• 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.

stuartlikesstrudel

Chocolateering in warm weather

15 posts in this topic

Hi everyone,

Melbourne (AUS) is having a bit of a warm spell at the moment that's looking to continue - 30+ celcius for about 2 weeks straight. I want to play around with a bit of chocolate making but it seems... foolish!

In the mornings, the ambient temperature in my house is maybe 23, and i'm wondering if this would be ok for dipping (perhaps a quick trip to the fridge to help them set up for a few minutes?). With moulded pralines, it seems the brief fridge steps that some people recommend make sense since the whole tray is done at once, but it seems impractical for hand dipping, since i'd have to either wait till a whole tray was done (and perhaps moot the point) or otherwise do tiny batches!

I guess a related question is that if i made a ganache to slab, would it even set up properly overnight? I was thinking that the crystals would still form as it cooled, but I don't know.

Any tips for working in warmer weather (where climate control isn't possible)? Am I best to just write it off over summer and pick it back up when things cool down a bit? The one positive I can think of is that it'll take longer for my tempered chocolate to cool down, so less reheating!

Cheers,

Stuart.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

22 -23 Celcius is "Do able" for dipping, but the real devil is humidity. If humidity goes up to 70%, your couverture behaves like cement, and it is sheer (deleted) to work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

22 -23 Celcius is "Do able" for dipping, but the real devil is humidity. If humidity goes up to 70%, your couverture behaves like cement, and it is sheer (deleted) to work.

That would be my take on it too. I was going to ask about your humidity level. I know that working with chocolate in the heat in Ontario where the high humidity makes my life unpleasant is so different from working in the heat in Moab UT where the humidity can go down to 5%.


Darienne

learn, learn, learn...

Cheers & Chocolates

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm also based in Melbourne and feel your pain coming into Easter. I think air con is a must if you're hand dipping. I've found I can table temper if my room is below 24, but it is better around 22. Moulded chocolates and moulded figures can be done close to that 24 mark because you can use the fridge to "force" the issue - done properly it wont impact the final product. I've found with hand dipped, however, cooling them in a 23-24 degree room just hasn't been quick enough (maybe a fan over the top would help that though?). Air con, however, makes everything work a lot easier - especially because you can utilise the cold parts of the room (in front of the airflow) when needed.

FWIW, in previous years before I had access to air con, I did have to give chocolate making away over these warmer months or else use a friends house which had air con (they would be out for the day and return to a clean kitchen and some free chocolates, so it was a win win). Also, I have a feeling you need about 18 to crystalise a slab of ganache in normal time - so it might take longer in 23. Some slabs can benefit from time in the fridge.


Edited by gap (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the thoughts, everyone.

The humidity doesn't tend to be too bad here (or at least I don't think about it so I don't think it's so significant).

Gap, appreciate the local tips :)

I lifted a previously-made chocolate out of the freezer and just sat it at room temp for the day to see what it would be like at the end, and it was a little soft, though it stlil held structurally.

I think i'm going to give it a go anyway this time, it's only a small batch and can't go too wrong, but good to know that in general the heat will interfere, i'll just stick it out for a bit longer and plan what i'll do in a month or so!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is why I don't bother making candies/chocolates as X'mas presents since moving to Australia. Even if everything works out at the house, unless they go from the air-con house to the air-con car to the next air-con destination, it just won't work. A perfect batch of anything in chocolate won't make it to work in that condition with a 5 minutes walk to the tram stop, a 5-10 minutes tram ride and another 5 minutes walk to work on a hot day....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For Christmas, I tend to make in October and freeze.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a related question. I have been making various bonbons, and recently started selling them at a farmers market. Now that summer is almost here, I'm trying to think of chocolate related items or other confections that would stand up to the summer heat (it can get to 100F here in Virginia in July and August).

