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Found 1,161 results

  1. Has anyone taken one of Andrey's classes. I know they've been mentioned in the How Do They Do That thread, but I can't remember if anyone has taken a course. I'm curious because he continues to do methods that are groundbreaking. Not cheap for an online course, but I'm interested in taking his praline course. I just watched his free tempering class and it was good, nothing special but good enough to allay my fears that the Russian to English translation or camerawork might make the class not worthwhile. Thnx.
  2. Can you believe this is our 10th annual workshop? And here we are back in Niagara College in beautiful Niagara on the Lake where it all began in 2009. The view from my room - the pergola down there we will have access to for Show and Tell on Friday night. I had every intention of soaking in a nice warm bath after my arrival - alas not a tub to be seen - and while the shower is quite attractive - it doesn't invite soaking! Those who can't soak can at least drink if they have remembered to bring small specimen bottles of booze. I somehow pictured a nice glass tumbler for my negroni - but alas... Tomorrow morning the whirlwind will begin with a trip across the border to Tomric - hope everyone remembers their passport.
  3. SilverstoneBakehouse

    Coloured cocoa butter technique advice

    Hello, my name is Matthew and ever since university I've been working with racing cars but am now looking to start making filled bonbons to finally scratch an itch that has just never gone away since I first successfully tempered a batch of chocolate. I recently commissioned the creation of some custom moulds, shaped like racing helmets, with a view to supplying my filled bonbon creations to racing teams, as potential gifts for sponsors and hospitality guests. I plan to emulate some classic helmet designs (like Senna's helmet for my caramel) and also offer customisation, for any drivers who want the chocolates to resemble their own helmet designs. The custom moulds will be produced in 40 shore silicone (FDA approved), with each mould weighing 2KG, sized somewhere around 250mm square and including 20 helmet cavities. I have also purchased a Chocovision Rev2, tabletop vibrating platform, airbrush and loads of other odds and sods to assist in the process. I won't receive the moulds until later this week (hopefully) but have been doing loads of practicing and research into how I could utlilise coloured cocoa butter to create various effects on the finished product. Does anyone know of any books that are filled with graphical explanations of this, something along the lines of "by using X tool and Y technique, you can produce Z result"? My main concern is that the moulds will be difficult to decorate due to the limited accessibility of the cavity (my own fault I guess). Unlike a sphere mould where you can pipe straight lines easily, with helmet shaped cavities its a much more complex and time consuming process. I have included a couple of photos of a test helmet I cast last week. Please note that I gave little thought to the decoration of this piece, it was really just to test out whether 40 shore silicone would be too stiff for removal of the chocolate from the mould. I would appreciate any advice you are able and willing to provide, as I embark on this new adventure. Thanks Matthew
  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. 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 :-)
  6. [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
  7. Sue PEI

    Father's day

    I'm late to the game - anyone have any ideas for Father's Day? And I refuse to make to make chocolate golf balls.
  8. What’s currently your favorite type of chocolate (for primarily consuming, not so much for cooking with) and please say why, be it something that’s commercially mass produced, or a more expensive gourmet variety you love, despite it costing more, or something you might even make yourself. Of course if you have more than one to name, no problem.
  9. I work at a small business with about 25 employees where we make chocolates, popcorn and caramels. In capacity as head chocolatier I have to work with our facilities supervisor to develop a food safety testing plan for the facility. Right now we are developing a plan to do the following: swab with ATP detectors to see if bacterial activity is present, test for Aerobic Plate Count bacteria (APC), and swabbing for the presence of nut proteins to verify our cleaning protocols are sufficient to eliminate nut allergens and test the floor drains for the presence of listeria. Does anyone have any experience with food safety testing in chocolate plants?? If so, is there anything else that you think we need to be testing for?
  10. 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!
  11. Hi Folks: First time poster here! (Although I browse the content quite often). I've been making filled chocolates for a while, but have stuck with fairly simple ganache-like fillings. I'm trying to up my game a bit, but I'm having some trouble understanding at which temperature certain fillings should be piped in. I'm using Grewling's guide to the temperature at which to pipe in fillings and he refers to 'room temperature', 'warm' and 'hot'. What is 'warm' and what is 'hot'? I'm guessing 'hot' can't be hotter than 90F, as it will melt the shell? I'm currently making a jelly that i'd like to pipe in, layering with a ganache, but the jelly is still at 98F and setting pretty quickly, on the road to un-pipeable. Anyone's thoughts would be greatly appreciated! Thanks, Jen
  12. JeanneCake

