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Found 1,123 results

  1. I have been playing with chocolate a lot these days; while I have no particular issues with tempering itself or any other techniques, I never seem to be able to get dipped candies right. The melted chocolate seems to harden too quickly to get anything done properly, and is really difficult to maintain at a safe working temperature without a fancy tempering machine or some sort of warmer. This problem is even worse when the filling I'm using is cold(things like relatively soft caramel/nougat/ganache .etc that are easier to handle when chilled)- the job quickly gets rather frustrating and I often find myself resorting to candy coating then feeling terrible about my culinary skills afterwards. Does anyone else making chocolates at home experience this, or is there something I'm doing wrong?
  2. Hi all! I had a question... Could I use 100% chocolate to create a chocolate bar (or chips) with my own desired sugar level? And could I use a different sweetener like for example honey? Thanks!
  3. Hi all, wondering if anyone has experience with keeping hot chocolate hot for several hours? I've been vending at a couple of outdoor markets this summer and since it has been quite warm chocolate sales have been slow. I'm looking forward to cooler weather and also debating whether I want to add hot chocolate to my offerings. There are a few year-round outdoor markets, and I know of one person who does hot cider and a hot ginger drink but no hot chocolate drinks. I would either have to heat the batch at the kitchen and keep it hot for 8 hours, or sort through additional regulations and permits in order to heat it up onsite. I would rather not have to buy too much extra equipment beyond beverage dispensers and cups, but would consider a gas stove if that was a better way to keep things hot. Winter in Seattle can be soggy and cold, and I think a couple varieties of hot chocolate could be popular. I don't have a generator and electricity probably isn't available. I appreciate any experience or advice you may have! Thanks, Andrea
  4. I am looking for a new display case for chocolates. My current one was bought used and really is not up to the job, it was not made for chocolates, I modified it to work. I have decided to go new and get exactly what I want. I am in Florida, so refrigeration/humidity control is a must. Anyone have any recommended brands or ones to avoid? I have been searching the internet looking at various brands, they all market nice, but finding any reviews about any is practically non-existent. Even though they are cheap, I am avoiding going with no-name China imports. Any input would be appreciated. Thank you,
  5. Hi everyone, When a chocolate ganache recipe calls for fruit puree, is it supposed to be sweetened or unsweetened? I want to try Ewald Notter's raspberry truffle recipe but I couldn't find raspberry puree in the supermarket so I bought frozen raspberries with the intention of making my own puree but I'm not sure if I should sweeten it or not? Thanks!!
  6. I'm always finding that my glazes are incredibly thick when I downscale my recipes. I am not sure whether it is the ingredients I use, my technique or the recipe is problematic when scaled down. Do I just add sugar syrup to thin it down to required viscosity?
  7. I've just bought a wagner spray gun to apply velvet glazes to my entremets etc. can I please get some advice on how to clean / sterilise it for food use.
  8. As a lot of you already know, Kerry Beal has been working on a device to help the artisan chocolate maker – the EZtemper. I got a chance to see the EZtemper in action this weekend at the eGullet Chocolate and Confection 2015 workshop and it was nothing short of amazing. Dead simple to operate, you basically just load a container with cocoa butter and turn it on. Allow it to work overnight (about 12 hours, I think) and the EZtemper will produce cocoa butter silk i.e. Form V Beta crystals. The cocoa butter is transformed into a mayonnaise-like consistency which can then be used to instantly temper any melted chocolate or ganache. Like Mycryo, you add 1% by weight to melted chocolate at the proper temperature; however, the chocolate silk produced by the EZtemper is superior, in my opinion, because you don’t have to worry about melting out the Mycryo cocoa butter crystals and incorporating it into the melted chocolate. You just have to stir the silk in – much more easy. Not only that, but you can use it to temper your ganaches which we all know produces a product with longer shelf life and better mouthfeel. As if that weren’t enough, it also causes your ganache to set up much much faster. So you can pour out a slab of tempered ganache and move to cutting and enrobing a short while later. I think this device is going to revolutionize the chocolate industry. You should consider it for your confectionery business if you want to save a lot of time and produce a superior product. Take a look at the web site here: http://www.eztemper.com
  9. I have a Perfect Air -2 and enrobing line and my enrobing line suddenly won't work. My belt and continuous switches are on, dials both set to 40, machines and motor are plugged in. Any thoughts out there? I have only used the line a couple of times, mainly a molder. I appreciate any help.
  10. Modifying chocolate molds

