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  1. You're right that I didn't get the polish I was looking for, certainly not the kind of polish I've been seeing around here! To recap, one suggestion is that I use the cotton balls over cosmetic pads. Melissa uses one cotton ball per cavity. You use two per three (only slightly less frugal I'll note! 😉). When I polished mine tonight, using one cosmetic pad per row (3 cavities), I couldn't believe how many I had for the trash can when I was finished. Then with those cotton balls, polish few cavities per ball - as few as my frugality will let me! After that, you polish with a very clean, dry microfiber cloth - no alcohol? Have you tried the Costco Microfiber cloths? https://www.costco.com/kirkland-signature-ultra-plush-microfiber-towel%2C-yellow%2C-16-in-x-16-in%2C-36-count.product.100356999.html How/Where do you store your molds until you use them? You polish them well ahead of using them right? As for the alcohol vs. vodka. Are you using 91% or 70% isopropyl, IPA? I guess I wonder what that other % is and is it food safe... I did think last week that maybe I'd give it a try, but alas no IPA to be found anywhere. Sounds like you don't have any concerns about that... Thanks so much for the input. I really appreciate your suggestions.
  2. Not for that reason - no. Some of those posted bonbons did have a few little droplets on the bottom after a while. If it's not because I didn't heat them before I sealed them, I wonder why? too full before sealing?
  3. I'll definitely work on getting the ganache thinner, perhaps with a milk or white ganache and piping it while quite thin - working faster before it crystallizes. Also using some of those methods to thin the PdF. Thanks for those suggestions. @Pastrypastmidnight Would you mind sharing what's on the bottom of the bonbon you posted? And marshmellow - I definitely want to try marshmallow!
  4. My husband usually takes my practice pieces to his work, but alas now he's working from home. This might be my opportunity to try to freezing techniques!
  5. For sure! And if it's two bite bonbon, it doesn't keep its shape anyway. I'll try that next time. Thanks. Thanks. Would you be concerned about the air bubbles that you see?
  6. So you don't find that more liquid fillings leak?
  7. These sounds like good ideas too. I'm going to put them on my list of things to try. Thanks!
  8. Today I didn't feel like juicing my own oranges, and I didn't have any juice on hand, so I used Perfect Puree Corazon concentrate (blood orange, pomegranate and passion fruit). I used 165g and reduced it to 100 - 110 grams. The resulting ganache was thicker than when I used the orange juice. It didn't self level as before. Really since concentrate is already reduced, I probably should have just used 100 - 110 grams of the concentrate and boiled it with the cream without reducing it.
  9. I working on this today after some study on the PdF board and acquiring the pectin and sorbitol. I used 1/4 of your recipe here: I found that the result was thin enough to pipe and flowed much better so that I didn't feel like I was trapping so much air between the raspberry and the shell - my last attempts definitely trapped lots of air. When I cut them open, I see there was still at least one spot where things didn't flow as nicely. I did still have the issue with little peaks after piping it into the shell with a piping bag. I ended up squishing them down with a cornstarch covered finger but that was time consuming. If I'm still getting the peaks and it's not quite as flowing as I like, does that mean I might need to add a bit more water, or maybe just improve my piping techniques? I decided to use the Perfect Puree as if it were a completely pure puree. Doing some poking around the forums, it sounds like the ingredients added are simply to ensure a uniform product even when the fruit is varying with the season/harvest etc. The taste is nice. Not too sweet. Thank you for the pointers and suggestions.
