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RobertM

REPORT: 2012 Candy and Confection Conference

135 posts in this topic

I'm just blown away by the conference, the folks, the workshops, the production...it's wonderful.

(And I wish that Rob would come back to eG. He is still missed by me.)


Darienne

learn, learn, learn...

Cheers & Chocolates

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At this point we split up and the more hands-on stuff began. I'll begin with Steve's work on the Mint Patties. These are basically fondant, mint, and invertase, enrobed in dark chocolate. Absolutely fantastic mint flavor. Steve heated the concoction up to 160°F (I think that was the temp, right Steve?):

DSC_1082.jpg

Then into a double-pastry-bag for piping into circle forms:

DSC_1085.jpg

However, since Steve has "pastry hands" and that bag was hot, the job got handed off to Rob (who has "grill hands") to finish while the rest of us critiqued his form:

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These set up for a few hours:

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And then get dipped the same day, before the invertase has a chance to liquify them too much to handle:

DSC_1169.jpg

DSC_1173.jpg

You are absolutely correct. Heat the fondant to 160F. If it's not fluid enough to pipe, add just enough liquid (water or spirits if the mood suits). Too much liquid will prevent the fondants from hardening again. I'd give you a rule of thumb on quantity, but it really depends on the fondant. The commercial fondant I used previously always needed liquid. The fondant I made and used during the demo needed no liquid at all.


Steve Lebowitz

Doer of All Things

Steven Howard Confections

Slicing a warm slab of bacon is a lot like giving a ferret a shave. No matter how careful you are, somebody's going to get hurt - Alton Brown, "Good Eats"

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Just want to chime in about our experience at the conference... Kathy and I showed up with no equipment, and no expertise. It was fabulous! This could not have been a nicer, more helpful bunch of folks, and I was blown away by the level of knowledge in the group.

We did a lot of observing, and (borderline obsessive) note-taking. (Okay, *I* did a lot of note-taking). We learned a lot about about a lot of different things, though as I've been reading through previous posts and looking at pictures, I'm realizing what we missed! I did actually get my hands on some things, did some dipping, some rose-making, some air-brushing...

We got home inspired, eager to practice and learn, with a thousand ideas about what to do and a desire to spend money on equipment ;-)

Sure hope we are able to come to next year's conference, with something to bring besides a couple bottles of booze. Note to self: bring a camera and know how to use it!

Thank you, Bob, for all your hard work putting everything together. And thanks to everyone for your demos, enthusiasm, willingness to share your knowledge, and encouragement.

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I'm just blown away by the conference, the folks, the workshops, the production...it's wonderful.

(And I wish that Rob would come back to eG. He is still missed by me.)

I second both parts of this.

I was not on eGullet when Rob was here, but had a blast getting to know him and learning from him over the weekend. Rob, I know you are reading this. Come back!!!

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Shelby, I am a relative newbie (I've made some chocolates and candies before but nothing like what we were doing there) and I learned a ton and feel like I can recreate many of the things we did there (probably not the showpiece though :smile: ). I brought a friend with me (Heather, see Ruth's post above) who has never made chocolates and rarely even cooks (but appreciates good food). She made some really beautiful chocolates, learned a lot, and had a fantastic time, and is interested in going again next year. She told me that I may have to back her up because her boyfriend was not going to believe that she actually made those gorgeous chocolates! There were several people there (Kerry, Chris, Ruth, and Joe, among others) who were very generous with their time and knowledge, and led us through things step by step. So absolutely, you would fit in.

Jess

Thanks for your response, Tiki :)

I'd LOVE to attend some time...but , every year I look at the pictures and it seems SO over my head. I'm afraid I'd be the class dunce lol.

Edited to add : Plus, I don't have one of those cool cooking coats like Chris H. has, either lol

I'll second tikidoc. If you are interested at all, there is plenty to learn and no shame in not knowing. I had a bit of experience when I went and easily doubled my potential* skill in one conference; there were some novices who came with interest only and left with enviable skill. Learning tempering alone in person is worth the investment.

Hell, the Friday night party and meals alone are worth the investment!

So far as I can tell, the eGullet confectionery conference is unique. You won't be a pastry chef because you went, but you can learn things there that are only taught there and in pastry chef programs.

