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schneich

Balancing your Ganache Recipes 2.0

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hi,

a while ago i wrote in another thread concerning water contents in ganaches, that it is not very wise to mess with your ganache recipes in order to get a well balanced recipe that also has a good shelf life. we had some big problems with some chocolates that were only about 3 weeks old but got moldy on us even if we produced, and stored them correctly. when that happend i read quite a lot of books. none of them seem to give a sufficient answer to the problem, there were even some books (sadly also including the book by peter greweling) who had very terribly balanced recipes in them. this is not a problem if you are producing chocolates just for friends & family, but if you really want to sell your chocolates your in a complete different position. my experience shows that you just cant produce chocolates and throw em away after week three. you need to be able to store them for a certain (if limited) amount of time, and the customer should also be able to keep em for two weeks or so. so the only book that i found that gave a sufficient answer is the one by chef ramon morato, who is the principal of aula chocovic. in his book he introduced a formula which he developed over the years and which proved to be true. if you go by this formula you can even save yourself the hassle of buying a aw-meter :-) the formula simply says that in order to get well balanced shelf stable recipes you need to match the following ratios:

Water content maximum 20%

sugar content minimum 30%

cocoa butter content minimum 21%

milkfat content maximum 15%

since it is quite some calculating work to tweak each recipe, one of my employees (thank you julia) came up with an excel sheet which does moratos formula automatically. if you want to use it, you might need to tweak it because your ingredients might differ water, sugar or fat content wise, but other than that this tool is easy to use.

have fun

t.

p.s. this excel sheet is really just "beta" so i cant guarantee that its completely free of errors... ;-)

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hi,

a while ago i wrote in another thread concerning water contents in ganaches, that it is not very wise to mess with your ganache recipes in order to get a well balanced recipe that also has a good shelf life. we had some big problems with some chocolates that were only about 3 weeks old but got moldy on us even if we produced, and stored them correctly. when that happend i read quite a lot of books. none of them seem to give a sufficient answer to the problem, there were even some books (sadly also including the book by peter greweling) who had very terribly balanced recipes in them. this is not a problem if you are producing chocolates just for friends & family, but if you really want to sell your chocolates your in a complete different position. my experience shows that you just cant produce chocolates and throw em away after week three. you need to be able to store them for a certain (if limited) amount of time, and the customer should also be able to keep em for two weeks or so. so the only book that i found that gave a sufficient answer is the one by chef ramon morato, who is the principal of aula chocovic. in his book he introduced a formula which he developed over the years and which proved to be true. if you go by this formula you can even save yourself the hassle of buying a aw-meter :-) the formula simply says that in order to get well balanced shelf stable recipes you need to match the following ratios:

Water content maximum 20%

sugar content minimum 30%

cocoa butter content minimum 21%

milkfat content maximum 15%

since it is quite some calculating work to tweak each recipe, one of my employees (thank you julia) came up with an excel sheet which does moratos formula automatically. if you want to use it, you might need to tweak it because your ingredients might differ water, sugar or fat content wise, but other than that this tool is easy to use.

have fun

t.

p.s. this excel sheet is really just "beta" so i cant guarantee that its completely free of errors... ;-)

When I try to open link all I get is the rapidshare home page.

"Free users have to enter some letters before the downloads start in order to have the permission to use the infrastructure of RapidShare for free" do I need these?

File is in red. From link checker:

Here you can add a list of RapidShare-URLs of your choice and we will check if all files exist on our servers. If the file does not exist, the link will be shown in red. If the file exists but the server is down, the file will be shown in yellow.

Does he use the standard gamut of sugars: corn syrup, inverted sugar, sobitol?

Thanks


Edited by mrose (log)

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why would you want to hold on to chocolates longer than 3 weeks? Thats kind of old even if they aren't molding. I think the bigger problem may be turn over rate and or production scheduling.

You could always cryo-vac and freeze them, that suspends shelf life.

But still, 3 weeks seems like plenty of time to be selling merchandise.