    Callebaut Gold chocolate

    Anyone have any info on this? Bake Magazine blurb
  13. Making 65% Dark Chocolate Required Materials: -Santha wet/dry grinder -Champion Juicer -Marble/granite/Silestone slab -Non-pourous cutting board -Pastry scraper -One-piece soft rubber spatula -Large plastic heat-proof/microwavable bowl -2-3 smaller glass/ceramic bowls -Tempering thermometer -Chocolate chipper -Parchment paper -Chocolate tablet moulds -Cotton batting -Medical grade 2oz/60cc plastic syringe with plastic nozzle -Microwave -Scale -Hair Blow Dryer Ingredients: -liquid lecithin -cocoa beans -cocoa butter -granulated cane sugar -vanilla bean Here is a photo of some of the materials. The Silestone slab that I’ll use for the tempering is underneath the table cloth…hiding. You’ll see that later. Before I begin it is important to point out one thing: Warning: Never get any water-based anything near chocolate. If even ONE drop falls into your chocolate, it will seize and be ruined. Keep this in mind for the entire chocolate making process. Day One: I ordered two pounds of Ghana Forastero beans from Mr. Nanci at Chocolate Alchemy. I decided not to start with criollo due to it being slightly trickier to roast. I have roasted beans twice before to make Mexican chocolate, and both times I was happy with the result. Both times I also used Forastero, so it felt like a good place to start. Because I haven’t wanted to invest in a cocoa bean cracker to break the beans down to nibs, I asked John to do that for me pre-roast. He winnowed them as well. The drawback to cracking and winnowing raw beans, however, is that the husk sticks to the bean a bit more and so one is left with a higher percentage of husk on the beans than if one were to do so after the roast. One expects to lose about 25% of the weight of the beans in husk, so from the two pounds of beans I bought, at the end of the winnowing process I should have had about 1 lb. 8 ounces. When my beans came I had about 1 lb. 12.5 ounces which told me that I needed to winnow a bit post roast. I’ll get to that in a moment. Roasting: For the roasting, I set the oven to 350 and placed the nibs in a ceramic baking dish. They were one inch deep and spread evenly. I placed the nibs in the oven when it was heated to 350, and took it out every 5 minutes to stir. Due to the constant opening of the oven, the heat was dropping from 350 down into the 200’s. When roasting in the oven, the idea is to start with a high heat to get the beans up to temperature as quickly as possible, and then lower it some to the roasting temperature. Due to the loss of heat every 5 minutes, and the fact that Forastero can take a pretty heavy roasting, I didn’t adjust the heat. At about minute 15 the kitchen began to fill with the smell of baking brownies. Actually the smell is better than baking brownies, but that is the closest smell I can compare it to. By minute 20 the beans were starting to become roasted enough to tell by looking (darker and glossier) and the smell had increased. By minute 25 when I stirred the beans, they seemed almost done as they had a strong brownie smell, with no hint of burnt odour and were quite a bit darker. I roasted them for two more minutes and then removed them. I tasted a couple nibs and the taste was a familiar deep cocoa flavour with its accompanying bitterness. I was happy with the roast and brought the beans out to cool, leaving them in the same dish they had roasted in. Here are the beans pre-roast, and then… Post-roast: Note the change in color of the beans. Winnowing: After the beans were cool, I winnowed them once more to remove most of the rest of the husk. To understand how I winnowed (with a blow dryer), and why it is not imperative to remove every last little bit of the husk with the setup I am using, I can do no better than to quote John Nanci of Chocolate Alchemy from his winnowing page at which there are also photos of the process: Winnowing “A few notes: For winnowing, just use any old hair dryer, although a small shop vac works great. Come in high and stir with your hands…You will soon work out how close the blowing air needs to be to blow the husk away, but not the nibs. After a few minutes, you should have a nice bowl of nibs ready for the Champion Juicer. Don't fret too much about a few pieces of husk here and there. The screen in the Champion will remove those few bits, and actually make a very nice filter bed.” Here is a photo of the winnowed and roasted beans: Next is grinding of the beans with the Champion juicer. Day Two: I started today by laying out everything I would need. This included: 1) Cocoa beans 2) Cocoa butter (heated until just melted) 3) One Piece spatula 4) Two large plastic microwave safe bowls 5) 2-3 smaller glass/ceramic bowls 6) Sugar 7) Vanilla bean (dried) 8) Liquid Lecithin 9) Santha mixer 10) Champion 11) Food Processor 12) Scale Cocoa Bean grinding: First I melted the cocoa butter until it was just melted (not too hot), in the microwave. I used 6 ounces for the approximately 24 ounces of cocoa liquor I would end up with. I started with 27.5 ounces of beans in a bowl, which included about a couple ounces of husk that didn’t get removed in the winnowing phase. I set up my champion with the small screen, and put the requisite bowls underneath the screen and underneath the waste output (one each). I turned on the Champion and ran the beans through at a moderate speed. After running the beans through one time I took a photo to show how much liquor had been extracted and how much “waste” existed. Actually, as you can tell, there is quite a lot of liquor mixed in with the “waste” husks, so the idea is to run it through again and again until virtually all of the liquor is extracted. The grinding case of the Champion can hold 3-4 ounces of material, so with a small batch of chocolate like this, basically at the end, the compartment will be filled with a lot of husk and only a little liquor, with not much coming out of the waste spout. This is what I was looking for, so I ran it through two more times and here is a second photo to show the difference: Finally, to wash out the last little bit of liquor from inside the grinding case, I ran the melted cocoa butter through the Champion and here is the final photo after the cocoa butter and liquor have been mixed together: I weighed the resulting mixture and it came out to be 834 grams which is just a hair short of 30 ounces I anticipated (29.29 actually). Basically, then, most of what was left in the grinding cover was husk that had been filtered out, with a little bit of liquor. No big loss. Sugar and vanilla bean grinding: Next, I put the very dry 1/3 vanilla bean (1 gram) and the 16 ounces of pure cane granular sugar (455.52 grams) into a food processor and processed at high speed for about 10 minutes, or until the sugar was reduced to a fine powder. It is NOT possible to use powdered sugar from the store as it contains corn starch and will RUIN the chocolate. The sugar must be powdered at home from granular. I measured out the approx. 