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Jenjcook

Intervention for Chocolates with that Backroom Finish

41 posts in this topic

Ok, here is the problem I'm having. My magnetic molds work absolutely beautiful with transfer sheets and sprayed texture sheet...BUT. If I try to use it like a regular mold and just airbrush, it sticks to the metal back piece every time. Is it the metal? I don't warm it, but I don't pre warm any of my molds when airbrushing and this is the only one that sticks. image.jpg

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The metal might be causing the temperature to change in the cocoa butter too rapidly, not allowing it to crystallise properly. Perhaps give it a quick once over with the heat gun before spraying just to slightly warm it?

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I second what Kerry has said. Use an acetate sheet or reuse one and airbrush, brush or decorate as you wish. That metal is not made for that

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What is going on! I made Notter's key lime pralines. They tasted great....but a week later they did this! It's like the key lime filling expanded. The shells aren't all that thin bc the Callebaut I was using is pretty viscous. Anybody know what happened, and what I should do to keep it from happening again?image.jpg

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It's probably starting to ferment. Adjust the recipe for Aw.


Edited by choux (log)

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It's probably starting to ferment. Adjust the recipe for Aw.

What is "Aw"???

It is a texture sheet in a magnetic mold. I rub one color into the grooves of the sheet, let it set, then polish the flat parts clean, so that the color is only in the grooves then airbrush the second color. Snap it in the back of the mold and pour chocolate.image.jpg

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Here is some info on "Aw" from Keylink.org:

Usually, the most important determinant of shelf life is the amount of ‘free’ or ‘available’ water (AW) in the ganache. If there is too much water, it can lead to separation of the fats and provide an environment for mould growth.

Water Activity (AW) is defined as the vapour pressure of water divided by that of pure water at the same temperature. In effect, it is a measure of the ‘free’ or ‘un-bonded’ water in a food product. The closer the AW is to 1, the more liable the product is to bacterial, fungal or mould growth. Typical AW values are 0.99 for raw meats, 0.95 for bread, 0.85 for cheese, 0.6 for dried fruit and 0.3 for biscuits. Solid chocolate has a very low AW and is therefore microbiologically stable. Bacteria usually require an AW of above 0.9 and most moulds require an AW of above 0.8. An AW of below 0.6 would prevent any microbiological spoilage at all and this is what is required if you want a 12 month shelf life at room temperature for your ganaches. To lower AW, you need either to remove water, or bind it using agents such as sugars, or lower the temperature of the product.

One common way of reducing the AW of your chocolate centres is to add sugars. There are many sugars that can be added and glucose and sorbitol are the most common. Each sugar has different characteristics and differing levels of sweetness, so you may need to use a combination of sugars to achieve the best overall results. For instance, sorbitol is very good at binding the water and it is only half as sweet as normal sugar (sucrose), but too much can have a laxative effect!

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I have some questions about how you created that beautiful top on the lime praline. So first you color the texture sheet with light green. Then you said you "polish the flat parts clean." By that, do you mean you rub off the color that is on the raised design of the sheet? How do you do that without taking off the green on the "floor" of the sheet? Finally, you say you "airbrush the second color." Assuming this refers to the yellow color, how do you airbrush that without getting the color onto the green as well? Forgive me if I am missing something obvious.

I have made that lime recipe and love it. I have had a filling (it wasn't the lime) bleed through the sides, but I was using Valrhona's Opalys, which is less viscous than many white chocolates. I have used the Callebaut that you mentioned, and it is very viscous, so I agree that it is unlikely the sides would have been too thin. I'm not sure what could have caused the issue.

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Ooooh. duh. I wasnt thinking water activity. Which is stupid ive read it written in that shorthand a hundred times before. i agree that could be an issue, but i followed notters recipe to the T. well almost, i infuse my lime zest into the cream then strain because i dont like the way it feels gritty in the final product, but didn't change any key ingredients. I dont know the exact water activity, but i wouldnt think notter would publish one prone to ferment. i made another batch and let it sit overnight before filling my shells this time, thinking that maybe if there was some expansion as it crystalizes thing going on, maybe it would happen then instead of inside the shells. ill let ya know how that works.

as for the design. I rub the yellow into the grooves, some inevitably gets on the flat part too, so after it sets I polish that clean leaving only the yellow grooves, then spay it green.

