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Jim D.

Fruit Compounds and Powders in Chocolates

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I have been reading postings on fruit compounds and powders for use in getting more intense flavors in ganaches (to be used for chocolates, specifically in cream centers) and have a few questions:

FRUIT COMPOUNDS

A number of posters do not like compounds, saying they contain artificial flavorings. I looked at the Amoretti site, and their ingredients (insofar as I could find them) seem to be natural. All opinions of Amoretti products on eGullet appeared to be very positive. I also saw good things about MEC3 products, which appear in Gustosia compounds, available at Qzina for fairly moderate prices--as these things go--but I couldn't find any ingredient lists. Albert Uster sells compounds (a kilo of raspberry is $77), but ingredient information is not provided. Pastry Chef Central carries Dreidoppel (which has received one less-than-stellar review on this site). Most posts on these subjects, however, are rather old. So my questions on compounds are:

1. Are Amoretti and Gustosia products still rated high by eG members? The Albert Uster compounds? Any others you would recommend--or not recommend?

2. I could not tell from the Amoretti site whether they sell directly to (small) consumers. Does anybody know that? And, assuming they do: Since there are no prices on their site, approximately how much does a 1-kilo container of fruit compound cost?

FRUIT POWDERS

Some chocolatiers like fruit powders (freeze-dried) to flavor fillings (for one thing, they do not add any liquid), and here there appear to be many sources. Van Drunen Farms looks promising for these products, but they state online that they do not sell directly to individual consumers. L'Epicerie and Chef Rubber carry fruit powders as well. So my questions on powders:

3. Do these powders have an authentic fruit flavor?

4. What sources for them do you recommend?

Many thanks for any help in my continuing quest ("obsession" is such an ugly word) to obtain a real punch of fruit taste in cream fillings for chocolates. I am seeking to avoid use of much fondant as I think it gives a "flat" taste to things, much like making buttercream frosting with confectioner's sugar, and it dulls the taste of fruit.

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I'm not going to be terribly helpful - I like different compounds for different flavours. Mec3 makes the best ever strawberry - but not sure about the others.

I'd see if you could get some samples of things before you commit to buy - Amoretti charges a small amount for samples these days.

I like to use puree and a bit of compound and some fruit powder in the same filling when I want the most punch of fruit flavour.

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I'm not going to be terribly helpful - I like different compounds for different flavours. Mec3 makes the best ever strawberry - but not sure about the others.

I'd see if you could get some samples of things before you commit to buy - Amoretti charges a small amount for samples these days.

I like to use puree and a bit of compound and some fruit powder in the same filling when I want the most punch of fruit flavour.

Actually, Kerry, it is helpful to know that the MEC3 strawberry is good. I like the fact that Qzina posts their prices and would be inclined to go with the Gustosia (MEC3) products. I'm not a fan of sites that don't provide prices. What is the source for the fruit powders you use?

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I think the raspberry was from Chef Rubber. I have bought the freeze dried fruit various places and just ground it myself to make other powders.

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