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Kerry Beal

Report: eG Chocolate and Confectionery Conference 2011

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Well - it's Friday night and we'll all just rolling back to our various homes and hotel rooms. We've been eating all day!!!!

I've spent Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday running the contents of my house down to Niagara - and wondering how I'm going to get them all home again Sunday evening.

It was a delight to see people again and to see some new faces as well.

We drove across the border in a couple of different cars and I dropped off my charges at Landies Candies. I had a few errands to run so wasn't able to join them there. Apparently they weren't allowed to take pictures.

We had planned to meet at the Anchor Bar for lunch but apparently the earliest reservation was 1:30 so I quickly headed over to Duff's (the other wing place in town) and grabbed up a table for 10 before the joint filled up.

Apologies in advance for the pictures.


Gene and Josh (who works for Art and Wilma and attended in their stead)


RobertM and Curls - so sorry about this picture - not one of my better ones!




Plus one and Connie (another of Art and Wilma's staff)


The wings.


The fries.

After lunch - off to Tomric to meet with Brian Donaghy to show us some panning and play with the Selmi.


Brian starting to pan some cereal.


RobertM - cutting his caramel and cookie creation in preparation for enrobing on the Selmi.


Brian making some last minute adjustments to the Selmi.


Waiting for the goodies to come through the chocolate.

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Tomric provided us with a top notch antipasto/cheese and wine spread that I completely missed getting pictures of in the frenzy of mold purchasing that ensued.

We headed back across the border for dinner at Casa Mia where thanks to plus one's connections we were treated to a wonderful sit down dinner. With Claudio and his delightful mom in the kitchen and Laura - the sommelier - to serve us - we could not have been treated better.


Our private dining room.


Bresoala - hung in the restaurant for 40 days, with truffle oil, arugula oil, fetal peaches pickled in brine and truffle oil, balsamic.


Stracciatella with tortellini.


Intermezzo - lemon ice with an abruzzi olive oil, sea salt and basil.


Cock au vin - parsnip crisp, hand mashed potatoes, carrot turne and pearl onions - there was a bit of mushroom there too.


Tiramisu, spiced chocolate cookie, coffee gelato.

After dinner it was time for show and tell - I didn't get pictures of everything unfortunately - but


dhardy's orange aero treats.


My Thai-one-on's.


RobertM's treats he enrobed at Tomric.


RobertM's Pina coladas.


Chocolot's assortment.


DianaM's wonderfully smooth ganache!

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Wow! All the confectionery looks beautiful! It's amazing to see how far we've all come in a few years. Wish I could be there with you.

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Wow! All the confectionery looks beautiful! It's amazing to see how far we've all come in a few years. Wish I could be there with you.

We hope you have a good weekend at the farmer's market Steve - wish you were here too.

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Kerry - I want to hear more about your "Thai-one-on" pieces... sounds really interesting.

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looks so enticing! If recipes or ideas get shared perhaps some are willing to share with us?? Have fun!

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I love it! Everything looks fantastically delicious! Want to be there so bad, but will have to make due with your great pictures..Have a great weekend!

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Having a great time. Kerry is AMAZING!!! You can't imagine the amount of work she has done for all of us.

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I really, really, really wanted to be there and had planned to be there but life intervened. I plan on making it next year. Everything looks so beautiful. Sounds like a good time is being had by all. Love the pictures - keep 'em coming!

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Kerry - I want to hear more about your "Thai-one-on" pieces... sounds really interesting.

Steve - it's Greweling's Dark and Stormy base with kaffir lime leaf and lemongrass. Quite tasty.

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looks so enticing! If recipes or ideas get shared perhaps some are willing to share with us?? Have fun!

Ilana - I'm going to leave the posting of what they learned today to the other folks - I found myself running around a bit and only learned one thing! I learned that from Ruth (chocolot) and that is that there is a little piece on my guitar that slips in in front of the hinge to stop the frame from falling out of the hinge. Never even knew it existed!

And thank you so much for sending goodies for us again! I'm going to post the pictures here of the wonderful gifts that Ilana sent along for us to enjoy at the conference.



Thank you so much Ilana - they will be much enjoyed.

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So today started early - Ruth, Bob and I ran over to the college first thing and met with Chef Storm to start getting things ready for the day.

I must confess I was a bit distracted and wasn't as good a picture taker as I should have been. In fact I realize I didn't get a single picture of the finished dinner items tonight - except as applied to my plate. I'm counting on others I saw wielding cameras to post links to flickr files so we can all enjoy.

Here's what I did take pictures of -


Derrick explaining crystallization.


While that was going on in the chocolate lab - I was in 'supervising' Dave, Mike and Rebecca preparing our dinner.


The roasted veg being prepared.


Two of the multitude of chickens they roasted.


The portabello mushrooms with their topping of sauteed garlic head into the oven for roasting.


The two huge prime ribs start their journey.


Our fresh Ontario leg of lamb.


Szechuan peppers and balinese long peppers pounded to season the lamb.


Following their seasoning - the lamb was studded with garlic and rosemary.


Meanwhile back in the lab - Dave makes a tasty batch of Lemon-pear william pates de fruit.


The gang sits around discussing what they have learned.


The only successful picture I took of the food at dinner - as I mentioned earlier I'm counting on others to step up and add these in. Actually I did take a picture of the soup, and I'd only had one glass of wine - but it was sadly out of focus. But look at that glorious yorkshire pud!



