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  1. I was curious if anyone has any experience making aerated chocolate candy (similar to those demonstrated by Grewling in Chocolates and Confections) that does NOT use a warmed ISI siphon to achieve this affect... https://www.pinterest.com/pin/827255025273299428/ I was wondering if it might be possible to adapt a large siphon so that you could attach a large tank of compressed CO2 or NO to avoid the expense of all the little gas canisters? Or am I just dreaming of something that's impossible?
  2. I used my homemade toffee in a cookie recipe hoping that the toffee will add a crunch to the cookie... it didn't turn out well as the toffee melted and didn't keep its hardened crunch form. How can I prevent my toffee from melting in my cookie recipe?
  3. Hi All, I am having a caramel problem. I have access to some delicious water buffalo milk (28% fat). I attempted to use it as a replacement for heavy cream(36% fat) in my usual caramel recipe. Unfortunately, when I added the hot milk to the hot sugar, the mixture split into an ugly, grainy mess. I did manage to improve it by blending it with an immersion blender, but the final texture was still grainy. The flavour was great though! The method I used was to make a dry caramel with white can sugar, then I added a small amount of glucose and the buffalo milk that I had heated to a simmer. I cooked this to 252 and added butter before pouring into a pan to cool. Does anyone understand the science better who could recommend a different method or adjustment to the ingredients that might make it have a smooth texture as caramel should? My supplier for buffalo milk does not have a separator, so using buffalo cream at this time is not an option. I thought about adding butter to the buffalo milk when heating it to bring the fat content up to that of the regular cream, and/or using an emulsifier or something like lechithin or xantham gum. Any thoughts? It seems I am constantly coming to you for help. Thanks, as always.
  4. Hello, hoping someone can help me with some workflow questions. I've recently taken over the pastry role in a small tasting menu restaurant and we'd like to produce molded chocolate truffles for either mignardise or take-aways. We have 5 poly trays of molds that hold 40/tray and we'd like to produce roughly that many per week (200). Time and space is tight so I'd like to do this in one go, once per week. The problem I'm having is I don't know the proper workflow for creating this many candies at once. We do not have a tempering machine so it would be stovetop tempering. Is it possible to do that in one go with one big bowl of chocolate? In the past I've made truffles, but always discarded the chocolate after filling the molds. Is it a bad idea to put chocolate from the molds back into the large batch of tempered chocolate? (i.e. fill the molds with chocolate, let the shell set (1-2 mins) then when tipping the chocolate out, can that be tipped back into the large batch?) Also, any tips for large batch tempering of chocolate? We don't have a marble slab so the seeded method is really the only one. The real question is how can I keep a large batch of chocolate tempered for the time it takes to produce 200 molded candies? We have minimal equipment for this kind of operation and I'd be tempering over a double boiler then using ambient heat from a frenchtop to maintain temperature. Is this too much to do without a tempering machine? I'm worried about maintaining the temperature of the tempered chocolate during the time it takes to fill 200 molds with filling. I know I can retemper if I lose it but I really need to work fast and efficiently to get this done in the timeframe that I have (~1hr). If anyone has some insight into a workflow it would be much appreciated. Thanks, Jesse
  5. Before I start experimenting, does anyone here have an understanding of how pate de fruits would be affected by fatty ingredients? Boiron has a formula for coconut, but I don't now how fatty their coconut puree is. I recall eating an olive oil pate de fruit somewhere in Australia and wondering how it worked. Is pectin gel formation affected by fat? Would the texture be softer? Greweling does not make any mention of fat in the section on jellies, obviously with most fruit it is not an issue. Berries and cream, pbj, melon with prosciutto... will it work?
  6. 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!
  7. Has anyone ever tasted a really good fresh-tasting citrus ganache? I have once. It was a lime bonbon made by Franck-Fresson over in France. Unfortunately, now every citrus ganache since then has tasted, well, old. Does anyone has any idea how these are done? I've gone as far as adding freshly squeezed lime juice to a zest-infused ganache (calculated with a slightly lower fat percentage than usual so the fat doesn't inhibit the flavour too much) and found that they still couldn't compare. Help?
  8. My supplier decided that cocoa butter is now special order so I had to buy a case. And now I have an excessive amount of cocoa butter, anyone need any? Cacao Barry cocoa butter pistoles with a best by date of April 2021 $66 for the 3 kg tub or $22 per kg plus shipping.
  9. So, what is everyone doing for the pastry & baking side of Easter? I'm working on the following chocolates: fruit & nut eggs, hollow bunnies, Jelly Belly filled bunnies, coconut bunnies, dragons (filled with rice krispies & chocolate), peanut butter hedgehogs, and malted milk hens. Hoping to finish my dark chocolate production today and get started on all my milk chocolate items. My father-in-law will be baking the traditional family Easter bread a day or two before Easter. Its an enriched bread and he makes two versions -- one with raisins and one without (I prefer the one with raisins). And I was lucky enough to spot this couple in the sale moulds stock at last year's eGullet chocolate & confections workshop in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario. These love bunnies help so very much with Easter chocolate production! ;-)
  10. Does anyone have a chewy chocolate caramel recipe they love? One that holds its shape but can be cut on a guitar? The recipes I’ve tried have either been not very chocolate-y or suuuuuuuper stiff. Like, I bruised the palm of my hand cutting them stiff :(. Or or even if you can just point me in the direction of some theory, that would be great!
