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Fine Chocolate


aguynamedrobert
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Hello:

I´m a new member here and have a chocolate business in Quito, Ecuador. I´m mostly self-taught in chocolate though I have been to culinary school and have spent about 3 years now full-time at this. Please feel free to ask, share, whatever with me. My website is www.giandujachocolate.com. I make all my products by hand and have been in business just under a year now.

Hoping to eventually export to the US. If you ever come to Ecuador, please visit and I can tell you all about the local chocolate world here, it´s very interesting.

Jeff

Welcome Jeff, we'll be interested to hear about your products and hope you'll become involved in our many discussions about chocolate. Did you catch the earlier thread about 'Balancing your Ganache'? I'd be interested on your take on shelf life of your products.

I did read the Balancing Your Ganache entry. I use many recipes from both Greweling´s CIA book and Wybauw´s Fine Chocolates. I like Wybauw´s because they all provide the Aw, and find the guidance provided for shelf life is just about spot on, except for the Gianduja. I´ve had them mold up after about 6 weeks, which is a bit too long anyway. But I think there is too much free water in the formula, and have tried reducing the dairy. Also, dairy hygiene is not quite as good here as in the US which may have affected the shelf life, despite boiling the cream. Also, butter here is not consistent like in the US; depending on the time of the year I believe the amount of fat and water varies because of the changes in season from rainy to dry and back again. Things are not nearly as high tech for quality control.

I do find that most of my products have easily an 8 week shelf life, without any preservatives. I had all my products lab tested here and they were given 90 days. I am still, however, tweaking recipes, especially for export, to extend shelf life as long as possible.

Marmalade, would you care to share a sample ganache recipe? I don't get anywhere near a 90 day shelf life and I think others would be interested in taking a look at what you're doing; for myself, especially, since you're not using any preservatives.

Thanks!

John, Kudos on the gorgeous web site. Very nice photography. I am curious to know, what kind of equipment do you work on? I have just purchased a Prefamac machine and am anxiously awaiting its arrival sometime next week. Been doing everything by hand up now on Mol D'Art melters and a small vibrating table.

Jeffrey Stern

www.jeffreygstern.com

http://bit.ly/cKwUL4

http://destination-ecuador.net

cocoapodman at gmail dot com

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  • 2 months later...
Hello:

I´m a new member here and have a chocolate business in Quito, Ecuador. I´m mostly self-taught in chocolate though I have been to culinary school and have spent about 3 years now full-time at this. Please feel free to ask, share, whatever with me. My website is www.giandujachocolate.com. I make all my products by hand and have been in business just under a year now.

Hoping to eventually export to the US. If you ever come to Ecuador, please visit and I can tell you all about the local chocolate world here, it´s very interesting.

Jeff

Welcome Jeff, we'll be interested to hear about your products and hope you'll become involved in our many discussions about chocolate. Did you catch the earlier thread about 'Balancing your Ganache'? I'd be interested on your take on shelf life of your products.

I did read the Balancing Your Ganache entry. I use many recipes from both Greweling´s CIA book and Wybauw´s Fine Chocolates. I like Wybauw´s because they all provide the Aw, and find the guidance provided for shelf life is just about spot on, except for the Gianduja. I´ve had them mold up after about 6 weeks, which is a bit too long anyway. But I think there is too much free water in the formula, and have tried reducing the dairy. Also, dairy hygiene is not quite as good here as in the US which may have affected the shelf life, despite boiling the cream. Also, butter here is not consistent like in the US; depending on the time of the year I believe the amount of fat and water varies because of the changes in season from rainy to dry and back again. Things are not nearly as high tech for quality control.

I do find that most of my products have easily an 8 week shelf life, without any preservatives. I had all my products lab tested here and they were given 90 days. I am still, however, tweaking recipes, especially for export, to extend shelf life as long as possible.

Marmalade, would you care to share a sample ganache recipe? I don't get anywhere near a 90 day shelf life and I think others would be interested in taking a look at what you're doing; for myself, especially, since you're not using any preservatives.

Thanks!

John, Kudos on the gorgeous web site. Very nice photography. I am curious to know, what kind of equipment do you work on? I have just purchased a Prefamac machine and am anxiously awaiting its arrival sometime next week. Been doing everything by hand up now on Mol D'Art melters and a small vibrating table.

Sorry for taking so long to get back, I've been playing with my new enrober.

This is one of my favorite recipes with a long shelf life, from Wybauw's Fine Chocolates.

400 G Whipping Cream

50 G Corn Syrup

40 G Finely Ground Coffee

1,200 G Milk Chocolate

60 G Invert Sugar

200 G Butter

Bring cream, corn s. and coffee to boil and pout liquid onto melted chocolate. Blend in invert sugar. At 86 F, add butter. Spread in a fram and let set over night. Cover slab with a thin coat before slicing on guitar. Dip or enrobe, garnish.

It has a creamy soft texture that holds up very long. According to the recipe this has an Aw of 0.751 which means up to 3 months shelf life.