    I have two pairs of clear polycarbonate 3-d egg molds that I bought last year. These: http://www.jbprince.com/chocolate-and-sugarwork/egg-12-cavitiesities-1-piece.asp I tried them once as whole eggs, and they worked fine but it seems like a pain to have to puncture then reseal them in order to fill them (which I have not actually tried, it just seems like it would be awkward and ugly). I am considering trying to hack off the nubs that align the halves so I can use them as half egg molds and be able to scrape across the top of the mold, filling and closing as usual. There is also a lip around each egg, but I think if I removed the two pins I could manage the lip. Thoughts or experience? Thanks!
  11. Hi all, Does anyone know a source for chocolate decorations for molded chocolates? I'm looking for colored cocoa butters, luster dusts, that kind of stuff. Thanks!
  12. I am using a recipe from Jean-Pierre Wybauw for beer ganache that calls for sorbitol. I have been searching for information online and with my local shop about whether this is considered a preservative (since I tell everyone I don't use preservatives!). Does anyone know? I'm at a loss! Thanks.
  13. I am attempting a recipe from Peter Greweling's book "Chocolates & Confections." It's the Salt & Pepper Bars. In the recipe you first lay down a layer of salted caramel in your frame, then spray with cocoa butter before laying down the second layer. I don't have an airbrush or any equipment really. Can anyone shed light onto how this is done - I've searched the book and online, but haven't found any sources to help. I get that it's supposed to help with moisture retention, but am not sure how to "spray with cocoa butter." Thanks for any tips!
  14. Raspberry filling for wedding cake

    Hi, I'm making a friend's wedding cake and am getting a bit stuck with fillings: The cake itself is a rich chocolate cake and I originally planned to use a coconut filling along with a raspberry filling (alternating layers) however they now don't want coconut, so i'm reverting to just raspberry as the flavour profile. Tonight, in some experimenting, I mixed up some white chocolate raspberry ganache (using white chocolate and raspberries) as well as a batch of raspberry filling from this fantastic post. I love the taste of the second filling, the ganache not so much (though i'm going to try whipping it tomorrow and see if light-and-fluffy suits it). However I don't like the idea of just using the raspberry filling - it will require a LOT of raspberries and is quite strong tasting. I wonder if anyone has a dark chocolate ganache recipe using raspberries or something like this filling mixed with chocolate. My ideal filling would be smooth and not too sharp tasting, but still with a fresh burst of raspberry. And of course, needs to be stable for multi-tiered construction. Alternatively, I'm wondering about spreading a little ganache and then a bit of the raspberry filling on top, so two mini-fillings between layers. Any ideas?! I have found a number of raspberry ganache recipes online but would rather not just try a whole bunch aimlessly if someone here has a good one... and most of those online seem to use jam, which in my head wouldn't be so tasty, but who knows... Thanks so much!
  15. Making Blonde Chocolate

    So Valronha's Blonde Chocolate seems to be a huge hit, but it is pretty expensive and it's very sweet. I wonder if this can be made from "scratch" with cocoa butter, toasted milk powder and sugar (but a bit less). I've found some recipes for plain white chocolate online and it looks simple, but is it really? Has anyone made their own white chocolate? Would love to hear about it if you have and whether you'd do it again (oh, and whether it saved you any money!). Thanks!
  16. Hiya, I'm a newbie and hopping I'm not posting my question on wrong forum. I was wondering if anyone had any exprience with Belcolade (35% Milk Chocolate) Lait Selection (O3X5/J). Particularly with moulds and in ganache recipes. This Belcolade Lait Selection in UK is sold with the code O3X5/J. J represents 3 dot viscosity. Any feedback is welcome. Thanks.
  17. I use and love both Edwald Notter's (Art of the Chocolatier) and Peter Greweling's (Chocolates & Confections) books on making chocolate confections. But sometimes I wonder about different advice each of these experts gives. Case in point: the chocolate pre-coating on slabbed ganache before it's cut. Greweling says to slab the ganache, allow it to crystalize and then apply a thin coat of tempered dark chocolate at 86 F on top of that. Notter says to first apply a thin coat of overtempered chocolate - hot (95 F to 100 F) - to acetate, then lay down the frame and pour/slab the ganache. I've tried both, and like aspects of both. Here are my issues. (Note that I use a knife as I don't have a guitar cutter.) I'm attaching two photos to illustrate. 1) Tempered chocolate at 86 F method seems to result in chocolate that's harder to spread (thickens as it cools) and seems to break quite easily when cutting, compared to the overtempered 95-100 F chocolate method. However I've had varying degrees of success with "overtempered" since I'm never quite sure if I've achieved overtempered or just out-of-temper chocolate. The chocolate is easier to spread at the higher heat, but sometimes it gets streaks all over and is just hideous. But when I get it right, it is noticeably easier to cut. 2) Additionally, as I don't have a guitar and I find acetate to be a bit spendy, I slab my ganache on parchment paper. When I used Notter's method of first applying overtempered chocolate to the parchment (he says to use acetate), the parchment kind of warps and doesn't stay flat. Perhaps the combination of shrinkage and heat? I use parchment paper because cutting on the acetate damages it, and it's just expensive to use a new sheet for every batch. It's a bit easier to just apply the chocolate to the top of the ganache, in my opinion, rather than applying it as the first layer (though that layer of chocolate on the bottom does hold the bars down nicely). In my photos you'll see one is nicely tempered (Greweling's method), but it cracks so easily when cutting. And you'll see one doesn't crack, but it's clearly not properly tempered as I was aiming for "overtempered." What's your experience? Thanks!!
  18. Safety when infusing tobacco