Next year, I'll practice what I preach.

Pat Santucci

* "potential" skill because I didn't practice what I learned until I lost a lot.


Little surprises 'round every corner, but nothing dangerous

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We started out tasting everyones chocolates- after 3 months doing Atkins, I think I ate more than everyone! I was very impressed by the level of the chocolates, it was so much fun eating one good chocolate after the other!

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During the conference, I pretty much bounced back and forth between all the demonstrations, trying to learn as much as possible from everyone. I loved making flowers from the modeling chocolate, and will definitely continue practicing to try and get to Patty's results, and thanks Steve for the airbrush demonstration, I have finally decided to get one, and will try to practice at home.

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This is the picture of the PDF Kerry demonstrated, while cooking- Port wine with Hibiscus/Ginger/cardammon liquer- I loved the result!

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Bob pinping Guiness ganache into his cool antique mold:

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Final showpiece:

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Chocolate remains at the end of the conference:

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Bob- thanks so much for the organization! I had an amazing time, and am waiting for next year! I definitely feel more comfortable posting, now that I know everyone here.

I have more pictures I can upload to DropBox, if anyone wants them just ping me your email.


Edited by lironp (log)

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While we were busy creating and learning about different confections, here is a peek at what was going on behind the scenes...

To the right of the picture are Chef Huebner and Chef Cacciola who were the two chefs we dealt with while organizing the weekend as well as the head chef's who prepared all the amazing food we had Saturday and Sunday

Choco Event Chefs.25.jpg

Some of the students from Stratford who spent their weekend assisting and learning

Choco Event Students.25.jpg

Chef Freeman demonstrated a tasty little treat and shared the formula -

Choco Freeman Demo.25.jpg

The pastry chef creating dessert on Saturday night

Choco Noree and Cobb.25.jpg

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Looking through the few pictures I took - lots of duplication - but I'll post what I find that are different.

6855398632_92c7432943_z.jpg

This is lunch on Sunday - a ricotta filled pasta with pesto. They brought us dessert for lunch that day too - I recall it was a rich chocolate mousse.

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Tikidoc's eggs - wonderful eggs - I used the yolks to make a lemon curd and the whites in a pistachio nougat. I brought the rest home and of course shared with AnnaN.

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I'd love it if we could post recipes from the conference, as a reference. There were lots of things that I tasted and would love to make, but since I could not be in two places at once, I didn't get the recipes. And there were some great fillings that people came up with on the spot, like the raspberry caramel and Bob's whiskey ganache. I'd also love to be able to recreate the blueberry ganache (Chris) and the lemon curd ganache (Kerry).

I checked with site admin as to if I should start a new thread or post here, and was told to post here.

So, I'll start. I brought an apple pie caramel with me that seemed well received, and a couple people asked for the recipe. This is fairly soft at room temp (dipable), but not runny, so adjust as needed to get the texture you want. I'm still figuring out how to do that. I assume I would decrease the final temp if I wanted to use it as a filling that could be piped when cool?

Chocoera suggested that this, with graham crackers, dipped in milk chocolate, would be yummy. I'm thinking maybe with shortbread and chocolate.

½ cup apple cider jelly*

¾ cup heavy cream

5 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon fleur de sel or kosher salt

1 ½ cups sugar

¼ cup light corn syrup

¼ cup water

Combine jelly, cream, butter, vanilla, cinnamon and salt and heat until jelly melts most of the way.

Combine sugar, corn syrup, water and sugar and heat until it begins to caramelize.

Add the cream mixture to the sugar, stir and heat to 248F. Pour.

*http://woodscidermill.com/PRODUCTS/CiderJelly.html, this is just cider boiled until it turns into a jelly. I love this stuff on lots of things, like toast, or in a marinade for pork.

So, anyone else?

Jess

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I'd love it if we could post recipes from the conference, as a reference. There were lots of things that I tasted and would love to make, but since I could not be in two places at once, I didn't get the recipes. And there were some great fillings that people came up with on the spot, like the raspberry caramel and Bob's whiskey ganache. I'd also love to be able to recreate the blueberry ganache (Chris) and the lemon curd ganache (Kerry).

