Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

Mette

Chocolates with that backroom finish

Recommended Posts

Just now, Chocolot said:

It happens rarely, but usually that mold. Other times, we use that mold for months without a problem.

Must be due to a stress point likely related to the shape at the tip. I suspect sometimes the coloured cocoa butter just isn't as flexible but does fine on the round edges. Just like those 3D molds that crack in the same place if everything isn't just so. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I suppose it has something to do with the latent heat of cristalization and the low surface radius on that side of the heart-shape (lower radius means higher latent heat in the time unit). Maybe that single mold was in a hotter zone or had less air circulation or something else that prevented the latent heat to be dissipated correctly. Try to put the molds in a colder place after pouring the first chocolate layer (the outer shell).

 

 

 

Teo

 


Edited by teonzo (log)
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm having some issues with my chocolate.  I'm a novice, so it might be something obvious, but I cannot seem to get a clean and easy set of molds done.  When I scrape the tops it seems to drag the bottoms off of the chocolates!  Is there an easy way to prevent that?  Am I just overfilling, or my chocolate to cool?  The surplus chocolate on the molds in the pictures was an attempt to fix the problems.  

IMG_2620.JPG

IMG_2622.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would suggest that you’re filling your molds to full with your center.  Back off filling so full and try recapping again.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And too cool - chocolate for backing off should be as warm as possible - quick scrape with the spatula at about 45 degrees - minimize the scraping. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Would love to see a picture of your molds before you attempt to cap them.  Then we could see the level of your filling.  Also, are you letting your filling set sufficiently?I also second what Kerry said: you want the chocolate at the highest possible working temperature so that it is as fluid as possible.  Use as little chocolate as possible to cover all the molds then one quick scrape.  Also, make sure you bring the molds back to room temperature before capping them.  If they are coming out of refrigeration, they will be too cold to cap properly,  and the chocolate will begin setting before you have a chance to get it over all the molds and scrape it. It also appears that your caps are not bonding with the shell.  This could cause leakage and shelf life problems . You can use a heat gun or hair dryer to warm up the surface of the molds a little bit (but not enough to melt or untemper the shells) before capping.  This will allows the shell and the cap to bond and contract together.  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm going to try another batch today, so I'll take some more pictures and see if I can properly apply your pointers!  I think heat may be a problem for me - I've been tempering in a bowl with a microwave just fine, with lots of testing and without a thermometer, so I may be running my chocolate too cool.  Is there a good way to make sure I don't lose my temper while heating if I don't have a thermometer?  It seems like the filling should have allowed room for a good bottom, as long as the bottom didn't get pulled up into a dimple by my scraping.  ¬¬  I let them set well, and even manually popped caramel bubbles and took a little out of the ones I thought were too full, then waited until it (slowly) returned to level.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
27 minutes ago, WayUpNorth said:

I'm going to try another batch today, so I'll take some more pictures and see if I can properly apply your pointers!  I think heat may be a problem for me - I've been tempering in a bowl with a microwave just fine, with lots of testing and without a thermometer, so I may be running my chocolate too cool.  Is there a good way to make sure I don't lose my temper while heating if I don't have a thermometer?  It seems like the filling should have allowed room for a good bottom, as long as the bottom didn't get pulled up into a dimple by my scraping.  ¬¬  I let them set well, and even manually popped caramel bubbles and took a little out of the ones I thought were too full, then waited until it (slowly) returned to level.  

 

Without a thermometer? I don't know how you do it. I use mine constantly. For checking chocolate I use an infrared, which is quick and easy and well worth the investment. Actually I have found that tempered chocolate is more forgiving than one might think in terms of temperature.