    I'm working on a ganache recipe that uses pipe tobacco infused either in water or with the cream. I've pulled together a few recipes and they sure vary widely on the amount of tobacco to use. None of them address how much nicotine actually ends up in the ganache - and I read a post (http://www.artofdrink.com/blog/nicotini-tobacco-infusions/) that makes me want to be absolutely sure I know this before offering it to anyone. Do any of you have experience with this? I'd love to hear your thoughts. I tasted a truffle from Vosges that had a tobacco infusion and it was good - barely noticable, just enough.
  19. I have my first holiday bazaar gig and am very excited. It occurred to me that I have no idea how many chocolates to make for this fair. They estimate 1500 attendance and it's at a private club (golf course, spa, etc). How do you estimate quantities? I did read through an excellent thread on the topic of fairs, but didn't come across formulas or strategies for estimating how much. Thanks.
  20. My foray into beer ganache

    I live in a household of beer snobs - craft beer snobs to be precise. So there's been some pressure here for me to create beer chocolates. I completed experiment #1 yesterday and want to share for feedback and / or thoughts. I based my ganache recipe off how you'd do a fruit puree-based ganache. However, instead of adding a fruit puree, I created a "liquid" beer gel from a liquid port gel recipe I found on a molecular cooking site. Simply, this combined beer and agar agar. The gel was cooled and then pureed with an immersion blender. I had to add about twice as much beer as the recipe called for because upon pureeing, the gel broke into teensy tiny little balls of gelified beer. Not good. I had to heat/reheat and keep blending and adding beer until I got a more or less pudding like beer gel. Not terribly scientific, but the beer retained most of its flavor (I used a Founders barrel aged ale - so very strong and flavorul beer to start with). I added the beer gel to a ganache that had cream and butter and a 38% milk chocolate base. The ganache recipe I was working from also calle for glucose and invert sugar, which I'd rather leave out if using milk chocolate because the gananche turned out too sweet IMO. However, it has a nice beer flavor and is smooth. I think the beer flavor should be stronger. Next version I'll either omit or reduce the sugar and/or use a 58%ish chocolate base. Maybe also add more of the beer gel (then add more butter?). I have another experiment I'll be working on as well this weekend, and it will involve actually infusing the cream with the ingredients we'd normally use to brew a stout (chocolate malt, roasted barley, hops, etc.). It may end up tasting like a delicious bread truffle, since I can't ferment the ganache! :-) Would love to hear others' experiences or ideas. Cheers!
  21. Chocolate Packaging from China

    Are there any eGullet members who have ordered chocolate boxes from Chinese packaging companies? I have used boxes from Chocolat Chocolat in the past, but need customized boxes now in much larger quantities in order to take my business to the next level. I'm looking for Chinese companies who make sturdy customized boxes and offer debossing or embossing. Quality is of course key but communication and responsiveness are important too. I'm interested in purchasing 1000 to 2000 pieces at a time. Unfortunately, there seems to be no American company that can do what I need for a reasonable price. The companies I contacted either tell me they cannot do what I need, or their prices are way too high to make it work for my business. I also know that many providers of chocolate boxes here in the US get their boxes from China, so ordering directly from China makes a lot of sense to me. This being said, I checked out quite a few companies featured on the Chinese site Alibaba.com. There are so many companies that it is really hard to know which companies offer great quality and service. All seem to offer samples, which is good. Thanks in advance for any helpful replies.
  22. Mississippi Mud Pies