  11. The current issue of the NY Times Magazine is on candy. Shamefully sinful. I cannot unsee the images.
  12. Hello everyone, I am in the process of locating a commercial kitchen space to rent in order to produce my chocolates on a larger scale, for retail and wholesale. The challenge is that I have not been able to locate a space that has air conditioning or any kind of temperature control. Even if everything else in the facility is perfect, that's the one issue that keeps coming up. Can anyone provide guidance regarding the feasibility of working in a non temperature controlled space, and if there are any work arounds? I'd have full access to fridges, freezers, etc... Thanks in advance for any help or experiences you can share! Miriam
  13. What are the best, darkest chocolates you've found in wholesale quantities? Aside from 100%, that is ... I'm thinking in the 75-90% range, available in quantities of 5-20 kg. It's definitely niche, but between the chocolate nerds and the low-carb-ers there's a market. Right now, 72% Felchlin Arriba is the darkest I use, in a bar with candied orange. I have not tried their Elvesia 74% or Sao Palme 75% but it looks like I can get them from AUI. A Felchlin 88% exists, but would be a special order arriving in a few months (their next container shipment?). Valrhona makes the Abinao 85% but that would be another special order. I'm pretty sure I tried it at one point and liked it. Does anyone keep it in stock? How is KaKao Berlin? They have a Brandenberg 75% but I'm not familiar with the brand. Any others? Or I could make my own and have the super dark be my one bean-to bar flavor ... thanks!
  14. I'm looking for a recipe that yields caramels that are chewy, but quite hard. A couple of weeks ago I was visiting with friends, and one of them was in a candy-making mood, so we decided to make some caramels and marshmallows. I suggested David Lebovitz's salted butter caramel recipe, and from my perspective, the caramels were an unqualified success, but although my friend did like them, she said 'They're good, but too soft'; she had in mind a sort that is popular in Denmark, which approaches toffee for hardness, but is still unquestionably chewy. These may have a special name, although I don't know of one. I believe that reducing the amount of cream/butter mixture would do the trick, but would prefer to start from a reliable recipe, if anyone has one to recommend. Thanks!
  15. What to make when it's sweltering? Trying to think of heat-proof confections for the summer. Every week I make 7-800 little bite sized treats that we give with the bill at the restaurant. Truffles were great for the winter, but it's getting too warm in both the kitchen and the dining room to produce and hold truffles. Last summer I made pate de fruits, which hold up well, but which I'm pretty sure gave me a splatter burn every single time I made it. Too much pain. Ive been working on some gelatin gummies that I like and that don't hurt, but they seem to get droopy in the heat as well. I've been adding agar to help the texture, maybe more agar and/or cook the syrup to a hotter temperature? How do hard candies hold up? Nougat? Humidity can be an issue but I'm more concerned about heat. Cookies are an option, especially easy to pipe or slice and bake. Amaretti? Has anyone tried cutting shortbread with the guitar? Candied nuts seem a little too simple - what else besides chocolate would make them special? What are your favorite treats that stand up to heat?
  16. the Chocolate and Candy crowd here probably wont learn much here, but i did: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/06/dining/the-best-in-the-box-chocolate-covered-salted-caramels-for-valentines-day.html?ref=dining&_r=0 in case you missed it.
  17. Alright so I had a question to any of you chocolate experts: I am planning on making one of the plated desserts (Chocolate Tile, Shortbread Crumble, Clotted Cream, Peter's Chocolate) out of The Elements of Dessert by Migoya and I have run into a small bump. The dessert I am making calls for a certain brand of chocolate, Peter's Chocolate. It says it is a special high-fat formulation of chocolate which holds its shape after tempering (rather than running), almost giving the texture of a ganache. It is served on the plated dessert just like this. Unfortunately, I have been unable to source it from any online retailers in reasonably small quantities (i.e. not for restaurant kitchens). Do any chocolate experts here have any insight into this? Are there any other suitable replacements? I was thinking I could simply make a ganache as a substitute, but only as a last resort...
  18. I just had a client bring me a box of buttercreams from Germany. He would really like me to make this type of chocolate. I have an aversion to the sweet fondant filled chocolates that are found in many name brand chocolate boxes - and this is what I have always known as 'buttercreams'. The chocolates he brought me are different. Definitely not as sweet and very light and creamy - almost whipped. So off I go to look in my books - you know, the standards - Greweling, Wybauw... and nothing. There's no section on buttercreams. Well, not quite true - Wybauw gives a standard fondant recipe and then a variation for cream fondant - no butter mentioned, and no mention of flavours. I've done a search here on eG and didn't come up with much. Can someone tell me the story behind these light, creamy, whipped buttercreams? How do they differ from the sweet fondant filled confections in those Russel Stover boxes? And why can't I find any info about them?! Thanks!!
