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Kerry Beal

Christmas Chocolate and Confections Redux

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5 hours ago, Kerry Beal said:

 

was feeling a bit lazy so mostly truffles 


Interesting... that's the opposite of how I view it. I tend to do everything in molds with laziness being a hefty part of the reasoning. I consider things I have to dip to be the royal pain in the arse. 

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5 minutes ago, Tri2Cook said:

 


Interesting... that's the opposite of how I view it. I tend to do everything in molds with laziness being a hefty part of the reasoning. I consider things I have to dip to be the royal pain in the arse. 

I like to paint my molds  - I coat the truffles by rolling them in gloved hands - quick and dirty!

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Now that there are a few minutes to relax, here is a photo of the Christmas 2017 selection (there were two assortments of 12 each, with some overlap):

 

dutton-xmas2017.jpg.b9a8cbe2578ce8fa75576bf5b9b83629.jpg

 

1st row:  walnut caramel, fig with port & anise, dark chocolate with absinthe, marshmallow & peanut butter gianduja, cherry pâte de fruit & pistachio gianduja.

 

2nd row:  banana & passion fruit caramel, spiced pumpkin ganache, dark caramel with Maldon sea salt, hazelnut praline ganache, coffee ganache with cardamom.

 

3rd row:  crème brûlée, apricot pâte de fruit & almond gianduja, cranberry ganache,  layers of caramel, pecan gianduja & shortbread, apple caramel.

 

4th row:  mango pâte de fruit & mango ganache, pear pâte de fruit & almond cream, black currant ganache & crispy hazelnut gianduja, gingerbread, lemon mint bar.

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Glad to see the apple caramel is still on the menu, Jim. Did you find any secret ro preventing the leaks?


Edited by tikidoc (log)

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1 hour ago, tikidoc said:

Glad to see the apple caramel is still on the menu, Jim. Did you find any secret ro preventing the leaks?

 

I was thinking of you when I made the caramel again (I think we keep that Vermont apple cider mill in business by buying their jelly). This time I made 84 pieces, and not a single one leaked. I cooked the caramel to a higher temp (about 240F) than I do other caramels. I heated the tops slightly before pouring on the chocolate to close them. I left the finished pieces sitting upside down for a day (on the questionable theory that more time would help the caramel set), then left them right side up to test them. One or more of those ideas may have worked--or it may just have been that the caramel gods gave me a good day.

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58 minutes ago, dhardy123 said:

@Jim D. I see you piped your marshmallow. How did you finally decide to do it?

I used the recipe that I posted on eGullet. It's basically the eGullet strawberry marshmallow recipe (this time without the strawberry purée). I discovered that if you beat marshmallow at a really high speed, it cools down to a pipeable temperature while it still has a pipeable texture, then I work really fast. After all that experimentation and work, however, today I got a comment from someone who said she really enjoyed the peanut butter part of the bonbon but the marshmallow was nothing to write home about. Oh well, being kept humble is good for us (or so I am told).

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1 hour ago, Jim D. said:

I used the recipe that I posted on eGullet. It's basically the eGullet strawberry marshmallow recipe (this time without the strawberry purée). I discovered that if you beat marshmallow at a really high speed, it cools down to a pipeable temperature while it still has a pipeable texture, then I work really fast. After all that experimentation and work, however, today I got a comment from someone who said she really enjoyed the peanut butter part of the bonbon but the marshmallow was nothing to write home about. Oh well, being kept humble is good for us (or so I am told).

Wow tough crowd 

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14 hours ago, Kerry Beal said:

I like to paint my molds  - I coat the truffles by rolling them in gloved hands - quick and dirty!


Makes sense. Airbrushing molds hasn't been going that great for me right now. We're having an early run of very cold weather that makes keeping my work area warm enough to not have to fight with the airbrush difficult unless I'm willing to bump the thermostat up so high that the rest of the house is hot and the oil and electric bills skyrocket. So I'm pretty much relegated to finger painting and splattering right now... that or keeping the air in the house blue while I fight with the airbrush. According to the tracking, that second gun I ordered is at the post office now so maybe being able to switch between them will help.

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28 minutes ago, Tri2Cook said:


Makes sense. Airbrushing molds hasn't been going that great for me right now. We're having an early run of very cold weather that makes keeping my work area warm enough to not have to fight with the airbrush difficult unless I'm willing to bump the thermostat up so high that the rest of the house is hot and the oil and electric bills skyrocket. So I'm pretty much relegated to finger painting and splattering right now... that or keeping the air in the house blue while I fight with the airbrush. According to the tracking, that second gun I ordered is at the post office now so maybe being able to switch between them will help.

I feel your pain!

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8 hours ago, ChocoMom said:

The Snowdude.  Have an order for 11 of these...solid.  Think I'm on number 5 now....