I checked with site admin as to if I should start a new thread or post here, and was told to post here.

So, I'll start. I brought an apple pie caramel with me that seemed well received, and a couple people asked for the recipe. This is fairly soft at room temp (dipable), but not runny, so adjust as needed to get the texture you want. I'm still figuring out how to do that. I assume I would decrease the final temp if I wanted to use it as a filling that could be piped when cool?

Chocoera suggested that this, with graham crackers, dipped in milk chocolate, would be yummy. I'm thinking maybe with shortbread and chocolate.

½ cup apple cider jelly*

¾ cup heavy cream

5 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon fleur de sel or kosher salt

1 ½ cups sugar

¼ cup light corn syrup

¼ cup water

Combine jelly, cream, butter, vanilla, cinnamon and salt and heat until jelly melts most of the way.

Combine sugar, corn syrup, water and sugar and heat until it begins to caramelize.

Add the cream mixture to the sugar, stir and heat to 248F. Pour.

*http://woodscidermill.com/PRODUCTS/CiderJelly.html, this is just cider boiled until it turns into a jelly. I love this stuff on lots of things, like toast, or in a marinade for pork.

So, anyone else?

Jess

Jess - I for one loved your apple cider caramel and plan on giving it a try. When you pour it, approximately what size frame (or pan) do you pour it into and approximately what thickness is the slab when poured?


Steve Lebowitz

Doer of All Things

Steven Howard Confections

Slicing a warm slab of bacon is a lot like giving a ferret a shave. No matter how careful you are, somebody's going to get hurt - Alton Brown, "Good Eats"

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Thanks Steve! I don't have any frames (yet!), so I just lined a 9x9" Pyrex pan with parchment. I am guessing it was maybe 1/2" thick, maybe a little more. When I made it, I didn't have anything to wrap the cut caramels in, so I put them in a sous vide bag to keep them from sticking together. Then I found some paper, and when I took the caramels out of the bag, the suction had caused them to flatten a bit so they were no longer neat little squares.

Maybe someone with more caramel making expertise can advise as to what to vary to change the consistency. The recipe I modified (a pretty standard fleur de sel caramel recipe all over the web, I think initially Ina Garten's) had a cup of cream, which I decreased to 3/4 cup, then added 1/2 cup of the jelly. I figured it would make a softer caramel but did not know if I could use less cream successfully. So to firm it up, would I increase the final temp, or just back off more on the cream? And to make it a pipe-able bon-bon filling, same question, increase liquid or decrease final temp, or something else?

For anyone who wants to play with apple flavored anything and who wants to use a natural product, this apple jelly is the bomb! They also make a syrup. I have a bottle but have yet to open it.

By the way, I think Steve's airbrushed chocolates from his demo may be the prettiest ever - they are the triangle shaped ones in several of the pictures above.

Jess

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Thanks Jess--those were great.

Kerry will have to post her lemon curd recipe, but I just took her batch and let it sit (covered) during lunch, then ladled in some tempered white chocolate. I couldn't tell you how much. I just poured and stirred. Guessing maybe not quite half and half. I actually shouldn't have put the last bit in as it was just starting ti break.


Ruth Kendrick

Chocolot
Artisan Chocolates and Toffees
www.chocolot.com

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Kerry, do you use some recipe for nougat from a thermomix forum that is available to the public-like on the "official thermomix recipe site, and then adapt? I would love to try this. I am not a jealous person by nature but I really am down that I was not there once again. I was "down" elsewhere and it was not much fun at all... makes it all the worse!!!

ON an up note, I totally appreciate all the photos and comments, sharing and good will. I love that part the most. It is worth way more!

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Thanks Ruth. I think the lemon curd was part of the Thermomix demo. Was it a fairly standard lemon curd, other than the use of fancy equipment? I have a couple decent lemon curd recipes, so unless she did something unusual, I'll just try mixing in some white chocolate to a batch.

By the way Ruth, thanks so much for taking us newbs under your wing. We were both really thrilled with the pretty chocolates we were able to make with your help.

Jess

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Tikidoc; there are many things you can do to your caramel formulation. Are you using Karo in your formula? One thing to consider is that for every degree you increase your cook to you boil off 2% of the water in your caramel.

