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Found 1,132 results

  1. 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.
  2. 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?
  3. 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!
  4. [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
  5. 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!
  6. 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
  7. 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.
  8. 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
  9. 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 ...
  10. 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
  11. 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?
  12. 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.
  13. 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!
  14. 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?
  15. does anyone recognise this grate/grid that Antonio Bachour is using in this picture.....or what the correct name for this bit of kit is....? I like the height and I want one...
  16. 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!
  17. When working with tablets and bar molds how necessary is to heat the molds? What will be the difference doing it or not? How do you heat them when working with a large number? Air gun, heating cabinet? Your help is deeply appreciated!
  18. 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
  19. 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
  20. Cold Infusion Technique for Ganache

    Hey All! I remember having a conversation with someone a few years ago and they said something to me about a technique they heard about that involves infusing cold cream with various flavors overnight. This cream could then be used to make chocolate ganache fillings. I think the idea was that the cold infusion method somehow imparted a better or cleaner flavor to the final product. Can anyone one tell me more about this technique? I am playing around with various herbs and citrus fruit these days for ganache flavors and I would like the taste to come through as strong and pure as possible. I am curious to know, even if the cream is infused while cold, wouldn't some of that effort be lost when heating the cream to mix with the chocolate in the ganache? I'd love to be enlightened! Thanks!
  21. Visit to Cocoa Plantation in Ecuador On my recent trip to Galapagos Islands in Ecuador, we stayed for a day in Guayaquil, in order to tour a cocoa plantation and small factory- "Hacienda El Castillo". They manufactur the chocolate- from the cocoa trees to bar, solely in this plantation. We started in the main house, where we drank some cocoa juice, made from the pulp surrounding the cocoa beans- very sweet, but delicious: We saw cocoa trees in various stages of growth. In Ecuador, the cocoa variety that is grown is called "Arriba"/"Nacional". Since this pure variety doesn't produce many pods, they use a clone "CCN51"- a hybrid of trinitario and Nacional Inside of a cocoa pod: Fresh beans from 2 pods- 1 pure nacional (the darker), and one CCN51 cocoa tree Sun Dried and fermented beans: They mostly dry their beans in the sun, but if it is rainy, they have a gas heater to dry them. They claim there is no impact on the final flavor of the chocolate (I don't know how true that is), but there was a very heavy gas smell The small factory and their website: http://www.haciendaelcastillo.ec/home.php They produce 50%, 70% and 100% chocolate in the factory. After tasting the finished chocolates, we were a bit disappointed- the 50% was very very sweet, the 70% was just an average chocolate, not very special, and in my opinion not very good (The 2 left bars in the picture below). I bought a bar to bring to the conference in April, to hear some other people's opinion. Eventually, we went to a supermarket and bought some chocolates, that are produced in Ecuador, from cocoa grown in Ecuador: What really stood out (in price as well- ~$8-9 per bar), was the Republica del cacoa chocolate. They use only the pure nacional type, and not the clone. They had bars from severel areas in Ecuador which were incredible, and my favorite was a dark-milk chocolate- 65% milk chocolate- where you could taste the high quality dark chocolate, with some milk creaminess.
  22. Hi everyone, I'm a little pastry chief in France, still learning and really passionate. It's been five months that I did'nt studiy or practise and I miss that so much. I never stop talking about this. I decided to travel in south america to learn everything I can. I'm actually in Central Colombia, and I will travel to Ecuador, Galapagos, Peru, Bolivia and maybe a little bit more if I want to. I have time until march, more or less. My project is to go in the farms and meet the people who grow up the raw material I use for make my pastries, Talk to them and see the plantation would be really helpfull for me to understand how does it works. If people need, I'm volunteer for work in exchange with accomodation and food for a few days. My spanish is not good yet, but I'm learning and sometimes it's more funny to not speak the same language. I'm interested about everything, exotic fruits, citrus, coffee, cacao, sesame, pepper, spices... If some of you is, knows or works with farmers or pastry chiefs in those countries, I would be glad to meet you/them and learn everthing about the work. We can exchange good recipe too. Thank you very much, Loubna
  23. 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.
  24. I've used Valrhona Ivoire white chocolate as a base for various ganache recipes for some time after failing to create a good ganache with other white chocolate including Callebaut, a brand I otherwise like. Valrhona is expensive compared to other brands available here in England but Vente Privée offers it at a good discount several times each year. There is a Valrhona sale this week: https://secure.uk.vente-privee.com/ns/en-gb/operation/57934/classic/3642874/catalog That link is to the English site but I know the company operates in other countries. You need to become a member to buy from the site, not sure why but it is free and you aren't obliged to buy anything. I've already placed an order, popular products sell out fast. Since ordering I have read various posts in the Pastry and Baking thread that have left me wondering if I should be using Opalys as my white chocolate rather than Ivoire. Do any of you have experience of both variants of Valrhona's white chocolate? I would be grateful for any advice you can provide on using them in baking or chocolate making.
  25. My favorite recipe for chocolate chip cookies says to refrigerate the dough overnight and then bake. This makes a really stiff dough that is hard to scoop and I usually let it warm up a bit to get something more workable. Do I really need to wait overnight? I am assuming that the flour gets more thoroughly hydrated and any gluten gets a rest. Are there other benefits for such a long rest? I have made hundreds of dozens of this unique recipe and I don't always do the overnight thing but usually let the dough ( which is very soft initially) rest an hour or two and get very good results.