Some great suggestions I've gotten are fudge sauce and caramel sauce for ice cream, and homemade magic shell. Any other ideas would be greatly appreciated!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a related question. I have been making various bonbons, and recently started selling them at a farmers market. Now that summer is almost here, I'm trying to think of chocolate related items or other confections that would stand up to the summer heat (it can get to 100F here in Virginia in July and August).

Some great suggestions I've gotten are fudge sauce and caramel sauce for ice cream, and homemade magic shell. Any other ideas would be greatly appreciated!

I live in Virginia too and have already been dealing with how to keep chocolate safe during some of the warm weather we have already had. You might be interested in this thread on farmers' markets; it has lots of ideas that might be of help.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Jim. I did see that thread - it does have a lot of useful ideas.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Prabha, if you want to go the confection route for the summer, why not try some of the following: salt water taffy, fudge, marshmallows, pate de fruit, lollipops, and caramels.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Curls, those are all excellent ideas! Are fudge and caramels not affected by the hot weather? I assumed caramels would melt in the heat.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Curls, those are all excellent ideas! Are fudge and caramels not affected by the hot weather? I assumed caramels would melt in the heat.

I've seen soft caramels and fudge at many farmer's markets and ocean-side vendors. They keep their product in the shade but I have not seen them using refrigeration or other cooling methods. So... it is possible... will need to test with your recipes. They are far less heat sensitive than chocolates but if the day is hot enough you still may have issues. Too bad you can't sell ice cream or frozen yogurt. :cool:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fudge would also hold up well since it is crystallized. Of course with either caramel or fudge you can adjust the firmness by cooking longer, but I think you'd probably less problems from fudge.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I will test those out. Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Similar Content

    • By Amy D.
      I couldn't find a thread covering this, but apologies if there is.
       
      As I'm planning the food for a family gathering I realise again that we have a few desserts that we often fall back on. Partly because they are easy to prepare, minimal effort for the cook that is busy producing food to feed 20-30, and don't suffer from sitting on the buffet table. But mainly, because these are the crowd pleasing desserts, the one that are enjoyed by young and old alike. They can be altered and elaborated but in reality everyone would be just as satisfied with the dish in its more simple form, perhaps due to the associated memories.
       
      some of our crowd pleasers are pavlova, banoffee pie and triffle.
       
      https://thehappyfoodie.co.uk/recipes/strawberry-pavlova
       
      http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/banoffeepie_89031
       
      so what about other egulleters, do you have a tradition of easy crowd pleasing desserts?
    • By kriz6912
      [Host's note: to ease the load on our servers this topic has been split.  The discussion continues from here.]
       
       
      Chocolate nails...

       
      And a "How it's made!" video...
    • By minas6907
      Host's note: this is a continuation of the ever-popular Confections! topic; the previous segment is here: Confections! What did we make? (2012 – 2014)
       
       
      Here's something I did yesterday, peanut butter chocolate bars.
    • By Lam
      I have been experiementing with macarons these last few months, and I have yet to make perfect macarons. Most of the macarons I have made are hollow on the inside. They're so hollow, if I nudge them a bit, the top crust just comes right off. They still taste decent but not what a successful macaron should be like. I don't think I am overbeating my meringue at all. They are always firm and stiff. I have tried whipping a little less than I usually do but still get hollows. I did some research and saw a few people recommend adding a bit of cornstarch to the dry mix. Yep. Cornstarch.  This really perplexed me because I always see people saying not to use powdered sugar that contains cornstarch, so how could adding cornstarch prevent hollow macs? I also saw one person use tapioca starch to prevent hollows as well. This time around, I whipped the meringue at a much longer time, but no higher than speed 7 (kitchenaid), which gave me a super stable meringue. I also added cornstarch. I piped the batter out, and they looked super perfect the first few minutes in the oven. Sadly, they came out very wrinkled. The first batch was super wrinkled, but the second batch was less wrinkled, or bumpy even. Not sure if this is because of the silpat for the first batch and the parchment pper for the second hmm. Does anyone know what I did wrong to get these wrinkled macs and how to troubleshoot? Also some help on hollow macs would be appreciated! Thanks




  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.