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I just looked at my Notter lime recipe and see a note to myself to reduce the amount of cream to 80g as the final product was too thin. Otherwise I follow his recipe (except that I am using ordinary limes, not key limes). Last time I added a touch of green cocoa butter, which made the ganache say "lime" a little more. When I was testing it the first time, I made a batch and let it sit out while friends were coming by to taste it. It was on the counter for days, with no ill effects on the ganache (or on the people). So I don't think his recipe is faulty. Your photo does look like a shell that is too thin (in spite of the Callebaut chocolate). Is there any way the chocolate was heated above its ideal working temperature? That's all I can think of.

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OK, these two chocolates are my problem children :). Ever since I started doing chocolates 5 years ago, these two molds have caused much cursing.

Maybe someone has some insight on what is going on. Here is what I've done:

I chose to airbrush these two, and it's hit or miss if they come out. Mostly miss on the red one. I've only used dark chocolate for both of them, except once on the heart leaf when I first got it, and I molded in white, and it was fine.

This last time, I used Callebaut 811. I have a Rev Delta from Chocovision. I set the temps for melt to 115F, temper at 90F. All four molds looked like this. I wondered if I possibly sprayed the cocoa butter too thick, but the thing is, I don't have this problem on white or milk chocolate at all.

I posted a picture in the Confections thread of the other chocolates I did, and the heart is just splattered with both of these colors. The green one in the picture is airbrushed, and is white chocolate. No problem there.

When I did the ones that came out in that picture, I set the temp to melt to 120F, since I had read that Callebaut may need to be melted higher to knock out all the crystals.

I've changed the design for these two flavors to save my sanity, but it just irks me that this always happens. Any ideas?

chocflop.JPG

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how do you handle your cocoa butter before spraying it?

Do you fill the mold with chocolate fairly soon after the cocoa butter is set, or do you leave it for a while?

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I warm the cocoa butter in the microwave on low until it starts to melt, shaking the bottle well. It's not overheated, I make sure of that.

I've done both, sprayed one day, molded the next, or sprayed, waited till set, mold.

It's only these two molds and with dark chocolate. I polish them well, and do not wash them. They work fine if I decorate any other way. I may just leave the heart leaf plain, or lustre dust it. I have no problems with that.

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I can soooo relate! I have had the same result on occasion. I know others will disagree, but I'm convinced that my chocolate was slightly over-crystalized. It tested absolutely beautiful, but I think that was the problem. There are so many variables, that is what keeps me interested:) I like to run my chocolate a little bit warmer than normal with molding. 99% of the time, mine turn out, but that 1% just kills me!!


Ruth Kendrick

Chocolot
Artisan Chocolates and Toffees
www.chocolot.com

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I can soooo relate! I have had the same result on occasion. I know others will disagree, but I'm convinced that my chocolate was slightly over-crystalized. It tested absolutely beautiful, but I think that was the problem. There are so many variables, that is what keeps me interested:) I like to run my chocolate a little bit warmer than normal with molding. 99% of the time, mine turn out, but that 1% just kills me!!

I have to disagree with having it warmer, I started working with the melter at a warmer temperature to shell the foster the banana molds, and it ended up being too warm so the shells were super thin which caused the ganache to crack the shell due to the thinness. I prefer the chocolate to be around 88-89 for dark chocolate. I know that having the dehydrator to warm the cocoa butters to the right temperature to not have it be too warm before I airbrush it as I've had happen in the past. I've had much better success with my molds (with airbrushing at least since I made that purchase).

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I know that having the dehydrator to warm the cocoa butters to the right temperature to not have it be too warm before I airbrush it as I've had happen in the past. I've had much better success with my molds (with airbrushing at least since I made that purchase).

