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Confections! What did we make? (2014 – 2016)


minas6907
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A couple of days ago I got an e-mail from a young man who was trying to make these Banana Bonbons from Chefsteps.  So essentially it's a frozen sphere that you then dip into cocoa butter then into chocolate.  When the frozen sphere melts you are left with a liquid centre in a firm coating.  He wanted to use caramelized white chocolate which was giving him some problems due to the viscosity and also finding that the chocolate (which is to be heated to 55º C) was melting the inner cocoa butter layer.  

 

Gotta love a challenge!  I suggested he consider using Dulcey (valhrona's caramelized white chocolate) - but a quick check with the supplier revealed that it was $115 for 3 kg!  So I set out to make my own.  Worked out very nicely!

 

So he showed up today to get some chocolate and so we could play with the spheres.  

 

IMG_0249.jpg

 

I froze some spheres of rooibos Provence tea with a bit of honey.  Had the melted cocoa butter at about 24 C and the chocolate at 32 or so.  About half way through we tempered the chocolate - and found that those spheres were even a little more satisfactory - but not totally necessary.  

 

IMG_0251.jpg

 

Rolled a couple of them in cocoa butter and freeze dried dulce de leche.  

 

Really neat - so you have a liquid centre surrounded by this wonderfully sweet caramelized white chocolate.  

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A couple of days ago I got an e-mail from a young man who was trying to make these Banana Bonbons from Chefsteps.  So essentially it's a frozen sphere that you then dip into cocoa butter then into chocolate.  When the frozen sphere melts you are left with a liquid centre in a firm coating.  He wanted to use caramelized white chocolate which was giving him some problems due to the viscosity and also finding that the chocolate (which is to be heated to 55º C) was melting the inner cocoa butter layer.  

 

Gotta love a challenge!  I suggested he consider using Dulcey (valhrona's caramelized white chocolate) - but a quick check with the supplier revealed that it was $115 for 3 kg!  So I set out to make my own.  Worked out very nicely!

 

So he showed up today to get some chocolate and so we could play with the spheres.  

 

attachicon.gifIMG_0249.jpg

 

I froze some spheres of rooibos Provence tea with a bit of honey.  Had the melted cocoa butter at about 24 C and the chocolate at 32 or so.  About half way through we tempered the chocolate - and found that those spheres were even a little more satisfactory - but not totally necessary.  

 

attachicon.gifIMG_0251.jpg

 

Rolled a couple of them in cocoa butter and freeze dried dulce de leche.  

 

Really neat - so you have a liquid centre surrounded by this wonderfully sweet caramelized white chocolate.  

 

Didn't the Mark(s) do something similar to this at the Niagara Conference, they had a milk center that they froze then dipped in white chocolate and rolled in fruity pebbles I think.  It was a very interesting idea and surprising when you bit into it.

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Ah yes, I knew it was either Mark or Matt, I'm incredibly terrible with names, which is terribly inconvenient when you have a name everyone remembers  :hmmm: .  Anyway, yeah it was a cereal milky center, don't remember the exact ingredients they used to make the center from, but it was quite a surprise when you bit into it.

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Kris, I just wanted to say, I love your photos! Beautiful work!

 

Heres what I have from the last few weeks. For a long time now, I've wanted to make aerated chocolate, so I finally got around to it. It came out really nicely, I love the texture, and its neat knowing you can get a different texture thats made from only chocolate. Anywho, so it was just sort of a test, I made the mistake of thinking I could spread the foam in the frame, but that just deflated a section of bubbles. When I get some time I want to do an aerated white chocolate enrobed in dark, but for now, heres dark enrobed in dark.

Then we have a coriander dragee, which is a variation of the almond dragee in chocolates and confections. It took me a while to like this one, it has an enjoyable crunch to it, and a slight minty flavor from the coriander, but overall I can see myself making it again. After making this, I did the same things with cacao nibs, which have that lovely crunch and a (in my opinion) much more desired flavor.

 

Lastly is a matcha caramel. I was at a Japanese supermarket recently, and thought it would be fun to make a green caramel. I think its cool that it can be done, but with the ones pictured, the green tea is hardly discernible, I'll have to add alot more next time. Also, please excuse my poor enrobing skills, I'm still learning :-).

Aerated Chocolate.jpg

Coridander Dragee.jpg

Matcha Caramel.jpg

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When I get some time I want to do an aerated white chocolate enrobed in dark, but for now, heres dark enrobed in dark.

