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Everything posted by GRiker

  1. I'm afraid I don't have a solution, but have experienced a similar issue. I have used a couple different milk chocolate 10-pound blocks from Guittard. I put chunks in the melter at a higher temperature the night before I want to use them. In the morning the block is completely melted except for little particles that don't want to melt. I've used the same method as you of beating it into submission using my immersion blender - a pain. This only happens with one type of the two blocks that I've used. Interestingly, these particles only appeared when melting the from the factory block. After I blend it and melt it all out, putting the unused tempered chocolate away, I don't have the same issue again when I remelt. At first I thought it was because I wasn't heating the chocolate to a high enough temperature, but my thermometer told me that couldn't really be the case. Since it only happens with new chocolate I suspect my culprit was type VI crystals. With your chocolate only sitting a short time before the remelt, it certainly can't be type VI crystals. Wish I could help!
  2. @Jim D. I would have loved to connect but long story short we were on a very tight timeline to get from Austin to DC and connect with family before they were flying out of DC. We ended up with just over an hour to visit. I knew if I connected that we would miss them all together. I got some push back about even running into town! We might be headed back that direction in a week or so and I’ll reach out if we do. Definitely can see why you don’t make that chocolate chip cookie everyday. We agreed that these are not really for eating but that each one is a tasting experience.
  3. In a hurried drive from Texas to DC, found myself driving along Route 81 and had to run by Cranberry's to pick up some of Jim's chocolates. With seven in our group, my only regret is that I didn't buy more than 2 boxes. We're trying to savor them and not eat them all at once! The assortment we got has some of these same pieces. The dark caramel shards and vanilla buttercream - creme brûlée (what's the difference between vanilla buttercream and vanilla ganache?) were delicious. The raspberry ganache with rosewater had an intense raspberry paired nicely with the dark chocolate, and the chocolate chip cookie was aptly named (what filling did you use with the pecans, chocolate chunks and shortbread bits? It didn't have any air bubbles in it and I wondered how you got it all in there so nicely). We also really liked the texture of the crispy hazelnut ganache. I'm happy to report that Jim's chocolates are very nice to eat in addition to being nice to look at!
  4. @pastrygirlGood to see how it fits. I’ll see what I can find. Thanks.
  5. I've wanted to make peppermint patties for a while but was intimidated since I'd never made fondant before. I'd been looking online for non-fondant based recipes but knew they weren't quite what I was looking for when they dipped their frozen patties into melted chocolate chips! I'm so glad to be able to read old threads. Thank you @Chocolot and @Kerry Beal for the recommendation for Greweling. This week I finally decided to give it a go. I used Grewelings recipe subbing peppermint oil for the fresh mint and omitting the invertase as I don't have any on hand. The whole process was very satisfying and delicious. I don't have a fondant funnel, so I just used a 1/2 T measure. That worked but I had very different sized circles. I'd like to figure out how to make a more uniform circle without acquiring another piece of equipment. Any suggestions? I dipped them in Guittard Onyx 72% which complimented the mint nicely. One of my sons called them "crispy". They are more like a traditional York patty. I am going to get some invertase to try for another option. I'm not too patient, so I'm sure I'll opt for more invertase over less so as to not have to wait so long.
  6. @pastrygirlThank you for the insight. I will make my way to a restaurant supply house with my melter and see if the corner radius fits. Thanks again.
  7. I'm looking for a second pan for my newly acquired melter. tcfsales.com lists the Pan Dimensions: 325 x 265 x 100 mm. A 1/2 size restaurant pan is 325 x 265 and I can get a 4 inch or ~100mm deep. Any reason I shouldn't buy a restaurant pan for $10 instead of the extra pan listed for $55?
