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  1. Hello. I finished the Gourmet Chocolate confection class given by Richardson Research labs this past week. It was a week long class and basically we made an assorted box of chocolates. Besides Terry Richardson there were 2 assistants. Thalia from Guittard and Peter who works in Reseach and Developement in the candy industry. They made the centers while us ,the students, did all the tempering by hand and hand dipped all the confections. I took a load of pics but haven't had the chance to load them onto my computer. We made everything from Nougat, Caramel, Toffee, Jellies, Truffles, Nut Clusters, Molded Chocolates, ButterCreams, It was a great class. We were given the recipes to all. There are a few ingredients I may have a problem getting. He used Anhydrous Butter and the corn syrup he used was 42de grade. Have any of you herad of that? I was quite humble doing the hand tempering since I have a Hillards Little Dipper it brought me back to the basics. I had a great time. There were 10 of us. I'm also known as Renam but decided to use my home computer to post for now on so that why I have a different name. Unfortunatly he is not offering the class anymore. He does have 2 other classe's he will teach-Chocolate Technology and Confection Technology. When I get the pic on my computer I will post them... Rena
  2. Does anyone here have any experience with the continuing education classes at Notter's in Orlando (specifically with chocolate) such as learning to temper, etc... http://www.notterschool.com/
  3. I miscalculated and overbought this weekend, so now I have a pint of organic cream that's going to go bad real soon if I don't do something with it. I'm going to look through my confection books and see if there's something I've been meaning to try, but in the meantime, I thought I'd ask here. Anyone have an interesting caramel recipe, or some other kind of interesting confection that uses cream? I have some bar molds poured and could put something in them. I'm not particularly interested in ganache today - looking to try/learn something new. Thanks!
  4. Hi! I'm a newbie to confectionery. I've been lurking on this board for a few weeks and I've learned a lot, thanks to all of you. This is my first time posting! I hope you can help me with my little problem. I made a half recipe of Greweling's Rasberry Bites butter ganache. I poured it into a 8X8 pan and it set up nicely. Then I realized that it only made a very thin layer, so my chocolates would turn out very thin. So I had a bright idea - I made a half recipe of the Peanut Butter Gianduja (also Greweling) and layered that on top. That also set up nicely, actually somewhat harder than expected. Anyway, I managed to cut the ganache (bottom coated) and dip the squares in dark chocolate. They looked nice for a while, but after a few hours, hairline cracks have appeared along the corners on many of them. Also, droplets of sugary stuff are leaking out in places - looks like raspberry jam. I had the window open for a while (50F outside) because it was too warm in the kitchen. Temp. inside never got below 65F. Could this have caused the cracking? Thanks a lot for your help! Prabha
  5. Hi eGullet, I've been doing some meddling about with modelling chocolate, looking at different websites I have seen references to the "cold emulsion technique" for making chocolate models but I can't find any details! Can anyone please give me a rough idea what it means? Thanks all
  6. Last week I ruined a wonderful chocolate cake...didn't hear the timer...and made cake balls/pops/truffles with the crumb, dipped in tempered 70% chocolate. An interesting first. They were delicious. Oh my. Gave them all away. Serious complaints were forthcoming from friends who are attending next weekend's Annual Dog Weekend. So, I found an old...not too old I hope...Angel Food Cake mix in the cupboard and will add some 52% chocolate to the resulting crumb and then dip the balls into tempered 70% chocolate again. Question: what would be the shelf life of the "Cake Doodads"? They'll be eaten Friday August 17 until they are gone. How early next week can I actually make them? (I need to make as much as I can ahead of time to accommodate my old and doddering bod.) Thanks.
  7. HELP me please. During summers past, I may have lost a few bonbons to the humidity, but this year, I am losing whole trays. I keep them in a temperature controlled display case, with the bulk of them in the cold room and yet the fleur de sel is going to water, the sugar is puddling and they look sticky. Any suggestions please.