 

All the tips in this thread are helpful. I was just thinking of this issue yesterday as I finished some chocolates and, in spite of thorough checking of the ganache level, looking several times, checking again, had some pieces that resembled yours. A quick (and not completely reliable) fix when you really need all the chocolates to be usable is to spread a little tempered chocolate over the bad places and put a small piece of acetate over it. The bottom may be a little uneven, but it often works. If you drag a small bit of chocolate out of the mold as you scrape, it is easy to add a few drops of chocolate to that spot and tap the mold on the table to level it. Thicker ganaches are the worst culprits since tapping the molds on the table doesn't work to level them. I take the time to trim off the ganache that may be protruding because if there is a place where it protrudes, the chocolate will inevitably make it show.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For the firm ganaches, I dip my (gloved) finger in soft butter, then gently press down the peaks before I cap.  If the chocolate has begun to cool a little too much- due to backing off multiple molds (or cold molds or room temp or whatever), and it starts getting a little too thick, I heat the edge of the scraper over the stove flame, then swipe it over the mold. Might be a little unorthodox, but, it is effective.  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, WayUpNorth said:

I'm going to try another batch today, so I'll take some more pictures and see if I can properly apply your pointers!  I think heat may be a problem for me - I've been tempering in a bowl with a microwave just fine, with lots of testing and without a thermometer, so I may be running my chocolate too cool.  Is there a good way to make sure I don't lose my temper while heating if I don't have a thermometer?  It seems like the filling should have allowed room for a good bottom, as long as the bottom didn't get pulled up into a dimple by my scraping.  ¬¬  I let them set well, and even manually popped caramel bubbles and took a little out of the ones I thought were too full, then waited until it (slowly) returned to level.  

I also depend on an IR thermometer - actually a bunch of them!

 

Where are you located? You are welcome to join our Chocolate Workshop in May. You'll learn a lot!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wondering what chocolate you are using. Is it couveture? Looks thick, but might just be cold.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

IR thermometer here as well!  As for tempering, if I’m working out of a mol d’art, or other melter, (even the microwave), I rely on my EZTemper to bring me quickly tempered chocolate to work with.  (I LOVE that piece of equipment).  

Gone are my days of being able to pull tempered chocolate out of my NovaChoc.....

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Unfortunately I need to contribute to this topic. In the chocolate below, notice the crack running across the shell. This happened to several pieces at various places in the shell.

 

dutton.jpg.5b145d49927f94e06cbbbf4c43399878.jpg

 

In trying to determine what was happening, I thought of another time I had a similar crack, and that was in the Easter eggs I made earlier this year. That time some of the cracks developed over time as the eggs sat. I thought it might have something to do with the larger size of the piece or with the filling (it occurred with several ganaches). The filling in the bonbon above is a layer of apricot pâte de fruit (on top, immediately under the dome) with a layer of almond gianduja below it. What the eggs and the bonbon above have in common is that the coloring contains a large amount of white cocoa butter. In this case I mixed the apricot color from red, orange, yellow, and a lot of white, and the yellow marbled with it is yellow c.b. with a substantial amount of white. In the case of the eggs, I backed the outside colors with a lot of white to make the decoration opaque. Could white cocoa butter cause something like this? This would be one more strike against it, adding to the obnoxious aroma and taste it has. Of course, any explanation begs the question of why the defect didn't occur with the bonbon immediately next to it in the mold.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

is it a crack in the couverture or just the cocoa butter? If it's a thick layer of white, perhaps it had fully contracted and then the couverture contracted as well and caused some sort of crack? I have no idea really, just throwing ideas out there :D

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
58 minutes ago, keychris said:

is it a crack in the couverture or just the cocoa butter? If it's a thick layer of white, perhaps it had fully contracted and then the couverture contracted as well and caused some sort of crack? I have no idea really, just throwing ideas out there :D

Good question. In this case the couverture is white chocolate, so when I cut the bonbon open completely, it was not possible to answer your question (white c.b. blended into white couverture). I'll see if I can find one where the underlying chocolate is dark. I don't know if it's significant, but the decorated mold was sitting for a few days before the shell was made. I don't think that would make a difference.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a similar? problem. I am not sure what caused this today? I sprayed the mold half with bronze and half with black. I then sprayed white CB over the entire mold. Why did I get this problem? Was the CB too hot? I polished the molds with Everclear and then with a dry cotton ball. Any ideas?

