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Beth Wilson

Greweling's "Chocolates and Confections at Home"

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Thanks for the quick response Darienne. I appreciate the information. I guess what I need is a book that goes through the technical aspects of the processes and techniques. Both as a learning tool, and a reference guide. It's a pity I can't flick through both books to help me decide which to purchase. I notice the "at home" book is cheaper.

I want to use the book to help me learn, but also to provide sufficient technical details and techniques that I could develop some skills that would be useful if I decided to pursue it as more than a hobby. Perhaps it is a matter of buying the "at home" version, and then buying the other if and when necessary.

Have just checked our local library website, and it seems they have both books. Unfortunately, I'm in the UK for the next few months so can't check them out. But perhaps that has made things a lot easier.

If what you're saying is that there is enough content to get me started properly, then I will start by buying the "at home" version, and then use the library book or upgrade at a later date.

Many thanks, and sorry for this rambling response!!

Richard.

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As a reference guide, something you refer to forever, then the professional Greweling book is better. If you are just starting out and don't know your Maillard from your invert sugar, then the 'at home' book will help you to learn the basics with less pain.

It's a hard choice.

I knew NOTHING when I started and had the at home book been available, I would have preferred it. But for long-time reference, the professional book would be the choice. But then I already said that... :rolleyes:


Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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Ok, I've decided to buy (and have ordered) the "at home" version. Even though the other book would be better long term, I think I will be able to get more (as a beginner) from the simpler version. If things go well, and I learn a lot from the home book, then I will graduate to the professional book. Thank you for your advice Darienne. I look forward to posting some of my efforts up here, and am sure I'll need more than a little bit of assistance along the way. Thanks again, Richard.

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Ok, I've decided to buy (and have ordered) the "at home" version. Even though the other book would be better long term, I think I will be able to get more (as a beginner) from the simpler version. If things go well, and I learn a lot from the home book, then I will graduate to the professional book. Thank you for your advice Darienne. I look forward to posting some of my efforts up here, and am sure I'll need more than a little bit of assistance along the way. Thanks again, Richard.

I am looking forward to see your results for certain. :smile:


Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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Here is my second batch of dipped chocolates, using the tempering method in this book. My first batch was out of temper, but reading the book allowed me to understand and diagnose the condition of the chocolate and make a fix. As a novice, this book is just right for me.

The batch here uses a caramel recipe from Fine Cooking, to which I have added ancho chile powder, cinnamon, orange zest, and pine nuts. The orange and spices combine to make a warm-spice taste. I didn't use very much spice (about 0.5 tsp each for a recipe with 1.5 cups of sugar.) The recipe is here:

http://www.finecooking.com/recipes/honey-caramels.aspx?ac=ts&ra=fp

I have made variations on this caramel recipe for many years as teachers' gifts, but the chocolate coating with its nice snap really brings these to a new level.

So clearly my dipping technique requires work-- the chocolate is very viscous and thick once I get it into temper. I'm also having trouble measuring the temperature with either my Thermoprobe, or my other thermometer, which is one of those with a probe and a long wire. Both are very accurate, but I'm getting chocolate everywhere and it's hard to keep the probe in place while stirring. What a mess. I think more practice is in order!

Jen

pine nut caramels 1.jpg


Edited by iguana (log)

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Dear Jen,

Well done. I am still pretty much a novice at all of this and my dipping technique leaves a lot to be desired.

So glad that PG at Home helped you understand what went amiss the first time. And you are so correct about the chocolate dipping bringing a center to new heights of deliciousness.

You could try Kerry Beal's adaptation of a French caramel recipe sometime. It is truly wondrous. Kerry's recipe

As for the chocolate: it took me a long time to stop getting chocolate everywhere...what? on my elbow? in my hair? How on earth did I get it there? Then my spread of chocolate became more contained until one day I didn't get it anywhere and I was so pleased.

As for the thickness of your chocolate coating: someone else can help you better than I can, but it is probably the nature of the chocolate you are using...it is by nature too thick for what you are doing. You can either switch to another chocolate couverture or add some cocoa butter to the mix. Look in the archives...you'll no doubt also find a couple of topics devoted to just that. Good luck. :smile:


Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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I got this book a couple of weeks ago, and have been liking it quite a lot. The big advantage to these recipes for someone making chocolates at home is that there are no difficult-to-obtain ingredients in any of the recipes. Ok, except coconut fat for the meltaways, which is a bit hard to find. Also, the instructions are very clear, and the illustrations actually illustrate the techniques!

My only two complaints, and they are minor, is that there are no metric weight measurements, only imperial, and that there is no mention of water activity or shelf life for the various recipes.

In any case, here is a riff off of his basic chocolate ganache truffle: An homage to the best cookie in the world, these are World Peace truffles :)

CIMG1192.JPG

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Made two ganaches out of Greweling's 'At Home' book today.

Coconut-Lime Truffles: had no white chocolate so made them out of 56% dark Lindt. Vyer different and very nice even with dark chocolate. Well, actually, I don't like white chocolate really.

Peanut Butter Meltaways: must have done something wrong because although the ganache tastes quite nice, it gives no sense of a 'singular sensation' when eaten. I didn't temper the chocolate this time around...that may have made the difference???


Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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Here is my second batch of dipped chocolates, using the tempering method in this book. My first batch was out of temper, but reading the book allowed me to understand and diagnose the condition of the chocolate and make a fix. As a novice, this book is just right for me.

The batch here uses a caramel recipe from Fine Cooking, to which I have added ancho chile powder, cinnamon, orange zest, and pine nuts. The orange and spices combine to make a warm-spice taste. I didn't use very much spice (about 0.5 tsp each for a recipe with 1.5 cups of sugar.) The recipe is here:

http://www.finecooking.com/recipes/honey-caramels.aspx?ac=ts&ra=fp

I have made variations on this caramel recipe for many years as teachers' gifts, but the chocolate coating with its nice snap really brings these to a new level.

