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Found 390 results

  1. [Host's note: to ease the load on our servers this topic has been split. The discussion continues from here.] Chocolate nails... And a "How it's made!" video...
  2. I'd like to do a smores flavor and a few other uses of marshmallows in some molded chocolates. Can anyone give me some guidance on preparing marshmallows so that I can pipie them into the molds? I see a problem similar to the PDFs....by the time they are cool enough to put in the chocolate shells, they are too firm to pipe. Anyone have any tips, pointers, suggestions, etc.?
  3. We have a local Italian bakery my mom loves, but they are very expensive and hard for her to get to. She also really likes cookbooks (she reads them even if she never cooks from them ) so I was thinking for her birthday I could get her a cookbook that has similar cookies and cakes, and offer to make a few things for her on request also. I'll obviously look myself, but eGullet is always well informed about the quality of cookbooks so I wanted to know if anyone has any recommendations. The thing about the Italian bakery is that the stuff they make seems to me to be not as sweet as classic American recipes, and often have more complex flavors and also are usually on the light end for whatever the item is. (Like even something that's intended to be dense doesn't have a very heavy sensation in the mouth.)
  4. 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
  5. Ok, so we tend to show off the jewels of the production, but certainly in my kitchen, there is a lot of stuff produced that is less than picture perfect. Let's bring them out into the light - as long as they taste good, the looks are bonus. I'll open by demonstrating how not to make a beautiful cocoa butter swirl. It was beautiful, but the swirl stayed firmly in the mould. It is salty caramel and almond. Tasty!
  6. 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).
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. How To Make Transfer Sheets

    I've read of people on here making their own transfer sheets and was wondering if someone could explain how to do so. Thanks
  10. 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
  11. {The content of various "what is your favorite candy bar" and confection threads--at least ones not devoted to specific products--have been merged into one unified topic. In a few cases, if someone simply gives a one word answer they might simply be answering the question about what their favorite candy bar is... -- Nov 11 2003} While at my local convenience store I spotted the following completely useless, but interesting item: Mint Skittles... It made me think about the fact that I've never outgrown a certain... let's say fascination... with the infinite stream of novelty confections which seem to show up regularly at these stores. I'm very glad I'm not a parent, because I can't comprehend saying "no" to a child when I can't even deny myself buying something as dumb as this at least once. Other recent "acquisitions" include: Reese's "Fast Break"... Listerine CoolMint PocketPacks... Am I sick? That last one isn't even necessarily candy... Any one else with this "problem"?
  12. Nougat Montelimar: revisted

