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  1. One of the dishes at Alinea this weekend was a shot that included green apple juice or cider inside of a cocoa butter orb dusted with horseradish set in celery juice. The orb was crisp and thin. I've never worked with pure cocoa butter...can you temper it by itself? I didn't taste the sweetness of white chocolate, nor was it billed as white chocolate.
  2. 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!
  3. 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
  4. [Host's note: to ease the load on our servers this topic has been split. The discussion continues from here.] Chocolate nails... And a "How it's made!" video...
  5. This looks interesting - I know some of us have lamented the lack of flavor or off flavors of additives to colored cocoa butter - anyone seen or tried these? Looks like they can be used either to mix into chocolate as a fat-based flavor or to decorate molds as usual with colored CB ... More expensive than Valrhona Inspiration or regular colored CB, I wonder how they compare in flavor intensity, the Valrhonas I've tried were fairly intense. I also wonder what flavors brown, black, and amber are ... https://www.pcb-creation.com/pure-emotion-colour-by-pcb-creation/?lang=en Ed
  6. Hello everyone! I hope you are all safe and well I have a question regarding Chef Rubber Natural Colours. Its very difficult to get them here in Europe (if anyone has any contacts or knows a company that sells that would be great) and anyone that has used this line, what colours would you recommend? Thank you!
  7. {The content of various "what is your favorite candy bar" and confection threads--at least ones not devoted to specific products--have been merged into one unified topic. In a few cases, if someone simply gives a one word answer they might simply be answering the question about what their favorite candy bar is... -- Nov 11 2003} While at my local convenience store I spotted the following completely useless, but interesting item: Mint Skittles... It made me think about the fact that I've never outgrown a certain... let's say fascination... with the infinite stream of novelty confections which
  8. Hello! I am doing some spring cleaning and am selling some of my used polycarbonate molds. I've attached pictures and dimensions below. The mold prices do not include shipping fee. I will ship these via USPS priority mail. For estimation purposes only, 4 - 5 molds can fit in a medium box and it costs $15.05 to ship. Please let me know if you have any questions. Thank you. Charlotte W.
  9. Hey all, I got a question for you who make pate de fruit on a regular basis. I know it's quite simple to pour the finished pate de fruit into a frame, but does anyone here use a confectionery funnel to deposit them into forms? I'm asking because in Notters 'Art of the Chocolatier' it seems his primary way of making the jellies is to deposit the mixture into a flexipan, and his alternate method is to pour it into a frame. I'm wondering simply if anyone does/has done this before. The jellies seem to set quite quickly, and I'm not sure if you just need to be super fast with this or not. I want to
  10. I am searching for a natural source of food colorings, to tint buttercream, & use in chocolate work. I don't like commercial FC, it is synthetic and toxic to boot. Has anyone found a good source/vendor who has naturally derived colorings
  11. Hello everyone! Im in need of your expertise! Ive been having troubles with my machine, or maybe not even my machine. Ive attached an image (hopefully its clear) to show you a mould that has different tempering problems. I dont understand how one mould can have several different tempering issues. Ive also been advised to have my machine between 30C-31C, however all ive known is to use dark chocolate between 31-32C. Ive done tests from 30C-32C and none have the outcome that is expected, that shiny chocolate. Please share your knowledge I really need it!!