IMG_2265.JPG

I have a couple of those molds - Tomric I recall? Made him in white. 

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Yep- Tomric. I had this mold- pre-fire, and had to order it again.   There is one customer in particular that just loved it.  So, every year she asks me to make them. We've gone from doing 3 at Christmas a few years ago, up to 11 this year. She wants 9 milk chocolate, 2 white chocolate.  I thought about airbrushing, and decided against it. Too many other molds I'm coloring right now.  I bought the 0.5mm Grex airbrush a while back, and love it.  So easy to use, but there's so many molds, and so little time! Argh! 

5 minutes ago, Kerry Beal said:

I have a couple of those molds - Tomric I recall? Made him in white. 

 

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18 hours ago, Jim D. said:

I was thinking of you when I made the caramel again (I think we keep that Vermont apple cider mill in business by buying their jelly). This time I made 84 pieces, and not a single one leaked. I cooked the caramel to a higher temp (about 240F) than I do other caramels. I heated the tops slightly before pouring on the chocolate to close them. I left the finished pieces sitting upside down for a day (on the questionable theory that more time would help the caramel set), then left them right side up to test them. One or more of those ideas may have worked--or it may just have been that the caramel gods gave me a good day.

 
 
 
 

 

I had a BUNCH of leaky ones last time I made it, but admittedly, I had not done any chocolates in a while, so user error was a distinct possibility. I have noted that that recipe does tend to sometimes get a bit oily, so when I made some caramels (not in chocolate) for a gift last night, I used the French caramel recipe I had from Las Vegas, using the apple jelly (warmed so it wasn't chunky) in place of the fruit puree. The flavor was very similar to my original, but with more creamy flavor and great texture, and the final product, although firmer than I would use in molded chocolates, was not at all greasy on the outside. I think I may play with cooking that recipe to a lower temp (current recipe is 118C/244F) to get something pipeable that would remain at least very soft and possibly slightly fluid in the bon bon. I'll let you know how it goes.

 

If anyone out there has used the recipe I am talking about, the French one that has a small amount of cocoa butter, in molded chocolates, what temp do you take it to and how were your results?


Edited by tikidoc (log)

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1 hour ago, tikidoc said:

...I used the French caramel recipe I had from Las Vegas, using the apple jelly (warmed so it wasn't chunky) in place of the fruit puree. The flavor was very similar to my original, but with more creamy flavor and great texture, and the final product, although firmer than I would use in molded chocolates, was not at all greasy on the outside.

I'll be interested in how those turn out. I have experimented with "stand-alone" caramels, but the results have been too varied (often too firm to eat or too soft to cut) for me to make them part of a real production. I tried the addition of Jean-Marie's cocoa butter to a caramel that I needed to be firmer than it was, and it worked. Of course in his recipe he had all sorts of additions that are not customary in a caramel.

 

I have also had issues with greasy caramel. One rescue that often works is to stir the finished caramel over cold water until the butter that has separated out can be mixed back in. A more drastic method (which I had to use in a banana-passion fruit caramel) was to put a little of the finished caramel in a food processor, add some rum (which worked with this recipe), then add in the rest of the caramel a bit at a time. Very messy, but really worked. I would like to understand why the fat sometimes separated from a caramel but have not found an explanation so far.

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Not sure why, but today I was on a nostalgic kick. Haven't made some of these candies for years. 

Starting upper left, bark made with tiny fruit marshmallows (for grandkids), Crackle bar with rice krispies, chocolate fudge with almonds, penouche with hazelnuts, big peanut clusters, and finally peanut brittle.

it will probably be next year before I make them again:). I'm thinking I might make some cherry cordials tomorrow.

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_0175.thumb.JPG.27be5d11cca4dbd09219145f37adc280.JPG

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Was planning to do Greweling's lemon mint ganache until I saw the condition of the mint available at the local store right now. I have pure peppermint oil so I'm considering pressing on using that instead of the fresh mint. I've seen substitution recommendations saying 1 drop of the oil for 1 tbsp chopped fresh mint but Greweling's quantity is given as "45 leaves". I'm perfectly fine with just adding a drop at a time and tasting but I've never made this ganache before so I'm not sure what I'm aiming for in mint intensity. Anybody done this one that can give me a general idea of how powerful the mint is in the end result?

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1 hour ago, Tri2Cook said:

Was planning to do Greweling's lemon mint ganache until I saw the condition of the mint available at the local store right now. I have pure peppermint oil so I'm considering pressing on using that instead of the fresh mint. I've seen substitution recommendations saying 1 drop of the oil for 1 tbsp chopped fresh mint but Greweling's quantity is given as "45 leaves". I'm perfectly fine with just adding a drop at a time and tasting but I've never made this ganache before so I'm not sure what I'm aiming for in mint intensity. Anybody done this one that can give me a general idea of how powerful the mint is in the end result?

