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  1. [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...
  2. 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 try it, but shy away (I need to get appropriate forms first) because I keep feeling like I'll end up with half the mixture deposited and the other half solidified in the funnel. I assume warming the stainless funnel will aid the process, but I also assume that you have one attempt at this, and you cant rewarm the mixture as you would with fondant or gummies. Anyways, just a question I wanted to put out there. Thanks! Host's note: this is the second part of an extended topic that has been split in order to reduce load on our servers. The first part is here: Pâte de Fruits (Fruit Paste/Fruit Jellies) (Part 1)
  3. Help! I am an amateur and make chocolate truffles, bonbons, and caramels for friends and family. I made some soft caramel for filling molded bonbons. The flavor and consistency are fine, but the caramel is filled with bubbles. I don't know how to get the air bubbles out, and am concerned using it in my molded chocolates. I would like to know if it is okay to use. I have been making confections for about four years and this is the first time this has happened. I would really appreciate any help! I'm new to the forum and don't know anyone yet.
  4. Hi all!! I work at an amazing little New Zealand Style ice cream shop in the beautiful Denver Colorado. I was hoping to get a little help on the subject of adding fruit into ice cream after extracting it and ensuring that, when the ice cream is frozen, the fruity bits don't turn into rock hard shards. I am planning on doing a cherry chocolate ice cream and I was going to soak some dried cherries that we're no longer using for something else. I was planning on using some brandy and a ton of sugar, but I was really hoping someone had a tried and true method they could send my way so that I KNOW that the fruit will be luscious as it's frozen. If you have a certain sugar ratio. I know there is the brix test, but to be honest it's been many years since pastry school and I am very rusty. Would love to hear from some of my fellow sugar-heads. Thank you! Amy
  5. 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
  6. {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 seem to show up regularly at these stores. I'm very glad I'm not a parent, because I can't comprehend saying "no" to a child when I can't even deny myself buying something as dumb as this at least once. Other recent "acquisitions" include: Reese's "Fast Break"... Listerine CoolMint PocketPacks... Am I sick? That last one isn't even necessarily candy... Any one else with this "problem"?
  7. 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!
  8. One of my favorite confections is Halvah, the kind my Bubi gave me as a child. Just made some awful-tasting awful-textured Halvah from a recipe from Bruce Weinstein The Ultimate Candy Book. I can't think it was the recipe: Sesame oil, white flour, tahini and honey. I probably got something terribly wrong. There appear to be dozens of different halvah recipes. Might try an egg white based one next with sugar. Does anyone have a halvah recipe that turns out well?
  9. In my excitement over finding Wybauw's procedure for candying fruit (the two week sugar soaking process) I managed to not read his directions clearly until now. ...Now being when I have a dozen oranges sitting on my counter most eagerly. Each step of the sugar soaking process indicates that I boil the sugar solution to a certain Brix point before proceeding. How would a non-professional attempt this at home? google's book preview shows the procedure here. Help?
  10. Hi all! I just wanted to pop in here and see if anyone had some advice on canning/jarring caramel sauce for ready-to-eat consumption. The ice cream shop I work at is putting together gift baskets for valentine's day and we wanted to toss in some caramel and fudge jars in to add some tasty treats. We have a recipe that works great in the shop in our squeeze bottles for topping the ice cream, however I don't have a ton of experience with the canning process to make it shelf stable and shippable. I've canned tomato sauce and salsa in the past, but my method wouldn't be efficient for canning hundreds of jars for consumption. What is your method for success? Does it all hinge on the sealing process, and if so what are your favorite (cost efficient) products? Do you know of a jar that is self sealing or more durable than others? Thanks for any suggestions!
  11. Hello eGForums, I'm curious if anyone has purchased these ganache and caramel ruler bars (https://www.tcfsales.com/products/658-ganache-and-caramel-ruler-bars-set-of-2-ea/) from TCF before or has experience with this company? Are they a reputable company? It costs $87.96 (not including shipping) to purchase 4 stainless steel square bars, measuring 1/2" x 1/2" x 15" L, which seems like a reasonable price relative to other companies. Correct me if I'm wrong. Does anyone suggest other companies to purchase bars from? On a related topic, I know that a possibly more affordable alternative would be to visit a local metal fabricator and purchase metal bars from them. My concern is purchasing bars that are made from an alloy and finish that is 'food-safe'. Does anyone know what grade/alloy and finish of stainless steel is 'food-safe'? Does anyone know what grade/alloy and finish of aluminum is 'food-safe'?
  12. Several of Greweling's recipes call for the use of a round piping tip. I'm not familiar with what sizing system he's using. When he says to use a "no. [integer] round tip", what does the [integer] correspond to in millimeters or inches? For example, what is the diameter of a no. 3 round tip used by Greweling?
  13. 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.
  14. 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 Edited to add: the black/ brown flavors are chocolate, of course! 🙃
  15. 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!
  16. 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.
  17. 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
  18. 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!! Thank you!!!
  19. 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 financial reasons, so I'm excited about this online course. I'm thinking this could be a first step in seeing if this is the career for me. Anyone have any thought/suggestion on this? Also, if you know of any other programs available that may serve my needs, I appreciate the resource. Thanks!
  20. 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 buttered marble slab and let cool slightly 3. add color and flavor, and pull like taffy while it cools further 4. when it just starts to show signs of crystallizing, roll into ropes and cut before it crystallizes much further (I have maybe 2 minutes if I'm lucky to get all the cutting done) The main problem I run into is that when handling the candy during steps 3 and 4, my hands need to be buttered so the candy doesn't stick to me, and even if I quickly wash my hands, any cutting tool needs to also be buttered to prevent sticking, and basically it's nearly impossible to maintain a good grip on anything. The second problem is that the candy at this point is hard enough that if I try to snip it with scissors it will tend to slide along the blade instead of getting cut, yet it is still plastic enough that if I pick it up it will tend to sag under its weight and thin out too much while I'm concentrating on getting the scissors to cut right. My best results so far have been with leaving the candy on the marble and cutting it with a pastry scraper, but pressing down hard enough to cut all the way through with a slippery (due to the aforementioned buttered hands) pastry scraper while trying not to gouge the marble underneath is not particularly fun. I did try pruning shears once because the curved blade holds the candy in place instead of sliding along the blade, which worked fine except for the fear of lopping off parts of a finger made it too nerve-wracking to be done quickly. Basically, I'd love to find something that works like this, but for something with the consistency of a hard caramel: Any ideas? -Trufflenaut
  21. 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
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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?
  25. I have made caramel for several years but over the past few months it has not set up the same. Now, as it cools in the container it appears that the corn syrup is separating at the bottom. I have not altered my recipe and have not been able to figure out why this is happening. Any suggestions>
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