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carol lang

The challenge of using colored cocoa butter

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I know this question has been asked before, hope it is okay to ask again.

I have begun using my colored cocoa butters again after they have been stored for more than 6 months in possibly non optimum conditions.

I don't know the condition of the temper. I assume that the cocoa butter is not in temper.

Hopefully I can learn from the group here, how to prepare the cocoa butter for  successful use.

Also is there a way of being sure that when you paint a mold with cocoa butter the finished shells will come out 

with the cocoa butter on the chocolate and not some of it still in the mold.

Although I love the challenge, sometimes I find decorating with colored cocoa butter so stressful that I plan to never do it again.

 

 

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Well, I’m reminded of a comment that Chocolot has said several times, and I paraphrase:  once you think you know what you’re doing, Chocolate will do something just to let you know who’s boss.

 

you should plan on tempering the colored cocoa butter (CCB) prior to using, anytime, any day, you plan on using.  Always start with the basics.

 

is there a way to be “sure that when you paint a mold....”?  That is the million dollar question for sure.  I don’t believe there exists a way that will guarantee you success every time with CCB, but, there are methodologies that will help you.

 

These are things, steps I do, and my success rate is fairly high 

temper your cocoa butter

use clean, polished molds

apply decoration

allow CCB to crystallize in mold prior to shelling

shell, fill and cap per usual 

unmold

 

but step 3 is critical, as there are many ways to apply CCB, i.e. paintbrush, cotton swab, finger, airbrush, toothbrush, etc, 


Edited by RobertM (log)
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1 hour ago, carol lang said:

Also is there a way of being sure that when you paint a mold with cocoa butter the finished shells will come out 

with the cocoa butter on the chocolate and not some of it still in the mold.

Although I love the challenge, sometimes I find decorating with colored cocoa butter so stressful that I plan to never do it again.

 

@RobertM answered your questions. I would just add that most people do not temper cocoa butter--at least not in any traditional way (the way I see most often is partially melting the bottle contents, then shaking the bottle and assuming the c.b. is in temper)--but obviously Bob tempers his and I do as well. If I overheat it in the melting process, I use a dab of cocoa butter silk from the EZtemper. I always test the c.b. for temper. This may seem extreme, but I figure that if I do all I can and the c.b. still sticks in the mold, then at least it isn't because I skipped a step that I could have easily taken.

 

As to your question about "being sure," oh that certainty were a possibility. Yesterday I unmolded 21 pieces decorated with red and gold c.b.:  20 chocolates fell out of the inverted mold with no effort whatever; after considerable banging on the counter, the 21st came out, leaving bits of red and gold c.b. behind. It does seem to me that certain shapes can sometimes be more difficult, such as domes, but that may be my imagination. All sorts of theories have been proposed as to the cause of sticking c.b. (you didn't notice but you touched the mold with a warm finger in a certain place and the chocolate in that spot stuck, or c.b. in the airbrush got too warm), but I think all of us know of cases that disprove such theories. My "solution":  Always make more bonbons than you need and try to relax about the failures. Another actual solution: Use magnetic molds with transfer sheets--which never stick. But where's the challenge with that?

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Thank you so much for your replies Robert and Jim. The comments were helpful.  I have to remember that the chocolate is always the boss

and I have to just keep working at it.

An EZtemper is on my wish list.

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There are so many factors that go into successful CCB use.  Start with clean molds.  I clean my molds with hot soapy water then polish them with cotton balls and a little alcohol but there are a lot of different approaches to cleaning molds.  I temper CCB every time I use it.  I take it to 45C then cool it in the freezer or in an ice bath down to 28C (agitating it frequently along the way), at which point it is ready to spray or paint. I learned this technique from Melissa Coppel.   I keep the tempered colors in a warmer to make sure they don't get too cool before use.  If they do get below 28C, I use a heat gun to bring them back to temp.  I let the CCB fully crystalize in the molds at room temp (or in the fridge briefly if the room is warmer or more humid than usual).  There should be no shine to the CCB - it should be completely set and all matte.  Then I shell with the chocolate.  A good temper on the chocolate is important too, so that the CCB and the chocolate will contract together as the chocolate crystalizes.  Proper crystallization is also important.  I  leave the molds out at room temperature until the chocolate starts to set and begins to lose the gloss of melted chocolate, then it goes in the fridge to finish.  Takes about 5-10 minutes in the fridge.  You can tell when it's ready by looking at the underside of the mold - the shell will have the appearance of having pulled away form the mold. 

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Just my two cents here. I keep my cocoa butters in glass mason jars. When it comes time to use, I microwave, break up the solidified mass with a spoon, microwave carefull in short bursts until it is about halfway melted, then I use a mixer.

 

https://www.amazon.com/KitchenAid-KHM926WH-9-Speed-Digital-Accessories/dp/B00C9OQ47S/ref=sr_1_12?ie=UTF8&qid=1517975412&sr=8-12&keywords=kitchenaid+hand+mixer

 

I got my wife this mixer as a present, she loves the thing, but it comes with this small disk attachment. Its perfect for mixing the cocoa butters in the mason jars to that creamy consistency. I never thought in my life I would use a hand mixer, but I do for this. I got three more of those mixer disks for when I do multiple colors, quite useful.

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I know that Melissa Coppel uses 28C as her working temperature, but the cocoa butter can be hard to work with at that temperature. She did classes over here and they had a lot of trouble with cocoa butter sticking. If you're not an expert as Melissa is, I'd keep your working temperature a little higher, 30-31C is fine and you still get great shine. Apart from the temperature, I do @Bentley's process pretty much exactly the same.

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I want to thank everyone for the valuable help.  The generosity of the people on this forum is amazing.

I gained confidence to keep trying and I am getting moderate success.   

 

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7 hours ago, carol lang said:

I want to thank everyone for the valuable help.  The generosity of the people on this forum is amazing.

I gained confidence to keep trying and I am getting moderate success.   

 

Carol - why don't you come to our workshop this year?

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I might like to do that.

I need to read up on the dates and place, but it sound great.

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40 minutes ago, carol lang said:

I might like to do that.

I need to read up on the dates and place, but it sound great.

Here's the link to the planning thread. It would be fabulous to see you again.

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