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Leaking Chocolates


Jim D.
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I've found some random postings on this topic but not what I need. I make several different caramel fillings. One is Notter's salted caramel, and I've not had leaking issues with that. Another is a caramelized pineapple recipe from Wybauw, which used to leak quite badly until I started using Kerry Beal's recipe that calls for adding some chocolate. But my apple caramel does tend to leak and I am seeking any hints for solving the issue. I cook the caramel to 234-235F/112-113C. Cooking it much longer makes it quite difficult to pipe into molds later.

 

So next time I'm going to cook it another degree or two and see if it's still pipeable. Last time I tried a technique I saw online: closing the chocolates and scraping in the usual way, then spreading another layer of chocolate and scraping again. This double layer seemed to help (not sure since there are so many possible factors), but still left me with perhaps 6-7 slightly leaky bonbons out of a 40+ total. I also passed a hair dryer over the filled molds before closing them to try to meld the bottom to the rest of the shell. I don't know whether that helped or not. I don't want to add chocolate as I think it would muddy the apple flavor too much. What are the thoughts on adding cocoa butter?

 

One other bit of info: I make lots of other (non-caramel) fillings that are quite soft but have never had any leaking with those. It's just the caramels where the problem occurs.

 

Any ideas would be most welcome.

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57 minutes ago, Kerry Beal said:

I wonder if a spray of cocoa butter alone behind the caramel might help. Leaking caramels are pretty common in my world!

I'll give that a try.  And while I was just working out (have to do something to get rid of the results of those defective bonbons), I thought of EZtemper silk. That would certainly thicken up the caramel, but (my theory goes) the thickening wouldn't happen until after the caramel had been piped. Your thoughts?

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34 minutes ago, Jim D. said:

I'll give that a try.  And while I was just working out (have to do something to get rid of the results of those defective bonbons), I thought of EZtemper silk. That would certainly thicken up the caramel, but (my theory goes) the thickening wouldn't happen until after the caramel had been piped. Your thoughts?

Don't know - there isn't chocolate in there to temper - I suppose the butter might?

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23 minutes ago, Kerry Beal said:

Don't know - there isn't chocolate in there to temper - I suppose the butter might?

If you think about the melted cocoa butter that is often called for in ganaches, it eventually hardens and thus firms up the ganache. The silk just isn't quite melted. I routinely use it when a ganache recipe calls for melted cocoa butter.

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I guess this is a subject I'll have to face up to one of these days. I use Kerry's "caramel for filling" but I haven't used it on it's own yet. So far, I've always piped a layer of that with a layer of caramel milk chocolate ganache behind it. One day I'm going to have to brave up and do some straight caramels.

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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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Where are they leaking from, Jim? If it's around the cap, it's just sealing that's an issue - the soft caramel is getting squeezed when the chocolate sets and contracts, and because the filling is fairly liquid, it's going to come out of any tiny holes or cracks there are. Would sealing the back with an acetate sheet help perhaps?

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1 hour ago, keychris said:

Where are they leaking from, Jim? If it's around the cap, it's just sealing that's an issue - the soft caramel is getting squeezed when the chocolate sets and contracts, and because the filling is fairly liquid, it's going to come out of any tiny holes or cracks there are. Would sealing the back with an acetate sheet help perhaps?

Yes, the leaking is from the cap (that is, the eventual bottom). It's not much but enough to make them stick to the containers where they are stored. I've tried the acetate sheet for sealing chocolates in the past, even thought it was the Holy Grail from a European video I saw, but when I did it, it made a huge mess and ended up with a thin layer of chocolate over the entire surface of the mold. Presently I have squares of acetate at the ready when sealing chocolates for the times when I have a little ganache sticking up that needs to be covered with chocolate. Maybe I could try something like that. The problem, of course, is that the little holes are too small to see.

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2 minutes ago, curls said:

@Jim D. do you let the caramels skin over before trying to cap them? If you aren't doing this already, it may helping with your caramel bon bon issue.

Yes, I do that, overnight at least. I think with the recent apple caramels, I left them for two nights. I'm thinking that once the skin forms, Kerry's idea of spraying with cocoa butter would allow a stronger barrier to form. I probably wouldn't go through the lengthy process of setting up the airbrush for that (I'm working in a quite small space) but would use a paintbrush or even a small spoon instead. The firmed-up cocoa butter looks terrible, but nobody would see it eventually.

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This is no help and nothing to do with your problem, but the first reaction of my non-caffeinated morning brain was "If you're leaking chocolates, it's time to stop eating them..."

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“Who loves a garden, loves a greenhouse too.” - William Cowper, The Task, Book Three

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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  • 1 month later...

I thought I should update my experiments with controlling leaking from caramel fillings in chocolates. I tried Kerry's idea of covering the top (eventually to be the bottom) of the caramel by painting on a thin but complete layer of melted cocoa butter. I then closed the bonbon with a layer of chocolate spread twice (with a slight pause between applying the layers). I had tried the double-closing before, with some success. This time, with the addition of the layer of cocoa butter, I saw no leaking in any of the finished pieces. So, thanks to Kerry for leading me to what will now be my standard practice with caramel fillings or any filling that looks as if it might leak. A nuisance yes, but worth it, I would say.

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So I was up teaching and helping produce Christmas chocolate with a friend today - she had made the flowing caramel ready to mold - didn't have an airbrush - so used a paintbrush to brush the tops of the caramel with melted cocoa butter. Not a single leaker from two plates of molds.

 

IMG_3712.jpg

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