Jeffrey Stern

www.jeffreygstern.com

http://bit.ly/cKwUL4

http://destination-ecuador.net

cocoapodman at gmail dot com

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  • 1 month later...

What has been everyone's experience with Chocoa? I recently needed something in the 75% range in a relatively small quantity (22#) and Chocoa was all that Qzina had in stock. I've got it, so I'm going to use it, but I'm curious. Seems very creamy to me - almost too creamy for a 75%.

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What has been everyone's experience with Chocoa?  I recently needed something in the 75% range in a relatively small quantity (22#) and Chocoa was all that Qzina had in stock.  I've got it, so I'm going to use it, but I'm curious.  Seems very creamy to me - almost too creamy for a 75%.

I don't like it!

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Kerry, don't mix your words.  What do you really think?!  :raz:  I just tried some again and it seems flavorless, not to mention that texture that just isn't working for me.  22#s later... I need to get this used.  Brownies, here I come!

while they're both cooking terms, i think you meant "don't mince your words" :wink:

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  • 2 weeks later...

Chocoa? It's OK... But I only use it for ganache, never for enrobing

I've been using a ganache method demonstrated by a Callebaut Pastry Chef at a course I took, he instructed us to use a higher percentage of cream and use the robo-coupe, here is a sample

100 gr cream

35 gr butter

150 gr couveture

Shelf life is about 4 weeks, and then the enrobed or molded chocoaltes start to dry out and loose flavour, but no hint of mould.

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I am a complete ignoramus so I was hoping for some advice from you experts! Having heard El Rey mentioned , looked them up and found their variety descriptions somewhat incomplete [at least to me]. The Carenero Superior line seems pre-mixed with vanilla : it includes

Apamate Dark Chocolate 73.5%

Gran Saman Dark Chocolate 70%

Mijao Dark Chocolate 61%

Bucare Dark Chocolate 58.5%

Caoba Milk Chocolate 41%

ICOA White Chocolate

The ones shaded in red are left with no explanation, the Rio Caribe line, comprising

Macuro 70%

Cariaco 60.5%

Irapa [milk] 40.5%

I have heard the Mijao being praised elsewhere as a chocolate good for eating straight, whereas the grainy Gran Saman was seen as a cooking chocolate. Would the Cariaco be the corresponding member to the Mijao in the Rio Caribe line and what might be the advantage of having vanilla included or excluded? [ It does not make clear].

If it is not impolite to ask on a publc forum, where are the best prices to be found for 5 kg or 10 kg discos of El Rey Mijao and the complete line? The company's own prices do not seem to be the lowest around.

Thanks much.

Gautam.

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I am a complete ignoramus so I was hoping for some advice from you experts! Having heard El Rey mentioned , looked them up and found their variety descriptions somewhat incomplete [at least to me].  The Carenero Superior line seems pre-mixed with vanilla : it includes

Apamate Dark Chocolate 73.5% 

Gran Saman Dark Chocolate 70%

Mijao Dark Chocolate 61% 

Bucare Dark Chocolate 58.5%

Caoba Milk Chocolate 41%

ICOA White Chocolate

The ones shaded in red are left with no explanation, the Rio Caribe line, comprising

Macuro 70%

Cariaco 60.5%

Irapa  [milk] 40.5%

I have heard the Mijao being praised elsewhere as a chocolate good for eating straight, whereas the grainy Gran Saman was seen as a cooking chocolate. Would the  Cariaco be the corresponding member to the Mijao in the Rio Caribe line and what might be the advantage of having vanilla included or excluded? [ It does not make  clear].

If it is not impolite to ask on a publc forum, where are the best prices to be found for 5 kg or 10 kg discos of El Rey Mijao and the complete line? The company's own prices do not seem to be the lowest around.

Thanks much.

Gautam.

Qzina in the US carries El Rey. I think it is $45 for 3kg.

This is the perfect forum to ask prices!!

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  • 5 months later...

We were in our local Dollarama ...it sells EVERYTHING for $1 or it doesn't carry it at all...looking for DH's reading glasses...he eats them for breakfast. Imagine my surprise :blink: at the till finding a display of Scharffen Berger chocolate bars. 82%, 85 g (or about 3 oz), for $1. There were other Scharffen Berger bars, but I couldn't hold up the line at that point to take a good look.

What is Scharffen Berger chocolate doing in a dollarama? I am not complaining...merely curious. :hmmm:

The bar was good but 82% will never be a favorite of mine. DH and I munched it with pieces of Montelimar nougat which confectionary partner, Barb, and I had made on Monday.

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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We were in our local Dollarama ...it sells EVERYTHING for $1 or it doesn't carry it at all...looking for DH's reading glasses...he eats them for breakfast.  Imagine my surprise  :blink: at the till finding a display of Scharffen Berger chocolate bars.  82%, 85 g (or about 3 oz), for $1.  There were other Scharffen Berger bars, but I couldn't hold up the line at that point to take a good look.

