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Kerry Beal

Chocolate Lab and Teaching Room

129 posts in this topic

I think I am the only one that is on the fence with induction cookers and caramel. Actually what I usually do is toffee.

I find sometimes it darkens it too quickly(on medium setting) and I have to really stir the caramel to keep it from burning before it reaches temp.

When I did the exact same caramel and cooked it on a lower temperature induction, I had better success with the colour not burning but I found the caramel really stuck in my teeth. I thought it was just me but I had a few samplers tell me the same thing. I cooked another batch on gas the same day, took it to the same temperature and this batch was fine.....no sticking in the teeth.

I have been reluctant to cook caramel on the induction cooker since.

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When do you think you will be ready to start offering classes? I am very interested.

I'm good to go - at this point small numbers until I figure the flow in the room.

Can you PM me the pertinent details about what classes you offer?

Thanks.

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Love it, and look forward to more pictures when you use it some more!

MelissaH


MelissaH

Oswego, NY

Chemist, writer, hired gun

Say this five times fast: "A big blue bucket of blue blueberries."

foodblog1 | kitchen reno | foodblog2

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Congratulations, Kerry. The room looks fantastic!

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Wow Kerry your chocolate room looks great. Oh to have more room! That's one thing I lack at the moment. I'm just finishing up my business plan so hoping to get something going this year as far as a business is concerned. Anyway keep those pics coming. Would love to see you in action with making your chocolate confections.....

Rena

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Monday we had a playdate in Kerry Beal's new chocolate lab. The Three Chocolateers, Barbara, my confectionery partner, Mary her sister, and I all met in Kerry's lab to play and learn. Much learning.

Kerry is as excellent a teacher as you would imagine and we went over some splendid techniques for molding, piping, dipping, mold finishing, use of the guitar and Thermomix. Learned some new ganaches...Malt ganache...oh boy! Worked like dogs (Chocolate labs, I guess) solidly.

The well-stocked lab

Kerry and the Thermomix

Confectionery partner, Barbara, who has the best hands of the students by far

An excellent set up for dipping flat pieces

learning the correct technique.jpg

Learning to make molds (me)

I just need more practice.jpg

Me again, needing lots of practice

technique is all.jpg

A good time was had by all with well-filled containers going home to family and friends. Next year...panning? air brushing? transfers?


Darienne

learn, learn, learn...

Cheers & Chocolates

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Sounds like a good time. It was too bad I couldn't come and meet you.

Maybe next year

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I do hope that you can make it next year.

There was a certain solidifying effect from the things we learned. Extra small tips...which way to scrape and which way to stand molds...stuff like that. I felt very good about it all. We've been doing it long enough, although not often enough, that we could assimilate most, if not all, of the information.

The lab is great. Wonderful floor. Sort of gray rubber with flattish bumps in a squared pattern. The sort of floor you could see yourself standing on for hours. (don't know what it's called and forgot to ask). Lots of sink space. Molds labeled and stored like VHS tapes on a high shelf near the ceiling. You can see that when Kerry has additional space and time, she'll organize it like the head nurse's medicine cabinet. A place for everything and everything in its place. It's what one needs for teaching such a complicated subject. I was mightily impressed (and jealous as hell!) :wub:


Darienne

learn, learn, learn...

Cheers & Chocolates

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I do hope that you can make it next year.

There was a certain solidifying effect from the things we learned. Extra small tips...which way to scrape and which way to stand molds...stuff like that. I felt very good about it all. We've been doing it long enough, although not often enough, that we could assimilate most, if not all, of the information.

The lab is great. Wonderful floor. Sort of gray rubber with flattish bumps in a squared pattern. The sort of floor you could see yourself standing on for hours. (don't know what it's called and forgot to ask). Lots of sink space. Molds labeled and stored like VHS tapes on a high shelf near the ceiling. You can see that when Kerry has additional space and time, she'll organize it like the head nurse's medicine cabinet. A place for everything and everything in its place. It's what one needs for teaching such a complicated subject. I was mightily impressed (and jealous as hell!) :wub:

The flooring is G-floor a material made for garage floors. I figured if it was impervious to oil from a car, chocolate and nut oils should be fine on it.

The original floor was polished concrete - we paid good money to get the concrete pad polished in the chocolate room. Just after it was finished, the roof was still open over the room and we had a real deluge. The floor got soaked and covered in sand and grit - and the builder put down some pieces of wood over the floor to 'protect' it. Hubbies main aim was to clean out the 4 inches of water that had made it's way onto his workshop floor - so nothing more was done. After the wood came off, it was clear that the polished finish had been ruined by the water and grit being ground down under the wood. Hubby spent days and several hundred dollars trying unsuccessfully to polish it - then we decided to put down the flooring.

DSC_2122.jpg

A dear friend came down from Owen Sound several months ago - she put labels on all my molds!

DSCN0051.jpg

I divided up all the molds into those for sale and those that were mine - I put all of mine above the sink on a shelf that hubby built for me (I could probably use at least as much more shelf space for molds however).

