Jump to content
  • 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

Recommended Posts

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
Edward J   

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
Darienne   

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%.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
gap   

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
annachan   

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
gap   

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Prabha   

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
Jim D.   

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
Prabha   

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
curls   

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
Prabha   

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
curls   

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
Prabha   

I will test those out. Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Similar Content

    • By Kasia
      Plum tart with almonds
       
      Starting from the first half of August, in the shops and on stands appear the first domestic plums. In September there are so many of them that I have a problem deciding which kind I should choose. Small and big, round and more ovate, violet, red and yellow. You can eat them fresh or make a lot of preserves (jams, plum stew, stewed fruits, pickles, liqueurs, plum brandy). Our favorite are big and round greengage plums, or slightly firm violet plums.
       
      Plums have a lot of valuable attributes. They regulate digestion and protect us from free radicals. Dried plums are more valuable regarding vitamin and fiber content, but they have five times more calories than fresh fruits.
       
      Plums have quite a lot B vitamins, so for a long time they have been well regarded for having a soothing effect on the nervous system and improving our frame of mind. That's why you simply have to make a plum cake. Either now or when the dreary autumn days arrive. Their benign impact on the nerves could be a good excuse for putting another piece of cake on your plate.
       
      I don't like complicated cookery. In this recipe you will find a lot of ingredients, but even so, preparing this delicious cake is very simple.
       
      Ingredients:
      Dough:
      250g of flour
      half a teaspoon of baking powder
      8g of vanilla sugar
      3 tablespoons of sugar
      150ml of 18% cream
      150g of butter
      Filling:
      600g of plums
      1 egg white
      3 tablespoons of minced almonds
      2 tablespoons of brown sugar
      200g of plum stew
      1 teaspoon of cinnamon
      Crumble topping:
      50g of butter
      3-4 tablespoons of flour
      3 tablespoons of brown sugar
      8g of vanilla sugar
      1 egg yolk
      Mix together the dry ingredients for the dough: flour, baking powder, sugar and vanilla sugar. Add cream. Mince the butter and add it to the dry ingredients. Quickly knead into smooth dough. Cover with plastic wrap and leave in the fridge for half an hour.
       
      Heat the oven up to 200C. Cover a baking pan (e.g. for a tart) with the dough, leaving the edges slightly raised around the sides. Whisk the egg white and cover the dough with it. Sprinkle with the almonds and brown sugar. Bake for 14 minutes. Take it out of the oven. Don't turn off the oven.
       
      Make the crumble topping when the dough is in the oven. Melt the butter, cool it a bit then add the flour, sugar, vanilla sugar and egg yolk. Mix it with a fork until you have lumps.
       
      Clean the plums, cut them into halves and remove the stones. Cover the baked base with plum stew, add the plums and sprinkle with cinnamon and the crumble topping. Bake for 20 minutes.
       
       

    • By Kasia
      Pineapple and coconut – the ideal couple
       
      Today, inspired by the recipes from the book "Zielone koktajle. 365 przepisów" ("Green cocktails. 365 recipes") I prepared a light coconut-pineapple dessert. You may make it without sugar if you have enough sweet fruit. If your pineapple isn't very ripe, add a bit of honey to your dessert.

      Ingredients (for 4 people)
      fruit mousse
      1 pineapple
      300ml of coconut milk
      1 banana
      150ml of orange juice
      2 tablespoons of desiccated coconut
      decoration
      50g of butter
      1 tablespoon of caster sugar
      4 tablespoons of desiccated coconut
      4 slices of orange
      fruit

      Blend all the ingredients of the fruit mousse. Put it into some glasses and leave in the fridge. Put the desiccated coconut, sugar and butter into a pan. Fry constantly, stirring on a low heat until the butter is melted. Leave to cool down a bit. Put 2-3 tablespoons of it on top of the desserts. Decorate with a slice of orange, fruit and some peppermint leaves before serving.

      Enjoy your meal!
       
       

    • By Kasia
      Smile of the summer – apricot-peach shortcake
       
      Fortunately, the summer is not only about the weather. There is also fresh, sweet-smelling fruit. Today I would like to share with you the recipe for an easy to make weekend cake. It is excellent for afternoon tea or coffee. A little work and a little baking and after that you may serve and eat, and serve and eat again and again ... I remind you that it should be a weekend cake, so if you eat everything at once, you will need to bake another one 

      Ingredients:
      dough
      200g of flour
      150g of butter
      75g of sugar
      1 egg
      1 egg yolk
      1 teaspoon of baking powder

      fruit:
      1kg of apricot
      4 peaches
      2 packets of powdered vanilla blancmange
      4 tablespoons of brown sugar

      Put the flour, sugar, baking powder and butter onto a baking board. Chop it all up with a knife. When you have the consistency of crumble topping, add the egg and egg yolk and then knead the dough quickly. Divide the dough into two parts – 2/3 and 1/3. Cover the pieces of dough with plastic wrap and put them into the freezer.
      Wash the apricots, remove the stones and cube them. Put them into a saucepan, add a bit of water and boil until they are soft. Stir the blancmange powder in 150ml of cold water and add it to the apricots. Boil for 2 minutes stirring constantly. Turn off the heat. Wash the peaches, remove the stones and cube them. Add them to the apricots and mix them in.
      Heat the oven up to 180C.
      Smooth a 23-cm cake tin with some butter and sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Grate the bigger part of the dough onto the cake tin, even it out and bake for 15-17 minutes. Take out the cake, but don't turn off the oven. Put the fruit mixture onto it and grate the rest of the dough onto the top. Bake for 50 minutes. Sprinkle with caster sugar before serving.

      Enjoy your meal!
       
       

    • By pastrygirl
      I'm watching The Sweet Makers on BBC - four British pastry chefs & confectioners recreate Tudor, Georgian, and Victorian sweets with petiod ingredients and equipment. A little British Baking Show, a little Downtown Abbey. 
       
      Check it it out for a slice of pastry history. 
       
      BBC viewer only available to the U.K., but on this side of the pond where there's a will, there's a way. 
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×