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Everything posted by Emily440

  1. @David Ross I think I saw someone on here recommend candylandcrafts.com for the kind of molds I think you mean. I bought the molds from an in person place, but the kind of molds I use are mentioned here:
  2. @jedovaty Your original recipe's proportions were fairly similar to the proportions of the recipe I was referencing from Medrich's book. She used 65g of potato starch in her recipe.
  3. @jedovaty Thanks for the summary and the photos. Great descriptions and experiment. If you have more time at some point, do me a favor and try it with oats/xantham gum/potato starch just for yourself, please. I think the cookies are great even if you do eat gluten, so you can share them with another friend. Buckwheat is good, but it has a pronounced and sometimes overwhelming flavor, whereas the oat is a little more delicate. Also, buckwheat, especially if you grind it yourself, will be grittier than a factory-processed oat flour. FYI, when you use buckwheat, you want to mix it gently (treat it like it has gluten and don't overmix) because it gets gluey fast. Also, for my potato starch suggestion, I was basing my numbers off of your original recipe, sorry if I wasn't clear! Looks like you cut the recipe in half to test, so I would have suggested 32g.
  4. @jedovaty Ok, I read through everything again and have some thoughts for you. Seems like reducing the amount of coconut oil helped a bit with the oily sheen, correct? So the problem now is that they spread a little too much, is that right? I referenced the GF cookbook I use and one of my personal all-time favorite cookbooks ever for help, Flavor Flours by Alice Medrich. Definitely buy it. Anyway here is what I suggest for you: - I can't speak to the mayo suggestion because I haven't done it, but maybe leave off doing that one so as to to affect the results of this test. - Remove the water you added and make it two full eggs (so add an egg white). This will help with the moisture problem and will add strength to your dough. - Remove the white rice flour and substitute oat flour. I personally am not a huge fan of white rice flour in GF baking unless it's thai white rice flour (the thai version is finer) because it doesn't add much in the way of flavor. It's more of a neutral flour. Oat flour is pretty excellent in a lot of things. I think it will absorb more of that fat too. You could grind your own oats, but I prefer buying it because it's finer. Bob's Red Mill works well. - Switch out your starches to potato starch and use 65g. This book specifically references this silky starch working well in choc chip cookies. - Reduce the sugar to 300g overall. Sugar will make cookies spread more and you'll taste the lovely brown rice and oat flours better. - I always add vanilla bean paste (or extract) to choc chip cookies, but that doesn't really matter for the purposes of your experiment anyway. - Combine all the dry ingredients. Melt all of the coconut oil and then mix in the sugars and vanilla while the oil is warm. Whisk in the eggs once it's cooled a bit. Add the dry ingredients and stir briskly for at least 45 seconds. Again, this activates the binding power of the xantham gum - the more you mix, the chewier and less crunchy the cookies will be. Add the chips. - Do your portioning / fridge routine again. - When ready to bake, position an oven rack in the upper third and lower third of the oven. Bake at 375F, switching between the two racks. A higher temp also helps reduce spreading a bit. Of course, smaller cookies will bake faster too, which could help with spreading, but most people like big cookies better! Let me know if you give it a shot, please! Good luck!
  5. @jedovaty It does sound like your proportion of fat is too high in comparison to the starch - the fat absorbs all of the starch and wants to absorb more but there isn't any left. If you don't want to reduce the fat content, have you tried letting the dough age in the fridge for a day or two? That always dries out any dough for me because the flour gets absorbed more. Also, I would definitely try adding or subbing in a wee bit of coconut flour. That stuff sucks up moisture like crazy. I doubt it would take much. I've done a lot of GF baking. FYI on xantham gum - once you add it, you're supposed to beat the crap out of the dough in order to "activate" it. The more you beat it, the chewier the cookies become. Let us know your progress, please!
  6. Has anyone used these color brix in tempered white chocolate before? Curious what your experience was like, if so. Seems like it could save a step of spraying a mold color by coloring the white chocolate used to mold the chocolate instead. https://chefrubber.com/brix/
  7. I'm not sure I can be of much help as others here, but if I were you, I would try to pinpoint when the problem happens first. Do you taste test at every stage: after it's set up, after enrobing, after storage, after transport to the store, just before shipping to customers? I would start implementing that level of quality control and documenting it in a checklist or spreadsheet (people can initial beside a stage and a date). What if it's fine when you ship it, but something is happening in transport? Would be an odd coincidence since it sounds like more than one customer has reported a problem, but I would still want to rule it out and narrow down further each stage. Even if you can't immediately determine the problem, if it is happening because of something you're doing, at least you will catch it before it ships. Maybe do it for six months or some amount of time that you are confident the problem will repeat.