A couple of pictures of some of the gang enjoying their meal.

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Everything looks brilliant and so much fun. Glad you guys are having a good time

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Just want to let everyone know who is booked in the Hilton Garden Inn - when you check out - make sure they remove a daily fee called the 'Destination Promotion Fee' from your bill. I have spoken to them about it and they have assured me that it will be removed from the bill of anyone in our group. If you had a bill under your door this morning - stop at the front desk and make sure they give you an amended bill.

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Best food and company. Learned a lot about molding, and ganache. Learned I am a better chocolate panner then a chocolate molder for now. Going to practise a lot at home. thanks everyone for the tips.

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Best food and company. Learned a lot about molding, and ganache. Learned I am a better chocolate panner then a chocolate molder for now. Going to practise a lot at home. thanks everyone for the tips.

Josh - I suspect you'll be an excellent molder in no time - and a great source of support for a number of potential panners in eG land.

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What an awesome weekend! Kerry, thank you so much for organizing the conference, and thanks to everyone for being so welcoming and helpful with newbies like myself. :smile:

I'd be more than happy to share what I have learned. I have a couple of pages of notes, I'll get them in order and post them a bit later tonight.


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Another rather pathetic picture day. Funny how much more organized I am when I have Anna along to point me in the right direction.It was cold in the lab yesterday and even colder today - at one point I could see my breath in the air!


We almost all dressed a little warmer today - Brittany, our student volunteer, was double chef jacketed. Here we have Sue Casey - apron under winter jacket - keeping her coloured cocoa butter warm on one of the warmers (normally it would stay liquid at room temperature for a few minutes at least) so she can make some transfer sheets.


Proof that Connie actually can and will do dishes!


Gene juggling - gotta watch how far you tip it in one direction to scrape or the chocolate will flow out in the other direction.


Some experiments with grain alcohol and coloured powder to decorate some chocolates - not all together successful.


Bob again - cutting his caramel and pressing on his nuts. (she says with a completely straight face)


Theresa applying some almonds to a nice big slab she'd made on top of a very artistic painted transfer.

I can't believe I didn't get any pictures of anyones fuzzy bunnies - hope someone does and posts them.

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Thanks so much to Kerry for organizing a fantastic weekend, to the college for hosting us and cooking a wonderful dinner, and to everyone else for coming together and sharing all your knowledge and experience! It was great to see everyone again, and to make some new friends, too. I learned tons, yet again, and had a great time at it. My pate de fruit still needs work, but it's good to know that I wasn't doing anything fundamentally wrong.

I have a whole lot of photos to go through, but thought I'd share a couple of initial ones here.

First, by Kerry's request, a pic of the bunny she helped me flock:

Flocky the Bunny.jpg

Thanks, Donna, for letting me use that mold.

Here's my husband Matt capping off his shell-molded lemon caramels:

Matt Capping.jpg

And here's what they looked like as they were being unmolded:

Knocking Out.jpg

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Those fuzzy bunnies sure looked great. What a cool idea to use the airbrush to create texture.

Here are a few things I wrote down, though probably most of you already know this stuff:

-melting point of Beta V crystals=34 degrees; melting point of Beta VI=36 degrees

-a centre with Aw=0.75 will have a shelf life of 3 weeks

-if you want to create nut-based products, use white or milk chocolate; when dark chocolate is used, fat migration might result

-according to Derrick, ganache should always be tempered

-granite versus marble for tabling: Derrick prefers granite; he also prefers slabs which are 1-inch thick, they hold the cold better, to allow the tabling of successive batches of chocolate

-I’ve seen everyone use infrared thermometers, and I can see why: the wire of my probe thermometer always gets in my way when I’m working

-according to Derrick, molds should never ever be washed, as the minerals in water destroy them; when I try to buff them after washing, the mineral particles from the water scratch them and make them dull after a while. Neither should the molds be stored with chocolate on them, says he; they should be cleaned by heating the chocolate residue with a heat gun, then wiped with a soft kitchen cloth.

-to ensure that transfer sheets adhere, a small square sponge can be used to gently push the acetate onto the surface of the chocolate

-after casting the shell, Derrick places the mold on parchment upside down, waits until the chocolate crystallizes, then turns them right way up and proceeds with filling; however, I've seen beautiful, even shells made in the class by placing the molds on their side to crystallize

-he says ganache should not be left un-enrobed for longer than 3 hours; if left overnight, it will accumulate dust, spores, bacteria from the air

-glucose can be up to 15% of a recipe; invert sugar can be up to 8% of the recipe

-for centres made with passionfruit, lemon, lime, water activity is not a big issue, since the acid in these fruits will invert the sugar in the recipe, and the centre will be more shelf-stable (did I get this right?)

-honey is not an inver sugar, it is a semi-invert sugar

-the best kind of invert sugar is the one that comes as an opaque paste; it should be used within 6 months, or it will ferment

Looking forward to the rest of the pics!

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some good info-thanks!

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It looks like you all had a terrific weekend. I wish I could have been there too, but I had two other places I needed to be. So I'll just look at the pictures, and live it through those.


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For anyone interested in the Griptastic closures that I brought to close the piping bags - they are available from Pansaver.com. I can't actually see them on the website but when you contact them they should be able to point you to them. Note they also have 4 mil boilable sous vide bags in 250 quantities.

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