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Found 1,127 results

  1. mol d' art melter power cord

    Has anyone successfully replaced the power cord on a mol d' art melter? Is it easy or do I have to send it somewhere, and if so, where? Thought I'd check here for DIY info before contacting TCF. My 6kg melter has reached the point where the cord has to be in that just right position to conduct power, and just right can be elusive. I've had it for several years so it's seen some use, am hoping it's a simple repair, i.e. can be done with a screwdriver or passed off to one of my handier brothers in exchange for candy. thanks!
  2. So I've been experiencing cracks on the foot of my bonbons that I've been unable to find the cause of, hoping to reach out to the community to get to the bottom of this costly problem. I work for a small chocolate company that makes our own bean to bar couverture. We use a continuous tempering machine with enrobing belt attachment. The process: ganache is made and then piped into round silicone molds, which are then footed with tempered chocolate before being placed in the freezer until frozen enough to pop out of the molds. They are then set up right and left to thaw and dry out overnight on a equipped with fans aimed at the bonbons. The next day we send the bonbons through the enrober, and then they are transferred to a speed rack to set up, either at room temp (generally around 68-70 degrees F) or in a homemade cooling cabinet (an insulated box equipped with an air conditioner + dehumidifier + fans) that generally fluctuates between 50-56 degrees F (I know, large range). Problems occur with both milk and dark couverture, with bonbons kept at room temp or in cabinet, thickness of foot doesn't seem to make a difference (we've tried thicker and thinner). Crack doesn't immediately appear; it usually takes a couple of minutes after being completely set before showing. It looks as though the foot is popping out, cause a hairline crack between the shell and the foot. I've attached pictures. You'll notice in the photos, that when the bonbon is cut in half, the foot separates from the shell pretty significantly. Thoughts? Suggestions? Similar experiences?
  3. Does anyone have any experience using Knobel depositing machines? My one shot plate is leaking chocolate out of the top and I can't determine why. Any help would be appreciated
  4. 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?
  5. 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!
  6. Cheese-ster Eggs

    The cheese Easter Egg! http://www.goodhousekeeping.co.uk/food/food-news/cheese-easter-egg-asda I don't know that it beats chocolate, but I do love cheese! Enough that now I'm wanting to create a savory, cocoa-butter based cheese version of my chocolate Easter eggs ... Would you prefer your Easter egg be cheese?
  7. Valrhona Inspirations

    I had a chance to try a couple of Valrhona's new "inspirations" flavors today, the passion fruit and the almond. The almond was good but I'd probably add salt. The passion fruit is intense and delicious, I bet you could cut it with a sweeter white chocolate and still get good flavor. They also have strawberry. These are cocoa-butter based so can be used for shell molding. https://inter.valrhona.com/en/inspiration-valrhona-innovation I could definitely see using these. Passion fruit is one of my favorite flavors, and I already indulge in the convenience of Perfect Puree so I don't think this would compromise my integrity Just wanted to share. Available soon, probably expensive
  8. So I've remelted some Valrhona Azelia that was extra from another project and even at 45° C the chocolate has small lumps. If I press a lump against the side of the melter (or between my fingers) it smooths out but I can't remove all the lumps that way. For tonight, I poured all the chocolate through a sieve and pushed the lumps thru with a silicone spatula. That solves the problem for today but I want to know, what caused those lumps in the first place? Also, if this happens again, is there a better way to correct the problem? I have never had this happen before with any couverture (including the Azelia) and hope you can tell me how I can prevent this from happening .
  9. Boiron table advice

