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Melanger experimentation

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I love nuts, so I've made lots of nut pastes and pralinés with mine. Walnut praliné is amazing with a touch of salt.

 

I also made a pecan praliné, but that felt like a bit of waste of good nuts, doesn't really do it. Can't remember if I did it 50/50 or 60/40, but would mos def go with 60/40 if I tried again. 


Edited by Rajala (log)

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So this is where I'm at right now. Toasted 300 grams of almonds, toasted (via the Serious Eats post) 300 grams of sugar and have it churning in the machine along with 200 grams of cocoa butter and 25 grams of freshly roasted coffee beans. No idea how high I need to go on the coffee beans so I'll taste it in a bit and decide if I need more. Eventually, it will be combined in some still to be determined ratio with 50% milk chocolate.

almocof12.jpg

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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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20 minutes ago, Tri2Cook said:

So this is where I'm at right now. Toasted 300 grams of almonds, toasted (via the Serious Eats post) 300 grams of sugar and have it churning in the machine along with 200 grams of cocoa butter and 25 grams of freshly roasted coffee beans. No idea how high I need to go on the coffee beans so I'll taste it in a bit and decide if I need more. Eventually, it will be combined in some still to be determined ratio with 50% milk chocolate.
 

 

I've tried grinding coffee beans in with chocolate a couple of times and it's still on my to-do list because I haven't gotten it right yet.  I drink coffee every day but my attempts have come out too intense.  I think your 25/800 sounds like a good starting point, I'm eager to see how this turns out.

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2 hours ago, pastrygirl said:

 

I've tried grinding coffee beans in with chocolate a couple of times and it's still on my to-do list because I haven't gotten it right yet.  I drink coffee every day but my attempts have come out too intense.  I think your 25/800 sounds like a good starting point, I'm eager to see how this turns out.


Right now, it doesn't need more. The coffee is slightly more assertive than I'd want it if I was just making a coffee almond paste but I think it should settle in nice once I add the chocolate. If it ends up fading too much, I'll adjust it to taste with espresso powder but I'm hoping to not have to.

Edit: still not thinking it needs more coffee... though I keep having the nagging thought that it just might once the chocolate is in. I did add 3 grams of salt that I meant to add at the start and forgot.


Edited by Tri2Cook (log)
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I made a last minute call before going to bed that it did need more coffee. The coffee flavor smoothed out and became really nice after a few hours of refining, I assume the loss of some of the volatiles would account for that, but I wasn't convinced it was forward enough for when the chocolate is added so I dumped in another 10 grams. Hopefully that wasn't a mistake. After work tonight, I guess I'll throw some numbers in a hat and pick one at random to decide how much chocolate to add. I have a lump of the 50% I made that weighs exactly 500 grams and doesn't look like it would be too much to me for the volume of almond/coffee paste in the machine but I may start at 300 grams (the basic 1:1:1 for nuts, sugar and chocolate) and add more in stages until I'm worried about watering down the flavor too much. The goal is to get as much chocolate in as I can and it still taste like I want it to.

Edit: I think the additional coffee is going to prove to be the wrong call. It's not overpowering in the context of a coffee/chocolate combo but it's somewhat overwhelmed the almond and adding more almonds will just mean skewing the balance back towards a softer result. I added 500 grams of 50% milk chocolate and that didn't overwhelm the coffee or the almond, the almond has just taken more of a backseat to the coffee than I wanted.


Edited by Tri2Cook (log)

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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For better or worse, it's out of the machine. 1300 grams of almond coffee chocolate. The texture and smell are nice, the taste is a little tough to judge right out of the machine, it's still pretty warm at that point, so we'll see in a few days but, as I mentioned above, my initial assessment is that the additional coffee may not have been the best idea. 

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1 hour ago, Tri2Cook said:

For better or worse, it's out of the machine. 1300 grams of almond coffee chocolate. The texture and smell are nice, the taste is a little tough to judge right out of the machine, it's still pretty warm at that point, so we'll see in a few days but, as I mentioned above, my initial assessment is that the additional coffee may not have been the best idea. 

almocof23.jpg

Never had any luck tasting warm chocolate and determining what it is going to taste like as a bar.

