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Douglas K

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    Denver, Colorado and Mayagüez, Puerto Rico

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  1. I would also add the Cocktail Codex by the same folks who did Death and Co.
  2. So, as a former winemaker, I can tell you that malic acid is just another organic acid. If you’re making chocolate, then I can’t see that because the fruit base contained more malic acid, that it would create any flavor issues for you. Malic acid is a less strong tasting acid, so it won’t be cutting through the chocolate as much. In winemaking we’d do malolactic fermentation for two reasons. First for stability in reds, so it happens in barrel or tank rather than in bottle, second mainly for Chardonnays to get the buttery flavor (which I hate) from diacetyl which is a byproduct depending on wh
  3. Haven’t seen the slofoodsgroup website. Looks good. I’ve been buying my Vanilla beans and Saffron from Vanilla Saffron Imports saffron.com. Originally it was because of saffron (which is great, and I am pretty particular about saffron), but they used to offer a chefs quality vanilla beans which were shorter and not as even in length as first quality, but just as good. I used to use more vanilla beans when I did more home brewing, and had a popular vanilla porter. Now it’s just a few beans here and there, and I was also surprised at the price increase after my last large (for me) order ran out.
  4. @curls I will never discourage anyone from doing something like tabling chocolate to temper it. Full bore ahead if you want to learn it. For many of us it is impractical to say the least. I’m definitely a novice, and I have no desire to be a professional, so doing the easiest possible thing for what is possibly the most daunting task in chocolate is what I’m about. Seeding chocolate, especially since I am taking it from the melanger is the simplest most foolproof (me being the fool) method I’ve done. I realize that there is some honor and tradition in learning the old method, but for me if the
  5. I find these issues common with the books. They just don’t edit or proofread these well. Like for example using sorbitol should it be powder or liquid? Same with other ingredients. At least with Wybauw he will say Boiron purée, which is not universal. There’s too much assumption about what the reader knows.
  6. @Chuck Avalon I guess I am going to find out since I just bought a lifetime’s worth (for me) of paper lined foil from Alufoil. I do appreciate you confirming that the plastic sleeves just aren’t right. To my mind they just don’t give the impression of a quality product. I am not a pro, and won’t ever be one (unless it’s on a hobby basis out of Puerto Rico) so the margins aren’t an issue. It’s more how what I make looks. What other suppliers are there out there for foil for bars?
  7. @Jim D. Yes, that’s the actual term! The other possibility from the chemistry world is a stainless steel weighing spatula. Anything with the lab name of course is expensive, but there are possibilities like this: https://www.amazon.com/Scoop-Reagent-Stainless-Sampling-Spatulas/dp/B06ZXW9467/ref=pd_lpo_328_img_2/137-3182723-2384069?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B06ZXW9467&pd_rd_r=a996aaae-194e-4cdd-911a-71c795187296&pd_rd_w=ZW9UN&pd_rd_wg=fUmXN&pf_rd_p=7b36d496-f366-4631-94d3-61b87b52511b&pf_rd_r=55C6PFF0MMKXNBNYD623&psc=1&refRID=55C6PFF0MMKXNBNYD623 I
  8. @Jim D. If you are thinking of metal, perhaps there’s an artists palette knife in stainless steel that might work. Dick Blick or Jerry’s Artarama are good sources online. I also remember from my chemistry days we used a “rubber policeman” which fit on the end of a stirring rod. They were of varying stiffness depending on the material.
  9. In my defense, I don’t think I’ve used the term “silk” for the solid cocoa butter, it just doesn’t seem right to me. If I have, then it was an honest mistake. However, I am making “silk” in the sous vide. I’ve only timed it right once where I could use it right out of the jar for tempering. My original question still remains which is still about slightly too warm of “silk” in what I’ll call a “milk” phase. If I just lower the temperature a bit would it go back to the “silk” phase? I’ll experiment this weekend and see since I have the same cocoa butter, and my notes on the temperatures.
  10. Thanks @GRiker. I should have been more clear. I do exactly what you do with micro planing, and dumping it all in at once. My first batches everything was moving so fast for me that I just didn’t wait long enough for it to melt completely and do its job. I re-tempered that batch with the more traditional lower and raise temperature method, which taught me some patience. I did completely melt the cocoa butter this time and let it solidify. When I let this batch which was over melted, and yet still milky, solidify, it made a nice uniform solid in the jar. Lowering the temperature .4
  11. Funny that this became a thing. 8 years ago I went with my wife to Europe, and we spent a week in Amsterdam so she could learn where my family came from. One day we stopped in a bar/cafe and my wife wanted hot chocolate, and they came out with a hot cup of milk with a solid chocolate on a stick to stir in it. It was great, so I made hot chocolate on a stick for Christmas gifts that year for family, and it was amazingly well received. Fast forward to now, and it’s all about bombs. Go figure. The neat thing with the stick is you made it as strong as you wanted.
  12. So, I don’t have an EZ Temper, but this seemed to be the best place to ask this since it’s the same process. I’m making silk in a sous vide bath. An EZ Temper is out of the question right now for me since I’m not a professional, and will not ever be one. If I were, it would definitely be a high priority item since I like the method of tempering, and the EZ temper way is such an easy way to do it with instant results. My failures with tempering has been not being patient with my stirring in of the grated solid “silk”. I’ll never have a chocolate business, so my emphasis is buying equipment to d
  13. What are people using for a wrap for bars. I’m new to this, and the one business I know that does bean to bar wraps in plastic sleeves, which I don’t want to do. I see foil wraps, and various paper lined wraps. I’m looking at Alufoil foil on 15# tissue. Is this a normal inner wrap for bars?
  14. This weekend I made my largest batch of chocolate so far. 2500 grams. A mix of nibs I had left over from other batches, but the predominant is from Fiji. A 56% milk chocolate which I tweaked my previous recipe on to make it a bit darker. The idea is to use it for shells for bonbons, but man it tastes pretty good on it’s own. I decided to practice decorating the bars for the first time. I’ve not done this before, so I piped some white chocolate I made last weekend into a couple of the molds, and this is the result. Definitely a learning experience because the other mold didn’t turn out so well.
  15. Those are all interesting answers. I realize it was a somewhat generic question, but my specific examples kind of shocked me. @teonzo I worked in California winemaking (winemaking and beer brewing were my formal education), and I am certainly aware of differing tastes between Europe and the USA 😉. A major part of winemaking is having a good idea of what a wine is going to do so you can get it where you want at bottling, so I was curious how chocolatiers looked it. So many different permutations to be aware of! @Jim D. My lavender flowers were freshly purchased from a local and rel
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