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Very nice, Excel is definitely the way to go on these things.

I have a question, does Chef say which one of these factors is more important? I checked a basic ganache recipe that is OK on water content but too low on sugar. Is there even a way to get the "ideal" percentages without using invert sugar or glucose?

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the only book that i found that gave a sufficient answer is the one by chef ramon morato, who is the principal of aula chocovic. in his book he introduced a formula which he developed over the years and which proved to be true. if you go by this formula you can even save yourself the hassle of buying a aw-meter :-) the formula simply says that in order to get well balanced shelf stable recipes you need to match the following ratios:

Water content maximum 20%

sugar content minimum 30%

cocoa butter content minimum 21%

milkfat content maximum 15%

Is this the book? "Chocolate" by Ramon Morató

I prefer to understand any formula I use, does he explain any of the theory behind it in his book?

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Interested to hear other people's comments on this:

I've tried several of my recipes through the calculator. These are good recipes that have been given to me by top-notch chocolatiers. I also know from having made the recipes that they last for a min. of two weeks. That said, none passed the "calculator test" :smile:

Does that mean the recipe needs tweaking to last longer? Or does it mean good quality chocolates aren't meant to last any longer? How do other people's recipes hold-up against these ratios?

Schneich - is the author's background in producing for a very large market (where transportation etc is an issue) or a single store boutique?


Edited by gap (log)

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I personally prefer not adding extra sugar in any form unless I am making huge quantities for festivals and need the extra shelf life. I freeze in any case. Then again my turnover is far from needing lots of chocolate on a daily basis so my recipes try to leave out the sugar. 2 weeks or even 3 seems more than enough for me. Alcohol also helps keep it fresh and is nice for taste- but again not a lot.

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i think chef moratos dimensions are a kind of guideline. as you all know a lot of factors participate to the shelflife of a chocolate product. if you use inverted sugars and sorbitol a lot of the free water is bound, that adds shelflife, so not only the amount, but also the variety of the used sugar is relevant. next thing if you use anything "sour" like fruitpurees and such adds shelflife, at a lower ph level hardly any mold or bacteria can grow. finally anybody knows of the preserving abilities of alcohol. all these elements have influence to the shelflife and i think its wise to keep those values in a proximity of the target. i think the more important values are clearly the water and the sugar levels.

we operate 3 branches that all sell chocolates. anyhow it happens that certain flavors sell better than others wich results in having these chocolates around for at least two weeks or so. as is said one should not forget the "shelf life" given to the customer. i think he also should be able to store the chocolates for two weeks. even with a technically nice equipped chocolate lab its economical impossible to produce very very small batches (one guitar sheet) even if you have only 15 - 20 flavors. on my recent trip to paris i bought several samples from top chocolatiers like marquise de sevigne, hevin, maison du chocolat and roger to compare the sweetness levels, and i found out that our "corrected" recipes at 30% sugar content are well in line with them.

cheers

t.


Edited by schneich (log)

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Invert sugar is just sucrose with fructose glucose bonds broken down.

And with glucose, sucrose, corn syrup, invert, it doesnt matter with the ratios of these (except for prolonged crystallization), its simply the water content in the ganache. If you were to make a butter ganache you will extend the life of the ganache significantly to that of a liquid ganache due to the dramatic reduction of the water content.

There is also alchohol content and acidity that plays important roles with specific pieces and their shelf life.

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sorry but thats simply not true. of course is invert sugar just an "inverted" form of sucrose - a mixture of glucose and fructose BUT Invert syrup has a much stronger ability to reduce water activity in the final product than plain sucrose . same thing with non crystallizing sorbitol ;-)

cheers

t.

