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REPORT: 2012 Candy and Confection Conference


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I'm also planning to go next year. Heather said she is interested, and a couple more co-workers also expressed an interest when they saw what we made!

Is there an age minimum for such a workshop? My older daughter, now almost 12, is interested too, and has a strong artistic streak. Thoughts on a kid attending? She's well behaved, follows directions pretty well, and understands that people in kitchens have a tendency to curse a lot...

Kyle has joined us before - think he might have been 11 at the time. I have no issues with kids as long as they aren't trashing the joint - or complaining that they are bored!

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Too far away for any real commitment but I'm definitely going to mark it on the calender. Late April helps, we're well out of hockey tournament time by then but not into tourist (fishing) season yet.

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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So one thing we did on this thread last year was to ask everyone for what they learned that was new.

Boy, I learned so many new things. But one of my favorite things was the elderflower liqueur. It's floral, and citrusy all at once. Thanks to Mette and whoever brought the St. Germain. And of course, air brushing! Can't wait to get hold of some colors and start playing!

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Thanks all for a great weekend - it was definitely worth the international travelling - new friends and new techniques - what more could you want. I'm especially pleased with my atomizer (thanks, Kerry) - the poor man's airbrush. On Monday I went to the big craft shop next to the hotel and picked up a bunch of Wilton powdered colours to mix with cocoa butter to play with in the atomizer. Anybody have any experience in mixing your own coloured cocoa butter?

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)?

I did the blood orange - it was blood orange compound and habanero extract and a dash of Grand Marnier - the ratios were very much to taste (and I personally prefer bold flavours). I am not normally keen on orange flavoured chocolates, but the blood orange is very bright. Next time,I think I'll use fresh chili for flavour as well as a kick, and possibly some cracked black pepper - or substitute black pepper for chili (oh, no, the wheels are in motion....)

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Might need to check with the school about whether she'd be allowed, there might be liability concerns or some such.

Didn't Kerry's young protoge Kyle join us the first year in Niagra?

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, Mette, I think the blood orange habanero may have been my favorite ganache of the weekend. I heard you used quite a lot of the habanero but that flavor ended up fairly subtle, letting the brightness of the blood orange shine. Yum.

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I'm counting on a good Canadian turnout!

Kerry, please count me in!

Also, just wanted to let everyone know that if on a budget (like me, for example), one possibility for accommodations is right on the college campus. It's more spartan than the hotel, obviously, but extremely clean and comfortable. Plus it's a 3-min walk to the Hospitality Building!

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I'm counting on a good Canadian turnout!

Kerry, please count me in!

Also, just wanted to let everyone know that if on a budget (like me, for example), one possibility for accommodations is right on the college campus. It's more spartan than the hotel, obviously, but extremely clean and comfortable. Plus it's a 3-min walk to the Hospitality Building!

As we get closer, I would definitely like to hear more about this option. We spent so little time in the hotel room (a fair amount in the lounge area near the lobby though), I see no reason to spend a lot of money, as long as a room is clean with a decently comfortable bed. I'd rather spend the money buying equipment and ingredients.

Jess

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I'm counting on a good Canadian turnout!

Kerry, please count me in!

Also, just wanted to let everyone know that if on a budget (like me, for example), one possibility for accommodations is right on the college campus. It's more spartan than the hotel, obviously, but extremely clean and comfortable. Plus it's a 3-min walk to the Hospitality Building!

As we get closer, I would definitely like to hear more about this option. We spent so little time in the hotel room (a fair amount in the lounge area near the lobby though), I see no reason to spend a lot of money, as long as a room is clean with a decently comfortable bed. I'd rather spend the money buying equipment and ingredients.

Jess

I second Jess, I don't really need lush accommodations if I could use the money saved from the hotel on equipment and supplies!

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Thanks all for a great weekend - it was definitely worth the international travelling - new friends and new techniques - what more could you want. I'm especially pleased with my atomizer (thanks, Kerry) - the poor man's airbrush. On Monday I went to the big craft shop next to the hotel and picked up a bunch of Wilton powdered colours to mix with cocoa butter to play with in the atomizer. Anybody have any experience in mixing your own coloured cocoa butter?

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)?

I did the blood orange - it was blood orange compound and habanero extract and a dash of Grand Marnier - the ratios were very much to taste (and I personally prefer bold flavours). I am not normally keen on orange flavoured chocolates, but the blood orange is very bright. Next time,I think I'll use fresh chili for flavour as well as a kick, and possibly some cracked black pepper - or substitute black pepper for chili (oh, no, the wheels are in motion....)

I asked Kerry about mixing powders with cocoa butter during the conference- she said that it would be best to process a bit with a food processor for the powders to really integrate in the butter- I plan on trying this as well, since I don't have any colored CB yet, just some powders

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I have tried it a little at home (pre-conference), with less than stellar results, although admittedly, I had no idea what I was doing when decorating molds. Not that I'm an expert now, but I have at least been through the process with people who are experts, so I have more of a clue.

I might give it another try, especially since I bought a bottle of the white Chef Rubber colored cocoa butter (to spray behind the color). It was pretty opaque when I played with it before. I still have some in a little bottle so I may try it again this weekend and if so, I'll let you know.

