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chocolate in the heat


sugarseattle
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it was crazy last week with the record breaking heat, and our poor chocolate suffered greatly. our coating chocolate was actually almost liquid in the bucket, and our semi sweet bloomed like crazy.

needless to say we're getting air conditioning next week. but in the heat of the moment, I wasn't sure if there was anything I could do to save the poor chocolate.

our freezer also failed during the heat, barely able to hold 45degrees making it warmer than our fridge!

Stephanie Crocker

Sugar Bakery + Cafe

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Here in Florida it's so humid that the air conditioning is running constantly! I've just found that I can't do chocolate work in the restaurant kitchen when everyone else is working (ovens, steamers and burners running full blast). I either have to work early in the day, or find someplace else to go. Usually, I go elsewhere.

After filling my molds with chocolate I pop them into the refrigerator for a few minutes - which helps set the chocolate. I pull them out of the fridge and place the molds on a speed rack in front of an oscillating fan. This one-two combination has worked beautifully. I learned this technique when visiting Tomric last spring with the EGullet conference, and from John DePaula, who uses a small fan in his refrigerator.

I don't put my rolled truffles in the refrigerator, because I don't want the shell cracking on them, but I do put the trays in front of the fan for a quicker drying time.

I'd love to hear what other people do - as heat and humidity are a constant battle for me.

Mary

Beaches Pastry

May your celebrations be sweet!

Beaches Pastry Blog

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For storage, I've found large coolers, such as Igloo, to be good in spaces that aren't AC'ed. If you buy two big gel paks, you can keep one in the cooler and one in the fridge or the freezer, and alternate them daily to keep the temp in the cooler chocolate-friendly. Just make sure that the chocolate is in an impermeable container or raised off the bottom of the cooler so that any condensation that comes off the gel pak doesn't make it wet.

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Heat wave? Here in Vancouver we don't have a heatwave--we're too far away from Seattle to have a heatwave.......

For my biz, I took the "European solution".... I just shut down from the 28 of July to the 14 of Aug..probably the hottest part of the summer. Judging from from previous years, customers don't have much of an appetite for chocolate when it's so hot.

I've mothballed the chocolate work and instead am doing some minor renovations/repairs to the shop.

A/C is a must, not only for the chocolates, but for the customers. They won't buy so much when it's hot and muggy in the shop anyway.

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You are absolutely correct. Just last night I was chatting with a respected colleage of mine who told me he closes for the summer. I have been thinking of this for a while. Perhaps I should learn ice cream and do that in the hot months. Even if I make chocolate, customers walking out to the steaming hot car get so many instructions it is ridiculous.

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You are absolutely correct. Just last night I was chatting with a respected colleage of mine who told me he closes for the summer. I have been thinking of this for a while. Perhaps I should learn ice cream and do that in the hot months. Even if I make chocolate, customers walking out to the steaming hot car get so many instructions it is ridiculous.

Excellent idea. :rolleyes: With a constant 100% humdity in eastern Canada, making chocolate is asking for trouble.

As for ice cream: I don't think I have ever had quite so much fun. There are a few very active ice cream threads going on as we speak. And David Lebowitz's The Perfect Scoop is such a good place to start for low volume production.

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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