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Andrey Dubovic online classes

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Sort of late to the party here as I've been on vacation for a couple of months, but wanted to chime in on the colored cocoa butters and temps.  As I mentioned a long while back on this thread, I make all my colored CBs, in varying degrees of transparency.  Rather than strain thru pantyhose, I mix, let cool, then heat up again and it seems to work well for me.  I have about 40 colors that I work with.  I used to let them go solid, and store in plastic bags, breaking off a piece as needed and heating it with the gun.  This was fine, but when painting a mold with 10 colors or so it was a  PITA.  Heating the colors via a microwave or in a water bath just wasn't getting the love for me and it took a long time.  I came up with making a box that I can store all my colors in and it keeps them at a consistent temp all day all night - ready to use whenever.  The colors are stored in glass jars and I pop each one out when I need it, paint, and then pop it back in.  Because the box is insulated, and I have a thermostat on it, it works well.  I only turn it off when I go on vacation, it doesn't eat up a lot of watts.  Anyway, something like this might work well for others.

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9 hours ago, VistaGardens said:

I came up with making a box that I can store all my colors in and it keeps them at a consistent temp all day all night - ready to use whenever.  The colors are stored in glass jars and I pop each one out when I need it, paint, and then pop it back in.  Because the box is insulated, and I have a thermostat on it, it works well.  I only turn it off when I go on vacation, it doesn't eat up a lot of watts.  Anyway, something like this might work well for others.

 

The box sounds like a good idea. I sometimes use a bread-proofing box, but because it is not tightly enclosed, its temp control is quite inconsistent. Others use a dehydrator, but that takes up a lot of space, and in many of them, the temp doesn't go as low as needed. When you have a chance, perhaps you could say more about the box you created?

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2 hours ago, Jim D. said:

 

The box sounds like a good idea. I sometimes use a bread-proofing box, but because it is not tightly enclosed, its temp control is quite inconsistent. Others use a dehydrator, but that takes up a lot of space, and in many of them, the temp doesn't go as low as needed. When you have a chance, perhaps you could say more about the box you created?

I started using a dehydrator, after folks here mentioned using them. My only beef is that it is so huge. I keep the colors melted at about 105F, which seems to put them in the proper temp, once I remove them and stir them up. Been keeping them in little souffle cups, so I can have a small, flexible pouring container, if I need to use them for airbrushing. But I have two beefs with it - the sheer counter space it takes up. My kitchen is tiny, and it peeves me that this is a big blocky item sitting there. Will be figuring out how to move it to a shelf near an outlet. The cord is ridiculously short on it. But also, it has a timer that means it turns off after a max of 19 hours. So, I'm having to learn how to schedule the painting properly. 

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Ok... I’m now a convert. I decided to wash my molds with soap and buff the water out with a cotton ball (because of the calcium content in my water) and I have to say the chocolates do come out pretty shiny! Here’s a couple photos. And it cuts my cleaning time in half so I’m pumped!E64AA345-F916-42C9-864A-0D731DBD9783.thumb.jpeg.698c1bb6c35b3696cc16e7e014f374b3.jpeg00216C96-82AE-4DBB-B69A-440A3369177A.thumb.jpeg.2e34cd2bfb7431216755b209d0a6831e.jpeg

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willow - what type of soap did you use?

 

beautiful shine!

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On 8/7/2018 at 4:51 AM, Jim D. said:

 

The box sounds like a good idea. I sometimes use a bread-proofing box, but because it is not tightly enclosed, its temp control is quite inconsistent. Others use a dehydrator, but that takes up a lot of space, and in many of them, the temp doesn't go as low as needed. When you have a chance, perhaps you could say more about the box you created?

 

The box isn't "hard" to make, but it does have a few steps.  The short version is that I took a cambro and cut a hole in it using a special saw like they use to cut casts off of arms and legs (Kerry would know...) and then inserted a thermostat for a reptile box into it.

IMG_8036.thumb.JPG.b52f2a7318812124adac408d463dc940.JPG

 

 I then lined it with heat tape that is hooked up to the thermostat.  While not made for chocolates, reptiles and chocolates seem to have the same constant gentle heat requirements.   By messing with the container size and pan size, I was able to make a double decker container, and I keep the opaque on top, and the transparent and ones made with organic coloring (which don't play nicely with the airbrush) on the bottom.  The photo below is the bottom layer and the heat tape is on both bottom and sides.

IMG_8038.thumb.JPG.6753f474e9faff45e4077581fd8572a4.JPG

 

Here is the top layer.  As you can see, it holds quite a few 4 oz glass containers.  All in all it can hold about 55 jars.  There is more room on top than on bottom due to the nature of the cambro and the hardware on the inside.  

