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  1. I have no difficulty tempering chocolate, but I do have a hard time keeping it at optimal dipping temperature for long periods of time. Can I buy a temperature-controlled melter, into which I can pour my tempered chocolate, for significantly less than I can buy a home tempering machine? If so, what model should I look for? Thanks, Jonathan
  2. I just got back from montreal and stopped by suite 88 a chocolate shop on St. Denis St. They had some really interesting chocolates which were delicious. One category was chocolates filled with different liquors /cocktail combinations. I didn't actually realize this until after I got them and she asked if I knew how to eat them. I said I think so and she then mentioned that I bit a portion and "drink" the liquor and then eat the shell or eat them in one bite. (I had thought they were ganaches). How would one get the liquor into the molded chocolate?
  3. Anyone seen results of Consumer Reports ratings of chocolates? Doesn't it seem odd to rate chocolate as such by bon-bons? Fillings and flavorings, however delightful, mask the pure qualities of the chocolate. It would seem that the way to rate chocolate is to taste in bar and bark forms - unfilled and with no flavors other than, perhaps, vanilla. Or should they have said they were rating bon-bons, which is another matter? And no Debauve & Gallais or Lindt 70 percent cocoa? What kind of test is that?
  4. Demo: How to Use Transfer Sheets (and Structure Sheets) with Magnetic Molds for Making Chocolate Bonbons This thread will demonstrate how to use transfer sheets to decorate chocolate bonbons. Structure sheets, which are plastic sheets embossed with a pattern, can be used in exactly the same way. Let’s begin: 1. Here is a photograph of my workbench. It's important to have all of your tools ready when you work with chocolate because you need to work fast. a) Transfer Sheet; b) Structure Sheet; c) Bowl of seed chocolate; d) Small bowl; e) Scale; f) 2-piece Magnetic chocolate molds; g) Magnetic mold taken apart to show top and bottom pieces; h) Scissors; i) Acrylic paint brush; j) Straight spatulas; k) 7” Wide Spatulas; l) Ladle; m) Chocolate Melter 2. Here's a close up of the magnetic chocolate molds. On the left, two fully assembled molds; on the right, a mold with the back showing. 3. Here is a close up of the transfer sheet we'll be using. On the right is a structure sheet. 4. The first thing we need to do is cut the transfer sheet to fit into our magnetic mold. Here, I'm using a pre-cut structure sheet as a guide for marking my transfer sheet. Obviously it should be marked on the non-cocoa butter side. 5. Cutting the transfer sheet. 6. Positioning the transfer sheet inside the chocolate mold. Here I have the mold upside-down and the transfer sheet is positioned over the cavities with the cocoa-butter side down. 7. Carefully replacing the mold backing. As you can see, we are "sandwiching" the sheet between the two parts of the mold. Be sure that the sheet doesn't slip out of position as you're replacing the back. 8. Fully assembled (upside-down). 9. Fully assembled (right side up). 10. Painting each cavity with tempered chocolate ensures that you won't have bubbles in your finished pieces. You may be able to skip this step if your chocolate is very thin. 11. Once all the cavities have been painted, you can scrape with a chocolate scraper to remove excess chocolate bits from the top of the mold. The scraper should run smoothly across the top. 12. Here is our prepped mold held up to the light. You can see that it doesn't need to be very pretty; you just need to be sure you've gotten into all the corner spaces. 13. Now we can immediately ladle in some tempered chocolate to make a suitable chocolate shell for our bonbons. 14. Spread the chocolate with a palette knife so that each cavity gets its share of chocolate. Work quickly. 15. Tap the side of the mold to help the chocolate settle and to remove bubbles. Here, you're just trying to ensure that no bubbles are clinging to the surface of the mold. 16. Now we need to eliminate excess chocolate in our mold. Just turn the mold over and let the chocolate drain back into the melter. You can tap it on the sides with the palette knife or whack the mold on the edges of your melting pan to encourage the chocolate to depart. 17. Now we scrape with a spatula to clean up our mold. 18. Turn your mold over and allow excess chocolate to drain, if necessary. Check again in a few minutes and scrape with a spatula, as before, to clean the mold. 19. Here we see our chocolate shells, still in the mold, with a nice even coating of chocolate. They are now ready for filling with your favorite ganache and sealing in the usual way with tempered chocolate. Our bonbons: transfer sheet and structure sheet examples
  5. i have recently been using circulators for tempering chocolate, with good results, i have 2 more circulators on the way, and i am planning on setting up a system that will eliminate the need for tableing the chocolate the set up i am currently goes like this: i chop all the chocolate, add spices to infuse if needed, then cryovac them i then set one circulator at 45c for plantations chocolates / 56 for valronah, place the bags in the water with a thermal probe inserted into the bag through a weather strip to prevent water contamination, i then allow the chocolate to reach max temp required on the temper curve. at this point i am currently dropping to the lowest pint on a marble counter top manualy then the chocolate is re sealed in cryo bags and held at 32 in another circulator until needed now that i will have more circulators i want to set up a third waterbath set at 28c to be used in between the melting and holding, in theory this will work, any ideas?????