    I finally got around to trying the recipe for this that Michael L. generously posted a while back (I've wanted to make this for a long time). First I've gotta mention that I've never eaten this and I'm not totally certain what the finished texture should be when correctly done? So more details would be helpful. Should this be chewie or more similar to marshmellow in texture? I couldn't get Michael's recipe to work. He has you boiling together your glucose and sugar........I couldn't get this to melt evenly with-out creating caramel with lumps. (This isn't my first time melting sugar (hint), but I had to mention this. Regardless of method.) Has anyone made that exact recipe and had no problems? So after 2 unsuccessful attempts at melting sugar- I switched to a recipe from Jacques Torres for my first attempt at nougat. Both men have similarities in method, but different ingredients and different temp.'s. Not being familar with this item I'm not sure which recipe I should use to re-make this in the future. If anyone is very familar with this product I'd greatly appreciate your advice on this. Michaels recipe: 1600g sugar 340g glucose Boiled together to 260F. Similarly heating in a seperate pan: 550g honey brought to a low boil. Poured into: 200g egg whites After honey is pour into whites and whipped, sugar/glucose mixture is whipped into the honey meringue. He keeps heating his mixing bowl as he works until his sugar tests firm in a bowl of ice water. (I couldn't really get the heat of my bowl to rise enough to cook this while mixing, I was using a 20 qt. mixer.) Then warmed nuts are folded or mixed into the nougat. Torres recipe goes like this: 1 3/4 c. honey heated to low boil In a seperate pan: 9 tbsp. h2o 3/4 c. plus 2 tbso. corn syrup 2 1/2 c. sugar All combined and heated to 330 (note the difference in temp.s compared to Michael L.'s recipe) Pour the heated honey first into: 1/3 c. egg white Whip. Then add the h20/sugar/corn syrup mixture into your honey meringue. Incorporate: 2 2/3 c. nuts I'm curious about the differences in temp.s because when I followed Torres recipe it was too firm, although it did work. Where as with Michael's recipe I couldn't get the sugar to dissolve evenly. BUT I now suspect that the lower temp. of 260F might have been better (giving me a softer nougat).........that combined with Torres formula would be the way to go. So I'd be grateful for any advice and thoughts on this so in the future I'll be more successful making this item.
  13. Hey all, I got a question for you who make pate de fruit on a regular basis. I know it's quite simple to pour the finished pate de fruit into a frame, but does anyone here use a confectionery funnel to deposit them into forms? I'm asking because in Notters 'Art of the Chocolatier' it seems his primary way of making the jellies is to deposit the mixture into a flexipan, and his alternate method is to pour it into a frame. I'm wondering simply if anyone does/has done this before. The jellies seem to set quite quickly, and I'm not sure if you just need to be super fast with this or not. I want to try it, but shy away (I need to get appropriate forms first) because I keep feeling like I'll end up with half the mixture deposited and the other half solidified in the funnel. I assume warming the stainless funnel will aid the process, but I also assume that you have one attempt at this, and you cant rewarm the mixture as you would with fondant or gummies. Anyways, just a question I wanted to put out there. Thanks! Host's note: this is the second part of an extended topic that has been split in order to reduce load on our servers. The first part is here: Pâte de Fruits (Fruit Paste/Fruit Jellies) (Part 1)
  14. Greetings all! Quick question ...Has anyone used confectionery coating in ganache, and been successful? I'd normally not do this, but I have a very dear friend who is allergic to chocolate. Her son is graduating from high school, and she hired me to do chocolates. We'd all like for her to enjoy something from the selections at the reception. The only pieces I can do for her without any chocolate derivatives is of the white chocolate variety. So, white confectionery coating is the only alternative I can find to sub in. Now, with the actual chocolates, I did a butter ganache with white chocolate, mango puree and coconut. (Tastes amazing, btw.) If I do the same method with the softened butter, glucose; then mix in melted confectionery coating, will it harden up when I add the puree, or stay soft? I tend to think it would be okay, but I absolute hate the idea of wasting that puree. So, thought it best to ask here and see if this a disaster in the making- or a decent alternative... Thank you for any help and advice you're able to lend. As always, your expertise is very much appreciated! Andrea
  15. Intricate chocolate molds

    Some chocolate makers have incredibly intricate chocolate molds that boggle my mind. How do they clean them? Or do they not clean/polish them? Or have an army of interns? Or just do it perfectly every time and polishing molds is for suckers anyway? They are beautiful, but seem so very impractical. What am I missing? The Soma is not bad, mostly thin lines, but the Askinosie ...
  16. I have been making macarons for a few years now, and have been making LOTS of macarons lately for my new baking business, and what occurred tonight is a first for me. When baking off my trays tonight, I'm getting meringue cookies (no glossy hard top, no foot) instead of macaron shells. I baked off several dozen earlier today with no problems, so I don't think it's an issue of the weather -- but it's been dry. The texture of the (freshly made) batter was as usual, as was my oven temp. The formula is one I've used many times before, with success. I weigh my ingredients carefully. What the heck did I do wrong, and how can I prevent it from happening again?!
  17. Host's note: this topic was split from Pâte de Fruits (Fruit Paste/Fruit Jellies) (Part 2) I took a look. Rather manipulative site: you have no idea what your selection will cost until you have finished choosing chocolates. And the descriptions are a masterpiece of marketing: dulce de leche is "succulent homemade milk jam"--a rather grand description of cooked sweetened condensed milk. Really! But you are so right, they look amazing.
  18. Making Caramel with Milk

