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Mette

Chocolates with that backroom finish

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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. 

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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)
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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

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

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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. 

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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.  

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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.  

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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.

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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.  

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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!

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

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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.....

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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.

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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

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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.

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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

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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? 

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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!

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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.

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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?

 

 

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@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.

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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)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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