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Everything posted by MoonChild

  1. I use the same method as @RWood as well. I've seen some of the more well known chocolatiers use transfer sheets mainly for branding purposes. I find it helpful to cap with an acetate or guitar sheet if I ever slightly overfill my molds. It helps to keep the chocolate cap higher than the filling.
  2. @sbain Hello! I wanted to ask how was your experience with the Chocolate Intensive class? There is a class in March that I am thinking about registering for, but it'll be my first time doing anything like this so I'm a bit hesitant and intimidated. I make molded chocolates for my job, but haven't had much formal training and have been figuring things out through online videos and trial and error. My skill level is a concern. What was the general skill level of the others taking the class with you? Also, was there a lot of hands on experience? Solo or group? Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thank you!
  3. @teonzo Thank you for helping me with my caramels. I've used a hand blender and haven't had any separation problems sincethen. Also, the thread you've linked me to helped me to fine tune my caramel filling for bon bons.
  4. UPDATE: Thanks to everyones' helpful advice and tips, I've been able to increase my success rate for most of my molded bon bons. I still have a long way to go, but I'm grateful that I've been pointed in the right direction. For the most part, I was shelling most of my bon bons at too low a temperature as assumed.....I just didn't realize I could go warmer for my chocolate out of fear that I would take it out of temper. I really wish we could get an eztemper for my shop. I'd really like to give it a try and see what a difference it'll make, but it'll take a bit of convincing before I can get my chef to purchase one. I hope my questions don't come off as annoying or irritating.....so far this forum has been a saving grace for me because not many places do chocolate work where I live so my resources for knowledge and experience are very limited. Unfortunately, , I am still running into some issues with a couple of bon bons and I've run out of ideas as to how I can fix my problem. Once again, I hope I can get everyone's help with troubleshooting this. These are my knowns: -Room Temp: 18 degrees Celsius (I found out that I cannot change this) -Humidity: 57-60% at the lowest -Thermometer was properly calibrated prior -Cocoa butter is sprayed onto the molds at 27-30 degrees Celsius -The first picture (gold and brown bon bon) was shelled with tempered Valrhona dark chocolate at 33.5-34 degrees Celsius -The second picture (green and yellow bon bon) was shelled with tempered Valrhona Ivoire white chocolate at 31-31.5 degrees Celsius -I filled the molds a couple of hours after the shells set. -Ganache fillings were 30 degrees Celsius or lower before filling and left to crystalize overnight. My issue, as you can see in the picture, is that I still have a little cocoa butter sticking to the mold in spots and don't get a 100% clean release. I feel like I've gone as warm as I can go with the respective chocolates before I lose temper, so I'm not sure what else I can do. Has anyone else run into this issue or know what else I could try to fix this? Any help is appreciated. Thank you so much!
  5. Thank you for sending me the link. Also, I greatly appreciate everyone taking the time to answer my questions. I definitely do like not having to wipe my probe every time. It also did remind me to think about investing in a higher quality thermometer.
  6. Hello everyone! I would like to ask a couple for questions when using thermometers when temping chocolate and cocoa butters. I have 2 instant read thermometers and 1 IR thermometer gun. I see a lot of chocolatiers seem to prefer IR thermometers through online videos from Savour or Instagram videos or stories. I am a bit new to using an IR thermometer. I've been finding that my finding that my IR thermometer seems to read around 0.5-0.7 degrees higher them my calibrated probe thermometers. 1. Is there a way to test and see if my IR thermometer is giving off an accurate reading? (i.e. Something like testing a probe thermometer in ice or boiling water) 2. I've looked through the instructions and haven't found a way to calibrate the IR thermometer......is it possible? Finally just a general question: What kind of thermometer does everyone her prefer to use when temping chocolate and cocoa butter and why? Thank you for any help or advice~
  7. I have looked over that thread and the main thing that I could gather from it was that I probably didn't whisk the caramels on the left enough? Is that correct? Is there anywhere else I could have gone wrong? Both caramels shown in the picture I posted are the exact same recipe made on the same day, just different batches. Still trying to track down why one came out but the other didn't.