So clearly my dipping technique requires work-- the chocolate is very viscous and thick once I get it into temper. I'm also having trouble measuring the temperature with either my Thermoprobe, or my other thermometer, which is one of those with a probe and a long wire. Both are very accurate, but I'm getting chocolate everywhere and it's hard to keep the probe in place while stirring. What a mess. I think more practice is in order!

Jen

Jen,

What chocolate are you using? Have you found a good source for chocolate in Chicago?

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Jen,

What chocolate are you using? Have you found a good source for chocolate in Chicago?

I was using a chocolate from Poland, Wedel Dark. I love the taste-- in fact, we had a chocolate tasting and it won-- and the competition included all the major brands-- Callebaut, Scharfenberger, etc. I can get Wedel at my local supermarket (A&G at Belmont and Central), but it wasn't working well for dipping-- maybe I could add some cocoa butter. My daughter has been asking for chocolate-dipped caramels, so maybe I need to try again-- candymaking has fallen off my radar!

Let me know if you come across a great source in Chicago-- between the poor selection and the high sales tax here, I am thinking mail order (chocosphere, King Arthur flour...)

Jen

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Jen,

What chocolate are you using? Have you found a good source for chocolate in Chicago?

I was using a chocolate from Poland, Wedel Dark. I love the taste-- in fact, we had a chocolate tasting and it won-- and the competition included all the major brands-- Callebaut, Scharfenberger, etc. I can get Wedel at my local supermarket (A&G at Belmont and Central), but it wasn't working well for dipping-- maybe I could add some cocoa butter. My daughter has been asking for chocolate-dipped caramels, so maybe I need to try again-- candymaking has fallen off my radar!

Let me know if you come across a great source in Chicago-- between the poor selection and the high sales tax here, I am thinking mail order (chocosphere, King Arthur flour...)

Jen

I know. I was going to order via Amazon, but there's a shipping surcharge that I hadn't noticed before. I was NOT happy about that. We live in Chicago for pete's sake. There has to be good chocolate in quantity somewhere. There's a Qzina out near O'Hare, but don't know if they will sell to me (us). I may call in a couple of weeks when I have more time. We went to Blommers a couple of weekends ago. I actually thought their stuff was better than I expected and you can't beat the price. I got some Guittard at Cakewalk. It's definitely more cake focused than chocolate focused. I've been mostly using the pound plus bars from Trader Joe's. I'm not far from you, so maybe I'll check out your Wedel Dark.

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...

So clearly my dipping technique requires work-- the chocolate is very viscous and thick once I get it into temper. I'm also having trouble measuring the temperature with either my Thermoprobe, or my other thermometer, which is one of those with a probe and a long wire. Both are very accurate, but I'm getting chocolate everywhere and it's hard to keep the probe in place while stirring. What a mess. I think more practice is in order!

Jen

If you're doing a lot of chocolate work, and even if you're not, I highly recommend an IR thermometer - worth its weight in gold - very accurate and very NOT messy!

If you having difficulty with too-thick chocolate, you can always begin by adding a bit of cocoa butter to thin it out a bit.


Edited by John DePaula (log)

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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Totally agree on getting the IR thermometer. It completely revolutionized my chocolate making.

On the Wedel chocolate being too thick, I know that it is not couverture quality chocolate, and even in Poland it is considered a mainstream, not premium chocolate. So I would guess it won't coat like a high end chocolate and adding cocoa butter may be the best solution.

I buy Guittard by mail order and am very happy with it.


Edited by rickster (log)

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...

If you're doing a lot of chocolate work, and even if you're not, I highly recommend an IR thermometer - worth its weight in gold - very accurate and very NOT messy!

...

Totally agree on getting the IR thermometer. It completely revolutionized my chocolate making.

...

I can understand the "not messy" bit, but "very accurate" sounds wrong for an IR thermometer.

They can read to a high precision, but that doesn't equate to accuracy.

Even if the emissivity is set correctly, the accuracy is rarely quoted as being as good as ±1°C, even though the display routinely gives a result to 0.1C. (And the real cheapies still display to 0.1, but have no emissivity adjustment and only quote an accuracy of ±2C.)

I would expect that these devices should be quite consistent. If it gives the same reading (for the same chocolate) the next day/week it'll be very close indeed to the same temperature. Which I can recognise as being very useful.

However, are your instruments accurate enough that you work to the chocolate manufacturer's recommended temperatures -- OR do you use "your temperatures" (as indicated by your thermometers)?

And does white chocolate really have the same emissivity as dark chocolate?

I'm thinking of starting exploring chocolate, with the aid of a book like this one, and while I clearly see the advantage of a mess-free thermometer, I worry that using an inaccurate thermometer could be very confusing to a n00b.


Edited by dougal (log)

"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch ... you must first invent the universe." - Carl Sagan

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I'm thinking of starting exploring chocolate, with the aid of a book like this one, and while I clearly see the advantage of a mess-free thermometer, I worry that using an inaccurate thermometer could be very confusing to a n00b

Well, as a n00b myself, I have found the IR thermometer much easier to use and have not noticed any problems with accuracy. I am using a Fahrenheit scaled one. I have just followed the chocolate suppliers recommended temperatures without adjustments.

One problem I had with a digital probe type was a relatively slow reaction time in transmitting changes in temperature, which caused me problems. Maybe it was just the brand I was using. Also it is possible that my skills have improved coincidentally with the acquisition of the IR device.

I should note I do not own this Grewling book, but do have the "pro" one. The only issues I've had is the relatively large quantities the recipes make, which are too large for an at home amateur.

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