open house events on Sat and Sundays or if not doing that its a great day for buyer clients to be out touring so I have many balls in the air 7 days a week, thankfully no kids or pets SO... this is my relaxation, LOL
  2. SO went to TJ's to see if our store had any and they apparently are a SPECIAL PURCHASE and NO LONGER available for order so if you see them at your store, get them! Called outlining stores and all are sold out in the eastside Seattle area.
  3. WHAT??!!!! Trader Joe sells Ruby Cocoa???!!!!! I wouldn't believe it had you not posted a photo for my own eyes! I haven't seen that at our store in the Seattle area now I have to go tomorrow to check it out! How could we survive without TJ's or Costco, LOL
  4. SO I tried to find something grounded in our house to rub the molds on and just could not come up with anything. We have central heat so our furnace is through a ducting system unlike the individual radiators in Europe. SO I got to thinking and came up with fabric softener sheets! I don't know if you have these dryer sheets you throw in so your clothes don't come out with static cling. I rubbed it on the OUTSIDE of the mold and no more static! Thank for making me stop and think about finding a solution!
  5. Its not just the pecan notes, because I smoke them and then candy them in a slightly spicy ghost pepper & paprika sugar mixture, I want the smoke flavor and a hint of the spice to come through as well. When it was slabbed I wanted to literally climb on the counter and roll in it so it was a bit disappointing to have such a strong aroma yet a weak texture & flavor profile overpowered by so much chocolate.
  6. Yes, Frans is here in Bellevue which is where I am! I remember about 25 years ago when she was starting and would come to teach cooking classes at the Bon Marche about how to temper chocolate. (now owed by Macy's). Lots of great confections and food in and around Seattle!! Look forward to the opportunity to meeting you if you plan a trip up here or maybe at another venue before?!
  7. Maybe that's the attraction??? Its easy enough for anyone to do but yet there are so many levels of difficulty it is challenging for everyone no matter how many years of experience one has!? This forum is amazing, although most of us are separated by thousands of miles, our common interest in confections and helping each other through the trials and errors makes everyone feel so close!
  8. @Merry Berry Where are you located? I'm in the Seattle area, if you are nearby, happy to show you and you can try it out in my kitchen and then you would know if you want to make the time and $$ investment in supplies. I will definitely post all my details. Right now I am juggling my smoker (Have more pecans on and smoking hard boiled eggs for deviled egg on Easter) that along with finishing Easter egg baskets oh, and my day job in Real estate :-) but as soon as I get it all rapped up I can do that! Currently frustrated because I bought a cute little cheapo bunny mold and making caramel filled half bunnies and because of its texture cant get it to polish properly. It leaves areas that just wont shine when unmolded. Now that I know what I want to do, next year i will invest in quality molds! My time is worth more than that and the hassle isn't worth the final presentation.
  9. First I smoke the pecans over hickory (Hot box) for 3 hours then I candy them on the stove top. 4 cups pecans to one cup of my "paprika, ghost pepper chili, salt & sugar mixture" after that, I made a paste for my gianduja which was converted to a ganache and that where I believe the errors were in my ways were not stopping there! :-) live and learn. Starch molding I use boxes my husband made for me that fit the size of my oven. I use a mixture of 1/3 potato starch and 2/3 cake flour sifted and dried. After I get my Easter candy finished, I will come back here and post the process and my photos of all my tools. It is easy to do once you have your systems in place. It was just the learning curve getting to that spot. Now I have it down, I am just learning how to perfect the thickness of my starch shells. I am NOT home all day every day to babysit them while they are resting and the timing when to turn and when to remove them varies depending on the sugar and alcohol content of your syrup. Of all the projects i do, that is one of the most rewarding!!! I love playing in the flour and starch mixture! Like digging for gold!
  10. Thank you @teonzo you just made my day! I questioned it and even told my husband, this is NOT right but I will do as the recipe calls but it just doesn't seem right! Just as @Tri2Cook mentioned above, I tried to give the recipe a shot first and then thought I would tweak next go around. Well, exactly what you said was what happened! Not only was the initial go around was too soft, but the beautiful hickory smoked and candied pecans were completely LOST in the product! If I stuck to JUST chocolate and Smoked candied pecans and make a true gianduja and given more of the SNAP I wanted in the base layer and I would have gotten a better flavor profile. And because I had to add more chocolate to the gianduja/ganache cross breed, it was even more lost so I wound up topping them with candied pecans after "dipping" to add that flavor back in. This lost the contemporary feel of the end product! GRRRRR. I am bummed as this recipe takes a HUGE effort to have it turn out mediocre but my husband reminds me that I am a perfectionist and as you said, most people won't know. (well, they know the part of me being a perfectionist but they wont know about the intentions with the smoked pecans :-) Moving forward, I want to try it again but with LOTS of changes and basically sticking to JUST the idea and not the recipe as printed. SO I want to make a square firm base made from my hickory smoked, candied pecans, and then top it with the sphere whisky dome and dip into dark chocolate with NO garnish for a completely contemporary look. Any ideas on the base layer other than a Gianduja? Personally I want to add more of the smoked candied, paprika pecan flavoring which seems to be overpowered by chocolate here. Would a shortbread possibly give me that?? Any other suggestions?? In the end, you are also correct as these are Easter holiday gifts for Clients, staff, and friends. SO they will be consumed within a matter of a couple of weeks. I am making only about 30 in total and will post photos when I am finished will packaging my egg baskets and they are ready for delivery. @teonzois your trade culinary?
