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tammylc

Favorite tools for hand enrobing?

59 posts in this topic

My enrobing technique sucks. At least partly because I don't have any dipping tools that I like. So I'm in the market for something better. What do you like to use when dipping things in chocolate?


Tammy's Tastings

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Hehe if I tell you that my favorite dipping tool for chocolates ( not truffles ) is a plastic fork on wich I broke the middle teeth?! :laugh:

As I said before working from a cold basement , a metal tool really doesnt work, the chocolate firm up on that fork very very fast , so i found some plastic forks that were good for the test.I have a set of cheap dipping fork 3 and 2 prongs and a round one for round truffles.I really dont like them , the round one isnt too bad for round centers , but I actually trying to do hand dipping for those centers anyway.


Vanessa

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That's very interesting Vanessa - as you know, I have cold working space issues as well (although now that it's spring, my temperature problems are going to start shifting the other direction).

Plastic forks. Hmmm...


Tammy's Tastings

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eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40

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I use my hands for truffles, I often dip things like caramels using my fingers. I have been playing with dipping forks again after taking the Wybauw course and my technique is improving.

He says you need to use a 3 pronged fork and bend the fork. Works best if you have a thin layer of chocolate on the bottom so the fork tines don't stick into the ganache or caramel.

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I use hands for truffles.

For other centers I use dipping forks. I'd back up exactly what Kerry says. Bend the dipping fork in the middle to a "sort-of" 45 degree angle and make sure you have a foot or thin layer of chocolate on the bottom of the center you are dipping as it will help it release from the fork.

I always let the center slide off the fork - dont wiggle it about to speed it up. To avoid a foot forming, I push the chocolate forward just as its coming off the fork and then as I'm releasing the fork, run it around the side of the chocolate so that it doesn't leave any prong marks on the side.


Edited by gap (log)

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funny, I learned during the Wybauw class I am horrid at dipping with a fork. I had previously dipped with hands for truffles. So as Alana tried to give me tips, I think the biggest one was practice practice practice.

As Kerry said, thin layer and bent fork. Wybauw also mentioned wiping the fork clean before each dip to keep that harden chocolate from forming.

Hopefully Alana will chime in, as her chocolates were gorgeous!

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funny, I learned during the Wybauw class I am horrid at dipping with a fork. I had previously dipped with hands for truffles.  So as Alana tried to give me tips, I think the biggest one was practice practice practice. 

As Kerry said, thin layer and bent fork.  Wybauw also mentioned wiping the fork clean before each dip to keep that harden chocolate from forming.

Hopefully Alana will chime in, as her chocolates were gorgeous!

You're right, Mary; Alana's chocolates were gorgeous! She was marvelous at piping and decorating.

gallery_35656_4409_51532.jpg


John DePaula
formerly of DePaula Confections
Hand-crafted artisanal chocolates & gourmet confections - …Because Pleasure Matters…
--------------------
When asked “What are the secrets of good cooking? Escoffier replied, “There are three: butter, butter and butter.”

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:blush: damn you guys for embarrassing me. trust me, the learning curve was pretty flat for a while and it did take a lot of practice.

one thing that jpw did during the class that i liked was placing a bonbon in the chocolate and using the dipping fork to lift some chocolate from one side of the candy over the top to the other side...thus ensuring that the top layer of chocolate wasn't too thick which can happen if you completely submerge your bonbon and then just lift and try to tap off the extra.

also, don't tap the fork against the bowl to remove excess chocolate but rather tap the dipped bonbon against the surface of the chocolate (while it is on the fork) to use the surface tension of the bowl of chocolate to 'pull' excess chocolate off the bonbon...then a quick drag over the edge of your bowl and a release onto the paper exactly as gap described

obviously this is much easier to see and understand than to describe with words.

i see a pastry demo in the works!

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You can find dipping tecniques in the Callebaut web site, there is were I learned how to use the chocolate surface tension to clean up the bottom .