  8. Anyone heard of dragon's beard candy? Well it is a traditional china hand-pulled candy which looks like spun sugar, but made very differently. The technique is similar to noodle making, you start with a torus, you expand it, double it, expand, double, etc... the number of strands increases exponentially in powers of 2 (I'm a computer scientist, I love powers of 2) and can go up to 16384. I've discovered this candy on Dave Arnold's blog where you can find a detailed video of the recipe. I tried the recipe a few times and I think it is very fun to do. The first times were highly unsuccessful, but you quickly get better. I followed the recipe of Dave Arnold's (more or less), it was impossible to find corn syrup in Switzerland, I therefore replaced it with glucose syrup which has the same property of preventing crystallization.The temperature 133°C (271°F) is extremely important, if you overshoot, the candy puck will be rock hard. As I was doing small quantities (100g of sugar) and I only have a medium size pan, it was a nightmare to stick my thermometer sufficiently deep in the sugar. I used silicon molds to shape the puck, here are some results: Transferring the molten sugar to the molds: The cooled puck: Forming the stands (I never manage to create equal sized stands, there are always some thicker strands): As I don't like peanuts, I replaced the filling with chocolate: I personally did not like the taste of them, faaaar to sweet, but my 9 year old sister loved them. Maybe I should try with chocolat powder instead of cornstarch for a better taste. And the replacement of the peanuts with chocolate probably was not a good idea in terms of decreasing sweetness. Another idea is to use the stands as decoration for other thing (e.g. a cake). I highly encourage you to try, they are very cheap to do and very fun. If you have questions or suggestions, please post them.
  9. I don't mean to be cocky but I think the cheesecake I make is the best TASTING cheesecake I have ever had. I didn't invent the recipe and making the stuff is extremely easy and difficult to botch. The recipe comes from my girl Ina Garten of Barefoot Contessa. It's basically 90% cream cheese with a little sour cream to lighten things up (plus all the rest of the standards) with a raspberry topping. Being from NY, I have had all types of cheesecake from the most well known of bakery's (been in the closet S&S calls their headquarters), and in terms of taste nothing beats Ina's creation. Now on the topic of S&S: you can't beat their texture, I can't figure out how they do it. Kind of like of feels like a keylime pie going down, velvety smooth throughout. Does anyone know how they accomplish this? What do you guys count among the best cheesecakes around? I am obsessed with the stuff, and gained 7 pounds the week I made 2 of them.
  10. I’m new to the forums here, but I wanted to share this pastry event I heard about. One of my chefs mentioned it the other day at school and there’s going to be a bunch of different pastry classes and competitions. It sounds like it’s going to be pretty fun, so here’s the website: Pastry Live. If you’re interested, check it out! Host Note:
  11. I don't think anything or anyone can top the 2011 Confection Conference thanks to Kerry's outstanding organization skills but I do believe that it's time to begin planning and organizing the next conference dedicated to confections My proposal is to convene in the Washington DC area (last time it was held in Gaithersburg, MD) location TBD once we can find a suitable space to accommodate us. Steve, the host organizer for the 2010 Conference has offered his assistance in obtaining the same venue should we decide that we want to go back and (hopefully) they would want us back. We will work on the dates for the event, I know that some people have commitments to farmers markets and other shows and hopefully we can work on a schedule that will allow them to join us for the weekend. I will also work with some of the hotels in the area to try and obtain some group discounts, I will post that information here when I am successful Let's plan on a Friday, Saturday and Sunday again as that seems to work out well for people attending. With that in mind, how about some thoughts on what people are interested in doing and learning next conference so we can start to come up with a plan. We'll need everyone's generous assistance in different equipment needs. I have an