 

IMG_8037.thumb.JPG.95948fce8df10da3207cfa8008fdd584.JPG  

 

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2 hours ago, VistaGardens said:

The box isn't "hard" to make, but it does have a few steps.  The short version is that I took a cambro and cut a hole in it using a special saw like they use to cut casts off of arms and legs (Kerry would know...) and then inserted a thermostat for a reptile box into it.


A Herpstat and Flexwatt… do you work with reptiles? Herpstats are amazing controllers. Most of them are a bit pricey for a cocoa butter warmer but the Intro that you're using is pretty reasonable. I'm running a Herpstat 2 on each of my enclosures controlling a radiant heat panel up top and a UTH underneath and I've had zero issues with them. I have some less expensive controllers that I used to use for enclosures with less temp-reliant species that I'm going to play around with and see if they're precise enough for cocoa butter purposes.
 

1 hour ago, Jim D. said:

@VistaGardens, thanks for posting that. It is very impressive, but unfortunately well beyond my skills.


Not trying to convince you to do it but just for the record, I'm willing to say it isn't beyond your skills and I don't even know you outside of here. That stuff is marketed to the reptile hobbyist/enthusiast and is very user-friendly to work with.


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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On 8/13/2018 at 12:13 PM, Jim D. said:

@VistaGardens, thanks for posting that. It is very impressive, but unfortunately well beyond my skills.

Yes, herpstat and flexwatt tape.  Perhaps this would be a good workshop for the conference in St. Louis? Making colored CB and the box.  We could place a mass order ahead of time and perhaps get a discount.

 Kerry has to bring her saw...

 

 As for the cost, the herpstat was the most expensive part, but it works well with the granularity and control that is needed for chocolate.  I picked up the cambro from Craigslist.  living in los angeles, it seems that whatever I want finally comes around on CL!  So I'd guess all in all it was about $300 or less, not including the glass jars.  I keep it on all the time except during vacation, and it doesn't eat up much electric, and it doesn't heat the chocolate room up, because of the cambro.  throws off less heat than the Mol d'arts.

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I just thought I’d throw out there in case anyone was interested that Andrey will be teaching a spray boot camp with Melissa at Melissa Coppel’s studio in LV January 12-15 and then a second class called “Colorful Chocolates” January 17-18 of next year. Melissa just emailed me next year’s class schedule. 

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7 hours ago, Pastrypastmidnight said:

I just thought I’d throw out there in case anyone was interested that Andrey will be teaching a spray boot camp with Melissa at Melissa Coppel’s studio in LV January 12-15 and then a second class called “Colorful Chocolates” January 17-18 of next year. Melissa just emailed me next year’s class schedule. 

Get thee behind me Satan!

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What else is happening in 2019? I've never been to Vegas, only NYC. Maybe I should go for something. :) 

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Hi! I'm new to this forum and to the chocolate world!!
I'm trying to start my own home-business while working as a graphic designer full time...

I've made a personal 5 hours workshop with a chocolatier here in Argentina and started making my own pralines at home this month.

This is my work at the moment, I'm still having trouble unmolding some of the bonbons and I'm not an expert, is it worth it to take the next Andrei workshop starting February 11th or should I wait and practice longer??

IMG_1232.jpg.68471de3a036747c001da29bc225a977.jpgIMG_1194-2.jpg.0221c8129105ebcf6bb40facc4a4ec0f.jpgIMG_1189-2.jpg.1bbe9012b3fad47fc6cca301c05f822c.jpgIMG_1163.jpg.246ac91a5e7e856021baf7edb4d0eca9.jpgIMG_1062.jpg.5bf1c194fb74b877e0eefc481299b7c9.jpgIMG_1057.jpg.64961713d9d66f2f37910ce23e0e57b0.jpg

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Welcome @Barb19. Looking at your current work - while you admit to having some issues - I'd say you would probably get a fair amount out of the course. The only concern I might have would be the inability to get your hands on all the things he want you to have for the course before Feb 11 given your location in Argentina.

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12 minutes ago, Kerry Beal said:

Welcome @Barb19. Looking at your current work - while you admit to having some issues - I'd say you would probably get a fair amount out of the course. The only concern I might have would be the inability to get your hands on all the things he want you to have for the course before Feb 11 given your location in Argentina.

Hi Kerry! Thanks for your answer! I have everything but the compressor... I even bought the airbrush and have it shipped to Miami, my sister is bringing it to me on Thursday :) I´ll get the compressor next week!

I also bought fat soluble colorings but I find them very translucent if you don't´t paint them white on the back, and I can't find metallic colors (just dust to apply dry on the moulds) do you recommend any dry coloring brand I can buy in the US? I have friends and family traveling all the time so I can ship it to them... Cheers!

 

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16 minutes ago, Barb19 said:

Hi Kerry! Thanks for your answer! I have everything but the compressor... I even bought the airbrush and have it shipped to Miami, my sister is bringing it to me on Thursday :) I´ll get the compressor next week!