  8. Hello! I just have a quick question. Usually, I've been using an airbrush to color my molds. I've had to increase my production recently so, I purchased a Grizzly mini HVLP spray gun with metal cup. I've read that people usually leave it a warmer so that the cocoa butter doesn't set too quickly while spraying. Still though, on the first couple of times I've tried to use my spray gun, I've been finding that this little filter gets (picture shown) clogged first. I just wanted to ask if everyone that uses a spray gun leaves this on or is it okay just to leave it off? Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thank you!
  9. Hello everyone! Could anyone please help me troubleshoot my soft butter caramels? I made two separate batches and let them sit over night. I cut and wrapped all of them, but the next day I found one of the batches looking like the caramel on the left, leaking butter. Any advice on what could have caused this? Any help is appreciated.
  10. Thank you both for your insight. I kind of get the feeling that everyone's situation solutions are different.......even more after exploring other chocolate threads on these forums. Supposedly, my work has two dehumidifiers for my chocolate room installed in my ceiling. No matter what my work does, they can't get the humidity below 65%. I think I can control my room temperature though......I'll have to look into it. I'll probably test making bon bons in my room at both temps. I feel like it's still a hit or miss for me and I can't get things to come out consistently way or the other. One moment, I feel like I got it and things are looking good and then the next, my cocoa butter sticks. I'm left asking myself...."Wait.....I did everything the same. Why did it work the last time, but not this time?" Everyone here seems to have a lot of experience here. Do you still have batches that are a complete fail or are you at a point now where everything cracks out clean every time?
  11. Hmm......that's really helpful to know. Especially the milk chocolate maximum.......I've definitely been shelling that and white chocolate way too cold then. At 31C for milk and 29C for white. I've kinda been following the temperature guides on the Valrhona bag so far, but it's nice to know I have a little flex and can go warmer. That's kinda interesting. I can raise the temp in my chocolate room, but trying to get the humidity low might be difficult here in Hawaii. I'm curious though........I've always been under the assumption that a colder room is better for working with chocolate. Could you please elaborate on how a cold room can negatively affect my results? Thank you!
  12. Hi Kerry! May I ask what you feel is the ideal temperature range and/or maximum temperature you work with for each dark, milk, and white chocolates? (Without the use of eztemper. Unfortunately, I'm don't have it available at my work for now)
  13. Hello everyone! I've been having a similar problem as @SweetandSnappyJen. I made 10 molds of these bon bons. Four of the molds came out (or well, didn't come out) like the first picture. The other six molds came out great like the second picture. 1) Molds were polished with alcohol and then once again with dry cotton rounds. 2) Cocoa butter colors were tempered and sprayed at 30C and allowed time to set properly. 3) Room temp was 17-18C. Humidity was 65% constantly. 4) My dark chocolate was tempered properly and tested. My shelling/working temp was 32-34C. I suspect this is where I went wrong . The molds that didn't come out were shelled first closer to 32C. I felt my chocolate was getting a little think and cold so I heated it closer to 34C with a heat gun and then proceeded to shell the other 6 molds what came out fine. 5) The temperature of my ganache was around 30-31C when I filled them and left to crystalize overnight. 6) I capped them the next day and put them in the refrigerator for 15 mins and then took them out at come to room temp before unmolding them. I'm guessing that the reason cocoa butter has been sticking to my molds is because my tempered chocolate is too cold when I am making the shells and that the cocoa butter isn't able to adhere to the chocolate. Can someone confirm this? My next question would be.......For dark, milk, and white chocolates each(I mainly use Valrhona if that helps) what is the ideal working temperatures to be making the shells for molded bon bons? I'm always worried about too cold and cocoa butter will stick to the mold.....too hot and I'll be out of temper. Any help or advice is appreciated. Thank you!
  14. Hello everyone! I was wondering if someone could give me a link to a thread where I could put my bon bon questions and troubleshooting. I tried using the search engine, but only found forums with beautiful bon bon discussion. I have questions from the other side of the spectrum, like where things don't turn out right. If there isn't a place for it, should I just post my questions here? Thank you!