    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.
  19. I have been up in Manitoulin Island for the last few weeks working and I always like to bring along a new project to work on that I can't find time for at home. You might recall that last year it was making a silicone mold for chocolate (that would be the groundhog that everyone found quite amusing). This year, prompted by Lloydchoc's suggestions in this thread I purchased a copy of American Cake Decorator magazine of May/June 2003 to help me get started and worked my way from there. So follow along and see what we have accomplished so far. I started by obtaining the emulsion. This is the stuff that is applied to the screen. The American Cake Decorating magazine said to get Ulano TZ/CL (CL for clear) as it is food grade. In speaking with Ulano directly, they told me that while this is the one everyone uses for chocolate transfers, they have never gone to the expense of having it declared so by the FDA. Essentially it is a mixture of poly vinyl alcohol (PVA) and diazo dye. Diazo dye is light sensitive and causes the PVA to harden when it is exposed to light. The first problem I ran into was that no one in Canada carried that particular emulsion so they would have to order it from the US. By the time all was said and done I was forced to purchase 4 - 4 litre containers of the stuff. Once you have mixed it up you need to use it within several months, so I poured off 1 litre, weighed out 1/4 of the diazo dye and mixed that. I couldn't help but notice that the base - the PVA - smelled and looked just like white glue. A little research online has convinced me that it really is just white glue, so right now experiments are underway to test this hypothesis. These are pictures of my screen. It is an 80 mesh which means it has big holes compared to the usual silk screen. It means that your print won't be quite as crisp, but lots of coloured cocoa butter should get through. The two sides of my 80 mesh 'silk' screen. Polyester actually. I purchased the screen at Screentek, the same place I got the emulsion. Andria there gave me a quick lesson. Originally I had planned to expose the screen using a 150 watt light bulb as shown in the cake decorating magazine, but Andria convinced me that she had a great customer who lived on Manitoulin Island and she had already told her what I wanted to do, so I should go and visit her to expose my screens in the most professional way. I stopped in at Bebamikawe Studios the first day I worked at the clinic in Wikwemikong. There I met Georgina, the proprietor. She is a graduate of the Ontario College of Art and runs a very sucessful business making signs, screen printing on fabric and other items, and embroidering traditional native designs on clothing, moccasins and various other items. She was rather intrigued with this whole chocolate idea, but was rather unclear about what a chocolate transfer was. The following pictures are to illustrate applying the emulsion to the screen, this is Georgina at work. Note the even, smooth strokes. Nothing like my application. But like she said, she does have over 20 years experience doing it. This is actuallly the experimental emulsion that I made with white glue on one of her reclaimed screens. The emulsion is poured into the applicator. The emulsion is applied to the screen with the applicator in a thin layer. You do the flat side of the screen first then the raised side. In this way you end up with a thicker layer of emulsion on the side that will be down when you are printing. The emulsion then needs to dry overnight protected from light. A couple of days before I went down to Wiki, Beth (Beth Wilson on eG) from the Manitoulin Chocolate Works and I spent the afternoon in her brother in law's print shop getting our images prepared. It is important that the image be crisp and clear and that the lines are thick enough to show up when printed. For example a flowing script that has a loop in a letter may not actually end up with a loop when you are done. I had Keith take the script from my label and rearrange it in a way that should print well. Beth had him take an image of Manitoulin Island and add the initials MCW for the chocolate works under the island. Two transparency copies are made of the desired image and taped together to make the image as black as possible. The image is placed on a table that contains some extremely strong lights. The frame is placed on top of the image. The screen is placed over the image. Care must be taken in determining which way is up, you want to end up with a backward transfer so that when you apply it to your chocolate it is the right way around. A vacuum is applied to the frame with it's attached transparency. This holds everything in place and minimizes extraneous light. After about 8 minutes under the strong lights, the emulsion has hardened and you are ready to wash the screen. After exposure to the light a strong steam of water washes away the areas masked from the light by the black printing. Now we were ready to try to learn to print our transfers. Beth and I taped a piece of overhead projector acetate to the counter and prepared the coloured cocoa butter. I mixed some melted cocoa butter with powdered PCB dye on a piece of marble. I worked it until it was starting to firm up but wasn't so stiff if wouldn't flow. I used the heat gun to warm it again if it got too stiff. The coloured cocoa butter pool. Note the tongue depressors taped to the frame. This holds the screen an 1/8th of an inch or so above the transparency so that it springs back after the squeegie is applied. Getting ready to flood the screen with the coloured cocoa butter. The initial squeegie to push the cocoa butter into the screen. Note that I am holding up the end of the screen that is towards me in order not to print on the acetate yet. The final squeegie to push the cocoa butter onto the transfer. Beth's transfers in blue. Very early on the learning curve as you can see. Beth's transfer in dark chocolate. My first attempt in blue. The chocolates with the transfers still in place. After peeling off the transfers. My trials with gold coloured cocoa butter. After showing the dark chocolate and blue transfers to Georgina she showed me how she floods her screen for printing T-shirts. So on this attempt I dragged the squeegie over once to fill the script, then went back over it a couple of times to make sure there was lots of cocoa butter over the lettering. When I pushed down for my final squeegie application I got a reasonably good application. Of course you have to work quickly before the cocoa butter starts to firm up or your screen will glue itself down to the acetate. There is a bit of a problem I have yet to sort out, the edges have more intensity of colour than the middles. When I get back home I'll take my screen and cocoa butter etc and head back to screentek and get Andria to watch my technique and give me suggestions. This is what happens to transfers after the dog hauls them out of the box and licks each one to get the chocolate off. Not a single transfer escaped his tongue. Total cost - $74 Cdn for 4 litre pail of emulsion, $22 for applicator, $17 for squeegies, $20 per screen. Cost for Georgina to copy our images on to the transparencies and expose them $55 for both screens. We could have saved $30 by printing our images to the transparencies ourselves.
  20. Good morning! Long story short: I am doing a spin off the coconut/chocolate/almond candy (almond joy), and trying to create a specific shape out of the almond. My hands are cramped after a couple dozen failed attempts whittling roasted almonds, so now I'd like to try a different approach, and instead, create some kind of sub-candy or cookie with roasted almonds that I can put into a mold or use a mini cookie cutter. I'm fairly new to sweets, my knowledge in this area is pretty slim. Some ideas so far, I don't like any, but it might help turn some gears: 1. dusting almond over a stencil, but that's not enough almond nor crunchy enough 2. almond brittle, but that's too hard and sweet, I'd like it more of a soft crunch, and bringing the almond flavor forward 3. meringue with almonds (sort of macaron-ish), however, weather has been humid and raining here, and I'm ending up with a gooey mess instead of that soft crunch In addition to having almond-forward taste and soft crunch texture, it'd be fun to explore something modernish - I have a accumulated a few tools and ingredients not customarily found in homes. There are dietary considerations I will have to account for, however, no need to worry about that now, I am just looking for ideas and a place to take it from there Thank you for your time in reading!
  21. Rose Jelly