  8. Haha, thanks, @Jim D. I left a message with AUI Friday.
  9. Has anyone tried Cordillera chocolate? My distributor is recommending it, which I take with a grain of salt...
  10. Addictive, right, @Rajala? Have you tried TCHO 70%? Also a great dark chocolate.
  11. @Kerry Beal you're right. She has a pretty focused line based around chewy caramels with different flavor variations. Thank you for the inspection tips, @Jim D. And yes, I'd love to take you up on the offer of me buying chocolates from you. Thank you in advance for the trouble! I'm going to have to check out this Felchlin chocolate. Sorry to hear that you've had to pause the chocolate business for a bit. I'm in Fairfax County too - love to connect if you're open to it, @curls
  12. Thanks again, @pastrygirl Hey @Jim D. Yes, I went on to your website to try and get some chocolates, but Staunton would be too long of a drive, alas! I am making it in my kitchen, but I only got the home occupation permit for VA so far. I'm going to apply for the same license you have, but I try to get all of my ducks in a row (products, costing, packaging, etc.) before I start paying the licensing fees. Actually, maybe you can help me, if you don't mind, please. I've been looking at all of the VA rules and I understand I have to submit the items and recipes. What do you do if you want to add on a product or change a recipe? In DC you had to reapply. So fun. Thank you for the Felchlin rec! I have had one of their flavors before and I loved it! I can't recall which it was, but I found my distributor (IGF) doesn't carry it. Maybe I'll have to check into AUI. Have you tried TCHO, particularly their 54%? Curious what your thoughts are. Oh yes, I appreciate your thoughts on the local competition. I haven't had Fleurir, but I have had Bluprint and another called Chouquette. I hope to squeeze in there too with something a little different. I'm definitely working on some nice packaging - you're right. That's pretty important to compete with these guys.
  13. Thank you again, @pastrygirl I really appreciate all of your wisdom. I live in a VA suburb near DC, but I just moved out of DC about a year ago. When I was in DC, I started a cottage food business to sell chocolates (crazily enough, 1st one ever in DC!), but the DC law was such that I could only sell in farmer's markets or public events (we since worked to change it). Anyway, I quickly learned how idiotic it was to sell anything chocolate in a farmer's market and then started moving to other products such as granola. Then I learned all about the pain of packaging too, haha. Weighing, sealing, bagging, stamping, stickering. Torture. You have to really love making the product to put up with that and I really don't love making granola. The price point can be higher in this area, so I'm fortunate. I did costing in the market and I'll definitely do it in these instances too. Haven't done wholesale, though, so thank you for bringing that up! Around here there are a lot of excellent bean-to-bar chocolate makers and bon bon makers. The tricky part for me will be figuring out where to sell it around here now that I'm not in a farmer's market. For your chocolate bar packaging, do you put the bars in some sort of plastic-y sleeve and then into a box or just into a box? Do you mind telling me where you get your plastic-y sleeves if so, please? I was buying my granola packaging at Uline, but obviously that's not the same.
  14. Thank you, Kerry, I really appreciate it. Thanks, @pastrygirl The chocolates I'm using right now are TCHO and Cacao Barry and tend to lean towards deeper undertones, with caramel notes (probably because that's what I love eating). However, I'm looking at doing fruitier inclusions, so I am looking at chocolates with fruit undertones, such as TCHO 68% Fruity or Cacao Barry Madirofolo. I welcome any thoughts you have.
  15. Hello all - I'm new to the Forum, so thank you in advance for taking time to read this. I tried to find an answer to this on the Forum, but couldn't find it, so sorry if I missed it! I've been working with chocolate for a few years, but wanted to get people's thoughts on chocolate bars with inclusions / flavor infusions. If you are looking to make and possibly sell chocolate bars with infusions such as nuts/fruit, etc., is it bad form to use a single origin / nicer brand of chocolate for the base? Or should you only be doing that if you are making (roasting/conching, etc.) your own chocolate? I'm not looking to repackage another company's chocolate to make a buck, but to add some additional flavors that I think would complement the original single origin / gourmet flavor for a fun spin. For example, I would like to make some dark chocolate bars that have fruit powders added in, but I don't really love the taste of workhorse/cheaper chocolates and would prefer not to use them (for this product, at least). I recognize that you will lose some of the nuance of a single origin bar if you mix stuff into it, but how can you end up with a quality bar of chocolate if you aren't using a chocolate base that you really love to eat on its own? Or is it silly to use one of the more expensive types because you kill the flavor, which defeats the purpose and increases your costs in a way that's not worthwhile? On another note, and please forgive my ignorance as I haven't worked as much with chocolate bars, is there a good rule of thumb for how much of a dry ingredient or a nut paste that you can include in a chocolate bar and still be able to mold it and have it be tempered? Thank you all for any help and your thoughts!
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