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Bob, yes, I used Karo-type light corn syrup (store brand). Up to this point, I have been using mostly grocery items for ingredients for candies, with the exception of the apple jelly that we order once or twice a year, for use in lots of things. I'm ordering some of Albert Uster's Orchid couvertures soon (we have a semi-local rep, so no shipping charges!) - it was a joy to work with chocolate designed for candy making for the first time, rather than the general use stuff in the grocery.

I guess my goals would be to figure out what to do to keep the flavor basically the same (slight variations in degree of caramelization would be OK but I don't want to burn it or make it too light) and vary the consistency depending on the planned use. I would like to be able to firm it up slightly so that it would work well as a "stand alone" caramel - I think my formulation borders on too soft when by itself, although it worked fine for dipping. I'd also like to try to make a softer variation that could be piped into a shell for bon bons.

If I need to break this out into a new topic, let me know.

Jess

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I'd also love to be able to recreate the blueberry ganache (Chris)

I can tell you what was in it, but the ratios got sort of sketchy at the end as I adjusted the flavors. It was basically a 1:1 ratio of white chocolate to a blueberry puree made by boiling dehydrated blueberries in water until syrupy and then blitzing in the food processor. I also added a little orange zest oil, citric acid, salt, and rum, to taste. I would have like to have at it with an immersion blender at the end, but I couldn't find one that wasn't already covered in dark chocolate :smile:.


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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Lemon Curd - thermomix

120 grams egg yolk

140 grams butter

130 grams sugar

150 grams lemon juice

grated rind of 2 lemons

1. Place all in TMX bowl with whisk. Set timer for 10 minutes, varoma temperature, speed 4. If you have any issues with curdling - remove whisk, process on speed 9 or 10 for about 30 seconds.

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Kerry, do you use some recipe for nougat from a thermomix forum that is available to the public-like on the "official thermomix recipe site, and then adapt? I would love to try this. I am not a jealous person by nature but I really am down that I was not there once again. I was "down" elsewhere and it was not much fun at all... makes it all the worse!!!

ON an up note, I totally appreciate all the photos and comments, sharing and good will. I love that part the most. It is worth way more!

Used this - but replaced the peanut butter with pistachio paste. Should have used about 60 grams instead.

Snickers nougat for TMX

400 grams sugar

150 grams glucose

125 grams water

pinch salt

60 grams egg whites

125 grams peanut butter

1. Measure sugar, glucose and water into pan. Place whisk in TMX, with pinch of salt. Start syrup boiling and when it reaches about 120ºC turn on TMX 3 minutes, speed 2, temp 37ºC.

2. When syrup reaches 132 ºC, turn TMX to speed 2, drizzle syrup through feel tube. When incorporated, reprogram for 2 minutes, varoma temperature and speed 2. When time is up, add the peanut butter and mix at speed 2 until incorporated.

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I really liked the blood orange and habanero ganache. Does anyone know which Amoretti product was used for this? They had Artisan Natural Flavors, extracts, and compounds, and when I went to their website, they have all three in blood orange. I'd like to stick to more natural flavorings when possible. Which line works better in ganaches (and maybe caramels)?

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Hot DOG that looked like a fun weekend. Awesomely planned and executed. I'm on a sugar high just from the pictures.

Re recipes - is Recipe Gullet dead?


"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

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Quoting from the first page of this topic:

"Donna (curls) demoed how to flock her adorable flop eared bunny."

Please, what exactly is this and how does one do it?


Darienne

learn, learn, learn...

Cheers & Chocolates

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Flocking is the process of depositing many small fiber particles (called flock) onto a surface. It can also refer to the texture produced by the process, or to any material used primarily for its flocked surface. Flocking of an article can be performed for the purpose of increasing its value in terms of the tactile sensation, aesthetics, color and appearance.

In the case of flocking a chocolate piece, you chill the piece to be flocked and then spray it with a chocolate & cocoa butter mix (one could probably also spray the chilled piece with colored cocoa butter). This gives the chocolate piece a distinctive, flocked, texture. It really helps if you can see and feel the final result.

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