I also bought fat soluble colorings but I find them very translucent if you don't´t paint them white on the back, and I can't find metallic colors (just dust to apply dry on the moulds) do you recommend any dry coloring brand I can buy in the US? I have friends and family traveling all the time so I can ship it to them... Cheers!

 

Then I'd say you are good to go. I recall there were a few things not mentioned in the list of stuff you need that you don't find out until you are at that lesson - one that comes to mind is a stamp like the kind you use for sealing wax on envelopes. The other is the little punch for making the leaves for the end of the fruit. 

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11 minutes ago, Barb19 said:

Hi Kerry! Thanks for your answer! I have everything but the compressor... I even bought the airbrush and have it shipped to Miami, my sister is bringing it to me on Thursday :) I´ll get the compressor next week!

I also bought fat soluble colorings but I find them very translucent if you don't´t paint them white on the back, and I can't find metallic colors (just dust to apply dry on the moulds) do you recommend any dry coloring brand I can buy in the US? I have friends and family traveling all the time so I can ship it to them... Cheers!

 

Andrey deals a great deal with translucent colors, and he explains when white needs to be used to back a decoration. Some of your work looks like things he teaches. Kerry may be referring to the items that are not mentioned in the list of what is needed--some special sponges, for instance, as well as foam blocks, wooden sticks, etc. Many of them came as a surprise to me, but with Amazon only two days away, of course, I got most of them. He calls for some special molds, but you can get by without having all of them. The half-spheres you use are what he uses most of the time.

 

My overall reaction to the course has changed a bit after some months have passed. There are some lessons that I found useless (those dreadful matcha truffles being the most prominent example), and some that I did not find useful at the time but have used since with success. His real "showpieces" are wonderful (the "outer space" ones, for instance), and I use them, or variations of them, a lot. His most famous technique, the "eye" effect, has eluded me. I managed to get it right a few times, but not consistently enough to use it in actual production, but I intend to keep trying. One thing I must compliment you about: you have the shine on your bonbons that Andrey stresses all the time (he likes to show off by photographing them reflecting him waving his arms in the background).

 

So, all in all, I am very glad I took the course, though I wish I could have told him which of his designs I wanted to learn and so skipped a few of them (in contrast to a site like Savour, where one can pick and choose what to watch). I am getting responses to my decorations that I never got from customers "before Andrey."

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33 minutes ago, Jim D. said:

 

So, all in all, I am very glad I took the course, though I wish I could have told him which of his designs I wanted to learn and so skipped a few of them (in contrast to a site like Savour, where one can pick and choose what to watch). I am getting responses to my decorations that I never got from customers "before Andrey."

 

Hi Jim! thanks for the compliment!!! Do you think I should take the Savour classes first and the Andrei course further on to take more advantage of it?

As I'm starting I had to invest a lot in equipment and Savour cost much less than Andrei´s online classes... I'm not a pastry chef so all I'm interested right now are the pralines recipes, is the anual subscription worth it or one month would be enough for the amount of pralines classes? 

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3 minutes ago, Barb19 said:

 

Hi Jim! thanks for the compliment!!! Do you think I should take the Savour classes first and the Andrei course further on to take more advantage of it?

As I'm starting I had to invest a lot in equipment and Savour cost much less than Andrei´s online classes... I'm not a pastry chef so all I'm interested right now are the pralines recipes, is the anual subscription worth it or one month would be enough for the amount of pralines classes? 

All of the Savour materials are available all the time, so you could easily view the videos at once and print out all the recipes (it isn't a "course" in the sense of Andrey). In my opinion, however, I think it is primarily in the decoration of bonbons that Kirsten Tibballs (of Savour) has the most to offer. I enjoy her videos a lot and she is a wonderful teacher (her recent video on the "feathering" technique, which is referred to on this forum as "dendrites," is presented in such a clear way that I was able to follow it the first time I tried).

 

But if it is chiefly recipes that you need at this point (as opposed to decoration of bonbons), then I would go an entirely different direction and purchase some books from Peter Greweling, Ewald Notter, and Jean-Pierre Wybauw. You don't really need videos to make a ganache. Once you see what the authors I listed have to say and develop your own offerings, then you could take a more advanced look at decorating techniques with Andrey Dubovik (I didn't find most of his recipes for fillings useful).

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Looking at your work I don't think Andrey's class is where I would focus my time and money. I'm seeing so many online courses pop-up, and ultimately they're all trying to capitalize on the Instagram era of chocolate making where the newest design is what everyone wants to emulate. But, as Jim said, you already have emulated some of his designs which suggests that you have a good artistic eye for figuring out how techniques are performed. Find a workshop that solidifies your fundamentals and skills...not a design.

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