    Hey there wise E-gullet-ers! I have another question to put out there. I am interested in making a rose jelly - one that I can layer with a chocolate ganache similar to a pâte de fruit. I don't really know how to go about this. Do you infuse water with dried rose petals and make a syrup? What's the best way to gellify it? I'm very curious. Has anyone made jellies with any other botanicals? Is anyone willing to share their recipe as a guideline? Many thanks! Christy
  22. Has anyone seen this book yet? If so, do you have any comments about it you can share? The Praline
  23. 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
  24. Host's note: this is a continuation of the ever-popular Confections! topic; the previous segment is here: Confections! What did we make? (2012 – 2014) Here's something I did yesterday, peanut butter chocolate bars.
  25. Clove flavored gummies

    I talked to my MIL this morning, who tells me that her other son would like to make a candy with the texture of a gummy bear, but clove-flavored rather than fruity. Has anyone heard of such a thing? What would be a good place to start? My MIL is an experienced hard candy maker, every year doing batches flavored with cinnamon and clove, and I suspect this is where the idea arose. My knee-jerk reaction was that you'd need some kind of fairly neutral fruit as a base, maybe apple, to get the body and texture right, and then you could add some clove oil to bring in that flavor. (Well, my first reaction was "Yuck!" because clove-flavored anything isn't my thing. This was my first productive thought on the subject.) I was thinking maybe an apple pate de fruit recipe? Or would gelatin be a better bet? Thanks, MelissaH