American Chocolate Mold Co. tempering machine and just purchased a JKV-30 tempering machine that I could bring (if the venue has 220). I also have some other equipment such as an airbrush. We can discuss these needs as the dates get closer. In the past we have had an amazing response from the industry in regards to providing samples for our use, I will continue to reach out to various confection supply houses and ask for their continued support. Friday evening has typically been a group gathering with individuals bringing samples of their work to share with the group. ABOUT THE CONFERENCE: Location: in/around Washington DC Dates: TBD For the past 3 years we have run a DIY chocolate and confectionery conference for eG members and other interested folk. Everyone is welcome - no experience in chocolate or confectionery required - just a desire to learn and play. Costs are shared between the participants so they are very reasonable. We put out a little breakfast and lunch on both the Saturday and Sunday. Generally on the Friday we have some sort of outing. Year one - we crossed the border and visited Tomric Plastics to play on the Selmi enrober and have an opportunity to buy equipment and supplies. Year two - we went to Albert Uster and attended an excellent class covering a variety of pastry and confection topics. This year we also crossed the border for a tour of a confection company and another visit to Tomric. Not sure what we will do this year - but I welcome suggestions. On the Saturday evening we have a group meal - I will work on an appropriate venue for this as well - but how do you compete with this past years conference??? (I'm still reeling from it) Previous conferences: 2011 conference (Niagara on the Lake, ON) 2010 conference (Gaithersburg, MD) 2009 conference (Niagara on the Lake, ON) THIS EVENT HAS BEEN ORGANIZED THROUGH EG FORUMS BY MEMBERS BUT IS NOT SPONSORED BY THE EGULLET SOCIETY FOR CULINARY ARTS AND LETTERS OR EG FORUMS. YOUR PARTICIPATION IN ANY EVENT OR ACTIVITY ARRANGED ON OR DISCUSSED IN EG FORUMS IS AT YOUR SOLE AND EXCLUSIVE RISK. BY USING AND PARTICIPATING IN THE FORUMS YOU AGREE AND UNDERSTAND (1) THAT IN CONNECTION WITH YOUR PARTICIPATION IN ANY EVENT OR ACTIVITY, YOU MAY BE EXPOSED TO A VARIETY OF HAZARDS AND RISKS ARISING FROM THOSE ACTIVITIES AND EVENTS; (2) TO THE FULLEST EXTENT ALLOWED BY LAW, YOU AGREE TO WAIVE, DISCHARGE CLAIMS, RELEASE, INDEMNIFY AND HOLD HARMLESS THE SOCIETY, ITS AFFILIATES, OFFICERS, DIRECTORS, AGENTS, AND OTHER PARTNERS AND EMPLOYEES, FROM ANY AND ALL LIABILITY ON ACCOUNT OF, OR IN ANY WAY RESULTING FROM INJURIES AND DAMAGES IN ANY WAY CONNECTED WITH ANY SUCH EVENTS OR ACTIVITIES. YOU AGREE AND UNDERSTAND THAT THESE TERMS WILL BE BINDING UPON YOU AND YOUR HEIRS, EXECUTORS, AGENTS, ADMINISTRATORS AND ASSIGNS, AS WELL AS ANY GUESTS AND MINORS ACCOMPANYING YOU AT THE EVENTS.
  12. Coconut is one of my favorite flavors with dark chocolate. I've been working on a coconut truffle filling for molded pieces that is coming along, but I'd also like to create a more shelf-stable filling for a chocolate bar, like a coconut gianduja or a coconut version of a peanut butter cup. I've been making Greweling's PB cup recipe, and I'm thinking something like toasted shredded coconut and possibly powdered coconut milk with coconut oil in place of the PB, plus the cocoa butter to firm it up. Anyone tried anything like this? I would do the bars in 60% or 70%, should I be concerned about fat migration with the coconut oil and dark chocolate? I would want these to have a shelf life of 2-3 months. Thanks for any ideas! Andrea
  13. Dears, I am about to start experimenting on combining caramel and chocolate for our new product. I was wondering if somebody had experience with creating shelf stable caramel with a deep flavor? Should we go 'dry method' direction? Does it have enough deepness when all the richness of dairy is abscent? If we exclude dairy, what we have is caramelized sugar only.. Do you think that the addition of clarified butter/butteroil/ghee could make a difference or it won't work because of the abscent proteins? Valhrona has a milk chocolate 'Caramelia', with the following ingredients : sugar, cocoa butter, caramel (skimmed milk, whey, sugar, butter, flavoring), whole milk powder, cocoa beans, emulsifier (soya lecithin). I wonder how they did it shelf stable..? Maybe it's milk product powders they use? Would be grateful for any insights!