    I've been working with the Boiron purée recipe tables (chocolate and PdF, ice cream) - some good successes. However the document is very terse and I wondered whether anyone who is experienced with these formulae might clarify what the expected result is: - "Fruit ganaches" and "Fruit and caramel ganaches". I think these are supposed to produce a ganache for cutting and enrobing, although when I tried it came out far too soft to be dipped??? - "Ganaches to be combined with fruit pastes" - I think these are to be layered above PdF and enrobed - is that right? - "Chocolate molded sweets" - Are these intended to be served as is, ie moulded without a layer of couverture going into the mould first? However the instructions talk about pouring into a frame. - "Fruity delight" - looks like a fairly light dessert to go into a parfait glass. Has anyone done these and how do they turn out? How do they compare to the sabayon-based ones in the Boiron ice cream book? I'm going to start working through some of the ice creams next week and it will be interesting to see how these turn out. Thanks for any advice.
  10. As a newbie here I thought, before piling in with my own questions, I'd pull together some of the things I've learned in my first months of chocolate making - in case this helps others who embark on the same path. Many of these learnings came from eGullet, some from elsewhere, and I'm very grateful for all the many sources of experience and insight. Cooking technique is quite personal so of course not everyone will agree with my idiosyncratic list of course. Most useful equipment so far Cooking isn't really about the equipment - you can make fine chocolates with hardly any equipment - but here are the things which have helped me the most. 1. Small tempering machine. This got me started on chocolate making with a superb easy path. The ChocoVision Rev 2B (with the "holey baffle" which increases its capacity) just gets the tempering perfect every time. Yes, I could temper in the microwave or on a slab, but it's great to take away any uncertainty about the final finish, by using this great machine. Downsides: continuously noisy, doesn't have the capacity for large batches. 2. Plenty of silicon baking mats (Silpat clones). I use these not just for ganache and inverting moulds onto, but also just to keep the kitchen clean! Working at home, I create a lot of mess and found I could reduce the risk of divorce by spreading large sheets (60x40cm size) across the work surface. So much easier to clean, and I can scrape unused chocolate back into the supply for next time. I get mine directly from China through AliExpress where they are about 1/3 of the local price. Then, for a further cost saving I ordered a couple of sheets of stainless steel at exactly the same 40x30 size, from a hobbyist place, and stuck some rubber feet underneath. The silicon mat + steel sheet can then easily be carried to the cool room. I got metal bars made up by another hobbyist place (an eGullet suggestion) which was a cheap alternative to caramel bars. 3. Scrapers. Life got better when I stopped trying to scrape moulds with a regular palette knife. I found we had two Japanese okomoniyaki spatulas from Japanese cooking which were perfect! 4. Polycarbonate moulds. Again in order to afford a bunch of these, I get them from China via AliExpress where they are £5-£7 each (including shipping) rather than £18 (+£10 shipping) locally. If I were starting again I'd buy little squares and half-spheres first, because these are easy to decorate with transfer sheets and cocoa butter respectively; plus a bar mould for quickly using up some extra chocolate or making a snack for the family. Magnetic moulds are not in my view essential for the beginner because you can just apply the transfers manually - but they are very easy to use. 5. Hot air gun - little Bosch paint stripper from Amazon. Always kept to hand to sort out anything which crystallises too quickly in the bowl or on my equipment. 6. Fancy packaging. We got some little boxes in bright colours with silver lining - great to turn your experiments into gifts. Quite expensive because you have to buy quantities, but worth it we felt. If I were working at scale I think my top 5 would also include a vibrating table, but that's beyond my means. Best sources of learning so far (apart from eGullet of course) 1. Callebaut website - fabulous range of videos showing how a master does the basic techniques. Also Keylink (harder to find on their website - look in "knowledge bank") which is refreshingly straightforward. 2. Several books recommended on this forum. Once I got past the basics, I delved into two masterpieces: Wybauw ("The Ultimate Fine Chocolates", a revised compilation of his previous books) and Greweling ("Chocolates and Confections"). These are just awe inspiring. Most useful ingredients so far 1. Callebaut couverture "callets" in 2.5kg bags - quick to measure, easy to re-seal. Everyone should start with 811 and 823, the "standards" ... but I soon moved to more exotic flavours. Current favourites are Cacao Barry Alunga (rich milk), Callebaut Velvet (white but not as cloying as the usual one; lovely mouthfeel), and half a dozen Cocoa Barry dark chocolates which go with particular ingredients. 