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Calling all chocolate experts: Can you diagnose what happened to these bonbons?


pastryani
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Hi folks at eGullet! This is my first post here and it's a question for you chocophiles out there. Lately I've really been into molded chocolates and been practicing tempering (by seeding) and playing around with molds.

I unmolded my bonbons yesterday and found these strange marks on the surface. Any idea (a) what this is and (b) what caused it?

I did put stick the molds in the fridge for 10-15 minutes after casting, fillings, and capping; but I've done that before with no such issue. Ideas?

Thanks!

Ani.

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The answer, I believe, is also the least helpful thing you could be told. Your chocolate was not perfectly in temper. I usually only see issues like that on chocolates when I've sprayed colour that hasn't been perfect and it sticks to the mold.

 

Was your test smooth and non-streaky with no spots? How thick are those shells? What are they filled with? Was your room particularly cold or warm, ditto for the molds? Carbonate or silicon mold?

It's possible that if you have thicker shells, the chocolate has released enough heat as it's setting to break temper.

 

That is a beautiful shape though, and I promise that anyone you give those to won't even notice the defects! You could call them Doctor Who chocolates, that's a crack in the fabric of time :P

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Thanks keychris and gfron1... I did check my temper and it looked okay, but I may have rushed into it (it was beginning to set just fine but was taking longer than usual. I figured that we as due to the warmer-than-usual temps that day so I called it done).

The shells were regular thickness I think (photo attached). The filling was a lemon ganache. And it was a polycarbonate mold.

Thanks for your help both!

Ani.

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Your temper is fine, you have clean breaks with no streaking or greying anywhere.

Your shells are a nice even thickness, so your couverture was not too cold either.

It looks like you had choc. crumbs in the mold or possibly undissolved choc crumbs in your couverture.

Hope this helps

Hope this helps

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Well, it could be any of the above, or all of the above i'm afraid.  Without having a temper meter,  the reality is you don't know where along the tempering spectrum you are.  Tempering isn't a simple binary 'yes/no' answer - there's a whole range of temper.  From the photo it appears that you're somewhere along that spectrum, but you could be sufficiently over or under tempered to cause some problems.  I suspect that's not the main driver of what you're seeing however.

 

I tend to think it's more along the lines of Edward's thought - where the cavities in your mold may not be perfectly clean - either residue from past moldings if the moulds have been previously used, contaminants from the factory if they're now, or even mineral deposits from your water if you've cleaned them prior to use.

 

It could be some combination all the above.  They do look delicious!

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Your temper is fine, you have clean breaks with no streaking or greying anywhere.

It looks like you had choc. crumbs in the mold or possibly undissolved choc crumbs in your couverture.

Interesting thought, but I still think it has to do with shelling where the mold or room are too warm and/or the cocoa butter being too warm. I've done it way too many times. I can agree with you about the temper, although being just the slightest bit off and not having ideal room temps could localize the damage like we're seeing.

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Eh... No. If the mold, room, or couveture was too warm you would have streaking, greying, and/or fat bloom on the outside. The breaks are clean with no crumbling.

Don,t want to toot my own horn, but I am going through 50-80 kgs of couverture per week, and will probably go up to 100kgs/week leading up to christmas as I have in the past. While most of this is with filled bars and figurines, I still do a fair amount of bon bons.

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Wow, thanks everyone for your replies!

Edward & Sebastian: it's possible that the molds may have been dusty. I keep them in storage boxes but I did not wipe them before using them. Will remember to do that next time.

Kerry: thanks for the welcome, and there's no color added to the molds - I wish!! ;-). Adding color will likely be my next series of questions for you all. :)

I'm learning that chocolate is far more complex than I previously thought, but that said, challenge accepted!! (Something tells me this will be a steep but delicious learning curve). Glad I have you folks at eG as a resource!!

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Eh... No. If the mold, room, or couveture was too warm you would have streaking, greying, and/or fat bloom on the outside. The breaks are clean with no crumbling.

Don,t want to toot my own horn, but I am going through 50-80 kgs of couverture per week, and will probably go up to 100kgs/week leading up to christmas as I have in the past. While most of this is with filled bars and figurines, I still do a fair amount of bon bons.

I defer to your authority. I just feel like we're looking at different pictures, but I'm much smaller production so like I said, I defer.

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After much cleaning and buffing, here are the results from round 2 (using milk chocolate). This time they came out without those strange marks (sorry I didn't take any pre-lustre-dust pics, someone couldn't wait to start decorating!). ;-). Thanks again all!

image.jpg

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Hi

 

nice work on the second batch. The first batch looks like the chocolate may have been over-tempered - I've had that problem before with those symptoms..

The symptoms for overtempered chocolate would be an extremely thick shell and very poor release from the mold. The picture shows only slight sticking at the very "peak " of the mold, this would be the very bottom of the mold when shelling.

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