  8. Just reading up on the tips and tricks here getting ready to play with my newly acquired 6 kg Mol d'art melter I got on eBay. Looks like the seller has another one to sell as well (click this link to see the listing). The one I got was a little dirty and has a little wear on the cord, but looks in good condition overall. I haven't used it yet, but wanted to post this second melter from eBay since I've been watching for one for a while and they don't come along very often. Bidding ends Wednesday, 7/7/2021
  9. They are item number 606015 https://shop.chefrubber.com/item/606015/Candy-Mould-Square/
  10. Looks like you’re in the Washington Post this morning, Congratulations! 🎊 https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.washingtonpost.com/food/2021/01/31/chocolates-valentines-day/%3foutputType=amp
  11. I’ve used the Chef Rubber molds several times now. They are twice as expensive as the O’Creme molds but soooo much easier to use. Worth it! I bought two of them. One batch of caramel fills about 1 2/3 of the mold. Once I’ve finished cooking the caramel in my Presto pot, I strategically pour the caramel into the molds then quickly scrape the top with my taping knife. It’s super easy and very minimal waste. I had no problems getting the caramel out of the mold. It was so successful I decided to try my almond toffee. I had to cut the almonds in half widthwise so they’d easily fit in the mold, but this also worked out great. The only downside was that I always have a bit of butter that separates out at the end and it’s difficult to wipe out the little bits of butter which then get in my chocolate when I dip them. Still figuring out what to do about that. Overall, I’m very pleased. The uniform size is great and it makes a lovely box! Here’s the O’Creme mold for reference: Not sure what I’m going to do with it now but if anyone can think of a good use for it, it’s yours for the cost of shipping!
  12. Thanks for this recipe. I made them with dark brown sugar as I didn’t have muscavdo. I made my own oat flour in my food processor from rolled oats. I’m a huge chocolate chip fan but kept to the fewer chips as called out in the recipe. I found they had a nice texture and weren’t too sweet.
  13. @curlsThanks! That’s some pretty skilled work. Sometime I’ll have to try it just for fun and hope most of it makes it back in the bowl.
  14. I’ve always wondered...how do you manage to get a puddle of chocolate back into the bowl? I have a plastic chocolate scraper. Is that what you use?
  15. Thanks Robert for this suggestion. I have used it a couple times now. I love how little of my attention it requires!
  16. I have now used the O’Creme mold a couple times now. I like the size and I like how easy it is to push the caramel out of the mold. I don’t like the spaces between the molds. The amazon picture shows someone putting the caramel in a candy funnel with no mess between the squares. I don’t own a candy funnel and not sure I’d have the patience to use it neatly anyway. Instead I pour it into the mold and scrape the mold down with a taping knife. I used 2/3 of my batch and I still had lots of leftover that scraped onto my pan. I decided I wanted to try the Chef Rubber ones since I needed another one anyway. Just purchased it today. Will see how that one works.
  17. This is how I temper with seeding: Once one has melted chocolate (100˚F if starting with well tempered chocolate, if not well tempered in the beginning, 115˚F for dark and 110˚F for milk/white) start adding tempered chocolate (chopped or wafers) to the melted chocolate. Add slowly enough that one completely melts what one adds in. One doesn't want unmelted bits. Add smaller amounts of chocolate as one approaches working temperature. In order for chocolate to seed properly, some of the added solid tempered chocolate must be added below 95˚F. One can also add a large chunk of chocolate which one stirs in and then remove upon reaching working temperature. Stir until chocolate mixture has cooled to 90˚F for dark or 88˚F for milk and cocoa butter white. This can take 10-15 minutes. This is the working temperature. Check temper. If the chocolate doesn't set quickly, try stirring it a bit more then checking again.
  18. Yesterday I did molded chocolates for the first time in months. I polished all my molds the same way but had varying degrees of shine. I remembered gfron1's comments here, the perfect temper has a LOT to do with the shine. The second is the temperature when piping my ingredients. The shiniest pieces were those where I filled some leftover shells with some caramel that I had finished with earlier but decided to pipe into the shells. It was much cooler than my other piped fillings (and thus a pain to pipe.) I think as I learn to be more precise in my tempering and more particular in my filling temperatures that the shine will improve.