2. Boiron frozen fruit purees. These are just amazing. I struggled with lots of different approaches to fruit flavouring until I discovered these. The problem is that most liquid purees have a short life span and are quite expensive if you only need a little quantity - whereas the Boiron ones just live in a neat, stackable tub in the freezer. Grab a flavour, pop it out onto a chopping board, slice off what you need, return the rest to the freezer. And the range is fabulous. So far I've particularly enjoyed raspberry, passion fruit, kalamansi (wow!) blackcurrant, and Morello cherry. (I'm experimenting with banana but most banana chocolate recipes seem to need caramel which I don't find so easy to perfect.) 3. IBC "Power Flowers" so I can mix my own coloured white chocolate with a wide palette of colours, for brushing or piping into moulds as decoration. Quite tricky to scale down to the tiny amounts I need, but I found this far better than heating little bottles of cocoa butter and being restricted to the colours I had. 4. Marc de Champagne 60% - great for truffles. My supplier sends it in a little chemical bottle which is a little un-champagne-like, but never mind. Rose drops (oil-based) were also useful for truffles if you like that sort of thing. Suggestions for learners (aka things I wish I had got right) 1. Start learning in winter. There is a HUGE amount of cooling needed in chocolate making; once we had cold weather we could close off a room, turn off its heating, and create a cool room. Made a big difference to productivity (and quality!). 2. Don't do anything involving caramel, marshmallows, turkish delight, or other temperature-critical sugar work until you are confident with everything else - or you will get demoralised quickly. Or maybe I'm just rubbish at these techniques. 3. Learn simple decoration (cocoa butter colour, texture sheets etc) early on. These make a big difference to how everyone will react to your work. 4. Don't rush. Chocolate making takes a lot of (elapsed) time. Give things time to crystallise properly. I find there is always an endless amount of cleaning-up to do while I wait :-)
  11. I have heard over the years of bakers using beetroot in chocolate cakes to "enrich" them. I have never done this and I am not too fond of beetroot in its various forms (a childhood "thing"). However, I have been requested to bake a chocolate cake using "beetroot juice" in the recipe - the person requesting the cake even supplied me with the recipe! Right, this is a first time for me doing this and I need to make a sample cake to make sure it results in an edible cake. The recipe calls for 250ml (a metric cup) beetroot juice. So my question is, how would I produce a cup of this beetroot juice? Just wiz a few raw beets in a blender and strain out the juice? Do I boil the beets first or use them raw? Ignorance is sometimes bliss - but sometimes not. Help with this dilemma would be appreciated for this beet ignorant sod in "Darkest Africa". John.
  12. MILLET GROATS CHOCOLATE CREME WITH CRANBERRY MOUSSE Today I would like to share with you the recipe for the best chocolate crème I have ever eaten. It is thick, smooth and very chocolaty in flavour and colour. Despite the chocolate, the dessert isn't too sweet. But if somebody thinks that it is, I recommend serving it with slightly sour fruit mousse. You can use cherries, currants or cranberries. You will make an unusually yummy arrangement and your dessert will look beautiful. My children were delighted with this dessert. I told them about the fact it had been made with millet groats after they had eaten it, and ... they didn't believe me. Next time I will prepare the millet groats crème with a double portion of ingredients. Ingredients (for 4 people)chocolate crème 100g of millet groats 200g of dark chocolate 1 tablespoon of dark cocoa 250ml of almond milkfruit mousse 250g of fresh cranberries juice and peel of one orange half a teaspoon of grated ginger 4 tablespoons of brown sugar Boil the millet groats in salty water and drain them. Melt the chocolate in a bain-marie. Blend the millet groats, chocolate, cocoa and milk very thoroughly until you have very smooth crème. Pour the milk in gradually to make the right consistency of your desert. Prepare the fruit mousse. Put the washed cranberries, ginger, juice orange peel and sugar into a pot. Boil until the fruits are soft. Blend. Put the chocolate crème into some small bowls. Put the fruit mousse on top. Decorate with peppermint leaves. Serve at once or chilled. Enjoy your meal!
  13. Bulk Chocolate Packaging

