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Chocolate Lab and Teaching Room


Kerry Beal
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The Perfect is usually pretty good about no tails as long as I remember to turn the detailer on:-) It is more of a problem with milk chocolate that is cooler than normal.

Ruth Kendrick

Chocolot
Artisan Chocolates and Toffees
www.chocolot.com

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I was adjusting the detailer every which way - one way they would all drag backwards and the other I'd end up with pools under their ass ends. I'm going to head down to Tomric in a couple of weeks and get Brian to review all the tricks with me. I had less issues with tails I thought before the hubby did something to lift the motor up a bit so the detailer was in a straighter line - and he replaced the broken detailer with the new one I bought.

My hand dipping technique is the best it's ever been - never get tails anymore unless I drop one - but I hope never to have to dip 250 little rectangles by hand!

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My hand dipping technique is the best it's ever been - never get tails anymore unless I drop one - but I hope never to have to dip 250 little rectangles by hand!

I can personally attest to Kerry's excellent hand dipping. Confectionery partner, Barbara, her sister and I had a wonderful afternoon two summers ago at Kerry's new chocolate lab for an afternoon learning session. Kerry showed us her personalized dipping fork and taught us her method for tailless dipping.

Great teacher. If you ever get the opportunity to learn from Kerry...go for it.

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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6900534560_36c8c7ff78_z.jpg

That's awesome! If any of my equipment did that to me, I'd be laughing so hard I wouldn't be able to do any work.

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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When we visited the chocolate shops in Washington we noticed, while touring the kitchen, that they had a bunch of plexiglass sheets sized to fit in the speedrack. I went to P&A Plastics and looked around to see what materials were available to make similar sheets for my chocolate room. They had food grade polypropylene sheets that they make cutting boards from. One large sheet cut nicely into 12 pieces that fit the speed rack perfectly. The advantage over sheet pans is the lack of a lip - so that I can lay out metal bars on them for ganaches that can hang over the edges. With a sheet pan I'd have to flip it over and there is often a problem with bending.

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When we visited the chocolate shops in Washington we noticed, while touring the kitchen, that they had a bunch of plexiglass sheets sized to fit in the speedrack. I went to P&A Plastics and looked around to see what materials were available to make similar sheets for my chocolate room. They had food grade polypropylene sheets that they make cutting boards from. One large sheet cut nicely into 12 pieces that fit the speed rack perfectly. The advantage over sheet pans is the lack of a lip - so that I can lay out metal bars on them for ganaches that can hang over the edges. With a sheet pan I'd have to flip it over and there is often a problem with bending.

Great idea! Ruth had a similar idea with metal sheets for take-off from the enrobing belt. So smart!

Kerry, I'm looking at your storage boxes... they look like rubbermaid boxes with a liner of ?? Those liners look specific to chocolate. Tell all...

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Picked up some packages of Peeps post easter for a few cents each. Ran them through the enrober this evening. A friend will be delighted - and in exchange I'll get him to phoof my next charity basket!

Also ran a small batch of ganache - I had hubby make an adjustment to the enrober so the detailer ran in the other direction - dragging and pooling problem pretty much solved. Now hanging over my head are the 200+ crappy bottomed chocolates packaged up and ready to go for the upcoming charity event at the girls school. Should I do them again?

Also a bag of oreos, a few pieces of red twisslers and about half a package of black aussie licorice.

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Hi Kerry,

Thanks for the container info. I seem to remember that conversation about those Tomric bulk boxes - I'm thinking those are the liners from those boxes??

Your peeps are adorable! I'm glad you got your detailer worked out. About your bad bottomed bonbons :biggrin: I wouldn't redo them. If there are rough edges where you've trimmed, try smoothing them with a gloved hand just at the edge. The bottoms themselves are OK though, right? Hey, maybe you could bottom them in a different chocolate! That might look cool... And you'd get to play with your bottomer...

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Hi Kerry,

Thanks for the container info. I seem to remember that conversation about those Tomric bulk boxes - I'm thinking those are the liners from those boxes??

Your peeps are adorable! I'm glad you got your detailer worked out. About your bad bottomed bonbons :biggrin: I wouldn't redo them. If there are rough edges where you've trimmed, try smoothing them with a gloved hand just at the edge. The bottoms themselves are OK though, right? Hey, maybe you could bottom them in a different chocolate! That might look cool... And you'd get to play with your bottomer...

Yup - those are the liners from the Tomric bulk boxes. Don't know if I've got a picture of them anywhere though.

Sadly I don't have a bottomer - but I'm hoping to borrow one so I can have the hubby copy it.

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Hubby's lists never get cleared up do they! You are so lucky he is so handy, that machine is looking way better than the first time I saw it, I bet it runs better now than it ever did before. :biggrin:

It does indeed look a whole lot better - mind you it's just as covered in chocolate as when I received it - but no dust!

