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The other Sven

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  1. As I was saying, whoever helped him package this book really did him no favors, but he is a really amazing cook. Don't know what sorta food you like to cook, but here are 2 links to recipes of his that are absolutely worth trying: Chicken, Egg, and Kimchee Rice Bowl https://www.runnersworld.com/video/a20848059/the-perfect-runners-lunch/ Curry-Spiced Cod with Bitter Greens and Potatoes https://www.runnersworld.com/nutrition-weight-loss/a20807567/recipe-curry-spiced-cod-bitter-greens-and-potatoes/ I hope you give at least one of them a try.
  2. Ok, getting one 2021 cookbook in just before it's too late. The most anticipated cookbook for me this year was Gregory Gourdet's Everyone's Table: Global Recipes for Modern Health (eG-friendly Amazon.com link) Not a great title, and I doubt that the short description will make this a bestseller: BUT, he is a really innovative, inspired chef and the recipes I have made from the book so far were great and ended up immediately added to the repertoire. The Spicy Sautéed Shrimp with Cashew and Pineapple check all the right boxes. I am very happy I bought it.
  3. Ok, that makes sense. The container it was stored in is allegedly airtight, but I don't think it's 100%. And as I said, the cocoa butter helped, but I guess we could have tried adding more. I really like the flavor of the Zephyr and didn't want to go crazy...but then again, it was going to be used for peppermint bark...so it probably wouldn't have mattered. 😉 Thanks for the quick response, Doc. Mystery solved.
  4. Ok, first time sharing some of my baking efforts. I made the Almond Cake with the poached pears from Mark Bitman's NYT recipe. (ok, I just checked and Bitman actually credits Molly Wizenberg from the food blog Orangette for the cake recipe) I really love that cake. It uses finely ground almonds, a lemon and an orange (boiled and processed to a paste) and a good amount of olive oil. Of course the port reduction you poach the pears in doesn't hurt.
  5. We came across an issue with white chocolate not melting properly and I am wondering if anyone knows why this might be happening. We had some older (2+ years) white chocolate (Cacao Barry Zephyr), that was at least a year past its use by date. So we were going to use it to make some peppermint bark - but it just refused to melt properly. We eventually tried adding some cocoa butter, which helped, but not enough. I am attaching some pictures. We are pretty certain that it has to do with the age of the chocolate, because using a fresh batch of Zephyr worked just fine (though I'd hate to waste that on peppermint bark - sorry, not a fan). Again, mostly curious about what changes in the chocolate that keeps it from melting. Thanks, and Happy Holidays.
  6. Not really...you could absolutely make it as wide as our slabs. The reason I didn't do it was because I had no idea if this would actually work and the blades are the most expensive parts. Right now it's about half the size of our slabs, which works out quite well. The beauty is that I could order a longer rod (the part# is actually for a longer rod which I did cut) and some additional blades and I could make it wider.
  7. To cut the caramel sheets for our chocolate enrobed caramels we were using one of those expanding 5 wheel pastry cutters to mark the sheet into squares. I was never happy with it - it was awkward to set up every time and not really all that precise. I was looking at one of those rolling caramel cutters from Tomric or Dedy...which are a bit pricey for what they are. Luckily I came across a post on the archived Chocolate Life board about how to make one yourself (https://archive.thechocolatelife.com/community/forums/tech-help-tips-tricks-techniques/12511/caramel-roller-cutter) and decided to give it a go. It worked like a charm (for the most part) and I thought I'd share the results with you: I'll list the sources for all the parts below (mostly copied from the original post). One caveat is that the opening in the center of the pizza cutters is now a little smaller than the required 3/4" and they won't fit on the 3/4" rod. It's just a tiny bit off and used a drill press to open up the holes, which was really very easy. I tried it today for the first time and am very happy with how it works. No set-up time and very even spacing (depending on your needs you can use differently sized nylon spacers - just keep in mind that the hubs of the pizza cutters add about 3/16") Here's the parts list: American Metalcraft PCW4 4" Stainless Steel Pizza Cutter https://www.webstaurantstore.com/american-metalcraft-pcw4-4-stainless-steel-pizza-cutter-replacement-blade/69332864.html All the other parts are from McMaster-Carr ( http://www.mcmaster.com ). Just put the part number in the search box: stainless steel threaded rod (93250A460) nylon unthreaded spacers (94639A212) (order whatever size you need) tapered handle with threaded insert (57455K64) (you'll need 2...they don't come as a pair) stainless steel hex nuts (92673A125) That's it. Cost me about $100 (much of it for shipping). Let me know if you have any questions. I just didn't want this to get lost in case the Chocolate Life Archive ever disappears.