Vanessa

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I fully subscribe to the "surface tension" method, mentioned by alanamoana and also "lifting" the chocolate over the top of the center. I've also found wiping the fork clean of chocolate (with a paper towel) inbetween each dip - as Mary F said - is an absolute must.

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I really appreciated learning the technique of dragging a little chocolate across the top rather than submerging the bonbon, less bubbles, less chocolate to knock off.

In my earlier Wybauw opportunity he showed us to drop it in the bowl face down, touch your fork to the bottom on one side which flips the bonbon over onto the fork. Then proceed as above with surface tension, slight drag on the side of the bowl, slight push forward when you place it on the paper.

I appreciate the hint about running the fork around the side to prevent prong marks. That will be the next addition to my technique.

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I appreciate the hint about running the fork around the side to prevent prong marks.  That will be the next addition to my technique.

I'm having a difficult time picturing what this maneuver looks like. Can someone elaborate?

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I think, and correct me if I'm wrong gap, but do you mean rather than pulling the fork straight out from under the bonbon that you gently let it come out and then let the tips of the dipping fork run along the bottom edge of the bonbon so you don't get any little pointy bits of chocolate sticking out?

Does that help David J?

I will absolutely work on a short pictorial.

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I think, and correct me if I'm wrong gap, but do you mean rather than pulling the fork straight out from under the bonbon that you gently let it come out and then let the tips of the dipping fork run along the bottom edge of the bonbon so you don't get any little pointy bits of chocolate sticking out?

Does that help David J?

I will absolutely work on a short pictorial.

Now I'm picturing letting the bonbon slip off the fork at an angle, then keeping the fork off the surface let it run up the vertical side of the bonbon as you pull it away rather than pull it straight out. I suppose the little divots in the vertical side would heal before it sets.

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I think, and correct me if I'm wrong gap, but do you mean rather than pulling the fork straight out from under the bonbon that you gently let it come out and then let the tips of the dipping fork run along the bottom edge of the bonbon so you don't get any little pointy bits of chocolate sticking out?

Does that help David J?

I will absolutely work on a short pictorial.

Now I'm picturing letting the bonbon slip off the fork at an angle, then keeping the fork off the surface let it run up the vertical side of the bonbon as you pull it away rather than pull it straight out. I suppose the little divots in the vertical side would heal before it sets.

imagine the bonbon has just slid off the fork (slow motion)...the tines are just at the bottom edge of the bonbon, touching the paper...rather than pulling the fork directly back and away from the bonbon, you simply slide the fork to the left or right along that bottom edge, still touching the paper and the bottom edge of the bonbon so that you avoid leaving little points of chocolate along that bottom edge...

hmmm, time to take pictures, eh?

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alanamoana is describing the exact method I use its just a lot easier to picture it if you have seen/done it before. :smile:

As mentioned though, let the center slide off the fork and just before it come to rest on the baking paper, nudge it ever so slightly away from the fork side (this will prevent a foot forming).

Then as you are withdrawing the fork, just as the prongs are coming out from under the chocolate, run the tip of the fork around the bottom edge of the center.

If you just remove the fork by pulling it away from the center, the bottom of your center will have three (assuming a three prong fork) little marks left on the edge by the prongs coming out. You are basically trying to use the tip of the fork to wipe a little chocolate around the bottom edge of the center to cover over these prong marks.

Uhhmm . . . reading this back I'm not sure if I'm helping or hindering :smile:


Edited by gap (log)

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alanamoana is describing the exact method I use its just a lot easier to picture it if you have seen/done it before. :smile:

As mentioned though, let the center slide off the fork and just before it come to rest on the baking paper, nudge it ever so slightly away from the fork side (this will prevent a foot forming).

Then as you are withdrawing the fork, just as the prongs are coming out from under the chocolate, run the tip of the fork around the bottom edge of the center.