  19. Yesterday I spent a fun 10 hours with friend making molded chocolates. Jim D. was right that she was amazed with the whole process and finished product even though I saw many imperfections. We made Notter's Lemon Praline discussed above. I am a fan of citrus with white chocolate so we made a white chocolate ganache instead of milk chocolate. I wasn't using couverture white as I had some older white to use up, so I replaced a bit of the white chocolate with cocoa butter hoping that would help in making the melted ganache more fluid. When the white chocolate had a hard time melting and coming together (often my experience with older white chocolate), I was grateful for having read on this forum that an immersion blender can force the chocolate into submission. It worked beautifully. For the aforementioned lemon puree I used half lemon juice with some pulp and half Perfect Puree Meyer Lemon Concentrate. I did try the concentrate and RWood is totally right. It is very strong and very sour. I tried some plain and puckered for sure. I love lemon flavor though, so I decided to not dilute it. If I only had the PP I would not have used the entire amount as concentrate. I didn’t have an issue with the ganache splitting, but appreciate your hint to add a bit of extra water if I did. One of my children described the resulting ganache as white chocolate lemon curd. It was absolutely delicious! We also made the Salted Caramel Praline. I clearly saw the issue Douglas K talked about. In the Salted Caramel Praline it calls for 3 Tablespoons, 2.47 oz, or 70 grams of unsalted butter. The Lemon Praline calls for 3 tablespoons, 1.2 oz or 35 grams of unsalted butter. I can extrapolate that the metric is correct, but a bit more editing would be nice. I did have a honey ganache in the freezer and when we were finished we still had one tray shelled ready for something. I zapped it in the microwave for a bit and thankfully it came back together with some mixing and we piped it in. I can see how going from frozen to ready to pipe could be a risky proposition. Thanks for your comments and help on my questions. I really appreciate the helpfulness of those on this forum.
  20. Thanks for the tips. I'll keep them in mind as I make these. I will experiment and see how it goes then report back what I did. Do you ever make your fillings ahead of time then heat them to bring them up to pipeable temp (83F)? That way, if I have issues with it I can try again and if it works, I could just save it in the fridge until production day. Wednesday will be my first chocolates of the season - Yay! I'm hosting a friend who wants to learn to make molded chocolates. I'm nervous because I don't consider myself an expert, but reminding myself I know more than she does so it will be fine.
  21. @Jim D.Thank you so much. I knew you would have good insight. I have the same question with the Passion Fruit Pralines that call for passion fruit puree when I have access to passion fruit concentrate, Sounds like the recipe could work with either the puree or the concentrate. I'll have to experiment and see how it goes. Thanks again!
  22. I'm looking to make Notter's Lemon Pralines from The Art of the Chocolatier. He calls for 2/3 cup lemon puree. I looked at the Boiron lemon puree which states its ingredients are lemon and sugar. I don't know it it's whole lemon or lemon juice. I have easy access to Perfect Puree's Meyer Lemon Concentrate. Ingredients are water, meyer lemon juice concentrate and natural lemon flavor. When Notter asks for lemon puree, does he mean with the pulp or do you think my Perfect Puree Lemon Concentrate will work? @Jim D.I know you've made many of these recipes, so tagging you here. Do you have some experience you can share with me?
  23. Totally right @curls, off topic here on that part. Not sure how to move part of a post over...or if needed at this point since I think the discussion is over.
  24. This is how I make mine too. I'm also a very amateur chocolatier but love tempering with silk straight out of the sous vide or from the solid grated with a microplane. I had trouble with my first batch of silk in the sous vide. Kerry gave me the tip to fully melt the cocoa butter then give it a few days to solidify before making the silk. It worked to fix my problem the first time and when I made some more this month, I did the same thing even though I was working with different cocoa butter. Seemed like a good idea to get a clean start especially since I'm new at this. When I just made silk in my sous vide this past month, I started a little lower than I thought I would need, 91.5F, then stirred it at 12 hours. It didn't seem quite right, so increased my temp by 0.5F. My cocoa butter was a mayonnaise consistency around 92F. I know different cocoa butter can behave differently. Sounds like your question is, if the cocoa butter gets too hot during the silk making process, can you just turn down the heat to the appropriate temperature and hold it there for 12 - 24 hours? Good question. It seems to me like it would work if you held it for long enough for the crystals to form properly, but I'm interested to hear what someone with more experience thinks. I have found the best success by using a microplane and grating the amount I need into a seperate bowl and then adding it all at the same time. I add the grated solid silk at 94F. The chocolate loses heat fast as its crystallizing.
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