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we operate 3 branches that all sell chocolates. anyhow it happens that certain flavors sell better than others wich results in having these chocolates around for at least two weeks or so. as is said one should not forget the "shelf life" given to the customer. i think he also should be able to store the chocolates for two weeks. even with a technically nice equipped chocolate lab its economical impossible to produce very very small batches (one guitar sheet) even if you have only 15 - 20 flavors. on my recent trip to paris i bought several samples from top chocolatiers like marquise de sevigne, hevin, maison du chocolat and roger to compare the sweetness levels, and i found out that our "corrected" recipes at 30% sugar content are well in line with them.

cheers

t.

Torsten, how do your shops store the chocolates? 3 weeks at 'cool' or 3 weeks at 'refrigerator'?

I ask because for me, in the fridge, the only ones I've ever had problems in a 3 week timeframe are raspberry ones (if I don't boil or put lemon juice in them). And raspberry just attracts mold. But the others have been ok for up to 6 weeks or even more - even with a 1.6:1 dark chocolate:cream ratio (and non UHT cream).


Edited by ejw50 (log)

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actually in the shops we store the chocolate at room temp. but the mold problem was also in our 14c storage room :-( actually we never had a problem with a fruit ganache (we use a lot of puree) they have quite a sour taste and so i think they have a low enough ph to be "immune" to molds and such...

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I just downloaded this. Tell Julia she's brilliant! thank you!

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Thank Julia for me too.

I finally figured out how to import this into the spreadsheet in my Mac and I've been playing with some recipes.

I've added fondant and sucrose to it as well. If I've used sugar to make caramel - do you think it's still 100% sugar and no water content?

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I want to renew this discussion. I have been playing around with this excel sheet and have some questions/thoughts due to what seem to be unbalanced recipes that I plug in.

If you use glucose or one of the other "sugars" it will slightly increase water content percentages and this would affect the shelf life or the "should be" percentages. However it seems not to take into account the reduction in Aw. Is this so? Is there a way to include this factor?

Praline(with the accent on the last e) on the chart has a milkfat percent-is this just the fat percent? In my terminology praline is caramelized nut paste-no chocolate or milkfat. Is it perhaps synonymous with gianduja in this context?

The sourness of some fruit purees- the chart allows for sugar and water content but not for sourness. This also affects shelf life,no?

And lastly, I wonder how a water ganache can be applied? I tried this making the cream 100% water and 0% milkfat...interesting!

I realize this is just a guideline and for longer lasting bonbons at room temp, but I still want to try to understand, in order to improve my recipes.

Any input would be great!!

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I want to renew this discussion. I have been playing around with this excel sheet and have some questions/thoughts due to what seem to be unbalanced recipes that I plug in.

If you use glucose or one of the other "sugars" it will slightly increase water content percentages and this would affect the shelf life or the "should be" percentages. However it seems not to take into account the reduction in Aw. Is this so? Is there a way to include this factor?

Praline(with the accent on the last e) on the chart has a milkfat percent-is this just the fat percent? In my terminology praline is caramelized nut paste-no chocolate or milkfat. Is it perhaps synonymous with gianduja in this context?

The sourness of some fruit purees- the chart allows for sugar and water content but not for sourness. This also affects shelf life,no?

And lastly, I wonder how a water ganache can be applied? I tried this making the cream 100% water and 0% milkfat...interesting!

I realize this is just a guideline and for longer lasting bonbons at room temp, but I still want to try to understand, in order to improve my recipes.

Any input would be great!!

No idea if sour has an effect on shelf life - I suspect it doesn't.

Sounds like the praline they are referring to must be a milk chocolate gianduja unless they are equating milk fat with hazelnut oil.

I suspect that in the water ganaches they are replacing some of the milk fat with other oils (a little online reading seemed to suggest that sunflower oil was being used in water ganaches).

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I see.

"No idea if sour has an effect on shelf life - I suspect it doesn't."

Well not the sour taste in and of itself, but some acidity (ascorbic acid ?) or something like that. It seems that passion fruit versus something sweeter like strawberries may have a longer shelf life... If this is so, and it is a natural acid, perhaps some amount can be added to improve shelf life and maybe taste... to balance an unbalanced recipe. Just thoughts....