What is Scharffen Berger chocolate doing in a dollarama?  I am not complaining...merely curious.  :hmmm:

The bar was good but 82% will never be a favorite of mine.  DH and I munched it with pieces of Montelimar nougat which confectionary partner, Barb, and I had made on Monday.

Did you look at the expiry date?

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[Did you look at the expiry date?

July 2009

Dollarama buys up some stock from places going out of business as well as all the chinese stuff they sell under their own brand. If you see something you like there buy as many as you want - because they may or may not be there next time.

Wishing I'd bought a whole lot more of the fat makeup brushes - they are the best for putting colour in a mold.

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Dollarama buys up some stock from places going out of business as well as all the chinese stuff they sell under their own brand.  If you see something you like there buy as many as you want - because they may or may not be there next time. 

Wishing I'd bought a whole lot more of the fat makeup brushes - they are the best for putting colour in a mold.

Good idea about the fat brushes.

They were just putting the chocolate out as we were leaving. Perhaps we'll go into town again tomorrow and get some. Would you like some?

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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Dollarama buys up some stock from places going out of business as well as all the chinese stuff they sell under their own brand.  If you see something you like there buy as many as you want - because they may or may not be there next time. 

Wishing I'd bought a whole lot more of the fat makeup brushes - they are the best for putting colour in a mold.

Good idea about the fat brushes.

They were just putting the chocolate out as we were leaving. Perhaps we'll go into town again tomorrow and get some. Would you like some?

Maybe a couple of bars to try - mind you I've got about 100 kg of chocolate in the house right now - so I don't NEED any more.

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When it comes to decent chocolate at a bargain price, why does anyone consider needs? :wub:

I think I need to make a trip in to the dollar store to do a little investigating! You never know what you find there. :smile: Never thought to look at their chocolate selection, just the kitchenwares.

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This topic has become a mangle of different types/uses of chocolate so my apologies for shifting, but I just added a few new bars to my store's shelves. My current favorites in order:

1. Patric 67%

2. Corallo

3. Cluizel Mangaro Noir

4. Askinosie 75% (although its unfair to include them since I mostly like their nib bars)

Corallo is the new one for me and it is amazing!

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Someone hit Dollarama at lunch time and brought me back one of the 82% and one of the milk chocolate Scharffen Berger bars.

It's a little more acidic than I like my chocolate - but it's disappearing fast here in the ER.

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I am curious as to why Scharrfen Berger would have their chocolate in such a store. Hmmm....I wonder if they would reply to my question. :hmmm:

If I find out anything, I'll report back. Very strange... :hmmm::hmmm:

Later in the afternoon: Spoke to two different people at Scharffen Berger who were somewhat taken aback to find out that the bars were going for $1 and they weren't near their expiry dates. The bars retail for $5 US which makes them...a bunch more Canadian and here they are, large as life, for $1.

End of story for me. :wink: I'll just eat my bars and give them away in peace.

Edited by Darienne (log)

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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I am curious as to why Scharrfen Berger would have their chocolate in such a store.  Hmmm....I wonder if they would reply to my question. :hmmm:

The other thing that can cause them to be sold for cheap is if a store or chain that carried Scharffen Berger closed down. All that excess inventory gets resold to chains such as the one you describe. So it may have nothing at all to do with the quality of the product or closeness to an expiration date but may have something to do with where one of Scharffen Berger's vendors is financially. In either case, I'd grab what you can.

-Art

Amano Artisan Chocolate

http://www.amanochocolate.com/

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[The other thing that can cause them to be sold for cheap is if a store or chain that carried Scharffen Berger closed down. All that excess inventory gets resold to chains such as the one you describe.  So it may have nothing at all to do with the quality of the product or closeness to an expiration date but may have something to do with where one of Scharffen Berger's vendors is financially.  In either case, I'd grab what you can.

-Art

Thanks. Duly grabbed. My friend went to her local Dollarama and they were already gone.

Next question: what would anyone dip in 82% chocolate???? :huh:

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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[The other thing that can cause them to be sold for cheap is if a store or chain that carried Scharffen Berger closed down. All that excess inventory gets resold to chains such as the one you describe.  So it may have nothing at all to do with the quality of the product or closeness to an expiration date but may have something to do with where one of Scharffen Berger's vendors is financially.  In either case, I'd grab what you can.

-Art

Thanks. Duly grabbed. My friend went to her local Dollarama and they were already gone.

Next question: what would anyone dip in 82% chocolate???? :huh:

Something really sweet like a coconut center, candied ginger.

Edited by Kerry Beal (log)
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Something really sweet like a coconut center, candied ginger.

Strange you should mention candied ginger just as I have a large crock pot full of ginger on the go...

Also...could I mix the 82% with a lower percentage dark chocolate...say 56%...and temper them both together, thus getting...???...a surprise?

Thanks. :smile:

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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Something really sweet like a coconut center, candied ginger.

Strange you should mention candied ginger just as I have a large crock pot full of ginger on the go...

Also...could I mix the 82% with a lower percentage dark chocolate...say 56%...and temper them both together, thus getting...???...a surprise?

Thanks. :smile:

Yup

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