2.65 grams of liquid lecithin. I need a better scale, and will buy one before I make chocolate again (preferably a pocket scale that measures in increments of .1 of a gram like the JS-500 or a similar scale). Using my Philips scale, I got the measurement somewhere between 2 and 3 grams. The amount that I wanted to add for my chocolate was .2% of the total mass of all the other ingredients (which was 1290.52 grams), since .2% is a fairly common amount to add in dark chocolates. It is not that exciting, but here is a photo of the sugar and lecithin: Chocolate mixing, refining, conching: Finally, I heated the chocolate liquor/cocoa butter mixture up to about 140 degrees Fahrenheit in a microwave safe plastic bowl so that when I added it to the Santha wet/dry grinder, which is much cooler (being made of granite), it would still be relatively warm when I added the sugar, which is a good idea to keep the Santha from bogging down too much at the outset. Here is a photo of the Santha pre-liquor. One can see its similarity to a large chocolate “melangeur”: So I added the liquor first. Here is a photo of the Santha after adding ONLY the liquor. It is somewhat smooth, but one can still see a fine grain: Then I added the sugar, vanilla, and lecithin. Here is a photo of the Santha after adding the sugar and lecithin to the liquor. It is no longer smooth, but rather is quite grainy, even after powdering the sugar, etc: I set the timer for 5 hours. Here is a photo of the mixture at 5 hours (still too grainy) 7 hours (grainy still): 9 hours (probably acceptable grain for grocery store chocolate): 11 hours (acceptable grain for many store bought chocolates): 13 hours (acceptable grain for many high-end chocolates, but I wanted to refine a bit further): Removed at 15 hours (extremely fine grain, practically not noticeable, but just short of what I consider the ultimate in mouthfeel—Domori Puertomar): The finished chocolate weighed in at: 2 lbs 7.25 ounces (1117.5 grams) after removing it from the Santha. Day Three: Today is the final active step of chocolate making, the tempering and moulding. Tempering I brought the chocolate (in a microwaveable bowl) up to 120 f in the microwave by heating it in 1 minute increments at a low power and stirring at each minute. After about 5 minutes it was at 120 f. I ladled about 1/3 of the mixture onto my Silestone workspace leaving the rest in the plastic bowl to cool. At this point I spread it out and drew it up over and over again for about 2-3 minutes until the chocolate became thick and almost unmanageable. I then added this chocolate back to the reserved melted chocolate and stirred slowly with a thermometer until it had melted. The resulting temperature was 89 degrees when I was done with about 7 minutes of stirring. Here are three photos showing three parts of the above process. I then moved the chocolate over to the kitchen table where my moulds were waiting. I had pre-coated them with a thin layer of cocoa butter as many do for their filled bon bons. ( I would come to find out later that I did not coat them 100% evenly) Filling the Moulds: I filled each four ounce mould with two plastic syringes (2 oz) full of chocolate. I tried to work as fast as possible as the chocolate viscosity was quickly increasing. After filling one entire mould, I wrapped it firmly on the table to even out the chocolate and release some bubbles. Unfortunately, the photo of that step is slightly blurred and so it isn’t that easy to see that the chocolate smoothes out very nicely. I then placed the moulds in the refrigerator for about 45 minutes until they set. De-moulding: After the chocolate had cooled in the fridge for 45 minutes I removed the moulds and de-moulded immediately. They had contracted, as I expected, and came right out of the moulds all in one piece and hard. Though the bars were quite shiny over all, I could tell that I didn’t apply the cocoa butter extremely skillfully in some areas, so there are places where the shine is a bit more matte. So, the lack of smoothness of the bars is due to two things. First, the cocoa butter issue, and secondly, that the moulds have a slight texture to them, which would have looked homogeneous, had I applied the cocoa butter more skilfully. Additionally, I slightly overfilled some of the bars. I should have added 3.9 ounces to each mould rather than the full 4 ounces in order to avoid this. I took a photo of all the bars together, and then the best looking single one. Finally, after about 15 hours of rest, here is a close up of one bar “snapped” in two so that you can see the texture. It had a very firm snap that I am really happy with, and the grain looks good too. This hints at a good temper, but I’ll keep everyone updated over the next few days if I notice any bloom at all. However, there are some air bubbles that I didn’t manage to get out of the chocolate. This impacts the “look” of the chocolate. I have decided that I will definitely invest in a chocolate vibrating table before I mould bars again. These bubbles would have been forced out of even this quite viscous chocolate with such vibration. Technically, the chocolate should now “age” for some time to reach its peak in texture and flavor. I have seen suggested that 3 months is an adequate amount of time, though I don’t imagine that these bars will be around by then. The best part of this experience is that the chocolate tastes absolutely fantastic, and the mouthfeel matches the flavor in quality. The grain of the chocolate is just barely recognizable (i.e., is a far finer grain than most chocolate bars…even many of the “artisanal” chocolates such as some of Amedei’s). I have never had a chocolate bar made with Forastero that is this good, and the bitterness that one would expect with a cocoa of this type is almost non-existent. Now, I can’t wait to buy some Ocumare (criollo) and experiment with that. At any rate, I hope that some of you have enjoyed this demo, however imperfect it may be. I tried to document as much as possible to give everyone the feeling that you were here making the chocolate with me. Of course I can’t convey the magnificent smell of the roasting beans with their rich house-filling cocoa aroma, and I you can’t taste the finished product that is completely worth every bit of the time and effort, but hopefully you now have some sense of how to make chocolate at home, and better yet, the knowledge that it IS possible. The 21st century is here, home chocolate making is no longer kitchen fiction, and I dare say, and only half joking: “Be on the lookout Domori, the Chocolate Alchemists are on the prowl.” (Just don’t tell him I’m the one who said it) Lastly, for all of you who are now interested in making your own chocolate, please come and visit the free Chocolate Alchemy Forum, where, in addition to eGullet, I have learned a lot of things that have helped me to finally make my own chocolate. Comments welcome. I’ll answer any questions that I can. Sincerely, Alan
  14. 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
  15. ksaw29