    I am trying to find boxes like these pictured below, with matching candy trays and candy pads. They are about the size of a piece of paper and about 2-2 1/2 inches high. Haven’t had any luck finding them domestically. Anyone else use something like these? How do you store/package your bulk chocolates?
  14. chocolate pump

    Has anyone used the chocolate pump that TCF offers? https://www.tcfsales.com/products/c115-mol-d'art-melters/ I'd like to increase both production and efficiency, so I'm looking at a 20-24kg melter, the pump, and possibly an EZ temper as an upgrade from a 6kg melter, a bunch of bowls and a ladle. What do other chocolatiers think? I doubt I'll jump right into 24kg at a time, but I figure might as well have the capacity since it is the same footprint as the 12kg melter. The pump would save a lot of time with molding, provided it doesn't clog up or over-temper the chocolate - is a stray chunk going to cause havoc? And if it is a full 24kg, that's a lot of chocolate to hand-temper, so much heavy stirring. Would the pump be able to mix in EZ Temper silk and make tempering virtually hands-free? thanks!
  15. One of my friends is leaving for Spain next week, and I’m planning to surprise her with a party before she leaves. Since she’s a huge lover of sweets, I decided to buy her a cake. I don’t know where to start looking, but my brother suggested that I buy from this online provider of custom cakes. I checked their website, and I think they have cakes that my friend will love. I haven’t bought anything yet because I want to be 100% sure that their cakes are truly excellent. Do you have any idea how I should examine cakes through the Internet? What are the things that I must take into consideration? Thanks!
  16. Hi: I'm making some homemade peanut butter cups, but shaping them like bon bons instead. I don't have bon bon molds, so instead I'm dipping the peanut butter centers into tempered chocolate. As the chocolate coating sets, it contracts and my soft peanut butter center squirts out a little. Is there a way to prevent this, or do I need to do a second dipping? I've tried with both frozen and room temp centers (although peanut butter with a little vanilla, salt, and powdered sugar doesn't seem to freeze at all).
  17. Chocolate cake with plums

    Chocolate cake with plums The first cake I ever dared to bake by myself was a chocolate cake. I have since baked it many times, always using the same recipe, and many times I have spoiled it at the beginning of preparation. It is necessary to cool down the chocolate mixture before adding the rest of the ingredients. On a hot summer day this process is very long, so I accelerated it by putting the pot with the mixture into some cold water in the kitchen sink. Many times, by mistake, I turned on the tap and poured water onto the cooling mixture. In hindsight these situations were amusing, but at the time it wasn't funny. This chocolate cake is excellent without any additives. You can enrich it with your favourite nuts or butter icing. Today I added some plums to the top of the cake. It was great and its sweet chocolate-plum aroma lingered long in my home. Ingredients (25cm cake tin): 200g of flour 150g of butter 3 tablespoons of cocoa 120g of brown sugar 15ml of almond milk 100g of dark chocolate 1 egg 1 teaspoon of baking powder plums Heat the oven up to 180C. Smooth the cake tin with the butter and sprinkle with dark cocoa. Put the butter, milk, sugar, cocoa and chocolate into the pan. Heat it until the chocolate is melted and all the ingredients have blended together well. Leave the mixture to cool down. Add the egg, flour and baking soda and mix them in. Put the dough into the cake tin. Wash the plums, cut them in half and remove the stones. Arrange the plum halves skin side down on top of the cake. Bake for 50 minutes. Sprinkle with caster sugar before serving. Enjoy your meal!
  18. It's that time again - I'm the group leader for a group of newly minted Ecole Chocolat grads taking a masters course. This one is in Wieze, Belgium. You may recall my last trip as group leader for Ecole when I took a group to Valrhona in France. I got my packing done on Sunday - was all prepared, car was to pick me up at 6 pm to drive me to the airport. Got a little suspicious when the child was late getting off the bus from school - the driver said that the highway wasn't moving well. At about 5:15 I got a call from the limo service to say that the car that was coming to get me had moved 2 car lengths in the last 30 minutes. Apparently a car roll over on the westbound lanes of highway had ejected two people into the eastbound lanes and the entire highway was closed in both directions. So I set out in my own vehicle - which of course had no gas, and needed oil... at least the toll highway got me past the problem. Airport wants $175/week to park - so a quick text to @Alleguede and he came to fetch my car from the airport to park in his driveway until I return. So here I sit in the lounge awaiting my departure. I'm doing the Jet Lag program that I have done several times before that has worked well for me. Overcoming Jet Lag, by Charles F. Ehret and Lynne Waller Scanlon. This involves food and caffeine modification. So for the past 4 days I've been drinking Rooibos Provence throughout the day and between 3 and 4:30 slugging down as much real tea as my bladder can handle! The dietary part consists of alternating days of 'feasting' and 'fasting' with high protein breakfasts and lunches and high carb dinners. I had planned to get the driver to stop at the Tim Horton's at the top of my street to pick up the black coffee that is to be taken at around 6 pm the day of travel - unfortunately as I was driving myself that didn't happen - so when I hit the lounge I drank down two cups of strong black caffeinated coffee - better late than never. I'm not much of a coffee drinker - and particularly not black. Should be good for some palpitations when I start the next part of the program which is to sleep as soon as I get on the plane! This is a 'fasting day', 800 calories suggested - I left my carb meal until I reached the lounge. ] One of the two cups of coffee. These are the "Gentlemen Retire to the Library' chocolates that I posted before that I am taking along - port wine PDF and tobacco ganache. I used Sosa tobacco flavouring this time instead of a cigar so I don't have to concern myself with nicotine poisoning.
  19. The Sweet Makers on BBC