IMG_2169.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Jim D. said:

Unfortunately I need to contribute to this topic. In the chocolate below, notice the crack running across the shell. This happened to several pieces at various places in the shell.

 

dutton.jpg.5b145d49927f94e06cbbbf4c43399878.jpg

 

In trying to determine what was happening, I thought of another time I had a similar crack, and that was in the Easter eggs I made earlier this year. That time some of the cracks developed over time as the eggs sat. I thought it might have something to do with the larger size of the piece or with the filling (it occurred with several ganaches). The filling in the bonbon above is a layer of apricot pâte de fruit (on top, immediately under the dome) with a layer of almond gianduja below it. What the eggs and the bonbon above have in common is that the coloring contains a large amount of white cocoa butter. In this case I mixed the apricot color from red, orange, yellow, and a lot of white, and the yellow marbled with it is yellow c.b. with a substantial amount of white. In the case of the eggs, I backed the outside colors with a lot of white to make the decoration opaque. Could white cocoa butter cause something like this? This would be one more strike against it, adding to the obnoxious aroma and taste it has. Of course, any explanation begs the question of why the defect didn't occur with the bonbon immediately next to it in the mold.

So they came out of the molds and looked this way immediately? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, dhardy123 said:

I have a similar? problem. I am not sure what caused this today? I sprayed the mold half with bronze and half with black. I then sprayed white CB over the entire mold. Why did I get this problem? Was the CB too hot? I polished the molds with Everclear and then with a dry cotton ball. Any ideas?

IMG_2169.JPG

Don't know Dave - but it looks startlingly beautiful!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
36 minutes ago, Kerry Beal said:

So they came out of the molds and looked this way immediately? 

Yes, they did. In the case of the Easter eggs I referred to, some had hairline cracks when they came out of the molds, some appeared to develop them later.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Jim D. said:

I don't know if it's significant, but the decorated mold was sitting for a few days before the shell was made

 

Did you check the decoration before filling with chocolate for the shells?  Are you sure it wasn't already cracked, either from getting bumped or simply because chocolate contracts?

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Jim D. spit balling here, but how thin were the shells where this is happening? Could it have occurred while you were removing the bonbons from the mold? I’ve gotten a little carried away a couple of times when cracking my bonbons out of the molds and found some hairline fractures on a few of them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Jim D. said:

Yes, they did. In the case of the Easter eggs I referred to, some had hairline cracks when they came out of the molds, some appeared to develop them later.

Was it a very thin layer of chocolate each time? I've had more through and through cracks when that happens. Oops see everyone has beat me too it!


Edited by Kerry Beal (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, pastrygirl said:

 

Did you check the decoration before filling with chocolate for the shells?  Are you sure it wasn't already cracked, either from getting bumped or simply because chocolate contracts?

 

 

That's a good idea. I didn't check, but I will next time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Daniel D said:

@Jim D. spit balling here, but how thin were the shells where this is happening? Could it have occurred while you were removing the bonbons from the mold? I’ve gotten a little carried away a couple of times when cracking my bonbons out of the molds and found some hairline fractures on a few of them.

The shells weren't all that thin. I was using white chocolate that was crystallizing as fast as I could deal with that issue. And these are new molds that are shallower than I am used to. I was dealing with the fact that shells made in shallow cavities want to come out of the mold prematurely. I had to watch them very carefully to make sure they were still in place and level, so they definitely weren't sticking. With other molds (especially domes. which tend to stick for me) I have had the problem you describe when banging them on the counter.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, keychris said:

is it a crack in the couverture or just the cocoa butter? If it's a thick layer of white, perhaps it had fully contracted and then the couverture contracted as well and caused some sort of crack? I have no idea really, just throwing ideas out there :D

I found a piece with the shell made from dark chocolate. It was difficult to tell how deep the crack went, but I think I could see dark chocolate in the crack, meaning it went all the way through the cocoa butter decoration down to the couverture.