  10. I realize this is an older thread, but in preparation for actually working with chocolate today, I've been doing a lot of reading and read through this whole thread as well as some others. Thank you to all here who asked and answered questions. I had good success today on take 3 or 4 of doing molded chocolates thanks to what I learned here. I have some dome polycarbonate Chocolate World molds. This is what I did after gleaning from all the shared knowledge here. When I got the used molds, I washed them in hot soapy water in my sink. The next times I used them, I've just rinsed them using hot water, at the end of today's batch, I heated them up and rubbed off the excess chocolate with a soft towel. I think heating and wiping off is the process I will follow as long as things don't get too messy. After I polish them, I will store them face down in a box in an attempt to not get dust on them until I am ready to use them again. I polished my molds using vodka and some cotton make up removal pads. In previous attempts I polished with a clean soft cotton cloth, but found that the next time I used them I got little spots on the chocolates. I also understand some use 91% isopropyl, but went with the vodka option. I tempered my chocolate using some silk trying to keep the chocolate as hot as possible while still staying in temper. I don't have A/C, but it was a moderate day in the Bay Area, so the house about 68- 70. I set my bowl of chocolate over a water bath kept at temperature with a sous vide and an acrylic top to keep the water and its vapor out of the chocolate. I did not warm my molds before filling. I had 4 molds to fill. I filled them each with a small metal ladle. As experience and reading here has taught me, I tried to use as little chocolate as possible to completely fill so that I didn't have so much to wipe off. I tapped my filled mold on the counter and also tapped on the sides of the mold with my taping knife to get the bubbles up through the chocolates to the surface. I am not using the ideal chocolate for molding, but it's what I have and since I have quite a bit of it, I will use it up then get the proper couverture. I also hand dip chocolates and the chocolate I have works well for that, not as well for molding. I filled one mold at a time. Once I had tapped out the bubbles, I scraped across the top with my newly acquired stainless steel taping knife from Home Depot. This knife worked better than the dough pastry scraper I had been using. I held the knife at between 45 and 80 degrees or so and tried to take off as much as possible in one pass. I scraped off the sides carefully as the knife is pretty sharp and it wasn't as easy to scrape smoothly in that direction. I did one more pass with the knife across the top to make sure it was clean. I varied how long I let the chocolate sit in the molds. The shortest was about a minute, just waiting and then dumping it back into my chocolate bowl. Longest was to set it down, fill the next one then empty the first into the bowl. The ones that sit longer had a tendency to have a harder time emptying and left a lip of sorts close to the edge. Once I also turned one mold over and set the mold corners on the edges of a jelly roll pan to let it drain. That left a lip too. After the shells were emptied, I again scraped the top with my taping knife. They scraped clean nicely. Once the shells exhibited the matte finish that shows they are beginning to crystallize, I put each tray into my household fridge, at 43F, 6C - I know it's a bit cold but it's what I've got! I left them for about 15 - 30 minutes or until I could see that all or most of the shells had released. This is the first time I put my shells into the fridge. On this forum several of you said this is what you do. In addition, the recommendation came from Michael at Michael's Chocolates in SF whom I met the the Chocolate Craft Experience and who was generous with his time and help. While the shells came back to room temp, I made my fillings, a raspberry pate de fruit of sorts and a Corazon ganache (blood orange, pomegranate and passion fruit.) I filled my shells when the filling was about 85 - 88F. My first layer in was raspberry, then the ganache. I tempered my ganache using silk but couldn't remember how long people had waiting before capping. I knew that you can cap sooner if the ganache is tempered, just couldn't remember how long. I decided to wait about an hour. The ganache had clearly begun to set so I decided it was good enough. To cap, I sparingly covered the ganache with tempered warm chocolate (I know I should have warmed the shells first with my hair dryer, but I forgot - next time!). I tapped on the molds as before to help get rid of air bubbles, then scraped off with the taping knife. I tried to minimize the number of passes as the bottoms actually seem to get worse with more passes. Usually no more than two passes. If I had a hole in the bottom, I used my spatula to put a small dollop of chocolate on it. I read about using acetate sheets for nice shiny bottoms, but I didn't have any, though I do have some sheet protectors like @Jim D. used, decided against using them for now. Once the bottoms started to crystallize, just a couple minutes later, I popped them in the fridge for 15 minutes or so. I let them come up to temperature for 30 minutes or so, then demolded them onto a jelly roll pan. Indeed, hearing them all fall out onto the pan was music to my ears as in the past lots of banging and even freezing was required to coax them out. If you bang too hard on your molds, they will crack! This time all four trays came out pretty cleanly. I did need to do a gentle tap a couple times, but not more than I think is expected. The chocolates are not perfect, I see some lines across the tops of a few of them and they're not as shiny as I wish they were, but my best so far. I also have some that are leaking, but not surprising as I forgot to heat the shells before capping. Thanks again for all the questions and answers posted here. I was reminded today about the quote I saw here "if it were easy, anyone could do it." It's not easy but it sure it fun and satisfying when it works.
  11. I saw this on the silk that I made too. I had been talking with a local chocolatier about why I might be having mold release issues. She suggested it was likely my temper - or lack thereof. When I tested my temper, it looked pretty good, but I wondered if my lumpy silk wasn't giving me as good a temper as I might need. So, I used the suggestion to completely melt out the cocoa butter, let it solidify at room temperature and remelt to silk. Once I did that I got a more mayonnaise like consistency talked about here. At 92.5F, 33.6C, it was a bit thinner than mayonnaise, but a nice smooth consistency. I used it today and it seemed to work well.
  12. Yes! Did see him at the Craft Chocolate Experience and the nice looking cocoa pod molds. Despite the health considerations, I think there was a descent turn out. My husband and I really enjoyed it.
  13. Everytime I read about the workshop, I wish I could come! This year is out for me, but can someone answer some questions for me? Seems like the location of the workshop changes as I’ve seen postings from years past from different areas. Is there some kind is schedule? When are the dates decided for the next year? Generally what is the cost to attend? I think I saw somewhere that there is a basic fee then an additional masters class fee for those who want to participate in that. I’m doing a lot of reading and learning from the forum - its so helpful. I’m in a stage where I don’t have lots of time to actually experiment but I’m moving along slowly but surely. I’d love to add a future workshop to my plans.
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