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Found 1,112 results

  1. 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).
  2. 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
  3. 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.
  4. Tempering Chocolate

    I've tried tempering chocolate many different ways and can't seem to find the right way. Can someone please tell me a tried and true way of making this easy? Please help. In the meantime, I'll keep eating the chocolate tempering "failures" right out of the bowl.
  5. 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!
  6. I am looking to purchase a tempering machine. Something small to do up to 10 lbs. What do you recommend? What is the ACMC like and any suggestions on where to buy in Toronto area to save on shipping or other places are welcome too. Is $950 Canadian a good price? Thanks Rookie - Mary
  7. Hello everyone, Just wanted to start a thread how to spray chocolate with a paint sprayer. Please describe what has worked well for you and what has not. Do you like a Wagner Airless Spray Gun?
  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. 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
  10. 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.
  11. 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!
  12. 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
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. Honey in Ganache

    I keep running to you with all my questions! This community always have the best answers. I am wondering about the use of honey in ganache to act like invert sugar - binding with the water to lower the Aw. Has anyone used it successfully in the capacity? I usually use invert sugar in my ganaches, but I there are some more health-conscious customers that I know would love to see me move away from sugar. I'm not sure that I am willing to do it, but I will certainly explore the option! My main concerns are efficacy at preserving, its taste, and its texture. My personal experience has been that is is difficult to get the flavour of honey to challenge the more dominant flavour of chocolate, so I'm not exceedingly worried about the honey flavour being too strong. However, honey does crystallize when left to sit, unlike invert sugar. Has anyone experienced honey crystallizing in ganache or do the other ingredients present prevent it from doing so? I will eventually be doing some experimenting, but I thought I would test the waters first. Thanks!
  16. [Manager note: Follow this conversation from the begining at Chocolates with that showroom finish, 2004 - 2011] heard somewhere that the higher the % of cocoa in a chocolate then the thicker it is when in temper? is this true? it might explain things a little when im trying to temper the chocolate at work. Also, whats a good precise thermometer to use for tempering thanks
  17. Coloured Cocoa Butter

    Hi All! I know this has surely been talked about, by my search for this information on the forums has been challenging. Would anyone care to share their favourite brand of coloured cocoa butter for decorations chocolate molds, etc? One with a diverse selection of colours. Or do you find it preferable to melt cocoa butter and add a fat-soluable powdered colour? Thanks for sharing your experiences! Christy p.S. I was just reading about Kerry's EZ temper and I simply MUST HAVE ONE! Wow! What a brilliant product! Kudos, Kerry!
  18. Hi everyone! I hope I'm not posting in the wrong section. I am looking for recommendations on where to find a used/economically priced climate controlled (low humidity and refrigerated, but not too cold) chocolate display case as well as a regular refrigerated display case (bakery style). Something like this, but it doesn't need to be too fancy looking. I am living in Canada on the West Coast, so the closer to local, the better. I'm finding it very challenging to find something. I found and excellent deal on a couple of used ones in the USA, but the seller doesn't want to deal with the hassle of having it crated and shipped. I'm trying to keep up to date searching on the Ecole Chocolat graduate forum as well as The Chocolate Life classifieds. Also, does anyone know if a smaller table-top type climates controlled chocolate display case exists? Or are the only options out there for larger models? Warm Regards, Christy
  19. So I've been looking for the ultimate matcha brownies (technically blondies but it just doesn't have the same ring to it). I've made chewy and fudgy regular brownies, but I find white chocolate based blondies to be much trickier. I have made a few matcha brownie recipes in the past, but they all came out sad and cakey. So I have taken it upon myself to come up with my own recipe. My matcha brownies came out very moist and "fudgy" but not chewy. I'm thinking next time I should try using vegetable oil instead of butter and only dark brown sugar.
  20. I just started a new Craft Chocolate Company and am looking for a source for powdered whole milk on a small scale (3-5kg). Any suggestions? Steve
  21. 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 ...
  22. Rabbit Rorschach

    OK, I know this is sweating the small stuff, but I'm wondering what you see ... Is this rabbit https://www.dr.ca/rabbit-mold-7-5-inches.html holding an egg, or is the oval a fuzzy underbelly?
  23. 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.
  24. At least in Europe comercial chocolate tablets are getting thinner. Usually 6mm thick and of course bigger in area. But I don't manage to find that kind of molds at manufacturer's sites (80 or 100g). Or at least choice is very limited. Why? Maybe too thin for manual unmolding? Or they just use bigger molds and fill partially? Thanks!
  25. Bloomed truffle shells

    I have a box of truffle shells that were not stored properly and have bloomed. If I fill and dip them in tempered chocolate, will the newly dipped chocolate bloom due to the layer underneath it, or will the outer layer seal the under layer and keep them looking nice?
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