 

I wonder if it's significant at all (reaching for straws here, when I know the final answer is going to be "who knows why things happen to chocolate?"), but both cracked shells held pâte de fruit as the bottom layer of the finished piece. In one case it was quite firm, in the other, it was softer, so that probably is not a factor.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Similar Content

    • By curls
      So I've remelted some Valrhona Azelia that was extra from another project and even at 45° C the chocolate has small lumps. If I press a lump against the side of the melter (or between my fingers) it smooths out but I can't remove all the lumps that way. For tonight, I poured all the chocolate through a sieve and pushed the lumps thru with a silicone spatula. That solves the problem for today but I want to know, what caused those lumps in the first place? Also, if this happens again, is there a better way to correct the problem? I have never had this happen before with any couverture (including the Azelia) and hope you can tell me how I can prevent this from happening .
    • By CCB
      I used my homemade toffee in a cookie recipe hoping that the toffee will add a crunch to the cookie... it didn't turn out well as the toffee melted and didn't keep its hardened crunch form. How can I prevent my toffee from melting in my cookie recipe?
    • By anonymouse
      I've been working with the Boiron purée recipe tables (chocolate and PdF, ice cream) - some good successes.  However the document is very terse and I wondered whether anyone who is experienced with these formulae might clarify what the expected result is:
       
      - "Fruit ganaches" and "Fruit and caramel ganaches".  I think these are supposed to produce a ganache for cutting and enrobing, although when I tried it came out far too soft to be dipped???
       
      - "Ganaches to be combined with fruit pastes" - I think these are to be layered above PdF and enrobed - is that right?
       
      - "Chocolate molded sweets" - Are these intended to be served as is, ie moulded without a layer of couverture going into the mould first? However the instructions talk about pouring into a frame.
       
      - "Fruity delight" - looks like a fairly light dessert to go into a parfait glass.  Has anyone done these and how do they turn out?  How do they compare to the sabayon-based ones in the Boiron ice cream book?
       
      I'm going to start working through some of the ice creams next week and it will be interesting to see how these turn out.
       
      Thanks for any advice.
       
    • By anonymouse
      As a newbie here I thought, before piling in with my own questions, I'd pull together some of the things I've learned in my first months of chocolate making - in case this helps others who embark on the same path.  
       
      Many of these learnings came from eGullet, some from elsewhere, and I'm very grateful for all the many sources of experience and insight.  Cooking technique is quite personal so of course not everyone will agree with my idiosyncratic list of course.
       
      Most useful equipment so far
       
      Cooking isn't really about the equipment - you can make fine chocolates with hardly any equipment - but here are the things which have helped me the most.
       
      1. Small tempering machine.  This got me started on chocolate making with a superb easy path.  The ChocoVision Rev 2B (with the "holey baffle" which increases its capacity) just gets the tempering perfect every time.  Yes, I could temper in the microwave or on a slab, but it's great to take away any uncertainty about the final finish, by using this great machine.  Downsides: continuously noisy, doesn't have the capacity for large batches.
       
      2. Plenty of silicon baking mats (Silpat clones).  I use these not just for ganache and inverting moulds onto, but also just to keep the kitchen clean!  Working at home, I create a lot of mess and found I could reduce the risk of divorce by spreading large sheets (60x40cm size) across the work surface.  So much easier to clean, and I can scrape unused chocolate back into the supply for next time.  
      I get mine directly from China through AliExpress where they are about 1/3 of the local price.  Then, for a further cost saving I ordered a couple of sheets of stainless steel at exactly the same 40x30 size, from a hobbyist place, and stuck some rubber feet underneath. The silicon mat + steel sheet can then easily be carried to the cool room. I got metal bars made up by another hobbyist place (an eGullet suggestion) which was a cheap alternative to caramel bars.
       