  15. Hi Kerry, I've been able to try out some of the tips you gave me. It's still a work in progress for me but, I'm definitely seeing improvements in my product. It's a step in the right direction and I'll post a pic when I'm finally able to achieve what I'm looking for~
  16. Hello Kerry! Thank you again for taking the time to answer all of my questions and sharing your knowledge. I'm actually polishing some dragees at work today and I'm very excited to give all of your tips a try! When applying the shellac, about how long do you run it with air to flash off the ETOH? Is this something that takes 5-10 minutes or am I looking at running it for an hour to get it completely dry? I guess what I'm asking is, how can you tell when the dragees are done after applying the shellac? Am I supposed to get them completely dry or is slightly tacky okay?
  17. @Kim Shook Thank you very much for the warm welcome. I look forward to learning and sharing my experiences with this community~
  18. @Kerry Beal Thank you very much for your response. I have so many questions. To be honest, I don't really understand what the purpose of the pre-glaze is nor why it's added in stages. 1) What rotation speed (0-100%) should I run the panning machine? 2) Is dry air at 17-18 degrees Celsius the best? I've seen other procedures/ online videos from people like Kriss Harvey and Kirsten Tibballs who apply and dry the pre-glaze and shellac with cold air. Around 9-12 degrees celsius. I've tried that, but seen no difference in my results. 3) I notice that once I add the shellac at the end, I get the shine I'm looking for. However, as I tumble and dry it, it loses it's shine the longer I run it in the panner.
  19. @ElsieD Thank you for the reply and information. Kerry Beal has already responded to one of my other posts. I have so many questions......I'm afraid to ask everything at once though.
  20. @Darienne I'm in Honolulu. Yes, I was born in June........that's kinda scary that you guessed that. Do we know each other?
  21. Hello everyone! This is my first post in this forum. I'm hoping to find some nice people who can help me troubleshoot my dragee problems. Nice to meet you all! So here I go....... In this picture , I have 3 dragees I've made using a commercial panning machine. The gold and the blue ones are dark chocolate centers and the yellow one on the right is a passion fruit chocolate center. My chef wants me to use luster dust, gold, blue, and yellow respectively, before I apply the pre-glaze and shellac. I am using Capol products. Here is the procedure I was instructed to follow: 1) Spray plain melted cocoa butter onto centers (so the luster dust can adhere I assume) 2) Add luster dust while tumbling 3) Spray another layer of plain cocoa butter (my chef says to lock in the dust) 4) Let set for 30 mins Polishing: 1) Apply 0.3% total weight in Capol pre-glaze while tumbling. Continue to tumble until dry with dry air blowing (17-18 degrees Celsius) 2) Once dry, apply 0.2% total weight in Capol pre-glaze while tumbling. Continue to tumble until dry with dry air blowing (17-18 degrees Celsius) 3) Once dry, apply 0.1% total weight in Capol pre-glaze while tumbling. Continue to tumble until dry with dry air blowing (17-18 degrees Celsius) 4) Once dry, apply 0.2% total weight in Capol Shellac while tumbling. Continue to tumble until dry with dry air blowing (17-18 degrees Celsius) The humidity in my room is 65% at around 18 degrees Celsius. Here is my question: Why do gold (left) and blue (middle) dragees not look as shiny and the yellow one on the left? I am assuming that all of the tumbling during the polishing and drying process is pounding the luster dust into the chocolate and giving it a duller look. My chef is persistent that he wants to use luster dust and I can't change that. How can I apply the luster dust, pre-glaze, and shellac in order to attain the glossy dragees I always see professionals make on Instagram? Any help is appreciated. Thank you for your time.
  22. Hello everyone! I am a novice chocolatier for a hotel in Hawaii. I've only been making bon bons and dragees for about 3 years during my free time. As you can probably assume.....making chocolates in Hawaii is quite a challenge with the heat and humidity. I haven't attended any classes and mostly learn from what limited experience my chef has, trial and error, and online videos from youTube and Instagram. I've come to these forums in hopes that I can get some professional advice and help in troubleshooting many of the challenges I've encountered. Nice to meet you all!
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