  12. I've been looking into books and resources for making truffles lately and ran across Ecole Chocolat. It's in Vancouver and offers an online course. I'm tempted because the price is reasonable ($595 for a 3 month course) and it offers a followup hands-on course (one week) in either Vancouver, Tuscany or Paris (@ Valrhona's Ecole du Grand Chocolat!). I've been making candy as gifts for the past 15 years and have been considering making a career out of it lately. I would really like to concentrate on chocolate and candy. I'm not sure I'm ready to quit my job and go to school full time, due to fi
  13. I need some advice on a safe(ish), easy, and fast way to cut buttermints I often make buttermints for friends for the holidays, and have run into problems cutting them into bite size pieces before the sugar cools and starts to crystallize too much, so I'm looking for ideas on how to do it more quickly so I can do larger batches. Note that I am doing this at home and have very little budget, but on the plus side I don't need to end up with perfectly uniform pieces. The basic process for making the buttermints is: 1. cook butter and sugar to 260 degrees 2. pour out onto
  14. I have two questions but they are related so I am putting them both here. Is it better to put the transfer sheets on top of the chocolate ganache squares dipped into tempered chocolate (by cutting the sheets into into smaller squares?) or put the tempered squares directly on top of the transfer sheet? Also, would it be possible to airbrush an acetate sheet and then put the tempered squares onto the acetate as a way of making my own transfer sheet? Any suggestions would be welcome! Thanks, Jeff
  15. I am using a recipe from Jean-Pierre Wybauw for beer ganache that calls for sorbitol. I have been searching for information online and with my local shop about whether this is considered a preservative (since I tell everyone I don't use preservatives!). Does anyone know? I'm at a loss! Thanks.
  16. 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.
  17. 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?
  18. 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 h
  19. So, what is everyone doing for the pastry & baking side of Easter? I'm working on the following chocolates: fruit & nut eggs, hollow bunnies, Jelly Belly filled bunnies, coconut bunnies, dragons (filled with rice krispies & chocolate), peanut butter hedgehogs, and malted milk hens. Hoping to finish my dark chocolate production today and get started on all my milk chocolate items. My father-in-law will be baking the traditional family Easter bread a day or two before Easter. Its an enriched bread and he makes two versions -- one with raisins and one without (
  20. Hello, folks, thanks for reading. My husband thinks, I should start selling my popcorn seasonings (which I make for my family), it’s a good product. But I'm not sure if it’s interesting to other people... So, what do you think, guys? Our story: We’ve bought an air popper machine, but popcorn came out pretty tasteless. Then, we’ve bought different “popcorn seasoning” mixes... But it always ends with all the seasoning at the bottom of the bowl. Then, we've added butter, oil and so on before seasoning... we got soggy, chewy popcorn. Lot’s of disappointments…
  21. I have an opportunity to obtain (without a trip to NYC, where everything appears available) some hard-to-find liqueurs or brandies for my chocolate work, primarily in ganaches. I already have a poire Williams eau-de-vie and a framboise one as well. I have German kirschwasser but am getting low on that, so am thinking of getting more while I have this chance. For new ones, I'm thinking primarily of apricot. I have heard there are some wonderful European apricot brandies/liqueurs, but don't know which really taste of apricots and are worth purchasing. And the other flavor I would like is a straw
  22. I've read of people on here making their own transfer sheets and was wondering if someone could explain how to do so. Thanks
  23. I've recently started making caramels and been experimenting with lots of flavors and having a blast. One thing that I am having a hard time finding information about is the role of the different ingredients and how different ratios affect the firmness of a caramel. In particular, I have an espresso caramel recipe that I can't seem to get to the soft, no-effort-while-chewing texture that I've achieved with other flavors, yet I've stuck to the same temperatures as other recipes. This leads me to believe that the ratio of ingredients is key. I was hoping I'd be able to get some insight into how
  24. Has anyone made the Meltaways from the Greweling book? What is the purpose of tabling the mixture? You can't temper peanut butter, and they're covered in powdered sugar for handling so you can't tell if they're perfectly shiny. I was wondering if it's just a question of agitating the mixture while the fat molecules are doing their thing in the cooling process, why can't you just put it in a mixer with the paddle on low speed? Wouldn't that essentially do the same thing? I was wondering the same thing about a small batch of cream centers, instead of using the giant ball mixer which takes 30 min
  25. i just came back from my trip to the salon du chocolat. on our second and third day we visited all the good places in paris. we went also to jacques genin marvelous shop, where we had the chance to talk to the master himself. of course we tried his caramels of which i heard a lot beforehand. before i tasted them i thought they were just caramels, like i tasted many before. so we left the place with a 30,- euro box of chocolats and a 14 euro bag of caramels. as soon as we left the shop i poped one of the suckers into my mouth, it was just HEAVEN they we soo soft an unctuos, with a deeeep creamy
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