I don't know which method you're using but if you're adding oil to the chocolate (which takes it out of the "pure chocolate" category but, in my opinion, gives a nicer texture to the bubbles), the white is nice with roasted peanut oil. I also did milk chocolate with roasted walnut oil and it was pretty tasty.

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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I picked it up from Heston Blumenthal's books. I'm not a chocolatier by any stretch of the imagination so I don't know if there are reasons to not use oil for that purpose (beyond the obvious that it's no longer just chocolate) but for what I do, I like the texture it provides. I usually add around 60 - 65 grams oil for every 500 grams of chocolate. It doesn't make much difference that I've noticed in the quality or quantity of the bubbles but it gives the overall piece a texture I think is closer to an Aero bar. It just seems lighter and you can bite or even slice it without it crumbling. The same affect can be achieved using cocoa butter instead of oil if not looking to change the flavor of the chocolate.

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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  • 2 weeks later...

Probably the wrong place but slightly lazy to look further.

Easter prep on the way :

Tahitian vanilla cheesecake raspberry and blueberry confit on top of a Brittany sable

Beautiful work -how do you get that wonderful textured finish on the cheesecake?

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A photo of chocolates I made for Easter (with the recipe sources where applicable):

 

dutton-easter2015.jpg

 

Row 1:  Layers of Mexican vanilla (Notter) and cardamom coffee (Wybauw), molded in dark chocolate.  Layers of pistachio gianduja and pistachio marzipan (Greweling), dipped in dark chocolate.  Layers of blackberry jelly and orange-infused dark chocolate (Notter), molded in dark chocolate.  Kalamansi, molded in white chocolate.  Rhubarb and strawberry (Kerry Beal of eGullet), molded in white chocolate.

 

Row 2:  Cherry and toasted almond  (Greweling), molded in dark chocolate.  Banana and passion fruit caramel (Wybauw), molded in milk chocolate.  Three layers of gianduja (white, milk, dark) (Greweling), dipped in dark chocolate.  Layers of crispy gianduja and black currant (Wybauw), dipped in milk chocolate.  Milk and dark chocolate infused with Earl Grey tea (Greweling), molded in milk chocolate.

 

Row 3:  Caramelized pineapple (Wybauw), molded in milk chocolate.  Apricot, molded in white chocolate.

 

A few comments:  I was so looking forward to trying my new Mexican vanilla beans, but alas, the flavor is not much different from "regular" vanilla.  This adds to the observation that what most people think of as Mexican vanilla extract (and buy so inexpensively in Mexico) is not truly vanilla at all.  With this ganache I learned (once again) that cardamom is a very powerful flavor, and it's all too easy to overdo it.

 

Greweling's pistachio "homage" (wonderful word!) is a major undertaking.  First, there is the peeling of the pistachios (something I didn't even know could be done).  Then I thought my old Cuisinart was going to give up the ghost when I was mixing the marzipan, but it held up, and all at once the marzipan comes together with the right texture.  And then there is the last moment when you are directed to "affix [a pistachio] with a very small dot of chocolate."  Nerves of steel recommended.

 

The tall octagon-shaped piece  (with blackberry and orange-flavored dark chocolate) did not come cleanly out of the mold.  Since other pieces using the same batch of dark chocolate unmolded without a hitch, I am thinking something was wrong with the temperature of the colored cocoa butter.

 

The kalamansi piece was my first use of this fruit.  It's interesting, very close to yuzu in flavor, would probably pair well with other flavors.

 

I keep trying with rhubarb, but it's very faint, especially in combination with strawberry.  I found the purchased rhubarb purée quite weak in flavor, so this time I had made my own, but still there was little flavor.  Kerry Beal (from whose recipe this is derived) must know something about rhubarb that I don't!

 

The cherry and toasted almond filling is a winner.  Greweling slabs it, but it works fine with piping--as long as the cherries and almonds are chopped finely enough.

 

The piece with layers of white, milk, and dark gianduja is delicious, but again, like the pistachio, a lot of work.  The look of the three layers is great, but I think next time I would make just two layers--for the simple reason that a three-layer piece with a decoration on top barely fits into the boxes I use.

 

The black currant and gianduja combination remains a favorite.  It's amazing what the addition of a little feuilletine does for texture.

 

The apricot filling, which is an idea of mine based on many other apricot recipes, is delicious, but the texture is a bit odd.  It never really sets up as most ganaches do.  I have checked the Aw, and it's no worse than regular ganaches.  The apricot flavor comes from dried apricots cooked in apricot purée, then blitzed in a food processor, plus apricot brandy and some French "apricot essence" recommended by Rose Levy Beranbaum.  It's still a work in progress, but worth the effort.

