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Found 1,228 results

  1. [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
  2. 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.
  3. Now I know the purists out there will say that chocolate should be melted in a glass bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, but I have always melted chocolate in a microwave on a low setting. It does need constant checking and stirring, otherwise too much and the sugar will go solid, but it takes seconds rather than many minutes. What is the general opinion on this?
  4. 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?
  5. Afternoon everyone. I know that some of you have taken classes with Melissa Coppel and I am finally going to bite the bullet and take one of her classes, but I don't know whether I should take her "Intensive Chocolate Workshop" class or her "Running a Chocolate Production" class. I hear all of her classes are great, but I'm just wondering which one would be better for an amateur home chocolate maker who is pretty confident in his tempering and ganache skills, but is looking to take that next step. Thanks in advance!! Branden
  6. We work with transfer sheets regularly but most of them are not double backed. By that I mean most of them are one layer, not backed with a white layer. I'm having a real problem with consistency in the thicker sheets as seen attached. We attach these individually as they come out of the enrober but it doesn't feel like we're getting enough heat penetration to do a full transfer. Anyone share some tips on thicker applications like these? Our short run came out fine but as soon as we went into production of course the first batch ends up being shot.
  7. So a question about guitar cutters. I can see why they're a superior method for cutting ganache in terms of uniformity and efficiency, but I was wondering if there's something about cutting with a metal string that's superior to cutting with a knife? Perhaps a ganache would stick to the string less than the knife? Where I'm headed with this is, as someone who's just starting out and not ready to invest in a guitar cutter, I'm wondering if using a cheese lyre to cut ganache might be better than using a knife?
  8. Anyone have a favorite recipe for chocolate cake using semisweet chocolate? My usual chocolate cake recipe uses cocoa, but I have some samples of chocolate I want to use up for a workplace party. Yes, I could make brownies or ganache frosting, or chocolate mousse or chocolate chunk cookies, just feeling like cake this weekend ...
  9. I'm trying to make bonbons with milk shells for the first time and I'm struggling. When I melt my milk chocolate it is really thick. Is this normal? I'm pretty sure humidity is not an issue. I'm concerned that my shells wont empty out well and I'll be left with no room for ganache. I tried adding some cocoa butter last time but it affected the flavor. Disclaimer: I'm using pretty cheap milk chocolate (Ghirardelli) cuz I'm still learning. If you think this is the only issue please let me know.
  10. 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.
  11. My supplier decided that cocoa butter is now special order so I had to buy a case. And now I have an excessive amount of cocoa butter, anyone need any? Cacao Barry cocoa butter pistoles with a best by date of April 2021 $66 for the 3 kg tub or $22 per kg plus shipping.
  12. Hey guys :) Im having difficulties with my tempering machine. The chocolate is not in temper. Ive made several tests and they all have certain marks on. Im in a hot country so i make sure to have my mould in temper and then i pop them in the fridge to make sure they set properly. Any tips? Something i should be considering? Anything would be of great help!!!!
  13. Hi there, How low can you go on calculating pricing on wedding favours. I use this method which assumes you want a 50% mark up: Cost of item: 4 dollars (100-50)x100 I know its up to me to decide the mark up percentage I use but how low should can you/should you go? Thanks guys E
  14. Hello I am a new chocolatier. I am calculating my costs to come up with a budget for my new business. I need help from you guys. if lets say a box of 12 bonbons costs me 4 dollars including raw material and packaging, how much should your sales price be? Also how much would you charge for wholesale, assuming margin is between 20-40%? How much is a reasonable labour cost per hour?
  15. Has anyone used Valrhona Absolut Crystal neutral glaze particularly to thicken a coulis or to glaze a tart? If so, how did you like it and is there another glaze you think worked as well but is less expensive or can be purchased in smaller quantities?
  16. I have just started my own chocolaterie. We opened two weeks ago, we are only online business. It’s 15 days before Easter here. I have produced Bonbons but don’t know if it’s enough. I have budgeted for this but nobody can tell me how it will go right? I’m scared we won’t cope with last minute orders that week...
  17. Hello, I am new to this forum. It is nice to meet you all. For August I have 2 big custom chocolate jobs and would love to know if I can paint the molds with tempered cocoa butter weeks in advance and then shell, fill, cap, at the last minute? Will the paint hold and be shiny and beautiful? Thanks in advance
  18. 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 :-)
  19. We are new Chocolatiers 3 months in business and doing well. We are looking for mentors people who are in production and can help us grow in the right direction. We need to take some decisions to invest now before the holiday season and want to make sure we are doing the right moves. If we need to pay for this service we don’t have a big budget but will try. We will try to get help to avoid any mistakes and will take a loan for this investment. Look forward to hear from you guys thks
  20. I need some help to balance my recipe fillings for my bonbons. Anyone have time to help me? I have based myself on Ramon Moratos %
  21. i recently came across this realy good recipe for caramelized white chocolate with seasalt: place 400 gr of white chocolate (chopped, pellets or chips) in a cake mould or pan of some sort in the oven at 120 celisus for aprox 40 min or until dark golden like biscotti, give a good stir every 10 minutes. place in a bowl, whisk out any lumps, add a few pinches of seasalt and voila - caramelized white chocolate with seasalt! i use this as filling in moulded dark chocolates, but it can be used as spreads for cakes etc.
  22. 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
  23. I've read some older threads on here about keeping your cocoa butter warm in a dehydrator. We picked up a NutriChef PKFD32 which was the closest we could find to a recommended one (2016/2018) and none of our bottles fit. Which had us ask--are people putting their bottles preset in here or are you using cups/transferring and cleaning your bottles over and over? Also if the PKFD32 isn't what we should be using, is there one generally people like now? We've grown up from cheap airbrushes to the Grex line and we're attempting to get much more serious about our airbrush techniques. It's been long enough. Any thoughts, tips, tricks, or considerations are greatly appreciated.
  24. Hi guys. Came across these amazing bon bons on Instagram. How would you say I could replicate the design? thabks.
  25. Hi everyone, Melbourne (AUS) is having a bit of a warm spell at the moment that's looking to continue - 30+ celcius for about 2 weeks straight. I want to play around with a bit of chocolate making but it seems... foolish! In the mornings, the ambient temperature in my house is maybe 23, and i'm wondering if this would be ok for dipping (perhaps a quick trip to the fridge to help them set up for a few minutes?). With moulded pralines, it seems the brief fridge steps that some people recommend make sense since the whole tray is done at once, but it seems impractical for hand dipping, since i'd have to either wait till a whole tray was done (and perhaps moot the point) or otherwise do tiny batches! I guess a related question is that if i made a ganache to slab, would it even set up properly overnight? I was thinking that the crystals would still form as it cooled, but I don't know. Any tips for working in warmer weather (where climate control isn't possible)? Am I best to just write it off over summer and pick it back up when things cool down a bit? The one positive I can think of is that it'll take longer for my tempered chocolate to cool down, so less reheating! Cheers, Stuart.
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