Greweling calls for leaving the leaves in the ganache, but the flavor still is rather subdued. I add more mint to get a stronger flavor. I think you are correct in adding one drop of oil at a time because it could easily overwhelm the lemon. It's a great ganache that contrasts nicely with the dark chocolate. To call attention to the mint, I usually decorate this with a single drop of white chocolate tinted green with a little green cocoa butter (as in the photo earlier in this thread)--the one occasion I used the lemon peel called for, it became much too dry in a short time. I also leave in some of the lemon zest to pump up the lemon taste.


Edited by Jim D. (log)

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Finally finished the 11 solid snowmen, the last 3 large orders were picked up by customers yesterday. Now, I can concentrate on the friend and family gifts. So...here is the last batch of caramel for the season.  This will be a stand-alone caramel, wrapped in good-sized pieces, and put in decorative jars for the non-chocolate eaters on our list. Its the same caramel I use in the sea salt caramels and tortoises, but cooked about 3-5 degrees higher.  

IMG_2268.JPG

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I am making CIA's Pectin Jellies.  I plan on making blackberry, passion fruit and mango.  I just finished the blackberry one and it is cooling in it's 8 x 8 pan.  My problem is that I  have only one such pan.  I would like to take the jelly out of the pan before it is completely cool so I can get on with the next batch.  I would take the whole thing out and let it finish cooling it on the counter, which is granite.  The pan was sprayed, then lined with plastic wrap which was also sprayed so it should be easy to take out of the pan.    I'm thinking that shouldn't be a problem but I am not sure.  Any advice?

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6 hours ago, Jim D. said:

Greweling calls for leaving the leaves in the ganache, but the flavor still is rather subdued. I add more mint to get a stronger flavor. I think you are correct in adding one drop of oil at a time because it could easily overwhelm the lemon. It's a great ganache that contrasts nicely with the dark chocolate. To call attention to the mint, I usually decorate this with a single drop of white chocolate tinted green with a little green cocoa butter (as in the photo earlier in this thread)--the one occasion I used the lemon peel called for, it became much too dry in a short time. I also leave in some of the lemon zest to pump up the lemon taste.

 


Thanks! I saw your lemon mint bar in that earlier picture but for some reason it didn't connect when I posted my question. I'd prefer to do the recipe with the fresh mint leaves but the stuff at the store really does look bad right now. I wanted some for the ganache and some for the tiki drinks I was planning to make during the holidays... both are going to have to live without it this time.

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On 12/20/2017 at 1:10 PM, Jim D. said:

I'll be interested in how those turn out. I have experimented with "stand-alone" caramels, but the results have been too varied (often too firm to eat or too soft to cut) for me to make them part of a real production. I tried the addition of Jean-Marie's cocoa butter to a caramel that I needed to be firmer than it was, and it worked. Of course in his recipe he had all sorts of additions that are not customary in a caramel.

 

I have also had issues with greasy caramel. One rescue that often works is to stir the finished caramel over cold water until the butter that has separated out can be mixed back in. A more drastic method (which I had to use in a banana-passion fruit caramel) was to put a little of the finished caramel in a food processor, add some rum (which worked with this recipe), then add in the rest of the caramel a bit at a time. Very messy, but really worked. I would like to understand why the fat sometimes separated from a caramel but have not found an explanation so far.

 

I only have an n of 1, but the French style caramel worked. It was a recipe I had in notes from Las Vegas. The only unusual additives were the cocoa butter, and a little citric acid, I assume for tartness, since the recipe is for a fruit caramel. The recipe was cream, sugar, and glucose cooked to 110C, then add fruit purée (or in my case, apple jelly) and butter. The recipe called for bringing it up to 118C then adding the cocoa butter and a little citric acid. To make a pipeable caramel, I just brought it back to 110C. It was a perfect consistency for piping once it cooled down, and it wasn’t at all greasy. I let it sit overnight in the molds before capping off, and so far no leaky caramels. I did have several rejects due to colored cocoa butter sticking (I suspect having the 12 year old polish the molds may have been the problem) but no leaking. The flavor is quite close to the original, but creamier in both taste and texture, not as much a flowing caramel as my original recipe. It’s much softer than a cut caramel, but somewhat set, not the “run down your chin” kind. This is the same recipe Curls used for the cassis caramels, I think. 

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@tikidoc:  That sounds very successful. I'll be interested in whether there is any leaking. I just looked at my notes from Jean-Marie's caramel, and the unusual ingredients I mentioned earlier were isomalt (for shelf life, he said), sorbitol, baking soda, and lecithin. This is the recipe for hazelnut-vanilla caramels included in our workshop packets, or are you referring to a different recipe?

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