 

Edited by Jim D. (log)
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I keep trying with rhubarb, but it's very faint, especially in combination with strawberry.  I found the purchased rhubarb purée quite weak in flavor, so this time I had made my own, but still there was little flavor.  Kerry Beal (from whose recipe this is derived) must know something about rhubarb that I don't!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jim, awesome chocolates!!  I especially love the splash design on the banana passion one.  I use to have some flavor problems in the past with rhubarb myself.  I always wanted to bring out the flavor more.  My chef at the time suggested roasting the the stalks with 10% of sugar and one vanilla bean per 1000g of rhubarb.  After roasting i should puree and use for whatever i needed it for.  Over time i started mixing it into caramel slabs.  Just my tow cents. 

 

Again awesome chocolate work

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gfron1,

I would be interested in knowing to what temperature you cooked the syrup for that nougat.  I had a mess the last time I made nougat.  My thermometer read the correct temp (in Notter's recipe, 311F.), but the nougat never firmed up enough to cut.  Yours looks perfect.

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Wrong question to ask Jim! So I was using my 2010 Auboine nougat recipe, and thought I would sneak it in during a down time in lunch, right before I transitioned to dinner prep. I mean really, who comes to lunch at 3:30?! Well, all hell broke loose and we were nearly full with every hard order on the menu flying in on tickets, and I had already started the syrups. Suck it big boy, I said to myself and was flying elk burgers out and rapid pace while watching my honey temp and my sugar syrup temp and my eggs which had already started whipping and my nuts toasting in the oven. Meanwhile I was racing back and forth to my computer because I make this recipe maybe once a year and don't know the temps by memory. Then I see the sugar syrup looking "right," and so I race to my screen and it says 170ºC...what!? That can't be. Quick conversion to see if I meant F, but that of course doesn't make any sense, and during all that my honey boils over - shit! - but I had to keep moving even though I lost a quarter of it, still flying elk burgers out and now a couple of molé sandwiches. I said, Well shit, the sugar looks right, even though the honey had now been off the heat for nearly a minute and was nowhere close to the right temp, but I plowed ahead knowing I could always work it into that Mexican classic ice cream. So I poured the sugar...oh shit the honey was supposed to go first, pour the honey in fast...splatter everywhere because I forgot to turn down the speed, consequently burning my finger to a blister on the hot sugar pan. Just started whipping and hoping for the best. A drop of extract and - oh shit - in all the chaos I hadn't set up my frames! Quick frame set up which led to me breaking my marble slab (it was cheap one), and finally pour and spread. And I'll be damned if it didn't turn out just perfect.

 

To answer your question - ask Kerry or Ruth or one of the gang from the eG workshop last year - they'll have the recipe with the correct temp cuz I have no idea, but you can look at my blog for the recipe I was following.

Edited by gfron1 (log)
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Hey, I've been making nougat too!  Made it yesterday, no such drama besides  burning the first batch of honey.  I approximately followed Greweling's recipe - honey to 248F and sugar to 311F.  I would like it just a little softer, so I might play with lowering the sugar temp a little next time.  I added pistachios, almonds, candied orange zest and cocoa nibs, then cut it into bars and dipped them in approx 66% dark chocolate.

 

https://www.facebook.com/DolcettaArtisanSweets/photos/a.658452977538432.1073741826.330407983676268/909026599147734/?type=1&notif_t=like

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I am with Jim...it isn't fair that you can mess up and it turn out!! Here are the instructions as he gave them to us. These are Las Vegas temps.

Pastrygirl, I have given up on Grewelings. Always much too firm.

 

 

Start to cook sugar, glucose and H2o.

When sugar reach 110C, start to cook the honey and whip the egg whites in 3rd speed.

Add granulated sugar to the egg whites.

When honey reach 121C, poor on top on the whipped egg whites in 2nd speed.

Whip in 3rd speed and poor the sugar a 155C in 2nd speed.

Whip 5 MN in 3rd speed.

Mix until reaching 70C. Add the melted cocoa butter in 2nd speed. Change the whisk for the paddle.

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Ruth Kendrick

Chocolot
Artisan Chocolates and Toffees
www.chocolot.com

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Not exciting and not difficult, but still adorable for Easter.  Haven't made one for 6 years now.

 

Bunnies 4.JPG

 

(sorry, it's not a very good photo.  The bunnies came out really well.)

Edited by Darienne (log)
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Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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