Can you tell me the brand of dehydrator you use? Does it hold the cocoa butter at an exact temperature? Perhaps there is a link to the item.

Thanks.

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On the Cabela's site, I read that the Excalibur dehydrator has "a thermostat adjustable from 95° to 155°F." 95F. is warmer than I would want cocoa butter to be. Am I missing something about this product?

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On the Cabela's site, I read that the Excalibur dehydrator has "a thermostat adjustable from 95° to 155°F." 95F. is warmer than I would want cocoa butter to be. Am I missing something about this product?

No you aren't. I set it between 95 and 110 to warm the cocoa butter, then once it's warm, pull it out and shake it up to create the beta crystals you are looking for, and it doesn't take long for the temp to drop to the ideal temp you want. You just temp it like you would chocolate to make sure it's where you want it to be, and for airbrushing, it actually have it slightly warm (I generally don't temp it) because it tempers when it goes through the airbrush as long as it's not too hot, which at 95 degrees, the little that it cools before it gets airbrushed seems to work just perfectly for me.

Thanks Ruth for putting up the link for the dehydrator.

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On the Cabela's site, I read that the Excalibur dehydrator has "a thermostat adjustable from 95° to 155°F." 95F. is warmer than I would want cocoa butter to be. Am I missing something about this product?

No you aren't. I set it between 95 and 110 to warm the cocoa butter, then once it's warm, pull it out and shake it up to create the beta crystals you are looking for, and it doesn't take long for the temp to drop to the ideal temp you want. You just temp it like you would chocolate to make sure it's where you want it to be, and for airbrushing, it actually have it slightly warm (I generally don't temp it) because it tempers when it goes through the airbrush as long as it's not too hot, which at 95 degrees, the little that it cools before it gets airbrushed seems to work just perfectly for me.

Thanks Ruth for putting up the link for the dehydrator.

I use the dough proofer that King Arthur Flour sells to melt colored cocoa butters. http://www.kingarthurflour.com/shop/items/bread-proofer It can be set between 70F and 120F. I set it at 93F, put the colored cocoa butters in over night and by morning they're mostly melted. Just takes some shaking and/or a couple of seconds in the microwave to finish the job. Works great for air brushing.

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Another thing to consider might be a Koolatron 12 volt warmer with an adapter to use it inside at 110V. I've seen them often in thrift stores - and I live not far from where they are made and have seen overruns and seconds for an excellent price in their outlet.

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Hello,

 

I have had a run of bad luck recently with my chocolates cracking or popping out of the mold sans top. I am curious what others do with chocolates that don't come out of the mold and those that are cracked. Paul at Chef Rubber suggested to me to reuse them as ganache, but I use different percentages and chocolates in the ganache than the shells so that is a roadblock. I might just bite the bullet on that though. Another I saw once, and cannot find now, was to use them in caramels, as long as I don't use mint. I don't use mint but I do use other ingredients that I know wouldn't go together.

 

I'm just curious how those that are willing to share recycle their damaged goods.

 

Thank you!

 

Shelley

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I have recycled ugly bonbons into more ganache by melting them with a little extra cream and flavoring to compensate for the additional chocolate from the shells. If the percentages of the filling and shells aren't too far off, I'd go for it, but mixing white and dark might be odd.

I know I've seen the 'ganache graveyard' recipe you mention, I think it is in Peter Greweling's Chocolates & Confections. I'll try to remember to look tomorrow if no one answers before then. It was something like everything except mint and marzipan, cooked into fudge.

edited to add:

I think you're looking for Wybauw's recipe for 'black devils' in Fine Chocolates Great Experience. You cook the chocolates with water, sugar, corn syrup, baking soda, and butter to about 230F. It's a little unclear how to determine how much sugar and butter to add, but I can PM you the recipe if you like.


Edited by pastrygirl (log)

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In-house samples

and

on-site samples for demo's

 

Thing about melting them down and re-using them again for fillings, is that it is very hard to replicate the exact same recipie mext time.

 

I have, from time to time, thrown them in a pot with extra cream and used it to glaze a cake or two, but not for truffles or bon-bons.

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