  6. Hello, I went to the previous class of Andrew Schotts and want to hear about the one that just took place at Notter. I hope a fellow egullet member went and is willing to share!!!
  7. We've been meaning to try this place which we've heard is really the best chocolatier in Lyon, Tourtiller. Sunday was Mother's Day in France, and since I have visitors with children visiting, it was the perfect opportunity to pick up a nice cake, diet be damned. Some snapshots from the patisserie side - A budding food photographer... The thing about this place is the chocolate...
  8. I'm trying to start a small chocolate business. Boxes are eluding me. I've tried package nakazowa that someone else recommended, and while their boxes are beautiful, I'd like to find a retailer in Canada to cut down on shipping costs(and exchange). Does anyone have any ideas?? How can I find something? Google does not seem to be my friend, as whenever I search I just come up with other chocolatiers trying to sell their packages.
  9. Hi all, I need some advice what to charge a bakery that is ordering some chocolates from me. I still don't know what the quantity will be, but lets say it's about 150-200 pieces, and about 5 different flavours. I think the best way is to come up with a price per piece. I am concerned with charging enough to make it worth my while, yet not too much, as the bakery needs to make thier profit as well. Suggestions???? Thanks!
  10. I'm planning on making chocolate truffles in the near future so I've been reading a bit about chocolate tempering. Now, as far as I understand it, as long as chocolate is already in temper (like most chocolate that you can buy), keeping the chocolate liquid, but in temper is simply a matter of heating it to between 90F and 94F. Conventionally, this is either done by suspending over a pot of simmering water or by using a microwave. But that always seemed rather illogical to me, if you want something to get to, and stay at 94F, then why would you use something hotter. Whats wrong with simply getting a large water bath, heating it to exactly 94F and then suspending the chocolate in the water until the chocolate comes into equilibrium with the water? First of all, it allows you to keep the chocolate at a stable temperature for longer, the water has a huge amount of thermal inertia so it can keep within the 90-94 band. Secondly, you don't have the problem of steam condensation like with a bain, water at 94F is less than body temp and wont steam. Finally, as long as you have a good digital thermometer, keeping the water in range is very easy. Just have a large pot of boiling water on hand and just pour some in and stir if it starts dropping. Is there some hidden flaw with this technique that I am missing? It seems eminently sensible for the home cook who cant afford marble slabs and $10,000 tempering machines.
  11. I've read of people on here making their own transfer sheets and was wondering if someone could explain how to do so. Thanks
  12. Hello All, In an effort to avoid the usual suspects this Valentine's Day I sought out chocolates for my wife that couldn't be bought at the major department stores. Not being able to find much in the culinary wasteland of Central Michigan I sought out sources in NYC. I flipped flopped between Payard, Torres, and La Maison, settling on Torres because my wife might at least be familiar with him and therefore somehow impressed with my effort. Did I make the right call? I am interested in what others have to say. Terrarich
  13. I have just ordered some chocolate molds from beryl's (Beryl's ) and I am looking for recipes and advice for fillings. I am paricularly interested in recipes for fruit based and liquer based fillings. Does anybody know how Jaques Torres makes the Alize filling for his Alize hearts? Thanks, Robert
  14. I'm looking for reliable sources of reputable mail order gourmet chocolates. Something other than Godiva, Bernard C., Neuhaus and the usual suspects. Can anyone help?
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