    Chocolate Percentages

    I've always seen Chocolates with the percentage on them, but never knew what exactly they represented. Do they: - Show the amount of cocoa that is present in the bar? - If so, is the sweetness of the bar affected by the percentage of cocoa present? Just wanted to end my confusion. Thanks
  16. pastrygirl

    Starch in chocolate

    saw this post and questioned why “in theory, this won’t work”, response so far is “starch in chocolate can be problematic” Ok ... obviously adding a lot of fine dry material will decrease fluidity, and things could get weird if you were going to add cream and make ganache, but how else would milling popcorn into chocolate “not work”? My experiments so far suggest you just need enough warm cocoa butter to keep things moving, how would starchy popcorn be different from fibrous fruits?
  17. pastrygirl

    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!
  18. I just had a client bring me a box of buttercreams from Germany. He would really like me to make this type of chocolate. I have an aversion to the sweet fondant filled chocolates that are found in many name brand chocolate boxes - and this is what I have always known as 'buttercreams'. The chocolates he brought me are different. Definitely not as sweet and very light and creamy - almost whipped. So off I go to look in my books - you know, the standards - Greweling, Wybauw... and nothing. There's no section on buttercreams. Well, not quite true - Wybauw gives a standard fondant recipe and then a variation for cream fondant - no butter mentioned, and no mention of flavours. I've done a search here on eG and didn't come up with much. Can someone tell me the story behind these light, creamy, whipped buttercreams? How do they differ from the sweet fondant filled confections in those Russel Stover boxes? And why can't I find any info about them?! Thanks!!
  19. 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?
  20. 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!
  21. 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?
  22. 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?
  23. pastrygirl

    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
  24. Anyone have ideas on how to get a clean edge on a two-part 3D hollow chocolate mold (it's an egg)? I've tried: - clipping the two mold halves together to dry while sealed - letting two mold halved dry separately then heating the edges, either with a heat gun or by putting them on a warmed half-sheet pan No matter what I do, the edges are not seamless. Help! Thanks, Heather
  25. pastrygirl

    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?
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