      3. Scrapers.  Life got better when I stopped trying to scrape moulds with a regular palette knife.  I found we had two Japanese okomoniyaki spatulas from Japanese cooking which were perfect!
       
      4. Polycarbonate moulds.  Again in order to afford a bunch of these, I get them from China via AliExpress where they are £5-£7 each (including shipping) rather than £18 (+£10 shipping) locally.  If I were starting again I'd buy little squares and half-spheres first, because these are easy to decorate with transfer sheets and cocoa butter respectively; plus a bar mould for quickly using up some extra chocolate or making a snack for the family.  Magnetic moulds are not in my view essential for the beginner because you can just apply the transfers manually - but they are very easy to use.
       
      5. Hot air gun - little Bosch paint stripper from Amazon.  Always kept to hand to sort out anything which crystallises too quickly in the bowl or on my equipment.
       
      6. Fancy packaging.  We got some little boxes in bright colours with silver lining - great to turn your experiments into gifts. Quite expensive because you have to buy quantities, but worth it we felt.
       
      If I were working at scale I think my top 5 would also include a vibrating table, but that's beyond my means.

      Best sources of learning so far (apart from eGullet of course)
       
      1. Callebaut website - fabulous range of videos showing how a master does the basic techniques.  Also Keylink (harder to find on their website - look in "knowledge bank") which is refreshingly straightforward.
       
      2. Several books recommended on this forum.  Once I got past the basics, I delved into two masterpieces: Wybauw ("The Ultimate Fine Chocolates", a revised compilation of his previous books) and Greweling ("Chocolates and Confections"). These are just awe inspiring.

      Most useful ingredients so far
       
      1. Callebaut couverture "callets" in 2.5kg bags - quick to measure, easy to re-seal.  Everyone should start with 811 and 823, the "standards" ... but I soon moved to more exotic flavours.  Current favourites are Cacao Barry Alunga (rich milk), Callebaut Velvet (white but not as cloying as the usual one; lovely mouthfeel), and half a dozen Cocoa Barry dark chocolates which go with particular ingredients.
       
      2. Boiron frozen fruit purees. These are just amazing.  I struggled with lots of different approaches to fruit flavouring until I discovered these.  The problem is that most liquid purees have a short life span and are quite expensive if you only need a little quantity - whereas the Boiron ones just live in a neat, stackable tub in the freezer.  Grab a flavour, pop it out onto a chopping board, slice off what you need, return the rest to the freezer.  And the range is fabulous.  So far I've particularly enjoyed raspberry, passion fruit, kalamansi (wow!) blackcurrant, and Morello cherry.  (I'm experimenting with banana but most banana chocolate recipes seem to need caramel which I don't find so easy to perfect.)
       
      3. IBC "Power Flowers" so I can mix my own coloured white chocolate with a wide palette of colours, for brushing or piping into moulds as decoration.  Quite tricky to scale down to the tiny amounts I need, but I found this far better than heating little bottles of cocoa butter and being restricted to the colours I had.
       
      4. Marc de Champagne 60% - great for truffles.  My supplier sends it in a little chemical bottle which is a little un-champagne-like, but never mind.  Rose drops (oil-based) were also useful for truffles if you like that sort of thing.

      Suggestions for learners (aka things I wish I had got right)
       
      1. Start learning in winter.  There is a HUGE amount of cooling needed in chocolate making; once we had cold weather we could close off a room, turn off its heating, and create a cool room.  Made a big difference to productivity (and quality!).
       
      2. Don't do anything involving caramel, marshmallows, turkish delight, or other temperature-critical sugar work until you are confident with everything else - or you will get demoralised quickly.  Or maybe I'm just rubbish at these techniques.
       
      3. Learn simple decoration (cocoa butter colour, texture sheets etc) early on.  These make a big difference to how everyone will react to your work.
       
      4. Don't rush.  Chocolate making takes a lot of (elapsed) time.  Give things time to crystallise properly.  I find there is always an endless amount of cleaning-up to do while I wait :-)
       
       
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×