  8. Thank you. Looking forward to spending time with you all.
  9. Great. Thank you very much. We'll check it out.
  10. Thank you for clarifying, and good to hear about your experience with the chocolate staying in temper. For now we are planning to stick with enrobing, but great pointer about shelling. And yes, we also have an EZ Temper, which we love and which I also described in my initial post as "magical" 🪄❤️. I'll have my partner look into the Facebook group (I am not on it). Does that group have a specific name? Thanks again
  11. Hi Willow, Thank you for your detailed comments. This is so helpful. Electricity. I didn't realize that there were machines that run on 110v. That is very interesting. We will have to take a closer look at the Perfect. Just to make sure that I am looking at the right machine...you have the Perfect Temper Enrober from Perfect Choco? (https://perfectchoco.com/en/produits/perfect-temper-enrober-12/) Or is it one of their wheel machines? (https://perfectchoco.com/en/produits/mini-wheel-enrober/)? How good are the Dedy and the Perfect keeping chocolate in temper? That is sorta one of my big concerns, that we run a big batch and somewhere in the middle the chocolate falls out of temper and we've wasted a lot of product. So jealous that you found 2 used machines...we've looked, but they seem to go fast. We'll keep on looking... Thanks again.
  12. Hi Ruth, Thank you for your response. Electricity is a good point. We know we need a one-phase machine for now, which all 3 supposedly are (or can be). Currently we are starting as a home kitchen, which is a possibility here in CA, but before we have our own commercial kitchen, we'll probably be looking at a shared commercial kitchen space (there are some options around here). So we can't count on a specific type of commercial electrical set-up. Sorry to hear that the Perfect enrober is far from perfect...maybe they can change it to "Almost Perfect". 😉 But I appreciate your point that a not quite perfect machine can still be a good choice. I'd love to hear what Willow has to say about the Dedy. PS: FYI, I clicked on the link in your signature, and even though the URL is to the correct site (which looks very yummy), the link is to http://www.sweetchocolot.com/ which is probably outdated as it says that "This site can't be reached".
  13. My partner and I are looking for an enrobing/tempering machine recommendation. We have recently started a business selling chocolate covered caramels in California, and it's becoming very apparent that hand enrobing won't be feasible for much longer. As a new business we can't spent a fortune, but we also don't want to buy a machine that we will outgrow too quickly (so no Chocovision enrober). Looking at a lot of machines, and wishing we could afford a Selmi Plus and their R200), we have focused on 3 machines and I would love to hear your educated thoughts about them. They represent different price points and I will list them in order of cost. There are a few thousand dollars between them. Dedy Mini-Enrobing machine: Has no automatic tempering. Uses a wheel. 120mm belt. 15kg capacity. Is German (as am I 😉 ). Small and portable. https://www.dedy.de/en/product-category/coat-and-pour/ Chocolate World CW12, plus CW12 Enrobing Line: Automatic temper. 180mm belt. 12kg capacity. https://www.chocolateworld.be/winkel/machines/tempering/M1200 https://www.chocolateworld.be/winkel/machines/enrobing/M1200A Chocolate World CW24 Delight, plus M1300 Enrobing Line. Automatic temper. 200mm belt. 24kg capacity. https://www.chocolateworld.be/winkel/machines/tempering/M1250 https://www.chocolateworld.be/winkel/machines/enrobing/M1300A There's obviously more to these machines than my short description, hence the links. I think the CW24 has more capacity than we will need for a while and am a little concerned that it's the "economy" version of the regular CW24, so probably not as well built. My partner, who actually makes the caramel, tempers the chocolate, etc., is concerned that the Dedy does NOT have automatic tempering. She has no problem tempering chocolate, either using our EZ Temper (what a magical device) or via the seed method. Currently the issue is rather to keep the chocolate in temper while had dipping. That said, here are some of my questions: How much of a real issue is automatic vs. hand tempering? Any concerns about keeping the chocolate in temper with these machines? Is it really worth stepping up to the more expensive models? I'd love to hear your thoughts, especially if anyone uses these machines...and of course feel free to let me know if there is another machine in this price range you think we should be looking at. Thank you for any input you have.
  14. Please allow me to introduce myself, I'm a man of wealth and taste....oh wait, wrong song. 😉 For real, very happy to have found this forum. So much knowledge and so many quality posts. I can't wait to get involved. My partner and I have started a fledgling chocolate confections business recently, focusing on gourmet chocolate covered caramels. I know we're just at the beginning of this journey, though it feels like it took a long time to get here. Initial reactions have been great...who doesn't like sweets...and there is a good chance that we'll have to stop enrobing by hand soon (can't be soon enough if you ask me). Every day brings new questions, which is half the fun, though I hope that we will be able to benefit from the collective knowledge at this forum. I'll start a real (question) topic soon, but in the meantime, hello from California.
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