  14. Hi all -- So I have plans with a friend to make these amazing-sounding thai-flavor infused peanut butter cups: Thai Peanut Butter Cups However since I've never done that kind of chocolate work before, I figured I'd ask for advice here. The recipe seems to suggest using small foil or paper candy cup liners, and brushing chocolate on the inside, piping the filling in, and then adding chocolate on top. I'm wondering about the brushing step -- how thick to make the chocolate layer? How to get the bottom layer of the chocolate to meet up with the top layer? Am I being prematurely neurotic? Thanks for any help you chocolate masters can provide! Emily
  15. I have a temperature-controlled water bath for my sous vide setup, and was wondering if it might be suitable for tempering or melting chocolate. Amongst other options, setting the water bath to 91F and letting the chocolate slowly melt should (in theory) prevent it from losing its' temper. I've had a lot of trouble keeping the chocolate I use (cheap Trader Joe's stuff) tempered during use, and was hoping this might be suitable for maintaining the required temperatures.
  16. Moving this over from the report thread on the 2012 conference - noticed I've changed the name to Workshop from Conference as it seems more appropriate to what we get up to. Conference sounds so dry! Anyway I've already booked the dates with Niagara College - April 27 and 28, 2013. I'm working on a block of rooms at the Hilton Garden Inn - rates will likely be between $109 and $119/night depending on two queen beds vs 1 king. The rates are lower than that for the Wed, Thursday and the Monday after. I won't have definite amounts until the beginning of May. There is certainly other accommodation available - but I won't be able to do block for that. I think we can safely say that one of the Friday activities will be a tour of Art and Wilma's new panning facility - they've moved from their very small quarters in to a huge new building and it is a treat to see. I think we'll skip Tomric this time around - but I'm sure people may want to hit there if they are flying into Buffalo. HOST'S NOTE: Click here for the terms under which this event is listed at the eG Forums.
  17. Hi, I was wondering if I could get some opinions on the safety of tools (paintbrushes/rollers) used for making your own transfer sheets and painting molds. I am always hesitant to use them as they are not food grade. What is your opinion on this? Am I overly cautious? Thanks! Jenny
  18. This being the tail end of cherry season up here I am now in the process of candying cherries for my annual Christmas baking. Having read some of the threads recently on food safety, botulism and dangerous temperature zones, I have some questions about the safety of the candying method. I'm using the standard candying method that I've read on here and other websites where over a period of a couple weeks the concentration of a sugar syrup containing the fruit is gradually increased until the product is shelf stable. Every two days I pour off the syrup, add more sugar, bring to a boil and then pour back over the fruit. Is this boiling every two days enough to make sure it remains safe, or are there other safety measures I should be looking into? Is the natural acidity of the fruit enough to ward off any botulism? Tyler
  19. I've been focusing on my confection skills, and have been making many variants. I'm not sure if I'm bodging the process, so I'm posting my results for your comment. #1: Lebovitz's Salted Butter Carmels: http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2010/01/salted-butter-caramels/ I actually did a few variants on this, as the results I had were much lighter and color than his own results. I'm a bit perplexed by his recipe, as he shows a very dark carmelized sugar; however, his recipe (unless I misread it) features heating sugar to a clear 310F, adding cream, cooking to 260, and cooling. The end result is very much on the hard side. #2: Modified salted butter carmels Salted butter carmel heated to 260 are brick-hard. Heated to 250, it's much better. Am I doing something wrong? Or is my thermometer borked? #3: Salted butter carmels with carmelized sugar. I heated a dry carmel (ignoring actual temperature,) then added the cream and continued as standard to 260F. This was pretty tasty, though quite hard; I ended up adding a little milk and corn syrup and recooking to 250, which produced a good texture and darkened it considerably. #3: Cream-less caramels. The first batch came out burned and greasy. The second batch was made with a wet carmel (sugar syrup heated until it started to brown) of 1C sugar with 1T corn syrup, then 2T of butter, 1T corn syrup and some water was added to liquefy the caramel and it was recooked to 250 before a further 1T of butter was added. I actually think this one came out pretty well: I find that standard caramel, unless made with a lot of honey and other expensive ingredients, is somewhat tasteless, and this came out very nicely. #4: Fruit caramels. Assuming my thermometer was reading low (foolish, given it's alcohol), I cooked 1/3 cup cherry juice concentrate, 1/2 cup water, and 1.5 cup sugar to 250F before adding 2T of salted butter. The end result is pretty tasty, but it's not setting very well. Next batch will have 1/2 cup cherry juice concentrate, but it overall came out well. I'm not sure to what degree I'm reinventing a wheel, but I'm getting a lot of practice out of $2.50 in sugar. The only real catch is my inability to dry caramelize sugar: The combination of poor pans and an uneven electric stove results in dry carmels burning well before the majority of the sugar is melted unless 30+ minutes of careful heating is applied.