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Congratulations Kerry. Love the workplace. Will be down to see my daughter September for a month. You will have to let me know if you have any classes available, interested in learning airbrushing. Love all those molds especially the ones that are for sale!!

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Back in 2009 I posted on this thread that I had a 'toy' in the garage with all the sinks and stainless tables and was going to tell you about it when I got it set up.

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I picked this up from a fellow who had bought it at auction from a company in Texas that had gone out of business. He decided he didn't need it for his business so opted to sell it. I got it for a really good price - the Selmi, the enrober and an EZ Fill Depositor. The EZ Fill has gone to a good home which helped defray the shipping cost of the unit. I learned a lot about how to transport large expensive objects cross border!

Well here we are in 2012 and I'm finally there! Those round tuits are hard to get your hands on. The delay was waiting for the hubby to apply himself to the 220 wiring, the 3 phase converter, the various controls and boxes on the electrical room wall and finally getting it cleaned up and working. Fortunately there is very little that is mechanical, electrical or electronic that he can't get running if there is any hope for it at all.

The sucker was filthy - inside and out. He ran gallons of water through the cooling system - finally stopped getting black after a couple of days. When we put the first batch of chocolate in to clean out the old stuff that was still under the bowl - we couldn't get any chocolate to come up through the spout - after taking it apart again he discovered the auger was running backwards and was so gummed with old chocolate that he had to take that whole part apart and clean it thoroughly. Not easy as this is one of the first models that doesn't have the easily removable auger.

Turned out that the main circuit board was frapped and needed to be replaced at the cost of about a grand, and I purchased a new tailing bar for the enrober as the original is damaged and that causes it to squeak.

I also had to purchase a goodly amount of food grade ethylene glycol as a coolant.

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So on Friday I had Kyle and his mom over to see it in action. Kyle was my youngest student ever - he was 9 when he first came to learn - we had to put a stool beside the counter so he could reach. He's almost 15 now - still making chocolate - and doesn't need the stool anymore. Those who have attended the chocolate conferences will remember him. A small bundle of energy! He was totally in agreement with enrobing oreos and the home made Snicker's bars.

As you can see there is still a fair bit I need to learn about balancing the speed of the chain, blow of the blower, tap of the tapper and height of the tailing bar to perfect the bottoms on various size and shaped pieces. One size does not fit all for sure.

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The temper in this thing is perfect! I still had 5 kg or so of chocolate in the unit - so later in the evening I started working on my easter moulds. Several moulds that I've had a lot of trouble with breakage before came out perfectly! That was very exciting let me tell you. I love the idea of limitless tempered chocolate when I start on a large project like Easter or Christmas 3D mould production. I rescued my two huge bunny moulds from Niagara College yesterday - so they are next.

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Congratulations on getting the Selmi up and running! Rather sure that you now have a lock on the eGulleter with the most toys. :smile:

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So glad this thread was resurrected- what awesomeness!!!

Kerr I think if I were you I would never leave the house!!!

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That's really cool Kerry. The art of the chocolatier is not a well-honed skill in my arsenal which is a nice way of saying I pretty much suck at it. So I don't do enough to justify a nice setup like that... but somehow I'm still jealous.


It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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Wow! I probably would put just about everything I have in the house in this thing, so much fun!

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That's really cool Kerry. The art of the chocolatier is not a well-honed skill in my arsenal which is a nice way of saying I pretty much suck at it. So I don't do enough to justify a nice setup like that... but somehow I'm still jealous.

One of the best parts of a room like this - I can leave everything dirty and come upstairs! Sadly it does have to be cleaned at some point.

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so cool. I wish I could have seen your room in person. Maybe in 2013 when I come to Toronto for a conference.

Always welcome to come by and check it out! And it's always good to escape from a conference for a while.

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6855542806_8b8d30529e_z.jpg

Came home from the chocolate conference to discover this!

When we did the renovation, the contractor arranged to put a vent through the wall so we could eventually hook up a spray booth of sorts. It seems they put the outside part on from the start - but it was a last minute thought to put the hole in the wall on the inside - and no consideration was given to making sure that A could meet B! Hubby is not a happy camper. Hope it won't be too long.


Edited by Kerry Beal (log)

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Oh, no! :shock: Leave it to the contractors to mess up your space!

I am really jealous that you have this dedicated space for your chocolate work - that's fantastic. You've got some awesome toys to play with, too! I am still working to convince hubby that I *really* need a choc workshop in the basement, but so far he's been less than enthusiastic. Also not sure how this idea would go down with the building inspector. From what I understand (and you mentioned this upthread) there are some fire and ventilation issues that they might be picky about. Ah, well. Something to work towards.

I hope the vent goes in soon, so that your choc room can return to its natural state, and you can resume teaching. Any airbrushing courses coming up after Easter?

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That looks really great! :) I read the thread from the start. :)

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