    I'm watching The Sweet Makers on BBC - four British pastry chefs & confectioners recreate Tudor, Georgian, and Victorian sweets with petiod ingredients and equipment. A little British Baking Show, a little Downtown Abbey. Check it it out for a slice of pastry history. BBC viewer only available to the U.K., but on this side of the pond where there's a will, there's a way.
  20. Induction Cooktop and confectionery

    Hello! I was wondering if anyone on here has tried using an induction cooktop with confection making (caramels, fondant, marshmallows ect...). My stove has literally three settings, and the low setting still burns sugar and there is no such thing as maintaining any sort of "simmer". I was looking into getting a cooktop and buying some copper sugar pots and mauviel makes this thing that goes inbetween. I would love to hear any input into this idea or your experiences! ~Sarah
  21. EZ Temper in Vancouver?

    Hi All, I think this is a long shot, but I'll put it out there. I'm wondering if anyone in the Greater Vancouver area has an EZ Temper that they would be willing and able to loan/rent out for a couple days or up to a week? I am super curious to try it out and if the results are as wonderful as I expect I'm hoping I can find it in the business budget. Feel free to message me privately.
  22. After searching this one and other forums I found a number of reasons / solutions for release marks: 1 - mold should be cold and go right away to fridge 2 - mold should be cold and only go to fridge after beginning of crystallization 3 - mold should be heated 4 - because of over crystallization 6 - not professional molds (too much flex) 5 - use cooling tunnel instead of fridge so that mold is cooled gradually I'm having trouble with release marks, as seen in the photo: I've tried numbers 1, 2 and 3 above without success, number 4 I'm not sure how to control, number 5 is not the cause as I'm using professional molds and number 6 is not an investment that I can do right now. Any help would be appreciated!
  23. Chocolate Cost and Weight Breakdown