    I have been asked to make individual Mississippi Mud Pies for a catering company and have been doing some Internet searching on the subject. Firstly, MMP's are not very well known in South Africa and I have never seen one or tasted one, so I thought Google was my friend. Well, I have found so many different desserts called MMP's that are so different and varied that I still have no idea what a MMP should look and taste like. I did an eG search as well and came across many mentions of this dessert, but no recipes. Can anybody give me a few pointers or point me to a recipe or two for me to get aquatinted with this "pie". Just for a bit of extra info, the request is for individual portioned pies made in 70mm (D) x 50mm (H) ring moulds. Any gelatine used must also not be animal derived. The pies can be frozen and should have a shelf life of around 5 days once defrosted or from fresh, if not frozen. Any help will be greatly appreciated. John.
  23. Hi! I've never been interested in cooking. But, then I ate some really good food, and became curious. I bought the Modernist Cuisine, and the last few weeks I have made food that is on another level than anything I have ever cooked before. This is truly amazing, and I have found a new hobby. I like the precision, and I do not fear the equipment. I just wasn't aware that food could be cooked this way. I have always loved chocolate pralines, for as long as I can remember. There are a few small local producers where I live, and I have found my favorites among their creations. I sometimes buy a couple of pralines, especially from one of the producers, and each one of the pralines taste so good that eating another is impossible for at least 15-20 minutes - it takes time to process the experience of the last one! (Compare this to what you buy at the supermarket, the only flavor found there is the one of excess amounts of glucose syrup, I think.) My recent experiences with Modernist Cuisine tells me that it is possible for me to create excellent tasting food in my own kitchen. That makes me wonder - would it be possible for me to make professional grade chocolate pralines in my own home? I truly want to try. I have skimmed through this forum and found advices on which books to buy. I will most likely order one and start from there, and currently I am thinking about going for a Greweling, but, I thought I would ask you first. My wishes, in order of importance: 1. Modernist Cuisine has totally changed the way I approach food. I would like to find a source of information on chocolate, that is as precise and detailed. Preferably, I would like it to teach techniques, which I can later use when following recipes. 2. I am looking for excellent taste! Is it possible to create chocolate pralines at home, by carefully following laid out recipes, that can provide me with similar episodes of 15-20 minutes of introspection that my local small scale producers are able to do? In my mouth, the less sweet praline is often preferred over more sweet ones. 3. In those truly mind blowing experiences, texture plays an important role. I think I need to understand how to control the final texture of the different parts of my future creations. Experiments that result in experience is most likely needed. 4. Appearance. I love simple and clean appearances. Initially, I do not want other colors added than those of the chocolate itself. Visually, I think I would prefer a style that is somewhat conservative? Imagine three different pralines, all looking roughly the same, quite anonymous, served with coffee after dinner, where each one turns out to be something very, very special. My question, which is the reason for starting this thread, is this one: Should I even try this? If my expectations are higher than what is achievable, I want to do something else instead. If I were to start with only one book, which book would that be? Thanks in advance!
  24. It's time to start planning the next Chocolate and Confectionery Workshop. The 2015 Workshop is planned (again) for the Northern Virginia (Washington DC suburb) area. I'm working with a friend to help me out this year. We are working on obtaining the Stratford Culinary School again for the conference and hope to have the location approved and locked down in the near future. I have a guest instructor lined up that everyone will truly enjoy, but until we have contracts in place, I'm not letting that cat out of the bag. We also have tentatively lined up a Sugar demo for Sunday morning for those that would be interested in that aspect. This is just to announce that there will be a 2015 conference, so please start letting me know if you plan on coming (and/or are interested in joining us). Further details and information (costs/dates/etc) will be announced as we finalize them. When you indicate your interest would you also please let us know if you would be interested in a "Masters" class, similar to what was arranged for the 2014 Conference? If we obtain enough interest in such a class we need to assure we can get the kitchen space for an additional day - please don't forget that would also incur an extra added expense for those attending the Masters Class. Watch this space for exciting breaking news as it develops
  25. Black ganache

    Years ago I bought a chocolate, probably bitter sweet, and I believe it came out of Canada. This product was darker than unsweetened chocolate and made a gorgeous black ganache with a wonderful sheen. It was probably a 25 lb box and was in disc form. Does anyone know what it is?