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Chocolate making: Things I learned in my early months


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A new problem:  my most recent bars were not as pretty as I would have liked...

 

Bars11152018.png

 

 

...lighting adjusted to show faults.  Looking through the bottom plastic it appeared the chocolate did not make perfect contact with the mold.  Also as I recall the first mold came out the best.

 

Any suggestions?

 

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The dreaded de-molding marks!

 

Are you putting your chocolate in the fridge for a short while after molding to carry off the latent heat of crystallization?

 

Are you checking to make sure they have totally separated before you knock them out?

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16 minutes ago, Kerry Beal said:

The dreaded de-molding marks!

 

Are you putting your chocolate in the fridge for a short while after molding to carry off the latent heat of crystallization?

 

Are you checking to make sure they have totally separated before you knock them out?

 

Yes.

 

No.

 

How do you tell when they are ready to unmold?

 

 

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12 minutes ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

 

How do you tell when they are ready to unmold?

 

 

 

If it's quiet, sometimes you can hear the snap-crackle-pop of the chocolate contracting and releasing from the molds.  One of those happy little sounds :)

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1 minute ago, keychris said:

sometimes, no matter what you do, you're going to get those marks.

 

No-one else will see them, just you ;)

True that!

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8 hours ago, keychris said:

No-one else will see them, just you


Which is the biggest problem. Once I see it, everybody can see it... even if they can't. 

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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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  • 2 weeks later...

Since we seem to have no thread "What did you buy at the chocolate store today?"

 

Couverture11282018.png

 

 

Now I need advice adapting my methods to milk.  I understand one is supposed to use lower temperatures for milk than for dark?

 

 

Edit:  odd that Felchlin doesn't list ingredients on their packaging.

 

Edited by JoNorvelleWalker (log)
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56 minutes ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

Edit:  odd that Felchlin doesn't list ingredients on their packaging.

 

It's on the box, a lot of their couvertures come in 6 kg boxes with 3 of those bags.  Here are the ingredients and nutrition info for the maracaibo creole 49%.  I like that a serving size is 100 grams.  The do say the Swiss eat a lot of chocolate!

IMG_7894.thumb.JPG.5a9539bf5792b257f6e1de8aa59bcc94.JPG    IMG_7893.thumb.JPG.1db6669aefe31b0cb92e9613ce2d6629.JPG

 

Edited by pastrygirl (log)
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3 hours ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

Since we seem to have no thread "What did you buy at the chocolate store today?"

 

Now I need advice adapting my methods to milk.  I understand one is supposed to use lower temperatures for milk than for dark?

 

Hah, I just bought 8kg of Felchlin SaoPalme 36% milk and 4kg Accra 62% dark today :)

 

for tempering milk, do exactly the same but your final temperature you're aiming for is 30-31C.

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6 hours ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

Since we seem to have no thread "What did you buy at the chocolate store today?"

 

Couverture11282018.png

 

 

Now I need advice adapting my methods to milk.  I understand one is supposed to use lower temperatures for milk than for dark?

 

 

Edit:  odd that Felchlin doesn't list ingredients on their packaging.

 

 

In your kitchen aid bowl, if not seeding, I’d cool to 25C then heat back up to around 30C

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I went to work with the Felchlin Maracaibo Creole 49% today.  Before bed I fired up 500 grams in the PHMB at 45C.  Overnight melting works fine but seems unnecessary.  Dialed in 30C, seeded, stirred, and molded.  No thermometer*, no temper test, no mess.

 

Mess12012018.png

 

 

Well, a little mess but these are the molds and work area before clean up.  A major factor was ditching the soup ladle in favor of a plastic waffle batter cup (shown above) that came with my DeLonghi griddle.  I also found Felchlin easier to work with.

 

Bars12012018.png

 

 

Still unmolding marks on the finished bars.  But not as pronounced as the marks on my last batch shown here:

https://forums.egullet.org/topic/156096-chocolate-making-things-i-learned-in-my-early-months/?do=findComment&comment=2177956

 

I let these sit in the refrigerator for a full twenty minutes followed by three minutes in the freezer.  I wonder if I am preparing my molds properly?  I just rub them at room temperature with a microfiber cloth before filling.  Anything else I should be doing?

 

Nonetheless I am quite pleased.  I am making progress.  If I had the storage space I could knock out a lot of bars in one sitting.  I wouldn't be afraid to try 1.5 kg in the PHMB.

 

Oh, and the Felchlin tastes pretty good too.  I had a compliment from another chocolate friend who sampled my handiwork.  She said she could get her bars in temper but they did not have the shine and snap of mine.  I credit everything to the PHMB and eGullet assistance.

 

 

*except to measure the ambient kitchen temperature, which was 69-70F.

 

 

 

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26 minutes ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

Still unmolding marks on the finished bars. 

 

I let these sit in the refrigerator for a full twenty minutes followed by three minutes in the freezer.  I wonder if I am preparing my molds properly?  I just rub them at room temperature with a microfiber cloth before filling.  Anything else I should be doing?

I don’t put any of mine in the freezer, just the fridge for 5 mins. Then I leave the bars in the molds for a day or so at room temperature before during them out, which seems to help to reduce the marks.

 

I also found that the microfiber cloths ended up smearing around a small bit of any leftover cocoa butter from the previous use. So I now use the 70% alcohol square swabs and push them into sharp corners, etc with a toothpick or a q-tip.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Another experiment this afternoon, again with Felchlin Maracaibo Creole.  My bar molds are Tomric, and Tomric states not to heat the molds.  But I went back to Greweling and Greweling says to warm the molds to 25-28.  I did so to the best of my ability, measuring with my surface contact thermometer.  Or one of my surface contact thermometers, I confess I have three.

