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tammylc

Favorite tools for hand enrobing?

59 posts in this topic

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.

My friend Beth slips the handles of those forks inside a little round piece of bamboo. Heavy rubber tubing would work as well.

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Thanks all! Every time I ask a question on eGullet I get great answers, and this time was no exception. With my new bent fork and all the tips you all posted here, I got all 120 eggs dipped with greater speed and way less feet than ever before! Thanks to some last minute orders, I have another 50 or so to do today, but I'm no longer dreading the idea!


Tammy's Tastings

Creating unique food and drink experiences

eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40

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So I dipped some chocolates at home and took some pictures. Please excuse my lack of skill as a photographer!

gallery_10108_3240_158627.jpg

Here is my home dipping set up. On the bottom left is my slab of ganache which I already coated on the bottom with chocolate (bottoming like this is called putting a 'foot' on your ganache). Above and in the middle is my tempered chocolate sitting on a heating pad in another bowl so that the heat is evenly distributed around my bowl. Notice that the bowl is tipped forward so that I have an almost level surface of chocolate with the edge of my bowl. To the right is my clean piece of parchment sitting on the back of a half sheet pan. I place my finished chocolates here and I put it on the back of the sheet pan so that I don't have to wrangle with the lip of the pan which sometimes makes it difficult to place the chocolates. I realized only later that I should have been working in the reverse order since I am left handed...but it all worked out for a small home job.

gallery_10108_3240_67560.jpg

In this picture, you can see that I've dropped my piece of ganache in my tempered chocolate bottom side up. You can see the foot here. So after this point, I put the tines of my dipping fork against the bottom (foot) of the ganache piece and gently flip it over so that the entire thing is coated in chocolate. I tilt it a touch sideways and shake my hand ever so slightly to remove excess chocolate from the top of the bonbon. (edited to add: I don't know what happened to the color in this picture!)

gallery_10108_3240_316985.jpg

Now, I touch the bonbon to the surface of the chocolate and lift it up a couple of times. Using the surface tension of the chocolate in the bowl helps to remove excess chocolate from the sides and bottom of your bonbon. Do not rap your dipping utensil against the edge of the bowl as the vibration from doing this will surely knock your bonbon off your fork. Notice you can't see the tines beyond the far edge of the bonbon. This is correct. If your bonbon is on the fork and the tines stick out the other side, you'll have a harder time releasing the bonbon onto the paper.

gallery_10108_3240_97042.jpg

Here's a picture with from left to right: correct, incorrect, incorrect technique. The far right shows a foot at the back of the bonbon. This happens when you slide the chocolate in the same direction that you're using to remove the fork. Rather than do this, you should place the chocolate on the paper and ever so slightly slide it away from the fork as you pull the fork from underneath the bonbon. That way, the bonbon sits on top of any excess chocolate. The middle piece shows an exaggerated drag of the dipping fork on the paper. This will leave little sharp points on the edge of your bonbon. We discussed releasing and then very slightly moving your fork along the bottom edge of the bonbon to eliminate these points and to avoid the dreaded drag. Finally, the piece on the left shows a correctly deposited bonbon with no foot and no points. It is easier to release the bonbon from the fork at a very small angle. The greater the angle, the greater the likelihood that chocolate from the top of the bonbon will spill over the edge and create a foot as it settles down. Any vibration after depositing the chocolates on the paper will also cause this to happen, so don't move the chocolates after they've been dipped until they have a chance to set up a bit.

gallery_10108_3240_82331.jpg

This (blurry) picture shows my fork making a design on the top of the bonbon. I'll dip a few chocolates and as it is about to set up, I place my fork on top and lift it up slowly moving it away from the chocolate. This will create two clean lines. There are different shaped forks for different designs. You can use texture sheets and leave them on for a shiny polished look. You can even use your finger to create designs while the chocolate is still liquid.

and finally...

gallery_10108_3240_98353.jpg

The finished chocolates. About 120 pieces from a small batch of ganache.

Hope this was a little bit helpful.


Edited by alanamoana (log)

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I only wish Kerry! I have thin pieces of acrylic that I cut into one inch wide strips. I use them like a ruler/straight edge and cut using them as my guide. A very thin bladed sharp knife and it works a charm. I'm still jonesing for a guitar though. I think I'll have to have a business plan worked out before I can dare spend the money!

Thanks!

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Great demo!!  And such lovely straight cuts - are you holding out and have a guitar at home?

Agreed on both counts - that was very helpful.

What kind of thin bladed knife are you using? Can you take a picture?


Tammy's Tastings

Creating unique food and drink experiences

eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40

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I think it is what is called a "petty knife" by the Japanese. It is in between a paring knife and a smaller sized chef's knife...sort of my general utility knife. I like it because it is small and has a thin blade.

Here's a picture of it and a ruler for scale. Next to it is the piece of plastic that I cut to one inch wide to use as my cutting guide:

gallery_10108_3240_79008.jpg

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I am another person jonesing for a guitar. I found a Rool & Cut fondant workmat made by Wilton which has a 1" grid pattern. I put the ganache sheet on that squared to a corner & mark the squares. I learnt the hard way not to cut on the sheet since it is very thin & has a bunch of squares cut out. You also need a pitcher of hot water to clean knife.


Mark

www.roseconfections.com

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Mark, a lot of those self healing mats have inch markings (office supply stores and fabric/craft stores)...and you can cut on them since that's what they're designed for!

