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pastrygirl

hand dipping & fork dipping chocolates

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Who here hand dips chocolates, either with their actual hand, or with a fork?

 

I have a side job working with a woman who hand dips everything with her fingers in a puddle of chocolate on a sheet of parchment.  She's super fast at it, I tried it but it felt so messy and awkward.  I have done a little fork-dipping, so today dipped 300+ cookies with a fork and remembered why I hate fork dipping. 

 

So, anyone have any pointers, tricks,  or favorite dipping forks that don't make your hand go numb?  Today I used a dinner fork, I didn't have my actual chocolate dipping forks, but they have really thin metal handles that are hard to hold onto and horrible.  I need like the Good Grips version for people with arthritis and pastry chefs who have done too much piping ...

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4 minutes ago, pastrygirl said:

Who here hand dips chocolates, either with their actual hand, or with a fork?

 

I have a side job working with a woman who hand dips everything with her fingers in a puddle of chocolate on a sheet of parchment.  She's super fast at it, I tried it but it felt so messy and awkward.  I have done a little fork-dipping, so today dipped 300+ cookies with a fork and remembered why I hate fork dipping. 

 

So, anyone have any pointers, tricks,  or favorite dipping forks that don't make your hand go numb?  Today I used a dinner fork, I didn't have my actual chocolate dipping forks, but they have really thin metal handles that are hard to hold onto and horrible.  I need like the Good Grips version for people with arthritis and pastry chefs who have done too much piping ...

I had forks made up that I find much more comfortable - remind me to bring some along to the NW and you can try one on for size. 

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I hand-dipped for years. I was a palm dipper rather than a finger dipper. Yes, there is a difference:). I put tempered chocolate in the palm of my hand, then pick up the center to be dipped, and placed on finger tips. Close hand and open hand. Piece should now be on your finger tips and ready to deposit on piece of parchment. You can dip off marble, or out of a machine. I was very fast, but I prefer an enrober:). You have to use a thicker chocolate to retain the mark you place on top. Pretty hard to mark with a fork. Fork makes a much cleaner looking piece.

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My Matfer dipping forks are my favorites. Tapered plastic handles that are narrower where your fingers grip and a little wider at the end. I think the newer ones have a slightly different shaped handle now though. The ones I have look more like the Martellato forks I've seen online (Ateco has a set that looks similar too). Padernos have a chunkier handle, but I don't care for the shape - seems like it might be a little more awkward to hold. Still, the second I can afford a Selmi Plus with the enrobing attachment, I'll be ecstatic to never have to dip by hand again. 

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@Chocolot is the tempered chocolate in your dominant hand? I’m right handed. 

 

We’re using Guittard and it is thicker than the Felchlin I use in my own business, so I also have to get used to the consistency of different chocolate.  The milk chocolate is particularly thick, i thinned it with some cocoa butter and that helped when using the fork. 

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7 hours ago, pastrygirl said:

@Chocolot is the tempered chocolate in your dominant hand? I’m right handed. 

 

We’re using Guittard and it is thicker than the Felchlin I use in my own business, so I also have to get used to the consistency of different chocolate.  The milk chocolate is particularly thick, i thinned it with some cocoa butter and that helped when using the fork. 

 

Yes on the hand. I tend to pick up chocolate with my fingers, and "wipe" it into my palm. Place center on finger tips, close, and open leaving center on finger tips. Then, deposit on the parchment. You can keep this up all day. You only have to temper the small amount you are working with. Have chocolate cooling on the marble, and add it to the working chocolate as needed. Then, take warmer, untempered chocolate from the melter, and allow it to cool. It is really hard to explain!! You basically have three temperatures of chocolate you are working: warm, cooling, and cool and tempered. You just keep feeding the slightly warmer chocolate to the tempered choc. You will be putting on a much thicker layer of chocolate than when you fork dip. If you are trying to mark with a design, remember to "lay" the string, don't dig a trench with it. Keep your left hand as clean as possible. Good luck!

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12 hours ago, pastrygirl said:

So, anyone have any pointers, tricks,  or favorite dipping forks that don't make your hand go numb?  Today I used a dinner fork, I didn't have my actual chocolate dipping forks, but they have really thin metal handles that are hard to hold onto and horrible.  I need like the Good Grips version for people with arthritis and pastry chefs who have done too much piping ...

 

I hesitate to jump in because I've not done chocolate work professionally (ie, never more than a couple of hundred pieces at a time for friends and family) but I can suggest a half-measure that worked very well for me.

 

There are a few brands of disposable plastic forks with wider than usual handles, which I find convenient to wield with my arthritic fingers. When I find them anywhere I grab a pocketful, and set them aside for chocolate-making (almost always at the holidays). When the time comes, I snip out the center tine(s) with a pair of shears, and voila! I have a lightweight dipping fork that's wide enough to hold onto properly. On one occasion, when my hands were feeling especially rough (ie, getting into the 20th dozen) I doubled down by wrapping my fork in tape so it'd be thicker and easier to hold.

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