  11. I meant to say, I think the ratio might need to be 2 to 1 chocolate to cream???
  12. SO I was super excited to try a "spin off" of Peter Greweling's, Bourbon Stratospheres recipe in his book Chocolate & Confections. Basically it is a Starch molded Whisky liquor set atop a Pecan Gianduja Ganache then hand dipped. The recipe called for nuts and powdered sugar for the Gianduja. I smoked my nuts over hickory then candied them in a smoked paprika, ghost chili pepper and then ground them in my food processor to make my paste. SO needless to say, I have several hours invested in this before I even start on the recipe!! Got my starch molded whisky liquors ready to go but having issues with the Gianduja Ganache and need to figure this out quickly as starch molded liquors must be coated within 48 hours. I made it exactly as the recipe calls except for candying my nuts before processing rather than using powdered sugar. I Measured all my ingredients by scale and slabbed my GORGEOUS Gianduja Ganache and let it rest covered in Plastic wrap overnight. The next day, I coated it with a thin layer of thinned chocolate and then cut in squares. The Ganache was actually stuck to my acetate sheet and would not come off. I chilled it for about half an hour and could then remove them with a thin scrapper but they were very soft and pliable. Laying on the tray they were misshaped and do not look nice. I do not feel I made an error as the ganache appeared to be in a tempered state and I took temp readings along the way ensuring the process. I am wondering if anyone else had tried this recipe and had success/issues? My thoughts are the chocolate to cream ratio might be too low to obtain a firm enough end product? ratio was 350g of chocolate to 290 grams of Cream plus my added hickory smoked praline paste. I am now thinking the ratio might need to be half and half chocolate to cream to get a product firm enough to cut into squares and handle? Needless to say, It was pretty messy so I melted it all down and added some grated chocolate and now in the slabbing process again. On a side note, I am not sure how much total chocolate was re-added because the product had a thin coat of "thinned chocolate" when I melted it down and then I added some additional grated chocolate to that. ANY suggestions or Theory thoughts please. Here is a photo of my lonely whisky liquors. :-(
  13. @pastrygirl we seem to be like minded this coming Easter holiday!
  14. @Jim D. Yes he did use brushes for the pineapple. We haven't had too much trouble with fluidity but I have to laugh because I polish the heck out of the molds which creates static so I do find that the cocoa butter sometimes jumps around inside the eggs when the brush touches the mold to an area I don't intend it or want it to be due to static cling! I have been using two types of colored cocoa butters. Chef Rubber and homemade. The chef rubber products have a great consistency for painting. I store them in glass airbrush jars and remove the lid and microwave them in 20 second intervals. Put the lid on and shake to melt the rest then store in a heating pad while in use. As for the home made, I use either powdered or liquid colors mixed with titanium dioxide. The liquid coloring gives an intense color but obviously makes the coco butter more fluid whereas the powdered colors seem to make the cocoa butter less fluid to the point of paste if you are heavy handed.. I really like the cocoa butters made with liquid coloring rather than store bought best when I intend to spray with it. I think for me it is getting the right brush for the look I am "hoping to achieve" having the right amount of cocoa butter onto the brush and mixing the cocoa butter into the correct transparency/consistency. if it is too fluid then I adjust my recipe or use less to avoid pooling. I also start light then layer another color or same color if necessary to achieve a less transparent appearance. Sometimes I go through a couple of different brushes and other times instead of repainting my layers or switching brushes, I airbrush a sold background color. If I'm not sure how it will turn out, I test on a piece of acetate and then adjust cocoa butter or tools to accommodate. My trade is real estate so my outlet from that is creating unique product for clients, staff & family. I distribute at open house events, holidays, & family get togethers. I plan to license my kitchen (sometime this year) so that I may sell if I opt to but mainly I just love to share with people and enjoy testing and collaborating fun new ideas with others.
  15. Thanks @teonzo for recognizing that! My husband actually designed that one! He is a lover of fresh pineapple and I asked him to assist and begged him to create a pineapple. He resisted at first then in the end he made one for me!!! I love it too.
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