About water ganaches, some of that water must be replaced by something in order to get such a long shelf life. Especially since water cannot be reduced!!! Perhaps some cocoa butter infused with something as well as oil (oil can also be infused to add flavor complexity)?

I will also look online for info on water ganaches.

Thanks Kerry.

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I see.

"No idea if sour has an effect on shelf life - I suspect it doesn't."

Well not the sour taste in and of itself, but some acidity (ascorbic acid ?) or  something like that. It seems that passion fruit versus something sweeter like strawberries may have a longer shelf life... If this is so, and it is a natural acid, perhaps some amount can be added to improve shelf life and maybe taste... to balance an unbalanced recipe. Just thoughts....

About water ganaches, some of that water must be replaced by something in order to get such a long shelf life. Especially since water cannot be reduced!!! Perhaps some cocoa butter infused with something as well as oil (oil can also be infused to add flavor complexity)?

I will also look online for info on water ganaches.

Thanks Kerry.

Ok, total brain fart - you are so right - sour has a lower pH so should have a longer shelf life!

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lol!! :biggrin: but me too-brain fart!!! I love it!!!! I was looking for the pH issue and couldn't think of how to describe acidity ! My chemistry prof would have a kaniption!!

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I have been working on the water ganaches. I will do infusions using water but then add a small amount of cream to the ganache. I think that invert sugar would be useful in this application. It would help with preservation and also texture.

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because the concept of the excel file was made by ramon morato in his big green book we should collect all the questions concerning his theory and write him a mail. i asked myself the same things that lior is talking about: influence of ph & alcohol levels on shelf life, how to create a much softer texture for moulded chocolates while still beeing inside the "safe zone". for moulded chocolates we use the "beer recipe" from wybauws new book as a base recipe at the moment, if i put it in the excel sheet it will come out not right, but wybauws aw reading says its allright...

cheers

t.

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Excellent idea. Exactly what I was thinking- in my attempts to find a balanced recipe, the ganache is quite firm for moulded pralines. And it does not include nut pastes with their respective oils. I find this all very interesting. Schneich, thank you so much for getting me thinking. You always have excellent know how and advice! Beer recipe as a base? Interesting! So how do we go about compiling our questions?

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Ramon Morato will be doing 3 demos in the Western US...2 in California and 1 in Las Vegas. I am trying to find info on it. I think I read that he was coming to the US in the "So Good" magazine. Does anyone know anything about these upcomiong demos?

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I am a small producer, maybe 1200 pcs a week, but I have come to a few conclusions about ganaches

"The holy grail"--long shelf life for ganaches IS achievable, BUT the flavour changes after a few weeks anyway. The best possible comparison I can give is that of wine: What goes into the bottle changes flavour after while. Problem is, with chocolate, cream, and fruit/various flavours, the "aged" flavour is not always agreeable. There are some very high end chocoaltiers here in Vancouver who have far better training than I , with far better equipment, far better packaging, and a heck-uva worshiping clientelle, yet they keep the "3 week" shelf life on ganache chocolates inspite of all this.

"Short shelf life" (3 weeks) is what separates me from the drug-store chocolate, and "allows" me to charge a non-drug-store price. Customers start to realize that there is fresh cream and real fruit in there, and that they can't shove a box of my chocolates in a cupboard for 6 mths and expect them to be perfect.

I currently offer about 25 varieties. Maybe half are ganache based, with the rest being caramels, nougat, nut bases, enrobed PdF, etc.

In the future I will be "fooling around" with vacuum packing and freezing. Right now I'm too small for that.

I'm very open to discussion and critiques of my "conclusions"...

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Edward, I agree with what you are saying. I have a customer that purchases six 15 piece boxes to give out for the month to their customers. I do everything possible to give the product the appropriate shelf life. I much prefer and tell most of my clientele that the sooner they eat the chocolate the better the flavour. I emphasize that the ingredients are fresh and that I use no chemical preservatives. My restaurants that order I ask them to order every two weeks or sooner, not monthly.

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