  19. I know this was covered in the last year, but I have finally given up searching. Confectionery partner, Barbara, and I made solid molded chocolates for her to sell at an upcoming Christmas bazaar type thing. I told her I was sure that you were supposed to leave the chocolate to harden for 24 hours before packing them, but couldn't remember why. Then recalled that the tempered chocolate would actually harden in the first 24 hours? Does this preclude packaging them before that time period...assuming I have the time period correct? Or what? Thanks.
  20. I was making chocolates in my Mom's kitchen this afternoon, which somehow prompted her to ask me what is in the 'buttercream' centers that some See's candies have. I have no idea, so now of course I am curious. Haven't had any in a while, but I recall they are very creamy and awfully sweet. Is there fondant involved? Is there any butter in the buttercreams? Do I have to go buy some to find out?
  21. Tonight, I made Turkish Delight from Peter Greweling's excellent Chocolates and Confections at Home. The recipe was reasonably straight-forward, until I got toward the end. The recipe calls for whisking the sugar syrup and starch paste over low heat until smooth and clear, and says this will take around 20-25 minutes. I didn't have a problem with the mixture coming together. It was pretty smooth the entire time, and I was just waiting for it to go clear. What I was looking for was for the opaque, frosty mixture to hit a point where it would turn clear so that I could see the bottom of my whisk, but this did not happen, even after standing there stirring for almost 40 minutes. I then quickly had a look at the Turkish Delight recipe in Greweling's professional book, and even though the ingredients were different, I took note that that recipe calls for cooking to 223F. I checked the temperature of my mixture, and it was only around 205F. Out of impatience, I added the mix-ins and poured the mixture into my prepared pan. I will see how it turns out tomorrow, but I would love to know: 1) Did I take the mixture off too soon? If I had persevered, would it have magically become clear after reaching a certain point, or is Greweling's description of "smooth and clear" as an indicator of when it's done somewhat vague and/or misleading? 2) I presume that whether I under- or overcooked the mixture, this would affect the texture of the final product? Or is it the initial cooking of the sugar syrup to 260F the primary determinant of the final texture? 3) The recipe calls for 12oz shelled, unsalted, and undyed pistachios. Should they be raw or toasted? I used raw. I've made Greweling's Peanut Brittle, which calls for adding raw peanuts to a sugar syrup at a much higher temp, which obviously cooks the peanuts. But would adding raw pistachios after taking the mixture off the heat be sufficient to "toast" the pistachios? In addition, I used 200g of pistachios, and I think even that quantity is too much for the amount of Turkish Delight produced. I would use only 100g next time, unless you're going for quite a pistachio-dense Turkish Delight. Thanks for any guidance, and I will report back tomorrow to share how the Turkish Delight turns out. Cheers!
  22. Chef Eddy van Damme has a very nice blog which I have just started to follow...that's what I need...more blogs to follow . Chef Eddy's last post was about tempering chocolate using grated cocoa butter I think I'll try it. Had anyone tried this technique? Does anyone use this technique regularly? Any opinions, advice, etc? All replies gratefully received.
  23. historically, during times of economic slowdown - at least in north america, there's been an inverse relationship with the economy and chocolate sales... economy goes down, chocolate sales go up. folks feel they can't afford the lexus anymore, but a nice box of chocolates is viewed as an affordable luxury that in many respects takes the place of the big ticket items. i'm curious as to what those of you with 'boots on the street' so to speak are experiencing in todays economic climate? one of the big differences today vs previous economically difficult times is that raw materials and transportation are simultaneously up - given that sugar and dairy comprise almost everything we make, and they have to be brought in from elsewhere it's a rough combination. not to mention that approx 34% of this years corn crop is going to bio-fuel, and climactic conditions took out a good portion of the crops over the last couple of weeks (that's not going to help anyone). are your sales being adversely affected this year, are you seeing them up vs a few years ago, or are they flat? are you able to pass on higher production costs?
  24. I've got a small retail store where I make and sell chocolates and confections. However, Man does not live by retail alone, and over the summer we've been busy getting wholesale customers. I've got some of the packaging taken care of: Boxes, liners, stickers, etc. but I need the "Frills", and more importantly, some kind of a "security seal". My first choice would be some kind of shrink wrap film over the whole box. After doing some investigating I am faced with two choices: A table top impulse sealer and a hand-held heat gun, or, a heat tunnel. Conservative prices of a heat tunnel start at 3 big ones. The price doesn't put me off, it's just that my volume is very low (100 boxes per day) and space is at a premium. The hand held stuff kind of scares me in that it is fairly labour intensive, especially when you factor in the box assembling and hand packing. What's everyone else doing?
  25. Today I precoated some Divinity and some ganache before dipping them. My first time ever. However, I guess I let the chocolate get too set because when I cut the precoated slab with the chocolate bottoming on the top, the chocolate shattered at the cuts. I turned it upside down and the same thing happened. I looked bottoming/precoating up in Greweling and the other books I have with me. Tried various eGullet threads...found a wonderful one by Trishiad, a demo on basic molded chocolates. No one talks about cutting the precoated ganache. Please some information.
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