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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. {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"?
  3. I will be selling my choclates at a large event the first week of December. I am in the process of planning my timeline to have everything as perfect as possible for “show” day. Some of my concerns are shelf life, having enough product, and display. I need all the helpful advice I can get. I am so new at this that I don’t know what questions to ask. I would be most grateful to those of you with experience and expertise with selling at chocolate shows if you would share some tips for success.
  4. I have been making macarons for a few years now, and have been making LOTS of macarons lately for my new baking business, and what occurred tonight is a first for me. When baking off my trays tonight, I'm getting meringue cookies (no glossy hard top, no foot) instead of macaron shells. I baked off several dozen earlier today with no problems, so I don't think it's an issue of the weather -- but it's been dry. The texture of the (freshly made) batter was as usual, as was my oven temp. The formula is one I've used many times before, with success. I weigh my ingredients carefully. What the heck did I do wrong, and how can I prevent it from happening again?!
  5. I never understood the hype behind macarons until today. My first macaron was rose flavored. It tasted and smelled like soap. Anyway, today my nan came by with macarons because I hoped that they would taste as delicious as others said that macarons tasted. I got to taste 3 flavors. Tea flavored, raspberry/strawberry (not sure), and salted caramel. After giving macarons another chance, I feel satisfied. They were everything I hoped they would be. Delicious. I will definitely be eating them again. Please share your experiences with the macaron.
  6. I made and dipped some sponge candy in dark chocolate the other day. It was probably my second or third time ever tempering chocolate (seeding method), so while I roughly understand the process, I'm far from experienced. I didn't have much chocolate on hand, so I had to split the dipping into two batches on separate days. The first batch set perfectly. The second batch of chocolate appeared to be in temper - when I tested it with a cold knife, it developed the appropriate shine within a few minutes. I proceeded to use all of the chocolate and then move the pieces to a slightly cooler area, but after I cleaned up, I returned to find that every single one had bloomed badly. To my surprise, however, when I ate one of the bloomed pieces after letting them set for 24 hours, I found that it had the hardness and snap I would expect from properly tempered chocolate - certainly not the mushy, almost frosting-like texture that I've seen before in completely untempered chocolate. The chocolate I was using was not particularly fluid, if that matters (Guittard's 70% "baking bars"). I understand that bloom can have a million different causes, but since I used the exact same chocolate and technique both times with dramatically different results, I was hoping to narrow down the possibilities before I risk another attempt. In particular, I was wondering if a warm kitchen could cause this type of problem. I keep a combination thermometer-hygrometer in the kitchen, and on the second day, it was around 77 degrees Farenheit while I was working (far from ideal, but it's what I had to work with). Regardless, I didn't move my finished pieces to the fridge, since it is my understanding that rushing the setting process will interfere with proper crystallization (Greweling mentions this in the context of ganache, but also says the same is true for chocolate). I guess I sort of naively believed that as long as the temperature of the chocolate in the bowl was controlled properly, and the room wasn't warm enough to heat up and literally re-melt the setting pieces, I would be fine. I don't recall the exact kitchen temperature on the first day, but I believe it was around 72-74 degrees Farenheit, definitely cooler than the second day. I found some posts while browsing eG that reference the "latent heat of crystallization" and describe this type of loss-of-temper, but always in the context of molded chocolates, rather than dipped chocolates. I presume the reduced ventilation that chocolate in a mold receives makes the issue more common?
  7. Hi! I am making molded chocolates at home and just started airspraying cocoa butter into the molds. I only have R & R cocoa butter. I haven't been able to find any discussions here about using it. I know I am tempering the cocoa butter and I have a Grex Tritium (side feed) with a .7 needle. I have a California Air Tools compresser 1 HP, with an 8 gallon tank. The cocoa butter seems to clog in the airbrush, and I have to heat it with my blowdryer every few (2-3) minutes to keep it running. It seems I have to use high pressures to get any spray from the gun. I wish I hadn't gotten the side feed, but I didn't know better. Could the brand of cocoa butter be part of the cause? It splatters a lot as well. II am loving the airbrush but I know I have much more to learn yet! I would appreciate any help to help improve my spraying!
  8. I recently purchased a vintage metal chocolate mold. I was fascinated by its pattern, and it was relatively cheap. Now I'm trying to figure out how to use it. I have begun to suspect that it may have been designed for making some particular type of chocolate, and before I start acting on my various speculations, wanted to put a couple of images of it before this group to see if anyone might recognize what it was made for, or, alternatively, what I could use it to make. It's very heavy, and the cavities are in pretty good condition.
  9. Hi guys hope your doing well, so i just want to ask you about some tips, recipes or informations about making chocolate bonbons am already know how to tamper and make my shells and i want to learn more about this, thank you so much 🎀
  10. 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)
  11. 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
  12. Hello! I'm fairly new to this site so I don't know if my search was weak. I'm trying to find a way to make Mandarin orange puree at home, but I couldn't find anything even similar in the forum. I am a home cook, but I have been making chocolate bonbons and other confections for over 4 years (intermitantly). It is too expensive for me to purchase this online- not because of the price of the puree, but the cost of shipping makes it prohibative. The recipes I've seen online are all differant and don't seem to be what I need. I would love any help with this! I look forward to hearing and learning from those who have much, much more experience than me. Thanks!
  13. 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
  14. 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.
  15. 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!
  16. 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?
  17. 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?
  18. 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!
  19. 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'?
  20. I asked a friend of mine to build a guitar cutter for me. He is a professional fabricator and based his design on specs found on this website and other pictures I could find online. It's a beautiful piece of equipment. The problem is that it doesn't cut through my caramels. I cook them to just below the hard ball stage then set them in a caramel ruler. When I try to cut them, the wires just don't make it all the way through, though it perforates enough where I can then follow the lines with a pizza roller. So my question is this, am I having problems because the wires aren't right (I don't know enough to tell you what kind of wires they are) or do those of you with professional guitar cutters have the same problem?? Thank you diana
  21. 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?
  22. 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.
  23. 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! 🙃
  24. 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!
  25. Hello Everyone, I have a client who is interested in chocolate covered caramels. I was wondering if there was a cheaper solution to caramel bar sets to use instead. I would rather not use sheet pans. Any suggestion would be great. Thank You!! Matt
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