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Everything posted by cc.canuck

  1. I have just done a trial run of posting some of the chocolate biscuits I am planning on selling to myself. Each biscuit was in its own tight-fitting sealed bag and the postal box they were in was padded out with shredded paper. Overall the trial was a success as the biscuits do not seem to have moved around too much. However, I spray (as in flick from a toothbrush not with a spray gun) the biscuits with coloured cocoa butter and there was a transfer of this onto the inside of the bags. Not so much that the look of the biscuits themselves was diminished but enough that the end product wasn't particularly professional looking. I am wondering if at least part of the issue is that I am using biodegradable bags rather than plastic. I am going to do another trial with foil wrapping the biscuits but am interested to hear if anyone else has had any similar experiences with cocoa butter coming off on their packaging. Sorry this post was so long 😂
  2. Nothing helpful to contribute here. I just wanted to congratulate you on your incredibly compelling topic title.
  3. I've treated myself to one of these after admitting my caramel cutting is not quite as perfect as I'd imagined! Kerry, is it easy to add a layer of chocolate on top of your caramel to help with dipping with this contraption would you say?
  4. I haven't been heating my bar moulds and they have been releasing relatively fine. I tend to always have release marks but think I need to just accept that they will always happen for me
  5. Now that the actual products are sorted those are my summer jobs! The bars will probably go into tight fitting bags, dipped items like toffee and caramels in loose bags (though a bit concerned about marking during transport with that), and then biscuits will have to be a box though I'm not yet sure what's going to go in with them to keep them from moving around and marking each other. Even though I'll be using biodegradable bags I don't particularly want to individually wrap all of the biscuits (planning on selling boxes of 6 and 12).
  6. I'm a stay at home mum to a toddler (and part-time CrossFit trainer - odd combo with chocolate making I know but it's a good balance health-wise!) at the moment so my grand plan is part-time for now to build up my skills and experience and then hopefully increase to something more substantial. I want to offer chocolate bars (in trios), dipped caramels, and dipped biscuits and my thinking to start is to have rotating stock each month to help make production more manageable. I feel like I'll be fine with the marketing side of things and am more worried about the logistics of production. Certainly a lot of different skills to gain through this! Very grateful to have this forum as a resource.
  7. Picking this thread back up as I've finally been organised (and restrained) enough to make, dip, store, and test some caramels to see how they fare over time. The idea was to test at 4 weeks, 6 weeks, etc but by 4 weeks the caramels had already crystallised. Any idea what could have gone wrong there? I made the caramels, cut them the next day, and then dipped them the day after that, which I'm sure wasn't ideal.
  8. That makes sense! I'm looking to do bars with inclusions (fruit and nuts, biscuits, toffee) so their shelf-life won't be quite that long but I guess the longer a shelf-life you can achieve the more wiggle room you have.
  9. I'm in the very early days of selling chocolate products online and am trying to figure out what should come first - the orders or the products? Do you wait for orders to come in and then make enough bars, bonbons, dipped caramels, etc to fulfill them or do you make a set number of all of your products and then accept orders until you run out and then restock? Apologies if that's an incredibly silly question. Like I said - early days!
  10. I live in the UK at the moment so this is more of a general interest query than a pressing concern but how hot would it have to be in your kitchen for you to throw your hands up and say chocolate work is not going to work? I've noticed a few posters from hot countries here.
  11. Brilliant, thank you for that 😁
  12. It takes me so much longer than this - I'm wondering if that's a part of my results being so hit and miss. What kind of bowl are you using and are you placing it on top of a bowl filled with ice to cool it down? I'm using glass and just sitting it onto a cloth.
  13. I keep making new threads for my troubleshooting but will just pop my many many problems on here even though I'm doing bars not bonbons. I've had a couple inclusion bars give me this result where there are beads of liquid on the surface after unmoulding. This bar is filled with biscuit pieces and was left to cool at room temperature for 15 minutes, put in the fridge for another 15, and then left overnight to finish up. A previous bar had apricot in it and was put back in the fridge after it had already started releasing, both of which I had assumed were the reason for the liquid, but none of that is applicable to this bar. As a side not for reasons I absolutely do not understand the temper didn't work here so they didn't release particularly well and are a bit swirly (chocolate failures are going to be the death of me). Any guidance would be greatly appreciated. I feel my results are just so darn inconsistent at the moment...
  14. Yes absolutely! I'm washing my moulds less frequently and simply giving them a good old polish in between uses, which has definitely helped. It's such a joyful thing checking in on bars and seeing that they have completely released. Very satisfying.
  15. Just posting to say that a wire rack had made all the difference to my bars releasing! Thank you for the tips.
  16. Reviving this thread as I'm also trying to refine my process with moulded bars. I am going to start putting my moulds on a wire rack when I put them in the fridge but, if this doesn't completely solve the issue of release marks that I have, would it be worth popping a tiny handheld fan in there with them? Gosh, my husband is definitely going to be driven crazy by my adventures in chocolate making!
  17. Do you dry using a hair dryer or similar? I'm going to start doing that as I had previously been leaving them to air dry
  18. New release issues now but thought I'd open this back up rather than starting a new thread. A couple of my white chocolate bars have sections like this where bits of chocolate got stuck and I'm really at a loss as to why. I've stopped heating up my moulds because I now have the strip of cocoa butter. I also wonder if I need to refine my cleaning process, or maybe stop cleaning so often (normally after every use).
  19. An update on this in case someone else finds themselves in this same very specific situation: peanut brittle was the answer!
  20. Hoping more experienced confectioners can help me to think of an English toffee-type confection to go into a white chocolate bar for a crunch line I'm working on. I've tried English toffee, treacle toffee (the skipping stones from Greweling), and honeycomb and they've all just been far too sweet. I was going to try a peanut brittle inclusion next or perhaps Greweling's buttercrunch but thought I would seek some guidance first.
  21. Made another batch, putting more chocolate in to coat the mould, and had no release problems at all. Thank you for your spot on guidance!
  22. That point about thickness may have something to do with it. I should have said this in the original post but what I did for these bars was basically line the mould with a thin layer of chocolate, place my inclusions on top, and then pour on the remaining chocolate. I was already planning on pouring in more chocolate to line the bars in future because the system didn't work perfectly. Perhaps that process is the culprit.
  23. Yesterday I made two solid milk chocolate bars with inclusions (squares of caramel and bits of shortbread). Like I usually do, after filling the moulds I let them sit out for 15 minutes, then popped them in the fridge for 15 minutes more, then left them to continue setting at room temperature. I couldn't tell you how long it normally takes bars like these to fully release for me but when I checked these bars over 12 hours later they still hadn't fully released, which has never happened before. My question is were these bars likely doomed from the start or is there something I could have done in the cooling process to help them to fully release? They were incredibly full of inclusions, which maybe could have been a factor, or maybe the tempering wasn't quite right. Hoping an expert here can shed some light!
  24. I'll be brave and give them a go, then.
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