    Hello Fellow Chocolatiers! I am working on calculated appropriate prices for my handmade chocolates. It's absolutely shocking that after 10 years of making chocolates, I never really dared to delve into the nitty-gritty cost of goods. And when I worked at a chocolate shop that was never a concern placed on my plate. So, I have attemped (with my horrible lack of excel spreadsheet skills) to figure out my cost of goods (including labor and packaging). Somehow, I must be doing something terribly wrong, as my costs worked out to be about $1.50 to make ONE PIECE. That seems outrageous! Granted, that did include using locally made bean-to-bar chocolate from a small producer. My business-partner-to-be is helping me sort it out (thankful that she and excel have a much better relationship). However, I need some information that is don't have at the moment and thought you guys might be able to help fill in the gaps. 1. For the sake of comparison, with cost of ingredients and labour (no packaging) how much does is cost you to produce one chocolate? 2. For those that make the fairly standard 22.5mm square enrobed chocolates, are you able to tell me how much and individual ganache square weighs pre-enrobing? How about post-enrobing? I know how much my ganache cost, but I don't know how many grams per piece to allot for the enrobed chocolate coating. And I am not in production right now so I can't test it out. If you can share it would be so helpful. ETA: can anyone tell me the same for one of their molded chocolates? Obviously there are variables like the height of the ganache and the size of the mould, but at least it would give me an idea. many thanks! Christy
  24. I prepared two versions: the first one with desiccated coconut and blueberries and the second with dark chocolate and strawberries. Choose your favorite dessert or go crazy and make your own version. Bright dessert Ingredients (for 2 people) 200g of white chocolate 100g of blueberries 200ml of 30% sweet cream 200ml of mascarpone cheese 2 tablespoons of desiccated coconut Melt 150g of the white chocolate in a bain-marie. Draw six 8 cm circles on a sheet of baking paper. Put 2-3 tablespoons of chocolate on each of them and smear it around to cover the whole circle. Leave them at room temperature to congeal and then put them in the fridge for 2 hours. Melt the rest of the white chocolate in a bain-marie. Whisk the cream. Add the mascarpone cheese after whisking. Add the white chocolate and the desiccated coconut and stir thoroughly. Wash the blueberries and drain them. Put the first chocolate circles onto a plate, then a layer of the cream and a couple of blueberries and once again chocolate, cream and blueberries. Put the last chocolate circle on the top. Decorate with the rest of the cream, fruit and peppermint leaves. Serve chilled. Dark dessert Ingredients (for 2 people) 200g of dark chocolate 1 tablespoon of cocoa a couple of strawberries 200ml of 30% sweet cream 200ml of mascarpone cheese Melt 150g of the dark chocolate in a bain-marie. Draw six 8cm circles on a sheet of baking paper. Put 2-3 tablespoons of chocolate on each of them and smear it around to cover the whole circle. Leave them at room temperature to congeal and then put them in the fridge for 2 hours. Melt the rest of the dark chocolate in a bain-marie. Whisk the cream. Add the mascarpone cheese after whisking. Add the dark chocolate and the cocoa and stir thoroughly. Wash the strawberries and remove the shanks. Leave 3-4 nice bits of fruit for decoration, and cut the rest into small pieces. Put the first chocolate circles on a plate, then a layer of the cream and a couple of strawberry pieces and then once again chocolate, cream and strawberries. Put the last chocolate circle on the top. Decorate with the rest of the cream, fruit and peppermint leaves. Serve chilled.
  25. Chocolatier's Hourly Wage

    I have an opportunity to work as the head chocolatier for a local chocolate business. I will be going in to discuss with the owner tomorrow. I am notorious for undervaluing myself and my skills, but I want to change that. I have worked in the industry for 10 years and worked in one of the larger artisan local chocolate companies for 5 years. Does anyone know what the going hourly rate it for this type of position? I would be developing new recipes and running all production operations myself. It's only a part time gig (at the moment, as they have very small production). I will continue with my own business on the side for now - the owner knows this and is completely comfortable with it. I would possibly even be able to be the successor to this business once the owner retires. Also, anyone have input on working as an employee while developing recipes for another business? I feel so protective of my recipes that I will be sad to see some become the property of another business. I guess it is just all part of the nature of this line of work. I could be a sub-contractor and just provide this company with product, but they would prefer that I work and consult with them in-house and utilize their facilities.
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