BTW, I have powdered candy colors (not powdered food color, I understand there is a big difference) purchased at Michael's, by the same company that makes all the $2 plastic molds.

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I'm counting on a good Canadian turnout!

Kerry, please count me in!

Also, just wanted to let everyone know that if on a budget (like me, for example), one possibility for accommodations is right on the college campus. It's more spartan than the hotel, obviously, but extremely clean and comfortable. Plus it's a 3-min walk to the Hospitality Building!

I'm going to start another thread - so bring this discussion over there. I think last time the dorms were out because students are still there that time of year.

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Thanks all for a great weekend - it was definitely worth the international travelling - new friends and new techniques - what more could you want. I'm especially pleased with my atomizer (thanks, Kerry) - the poor man's airbrush. On Monday I went to the big craft shop next to the hotel and picked up a bunch of Wilton powdered colours to mix with cocoa butter to play with in the atomizer. Anybody have any experience in mixing your own coloured cocoa butter?

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)?

I did the blood orange - it was blood orange compound and habanero extract and a dash of Grand Marnier - the ratios were very much to taste (and I personally prefer bold flavours). I am not normally keen on orange flavoured chocolates, but the blood orange is very bright. Next time,I think I'll use fresh chili for flavour as well as a kick, and possibly some cracked black pepper - or substitute black pepper for chili (oh, no, the wheels are in motion....)

I asked Kerry about mixing powders with cocoa butter during the conference- she said that it would be best to process a bit with a food processor for the powders to really integrate in the butter- I plan on trying this as well, since I don't have any colored CB yet, just some powders

Actually I use an immersion blender - if you organize you colours right and start with white - you never even have clean the blender.

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So one thing we did on this thread last year was to ask everyone for what they learned that was new.

I learned so many more ways to get banana flavor into a ganache (use extremely ripe bananas, cook the bananas, add freeze dried banana powder). Now I am ready to try making a banana's foster chocolate or a banana ginger chocolate. Based on what I learned, I am planning to do some more with chocolate decorations (chocolate bowls, chocolate tulips, and chocolate showpieces). Hopefully we can continue to explore this topic at future workshops.

Again, what a great group of people, what a wonderful time. There are so many ideas and images bouncing around in my head! :smile:

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I may try some banana chocolates this weekend too. I didn't have any super ripe bananas but then I remembered that I had some in the freezer! Another tip mentioned about bananas - freezing them can help release flavor as well.

As far as what I learned, it would be a very long list, because my knowledge was pretty limited when I went. I think ways to troubleshoot the tempering process and all kinds of decorating techniques head the list though.

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Joe from Cargill made it, a variation of the following recipe

http://www.peterschocolate.com/recipe-pages/recipe5-12.html

They were made as bon bons rather than pops, with a layer of caramel (if I made them, I would make my own) and a layer of the banana and white chocolate filling, inside a milk chocolate shell. As I remember, Joe added a little rum to the banana portion too.

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I doubled this recipe at the conference - we didn't use all port - I think we maybe got 300 grams of port and made up the rest with a liqueur that contained pomegranate and some spices. You can sub wine, fruit juices etc for the port.

Port Pates de Fruit

250 grams pear puree

75 grams sugar

10 grams pectin

375 grams sugar

75 grams glucose

250 grams port

10 grams tartaric acid solution (50-50 water and tartaric acid)

10 grams port (used pear liqueur at conference)

Make sure you have everything measured out before you start. Mix the 75 grams of sugar with the pectin and mix well. Weight out the 375 grams of sugar and weigh the glucose into the top of the bowl containing the sugar. Weigh the tartaric acid solution and the 10 grams of port into a single small container.

Have your caramel bars or some sort of frame ready before starting - there should be parchment or a silpat under the frame.

Place pear puree in large enough saucepan, whisk in the sugar/pectin mixture. Bring to a boil and boil for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the sugar in 3 or 4 additions, letting the glucose drop in in the last addition. Bring back to a boil, put probe thermometer into the pan and cook, stirring constantly until it reaches 112º C. Remove from heat and carefully add the port a bit at a time, watch for splashing. Return to heat and cook until it reaches 107º C. (if you have a refractometer - this should read 75º Brix) Remove from heat, add the acid solution and last bit of port, quickly pour into frame - don't scape the pan! That's the cooks share - and if you scape it you'll get glumps on top of your nice smooth PDF.

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At the Conference/Workshop Curls asked if she could come over and try out the JKV using some of her molds for Easter, which she did yesterday. I think the results were wonderful, I had a great time with her and here are the results. We did have some colored cocoa butter issues on the bunnies - sad to say....

IMG_4474.JPG

IMG_4480.JPG

IMG_4481.JPG

IMG_4483.JPG

Edited by RobertM (log)
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Thanks Bob, two weekends of chocolate making fun! That JKV does a great job with the chocolate, once you get the hang of it, it is so much easier to fill molds with the built in chocolate spout (vs. a ladle or spatula).

We also made a few more bunnies that look a lot happier than that blue bunny. Milk chocolate bunnies are filled with peanut butter, dark chocolate bunnies are filled with raspberry ganache, and hollow molds (pigs and flop earred bunnies) are filled with jelly bellies. It will be a chocolate extravaganza at the family Easter dinner. :smile:

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