He is handy - but I've got a list as long as my arm of things I want done - and I want them all done yesterday.

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The conscience got to be too much and I decided I had to redo the chocolates with the tails - I figure the group we are doing this for are a bit posh and might potentially end up at some point wanting lots of chocolates for some other big event - so we should put our best foot forward.

So over the past two days I remade two big batches, cut them on the guitar last night, separated them so they would skin over a bit before enrobing them this evening. I invited Dave (dhardy123) over to see the Selmi in action. It was a wise decision - having help makes the whole process go so much more smoothly. In a little over an hour we'd dipped all the chocolates (I estimate there were about 250) and a package of strawberry wafer cookies.

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Oh yeah and the machine called me an ASS again!

Edited by Kerry Beal (log)
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What did you do differently to avoid the tails? Do you think letting them develop a bit of a skin helped?

I'm very willing to help you get rid of some of the tailed ones. I can eat a bunch in no time flat, so there will be no evidence left at all!

And I think there was an error in the message. It's not supposed to be

A 5 5 A 5 5

It's supposed to be

|3 A |) A 5 5

:laugh:

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What did you do differently to avoid the tails? Do you think letting them develop a bit of a skin helped?

I'm very willing to help you get rid of some of the tailed ones. I can eat a bunch in no time flat, so there will be no evidence left at all!

And I think there was an error in the message. It's not supposed to be

A 5 5 A 5 5

It's supposed to be

|3 A |) A 5 5

:laugh:

They got a skin both times - the second time the detailer was turning in the other direction. They still had a little more hint of feet than I want - so there will be something for Brian to teach me on Tuesday!

There are still about 200 of the crappy ones around here - minus the bunch I took into work on Friday. Oh yeah, and to my favourite restaurant supply - helps to get the chocolate discount.

Took me a while to get the the |3 & |) A55.

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  • 10 months later...

IMG_0503.jpg

Gearing up for a couple of days of Easter production.

Yesterday molded all the 3D molds, packaged them all up last night, today got all the eggs half molded. Need to make fillings for the eggs, fill them, back them off and package them next. Also made a bunch of easter chocolate lollipops that need to be packaged.

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That chocolate room is just completely awesome. I don't even do much of that sort of thing and I'm still incredibly jealous. My Easter production is going to consist of hoping I finally get around to using those bunny molds you picked up for me. :blush:

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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What are you planning to fill your eggs with? Great to see the big bunny next to all your other molds.

Ah - that is the question. There is a shit load of them. Some small ones are solid, I think I'll do fondant for the kids, some gianduja for the adults, a mixture of gianduja and that lovely Cacao Barry Cara Crakine for some others. I've also been thinking about making up a batch of the caramel mousse filling that Lironp mentioned from the course she took.

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I've also been thinking about making up a batch of the caramel mousse filling that Lironp mentioned from the course she took.

I'm thinking of giving that a shot for the "f'ing bunny" molds. I plan to leave out the orange zest and grand marnier though.

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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I've also been thinking about making up a batch of the caramel mousse filling that Lironp mentioned from the course she took.

I'm thinking of giving that a shot for the "f'ing bunny" molds. I plan to leave out the orange zest and grand marnier though.

I've got two f'ing bunny molds ready to go along with the eggs.

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  • 2 months later...

Hubby finally got around to hooking up the kitchen downdraft ventilation unit that I traded for chocolate (it was new, she changed her mind and went with another ventilation unit and it was sitting out in the barn) and venting it out through the hole in the wall that the builders had left us when they built the chocolate lab.

I then finally got around to placing the elegant cardboard box around it. I had great plans for a nice little plexiglass box - but hey - hell hasn't frozen over yet - so cardboard it is!

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Vent down, unit off.

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Vent up, unit on. I have since removed the filters as they interfere with the air flow significantly.

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Filter I put in front when I'm splattering to minimize the amount of cocoa butter hitting the vent.

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Little warmer plate on an Ikea dimmer switch to keep the airbrushes warm. I find when one blocks up, I take a warm one off the heater, place the cold one on it and keep working. A few minutes on the warmer and the original is ready to go again.

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Ok, this is an intense party room. I am really impressed. My shop isn't this safe. We also make cakes, bread and croissants, ...

One day I will have my little room also. It might take a while though.

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  • 4 months later...

Question for you Kerry, I'm hoping to start construction on my own chocolate kitchen in my basement this winter. Reading about the possible crazy regulations for fire and venting when having a gas range, I'm also contemplating getting an induction cooktop (or 2) to spare myself the headache. Any suggestions on brands you think are better than others? Any that question goes out to anyone who works with induction burners, not just Kerry :smile:

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