  20. Hi folks. I'm quite new to this forum and also chocolate making. Loving every minute of it and finding this forum a god send! I am looking to somehow thin my chocolate a little in order to make my praline easier to dip. I use 60% dark from the Greneda Chocolate Company and it's far too thick to enable me to dip without getting into a righ old mess I've read cocoa butter and possibly veg oil? Any ideas? Thanks Joey
  21. Alright, my fellow eGulleteers, a surgeon in the hospital where I work has thrown down the gauntlet. Whoever can bake the best black walnut chocolate chip cookies (judged by the surgeon himself) walks away with the prize. I've never really cooked with black walnuts, but I'm willing to try. I was leaning towards taking some risks with it, maybe tracking down some nocino and adding that, maybe even adding some miso for a secret flavor boosting ingredient. Or maybe I should just go traditional on this one. What say you? (I've already thought about tracking him down and saying "Oh, hey. Do you have a good recipe for cookies?" but I don't think he'd fall for it.)
  22. At risk of asking a silly question, I have someone who is looking for "high quality nonpareil chocolates." I thought that had something to do with the Kosher process, but when I looked up the definition of the word, her request became redundant since technically nonpareil means unparalleled quality. So what does this term mean in this context? And if its a legitimate term, does anyone have recommendations for such a thing? Thanks.
  23. Well - it's Friday night and we'll all just rolling back to our various homes and hotel rooms. We've been eating all day!!!! I've spent Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday running the contents of my house down to Niagara - and wondering how I'm going to get them all home again Sunday evening. It was a delight to see people again and to see some new faces as well. We drove across the border in a couple of different cars and I dropped off my charges at Landies Candies. I had a few errands to run so wasn't able to join them there. Apparently they weren't allowed to take pictures. We had planned to meet at the Anchor Bar for lunch but apparently the earliest reservation was 1:30 so I quickly headed over to Duff's (the other wing place in town) and grabbed up a table for 10 before the joint filled up. Apologies in advance for the pictures. Gene and Josh (who works for Art and Wilma and attended in their stead) RobertM and Curls - so sorry about this picture - not one of my better ones! Chocolot. Plus one and Connie (another of Art and Wilma's staff) The wings. The fries. After lunch - off to Tomric to meet with Brian Donaghy to show us some panning and play with the Selmi. Brian starting to pan some cereal. RobertM - cutting his caramel and cookie creation in preparation for enrobing on the Selmi. Brian making some last minute adjustments to the Selmi. Waiting for the goodies to come through the chocolate.
  24. I'm looking for a way to dehydrate (or transform) honey into a sheet with similar properties to a fruit leather. I've been able to do this with sugary sauces like cocktail sauce or plum sauce just by spreading them on parchment and putting them in the dehydrator for a few hours. However, honey doesn't seem to change much. My guess is that I need to add some type of starch to help draw out the moisture, or use a gelling agent in some way. Ideally, the finished properties of the honey sheet are that it is stable at room temperature, not too sticky to the touch (I'm OK with coating it with a fine power to help with this) and that it will dissolve completely if stirred into hot water. Does anyone have experience or tips for this problem? Thanks, Scott
  25. I'm wanting to learn some new flowers using pastry tips. I know some basics but would love to learn more. If you have any good reads on the subject that would be awesome too.
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