 

I also followed Greweling's advice to hold the filled molds at room temperature for 15 minutes before refrigerating.  Astute observers will note I changed two variables.  But anyhow, while not perfect my bars were the cleanest yet.

 

Thoughts?

 

I'd be tempted to leave the bars in the molds overnight next time to see if that would help.

 

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I have never pulled a perfect bar out of the Tomric molds (the ones made by Tomric). 

 

I hold at room temp until they are starting to crystallize around the edges then pop them in the fridge.

 

I’ll be interested to see if overnight adds even more to your success 

 

 

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Just now, Kerry Beal said:

I have never pulled a perfect bar out of the Tomric molds (the ones made by Tomric). 

 

I hold at room temp until they are starting to crystallize around the edges then pop them in the fridge.

 

I’ll be interested to see if overnight adds even more to your success 

 

 

 

Me neither. I wanted to save some time on a big project and bought 4 of those molds. Regardless of technique, I am disappointed in the result every damn time.

Patty

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In my experience it's extremely hard to not get moulding marks from those large block moulds because of the sheer amount of chocolate in the block and the amount of contraction it undergoes. When I use solid polycarbonate block moulds, there's sometimes a millimetre (which isn't huge but it is if you know what I mean) gap on the sides after it's set up overnight. I don't know how you can control that contraction rate to reduce the marks in a non-professional setting.

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7 hours ago, patris said:

 

Me neither. I wanted to save some time on a big project and bought 4 of those molds. Regardless of technique, I am disappointed in the result every damn time.

 

Now you tell me.  At least the Tomric molds were not expensive.  Guess I need to look into injection molds.  Maybe something like:

 

https://www.brunnershop.com/en/Injection-Moulds/Moulds-for-Tablets/Tablets/Tablet-oxid-5.html

 

 

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2 hours ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

 

Now you tell me.  At least the Tomric molds were not expensive.  Guess I need to look into injection molds.  Maybe something like:

 

https://www.brunnershop.com/en/Injection-Moulds/Moulds-for-Tablets/Tablets/Tablet-oxid-5.html

 

Perhaps you will find these ideas an unacceptable compromise or even cheating. But as @keychrispointed out, the release marks happen to just about everybody when molding bars. eGullet and other sites are filled with questions on how to fix the problem, and--as is usually the case with chocolate--one is never sure of what causes the issue. One "solution" is to give up and try to disguise the problem as much as possible. You could, for example, purchase molds with texture; then the marks won't be as visible. Or you could try decorating the bars to draw the viewer's eyes away from the imperfections. One simple example is a familiar technique when people are decorating the outsides of bonbons:  with a paintbrush or toothbrush, fling colored cocoa butter across the molds in a Pollock-like design. Or if using colored cocoa butter offends you, you could fling a contrasting color of chocolate (milk or white). Splattering is another option, as is piping thin lines across the bars. 

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@JoNorvelleWalker you should also consider the Chocolate World polycarbonate moulds (looks like they are calling them injection molds / polycarbonate molds) they have egg, tablet, bar, and many other moulds https://www.chocolateworld.be/winkel/vormen/kadervormen#0.

Search their site to find what you want and you can order the mould from Tomric (https://shop.tomric.com/Category/16_1/Chocolate_World_Injection_Molds.aspx) or Chocolat-Chocolat -- they are both distributors of Chocolate World moulds.

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5 hours ago, curls said:

@JoNorvelleWalker you should also consider the Chocolate World polycarbonate moulds (looks like they are calling them injection molds / polycarbonate molds) they have egg, tablet, bar, and many other moulds https://www.chocolateworld.be/winkel/vormen/kadervormen#0.

Search their site to find what you want and you can order the mould from Tomric (https://shop.tomric.com/Category/16_1/Chocolate_World_Injection_Molds.aspx) or Chocolat-Chocolat -- they are both distributors of Chocolate World moulds.

 

After treating myself to an immersive course in culinary Dutch I realized the chockolateworld site was available in English...

 

These are a couple Chocolate World bars that might work for me:

 

https://www.chocolateworld.be/winkel/vormen/kadervormen/CW1936#0

https://www.chocolateworld.be/winkel/vormen/kadervormen/CW1612#0

 

 

How does the quality of Chocolate World compare to that of Hans Brunner?  I know there are other mold manufacturers out there.  Any others that I should consider?

 

 

 

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Ah, sorry, thought I had included the link to the English version of the site. Glad you figured it out. Pretty moulds.

 

I haven’t tried many other mould manufacturers. I like Chocolate World and Callebaut moulds. I would like to try the JKV moulds but haven’t foind a good US distributor. Some of the Italian moulds (Martelleto, Cabrellon, etc.) are good but they seem to make a lot of moulds with interesting shapes that are more prone to trapping air bubbles.

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I would say Hans Brunner gets my vote for 3D if you can get them. 

 

I’m sure there is a HB bonbon mold or two in my vast collection but not bought new. 

 

Chocolate World makes excellent bar and bonbon molds, Cabrallon as well, the Cacao Barry molds are good but not sure of the new material yet and they aren’t see through. 

 

Agree with @curls  about some of the other Italian molds - fussy and thin.

 

Chocolat-Chocolat has CW1612 and CW1936

 

Oh yeah - I love the JVK molds I have but it was a challenge to get them.

Edited by Kerry Beal (log)
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