I didn't use hot water, as this ganache was pretty soft and I didn't want it to seal back together after I cut. That can be the down side. But, if you have a sturdy ganache, then that's the way to go. I just wiped the blade with a paper towel after each cut.

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Thanks John! I only wish you were here to photograph...you're a great photographer!

I'm going to try and do a small piping demo this weekend. Hopefully my husband can help. It's a bit hard to dip and snap photos at the same time and I imagine it is more difficult while piping :blink: .

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Great demo!!  And such lovely straight cuts - are you holding out and have a guitar at home?

yes, i think she has had a guitar the whole time lol lol.

great demo.

Luis

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wonderful demo Alana, perfection as usual! glad I got to see it from you in person.

Also, wanted to point out the spacing between the chocolates in Alana's photos. As Wybauw mentioned numerous times, chocolate is a great insulator. Evenly spacing them apart, as Alana did, allows for air to properly circulate.

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thanks for that point mary! if you put them too close together the sides might not stay in temper as it will take them too long to cool down.

thanks luis!

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Sorry I am late, but thank you so much Alana for your great help.Your technique is impeccable :smile:


Vanessa

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I don't know if this will help others, but it's worked for me: I've been using a long flat double handled knife to cut ganache before enrobing. It goes all the way across with one cut down. I've tried other knifes but I am terrible at cutting a straight line, even with a guide. It's not cheap, but until I get get the funds together for a guitar, it helps.

Here's where I got it:

Double Handled Knife


www.cheri-pie.com

Life is too short. Eat good chocolate.

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I don't know if this will help others, but it's worked for me: I've been using a long flat double handled knife to cut ganache before enrobing.  It goes all the way across with one cut down. I've tried other knifes but I am terrible at cutting a straight line, even with a guide.  It's not cheap, but until I get get the funds together for a guitar, it helps.

Here's where I got it:

Double Handled Knife

You can also look for them on the net under cheese knives, might find them a bit cheaper. Another alternative is to use a pizza cutter that is approx 16" long rocker (not the wheel on a handle).


Mark

www.roseconfections.com

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I don't know if this will help others, but it's worked for me: I've been using a long flat double handled knife to cut ganache before enrobing.  It goes all the way across with one cut down. I've tried other knifes but I am terrible at cutting a straight line, even with a guide.  It's not cheap, but until I get get the funds together for a guitar, it helps.

I have been using one of those for a few weeks now and it has helped a lot. I bought mine from a UK catering firm where it was described as a cheese knife. I am only working with small batches but you could cut quite a big slab with mine if you needed to.

Jill

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I've been too busy and tired for typing lately but meant to say this:

Alana, your dipping technique is superb! I am so impressed by your attention to detail.

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I tend to use a large board scraper for cutting caramels and ganaches also.  Less worry about sharp blades.

can you elaborate on the use of the scraper.

Luis

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I don't know if this will help others, but it's worked for me: I've been using a long flat double handled knife to cut ganache before enrobing.  It goes all the way across with one cut down. I've tried other knifes but I am terrible at cutting a straight line, even with a guide.  It's not cheap, but until I get get the funds together for a guitar, it helps.

Here's where I got it:

Double Handled Knife

Saw a large 15 inch version of this double handled knife yesterday at the trade show, white handles, made by Dexter, it was about $55 from Hilliard chocolate systems.

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I tend to use a large board scraper for cutting caramels and ganaches also.  Less worry about sharp blades.

can you elaborate on the use of the scraper.

Luis

I use something like this.

Instead of using a knife, I just use the scraper by pressing is down through the product, moving over and repeating. I can normally get a pretty straight line.

The one thing that it tends to do, which I kind of like when doing caramels, is that it causes the top edge of the product to somewhat round out. So instead of the top edges being square, they are rounded.

You can see the result (kind of) http://www.psiloveyouchocolates.com/images...ieceCaramel.jpg

Hope that helps.


Edited by patsikes (log)

Patrick Sikes

www.MyChocolateJournal.com

A new chocolate review community

PS I Love You Fine Chocolates

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I'm bumping this thread because it seems most applicable to my question: I'm hoping to pick up some dipping tools for my partner for Christmas, because he makes chocolate-dipped peanut butter balls every year and every year complains about dipping them. But I'm not sure what kind of tools to get! It looks like my options are a three-piece all-metal set (two-tine fork, three-tine fork and a "swirl," sort of a spiraled coil) or a two-piece wood-handled set (two-tine fork and loop). Does anyone have any thoughts in particular on the relative merits of a "swirl" vs. a loop, and the wood vs. metal handles?

Thanks in advance!


Matthew Kayahara

Kayahara.ca

@mtkayahara

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the swirl can be used for adding a decorative top to the truffle (same with the loop and other shapes).

you really only need a two or three tined fork and maybe one of the special shapes. i don't think it matters if the handle is metal or wood or plastic for that matter. personal preference i guess. the plastic handles are easier (last longer) to keep clean.

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New toy today. I took my favorite dipping fork into work so that one of the girls from the xray department could show it to her husband. He makes these amazing metal sculptures and I had the idea that he could copy the metal part of my fork with stainless wire, and I'd figure out the handle problem after he did that. Well he did me one better and actually made the whole fork out of stainless.

The welds are all stainless so it's food grade and because it has no wooden handle it can go in the dishwasher.

gallery_34671_3115_9010.jpg

gallery_34671_3115_51547.jpg

He's doing a bit of pricing and will figure out how much it will cost to make me a few.

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