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Chocolate Lab and Teaching Room


Kerry Beal
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Kijiji is a wonderful thing. I managed to pick up a barely used small industrial dishwasher for $299. I'm going to have to carefully clean all the mouse poop off it before I bring it in from the garage however.

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Also found this nice stainless Ikea table - the beauty of this one is that you can roll things, such as the bins, under it.

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  • 3 weeks later...

The course of renovation is never smooth!

The completion of the chocolate room apparently won't happen until after the rest of the renovation is completed. We want the inspector to see it as a 'craft room' and will wait until after the final inspection to put in the sinks and any equipment. We just don't want them to get the idea that it's going to be a kitchen - which requires special ventilation and fire considerations. Perfectly legal - there won't be a stove in the room. But why complicate life.

So right now everything hinges on the completion of the rest of the reno - and that's where I'm about ready to scream! We are going to have to wait 3 weeks for doors cause 36 inch wide, 6 panel, smooth doors are special order (and how long have they known we need them?). The elevator can't be hooked up until we have doors on it because of the special interlocks required. One bathroom can't be tiled until some tiles come in (that were available when the decision was made, but not when they got around to ordering them). Of course the plumbing can't be completed until the tiling is done. The painting can't be completed until the plumbing is done...

I'm trying hard not to commit contractoracide - wonder what the penalty would be?

So I've got a garage full of sinks, stainless tables, the dishwasher and a new toy (to be revealed later) that I have to look at everyday and try not to get too frustrated.

I'm holding off on getting a fridge or any other stuff because the garage is pretty full right now.

I'm thinking that just about the time they finish things to the point where I can start putting the chocolate room together will be the time I'm heading up north to work again for 2 weeks - cause after all I have to find a way to pay for this reno!

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  • 4 months later...

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Well the chocolate room finally got it's inaugural run today - nothing is where it is going to end up (except the sinks and likely fridge) - but you have to start somewhere.

A couple of the students from Niagara college came over because they had some contract work to do and needed a kick start. We made about 12 plates of chocolates, cut some pates de fruit on the guitar and had a wonderful lunch that the girls brought with them. Kristina had made a wonderful ragu that she put on penne with fresh basil and parmesan, Carolyn supplied an excellent chickpea salad and a nice bottle of wine, and Ruth brought along a nice loaf of pumpkin seed bread she had made in the bakeshop at the college very early this morning. There were some great brownies for lunch dessert too - oh and some cookies.

I had made a batch of cheese biscuits using the gjetost cheese that I got at Wegmans - very interesting to have a caramel-like cheese biscuit!

So here is the chocolate room as it stands now - molds against one wall will move to shelves around the ceiling as the shelves get built - allowing another stainless table on that wall (likely the stainless table that the microwave in on now). The stainless table that is still in the garage will probably move in beside the fridge and will hold whatever hubby puts together as an airbrush booth. You can see the exhaust vent for it - I'll head over to a coworkers place sometime this week to pick up the exhaust fan that she said I could have.

Edited by Kerry Beal (log)
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Wow! What a nice space! What will you do with all that space you will free up in your kitchen when you move all your chocolate stuff down to the laboratory! Oh, the possibilities!!!

It is really coming together :wub:

You wouldn't believe the exercise I got today - running up and down the stairs over and over to get things from my upstairs kitchen to take to my downstairs kitchen. Some duplication is going to be required!

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Wow, that looks really great, Kerry! Congrats!

John DePaula
formerly of DePaula Confections
Hand-crafted artisanal chocolates & gourmet confections - …Because Pleasure Matters…
--------------------
When asked “What are the secrets of good cooking? Escoffier replied, “There are three: butter, butter and butter.”

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pretty sweet! That's a lot of molds! I see the melter, looks like a freezer?

What are the buckets? pails of praline or cocoa butter?

There is a 5 cu foot freezer under the stainless table, buckets of cocoa butter and fondant - the bucket of glucose is in the front hall right now. And there are a whole lot more molds elsewhere in the house. Somewhere there must be a box I didn't find - cause we only had about 5 heart molds today - and I know there are a whole lot more of them somewhere.

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how do you clean your molds? With that dishwasher in the room?

Or by hand, with polishing at the end? Or something in between?

I run them under hot water and clean the surfaces with sponge. Really dirty cavities I clean with a vase brush (soft cotton mop) from Lee Valley. The dishwasher isn't hooked up yet - it's 220V and the electrical inspection only got finalized last week. Hubby was not prepared to do any wiring of his own until the inspection was over. So I hope that sometime in the next year or so he'll get it wired up!!!

I must confess I'm not really much of a mold polisher anymore - though while I had 3 people here yesterday I got out a couple of polishing clothes and let them have at it.

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Kerry - you're place looks amazing!!! I'm still trying to organize mine - will post pictures once I feel it's good enough to compete with your space...

This is so far from organized that it's a bit laughable - but I realize working in it first is going to be more useful than trying to organize before I figure out my patterns. I certainly realize that having the guitar in the box over beside the fridge is not useful!

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Is that an exhaust pipe I see in the wall for an eventual stovetop? I notice you don't have any burners (or cooking surface) (yet?)

Nope - that's exhaust for a spray booth.

All heating will be done in microwave or induction burner so that I don't have to have fire suppression or exhaust.

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Kerry

Where are you thinking of putting/keeping your tempering unit? Do you think you'll buy additional units? I put open shelves in my chocolate kitchen, but, am sitching them over to open faced Ikea cabinets (no cabinet doors), for ease of finding what I need and the seperate units allow for having shelves of different heights to accomodate my various needs.

Will an induction burner allow you to cook something (such as a caramel) to the high temps required?

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Kerry

Where are you thinking of putting/keeping your tempering unit? Do you think you'll buy additional units? I put open shelves in my chocolate kitchen, but, am sitching them over to open faced Ikea cabinets (no cabinet doors), for ease of finding what I need and the seperate units allow for having shelves of different heights to accomodate my various needs.

Will an induction burner allow you to cook something (such as a caramel) to the high temps required?

The Mold'arts just get shoved where ever there is space. Most tempering I do in an 8 cup pyrex measure in the microwave - the mold'arts get pulled out if it's easter bunny and egg molding time and I need a whole lot of chocolate tempered. I have 2 of the 6 kg, 1 of the 3 kg units. I likely won't buy any more of them.

I need to figure out shelving in a big way - I've got tons of supplies and equipment that needs to find a home in the chocolate room - but I've got to figure out where the space will allow me to put things and what should be open and what needs to be closed.

Induction works wonderfully for caramel, cause only the bottom heats so I don't end up burning myself on the handles or utensils that are in it.

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Induction works wonderfully for caramel, cause only the bottom heats so I don't end up burning myself on the handles or utensils that are in it.

Induction burners work EXTREMELY well for sugar (e.g. caramel) because they are capable of heating the pan so quickly. Of course this depends somewhat on WHICH induction burner you get. The higher wattage devices will heat more rapidly.

Steve Lebowitz

Doer of All Things

Steven Howard Confections

Slicing a warm slab of bacon is a lot like giving a ferret a shave. No matter how careful you are, somebody's going to get hurt - Alton Brown, "Good Eats"

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