If you just remove the fork by pulling it away from the center, the bottom of your center will have three (assuming a three prong fork) little marks left on the edge by the prongs coming out. You are basically trying to use the tip of the fork to wipe a little chocolate around the bottom edge of the center to cover over these prong marks.

Uhhmm . . . reading this back I'm not sure if I'm helping or hindering  :smile:

It is making sense to me. While dipping the other day, with chocolate that was a little thick, I noticed that as I pulled the tines away I was getting the 3 little drag marks you mentioned. Just a little drag across those lines would have removed them nicely.

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The bent 3-tine dipping fork and then 45 degree angle is exactly what I use.

I also use the surface tension of the chocolate to pull a large part of the extra mass off the bottom of the piece.

My one last trick is to suspend a thin wire across your work bowl and slide the bottom of the fork across that instead of your bowl. It provides a cleaner pull since the chocolate drops right into the bowl instead of running down the sides. Besides, with my Chocovision machines, sometimes scraping against the bowl causes the piece to fall off the fork.


Patrick Sikes

www.MyChocolateJournal.com

A new chocolate review community

PS I Love You Fine Chocolates

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Thanks all for the ideas! Very helpful. Can anyone point me to a picture online of the actual dipping fork you like? They mostly seem to be straight - is everyone just bending their own?


Tammy's Tastings

Creating unique food and drink experiences

eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40

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yes tammy, they're all straight and you just bend them where the stem meets the fork or whatever is comfortable for you. it's just easier to dip if the fork is angled.

edited to add: just about any two or three pronged fork is fine. i got a couple of cheap ones from michael's craft store and they work fine.


Edited by alanamoana (log)

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My one last trick is to suspend a thin wire across your work bowl and slide the bottom of the fork across that instead of your bowl.  It provides a cleaner pull since  the chocolate drops right into the bowl instead of running down the sides.  Besides, with my Chocovision machines, sometimes scraping against the bowl causes the piece to fall off the fork.

I like that idea Pat - I might have to hook something up this weekend

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My one last trick is to suspend a thin wire across your work bowl and slide the bottom of the fork across that instead of your bowl.  It provides a cleaner pull since  the chocolate drops right into the bowl instead of running down the sides.  Besides, with my Chocovision machines, sometimes scraping against the bowl causes the piece to fall off the fork.

I like that idea Pat - I might have to hook something up this weekend

I wish I had a picture, but I have these nifty bowls with a lip, so i run a piece of wire around the bowl under the lip and then attach another wire to this wire ring that stretches across the top of the bowl. the wire doesn't move and it is perfect for dragging excess chocolate off the bottom of your bonbons. VERY cheap and easy to do.

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I have these little wires with a circular hook on each end that are used to hand IV bags from the pole. They work quite nicely as a scraper, just slide them on the lip of the bowl, the circular hooks hold them in place on the right bowl.

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My wire is mounted on the top of my Chocovison X3210 tempering machine. My friend made two brackets that attach under the knobs that hold down the baffle. I then just run the wire or sometimes "weed whacker" line across.

My machines are in storage right now so I can't get a photo....sorry.


Patrick Sikes

www.MyChocolateJournal.com

A new chocolate review community

PS I Love You Fine Chocolates

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Thanks for all the tips. I have to enrobe 120+ egg-shaped ganache centers today, so I'll definitely have an opportunity to try them out. Trying to figure out if I can rig up a wire somehow.

A while ago I added some random dipping forks on to an Internet order for something else. They turned out to be the Ateco forks, which have solid stainless steel handles. So all this talk of bending wasn't, I thought, going to work for me. But I mentioned it to my husband as I was getting ready to go off to the kitchen yesterday, and he said "I have a vice grip downstairs." So now I have a bent fork. I'm not sure the bend is in the right place, and I think I'm going to wrap the top of the handle in tape or something, because it's not a very good handhold. But it gives me something else to try, anyway. I'll probably bring along a couple plastic forks too, a la Desiderio.


Tammy's Tastings

Creating unique food and drink experiences

eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40

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