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8 hours ago, Kerry Beal said:

Never had any luck tasting warm chocolate and determining what it is going to taste like as a bar.


That's encouraging. Especially when combined with taking a taste this morning and finding that the coffee has settled down a bit now that it's cooled and the almond has come forward more, especially in the nose.

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I see the small drum is now available on the Premier site. I think I'm going to end up grabbing it sooner rather than later. Information on formulations is hard to find and I haven't yet developed a knack for tasting a nib and knowing where I want to go with it. Large batches of experimenting with percentages is a bit costly so I'm starting to think a way to make really small amounts is more mandatory than optional. 

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12 minutes ago, Tri2Cook said:

I see the small drum is now available on the Premier site. I think I'm going to end up grabbing it sooner rather than later. Information on formulations is hard to find and I haven't yet developed a knack for tasting a nib and knowing where I want to go with it. Large batches of experimenting with percentages is a bit costly so I'm starting to think a way to make really small amounts is more mandatory than optional. 

 

I just wrote to ask how long they will be on sale!  I'd order right this moment but I'm broke.

 

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1 hour ago, Tri2Cook said:

I see the small drum is now available on the Premier site.

 

I looked but didn't see it.  Can you please link to it?

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Thanks!  I was looking at Premier's own site. 


Edited by pastrygirl (log)

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47 minutes ago, pastrygirl said:

Thanks!  I was looking at Premier's own site. 

 


Probably my fault for that confusion... I thought that was the Premier site.

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And this time I received a reply:  it is an introductory offer and there were about ten Micro Batch units left.  I placed my order.

 

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39 minutes ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

I placed my order.

Whew!

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

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"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

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This is a new one. I made a praliné, it was close to being perfectly smooth and in great consistency.

 

I thought; "let's run this for a few more hours, I want it to be smoooooth."

 

I go back to the kitchen, only to be greeted by a thick paste. I guess it somehow got separated? My two guesses are 1) it got too warm or 2) humidity got the best out of it. I'm thinking too warm since the melanger seems to run a little bit hotter than regular with this crazy weather.

 

Do you guys think I'm right?

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6 minutes ago, Rajala said:

This is a new one. I made a praliné, it was close to being perfectly smooth and in great consistency.

 

I thought; "let's run this for a few more hours, I want it to be smoooooth."

 

I go back to the kitchen, only to be greeted by a thick paste. I guess it somehow got separated? My two guesses are 1) it got too warm or 2) humidity got the best out of it. I'm thinking too warm since the melanger seems to run a little bit hotter than regular with this crazy weather.

 

Do you guys think I'm right?

I would have thought that too warm would give you more liquid rather than thick paste though. Had it separated into oil and solids? If the whole mass was a thick paste then I'd be thinking water (via humidity).

 

Another thing though - by praline you mean caramelized sugar with nuts?


Edited by Kerry Beal (log)
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There were some "residue" at the sides of the melanger that looked like pure fat. But I think you're right. It's more just thick and weird in texture rather than separated, so it probably is the humidity. Seriously, for the first time in my life I'm starting to hate the summer, can't do chocolate work, can't make a praliné? Can't wait for normal weather.

 

Yes. Hazelnuts and caramelised sugar. :) 

 

Edit: I guess I can use this though, it's supposed to go in a mousse. No need to throw it away.


Edited by Rajala (log)
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My micro batch arrived this afternoon!  It's cute.  Came with no instructions -- though I recall the original grinder instructions said to grind a sacrificial batch of stuff to remove any bits of granite?

 

What would folks suggest I process as the sacrifice?  For economy's sake last time I used peanuts, but I'd like to be able to say any food I create was not processed with peanuts.

 

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5 hours ago, Kerry Beal said:

Sugar for the sacrificial grind

Or kosher salt?

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