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  1. Lucky parents. 🙂 Those look nice!
  2. Wow! Look at the shine and love the colors with the flavors!
  3. Those look great! The lemon sounds especially refreshing! If you have an extra one, will you show what the inside looks like?
  4. I’ve definitely thought of that, though not tried it yet. There is a Mexican drink called agua de jamaica which along with hibiscus flowers has cinnamon. I’ve thought an agua de jamaica bon bons would be delicious. It’s on my list.
  5. I wonder if one of the advantages of the Presto cooker is that the temperature of the pot can be set pretty close to the desired final temp of the caramel. I noticed in chocolots photo that her pot set temp is just under 250. Not sure if she cooks the whole time at that temp, but if so, maybe there would be less carry over heat? I haven’t ever tested the caramel for texture while cooking. Maybe because I’m inexperienced, but it takes much longer than my thermopen, and I can’t see why temperature wouldn’t work just as well. However, there are lots of variables to be sure.
  6. Jim, I'm using Grewelings Soft Caramels from his Chocolates and Confections at home and I have consistently positive results. It's designed to pour into a 9x13 straight sided pan, which I line with parchment for easy release (but now I'm going to try those molds when they arrive.) 4 oz water 1 pound sugar 14 oz sweetened condensed milk 12 oz light corn syrup 6 oz unsalted butter, soft 1 tsp salt (added at the end) 1 vanilla bean (I use a tsp real vanilla at the end of cooking.) All cooked to 245F. Listing it here in case it's helpful since it's worked for me.
  7. I ended up buying the O'Creme mold. Mostly because I could give it a try with minimal cost investment. I'll report here how it goes. I just made caramels Monday and try as I might, I can't get them as uniform as I'd like. I guess I don't quite have the patience required. Then, I went searching for these molds. It is interesting the different styles of the molds, with some having a very thin separator between cavities, and others having a lot more space.
  8. @RobertM, certainly sounds like many years of experience not to disagree! Anyone else using the caramel molds like chocolot is using? They look super handy. I'm kind of obsessive about getting my caramels all the same size. A chef knife and a ruler don't give the accuracy I'm looking for. I've thought about a caramel cutter, but the silicone caramel square molds seem easier than using a caramel cutter. I saw several very inexpensive brands on amazon. I usually subscribe to the "you get what you pay for" so usually don't go for the lowest priced option. I found the following brands that look quality when I did some looking (edited to show price with and without shipping.) O'Creme runs about $0.50 per cavity (free shipping with Prime) Chef Rubber runs about $1.15 per cavity ($1.00/ cavity without shipping) Truffly Made runs about $1.40 per cavity ($1.30/ cavity without shipping) JB Prince runs about $1.50 per cavity ($1.30/ cavity without shipping) Does anyone have real experience using these (or other brands)? Any issues with release? Any thing that surprised you with how they work?
  9. @RobertM Thanks for the reply. Why do you like to use the Presto Kettle instead of just a pan on the stove?
  10. @RobertM @Chocolot What size is your Presto kettle? I see 5,6 and 10 quart. I read that Chocolot doesn’t stir after the initial stirring. Robert, do you stir yours while cooking? if you’re not stirring, it seems one could just set in a probe thermometer then set it when it gets close to temp, make sure it doesn’t go over.
  11. While I think it would be great to have a melter, for hobby chocolates, it's more than I need. I use a set up with a sous vide circulator that takes the place of the holding function of the melter. The set up consists of a medium sized plastic dishpan filled with water. My husband made a custom lexan cover for the dishpan. It's cut so that the handles of the dishpan keep the lexan from moving around too much. I use a Corelle French White bowl to hold the chocolate. The hole cut in the lexan holds the bowl closely so that there is little chance of water vapor getting in the chocolate. There is also a cut out for the immersion circulator to fit The 2.5 quart round bowl holds about 3 pounds of chocolate. The 4 quart oval dish holds about 5 - 6 pounds of chocolate. The 4 quart oval dish works really well for when I am using molds. The molds can be emptied easily over the oval shape. I usually melt the chocolate in the microwave and temper it using silk, then hold it at temperature using the sous vide bath. I could also use another set up to hold more chocolate at temperature for replenishment.
  12. I use Guittard. I haven't tasted lots of different chocolates. Guittard works for me and I haven't had any problem with it. I can get it wholesale at a good price, so that's what I use. As for chips, I'm a fan of their extra-semi sweet Akoma chips, 55%. They recently transitioned to make that an organic product. A different flavor profile, it's still good, but more pricey. I haven't decided if I'll stick with the organic product, or just move to their extra dark/bittersweet chip, 63%. Within Guittard's line for a standard baking chocolate you have a lots of good choices. Their Oro bittersweet, 67%, chunk/ribbon melts nicely. I used to use it more than I do now. It has a kind of earthy taste and have decided I like others better, but I know many who really like it. Their popular French Vanilla Semisweet, 54%, 10 pound bar also comes in wafer form. I don't use it because it is thicker than my favorites below (which I also use for hand dipping chocolates so I like the thinner consistency.) I like their Prestige wafer, 57% and their Onyx wafer, 72%. These are my go-to non-chip and non-couverture chocolates. I'm more a fan of dark than milk and not a big fan of white chocolate. I use their mystic white chocoalte. It works for me. In addition to these wholesale products they do sell retail 12 ounce bags of baking wafers in places like Target, at least in the Bay Area. I think you can get these from places like chocosphere and worldwide and other places online. If you're close to the San Francisco Bay Area, send me a message and I can connect you with a wholesale source.
  13. I use an 5 quart tri-ply tramontina or an 8 quart tri-ply calphalon pan. Seems to work fine. I do stir constantly.
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