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How do I heat chocolate molds?


akonsu
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Hello, would some one please explain how to heat polycarbonate moulds before pouring chocolate? What is acceptable heat gun temperature for this so that the mold does not bend, etc? How close should I hold my heat gun/hair dryer to the mould? Is heat gun the only practical way to do it? Or are there better ways? Anything else to pay attention to while doing this? Thanks a lot!

Konstantin

 

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I used to put my heat gun on medium and give a couple quick passes a few inches above the mold just to knock the chill off, not actually warm it. That is, until I started seeing all of the posts from people taking professional classes where they were instructed that the room temp for chocolate work should be much cooler than I would have expected. After that, I thought it seemed kinda silly to chill the room way down and then heat the molds up so I quit bothering. To be honest, I have no idea if the people who took the classes and are using those cooler room temps heat their molds or not, so maybe I'm flirting with disaster. I don't think I was ever actually heating them all that much anyway, I haven't seen any negative effects since I quit doing it. But don't take anything I say about how I do any chocolate and confectionery work as advice... there seems to be quite a bit of "you can't do this" or "must do that" things attached to the craft that I sometimes completely ignore without, so far, any consequences. :D

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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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1 hour ago, Pastrypastmidnight said:

I don’t hear my molds at all if I’m painting them. I’ve messed around with heating them for molding bars. When I worked at a shop nearby they kept the mold in heat cabinets for molding bars. 

 

Do you recall what temp that cabinet was at?

 

On the rare occasions that it’s so cold in the kitchen that I want to warm my molds, I just wave a hair dryer over them for a few seconds. 

 

Edited by pastrygirl (log)
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1 hour ago, pastrygirl said:

 

Do you recall what temp that cabinet was at?

 

On the rare occasions that it’s so cold in the kitchen that I want to warm my molds, I just wave a hair dryer over them for a few seconds. 

 

 

I wish—it didn’t have a temperature. Just low, medium, high kind of thing. The other warmer in the other room was set to 117F but that was for holding equipment used to measure chocolate so the chocolate wouldn’t crystallize before using again—like moving melted chocolate from the holding tank to the tempering machines or from the tempering machines to the 1-shot, etc. 

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On the subject of keeping things warm, the oven on my commercial gas range maintains about 93F with just the pilot light on.  I find it useful for keeping tempered chocolate warm between batches, or keeping things warm that I'm about to mix into tempered chocolate. Not just for proofing bread dough!

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53 minutes ago, pastrygirl said:

On the subject of keeping things warm, the oven on my commercial gas range maintains about 93F with just the pilot light on.  I find it useful for keeping tempered chocolate warm between batches, or keeping things warm that I'm about to mix into tempered chocolate. Not just for proofing bread dough!

Thanks! This is a great idea, I did not think of that. My oven heats to about the same temperature with the light on. I think it can just put the moulds there before using them. Also, this is perhaps a stupid question, but why do we need to heat the moulds? I mean we are not talking about moulds just taken from a fridge, they are usually kept at room temperatures, so why is this needed?

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1 hour ago, akonsu said:

Thanks! This is a great idea, I did not think of that. My oven heats to about the same temperature with the light on. I think it can just put the moulds there before using them. Also, this is perhaps a stupid question, but why do we need to heat the moulds? I mean we are not talking about moulds just taken from a fridge, they are usually kept at room temperatures, so why is this needed?

I believe that the closer your molds are to the temperature of the chocolate when you fill them, the better result you'll get e.g. a reduction in release marks.  And also, you get a little more working time to shake out bubbles if your chocolate doesn't begin immediately solidifying when you add it to the mold.
I also used my oven to "proof" the chocolate molds.  I didn't like using a heat gun because it would not heat the mold evenly.

Edited by John DePaula (log)
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John DePaula
formerly of DePaula Confections
Hand-crafted artisanal chocolates & gourmet confections - …Because Pleasure Matters…
--------------------
When asked “What are the secrets of good cooking? Escoffier replied, “There are three: butter, butter and butter.”

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I feel that unless you have active cooling for your moulds (cooling tunnel, refrigerator), you probably don't want to add heat to the system, as the more heat you have there even at the same temperature as the chocolate is more heat you have to remove for the chocolate to set, and you'll be more likely to get bloom due to heat from crystallization pushing it out of temper.

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9 minutes ago, keychris said:

you probably don't want to add heat to the system,

Thank you. The reason why I asked is because in this video (below) they suggest doing that, so I did not question whether this is a good idea or not. Now I am totally confused, as I do not know much about chocolate yet and I am trying to learn, and I am getting contradictory advices : )

 

 

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1 hour ago, akonsu said:

Thank you. The reason why I asked is because in this video (below) they suggest doing that, so I did not question whether this is a good idea or not. Now I am totally confused, as I do not know much about chocolate yet and I am trying to learn, and I am getting contradictory advices : )


Try both and see which result you like better. And get really comfy with contradictory advice because everybody does what works best for them and sometimes that ends up being the complete opposite of what works best for someone else. I've found chocolate work to be far more forgiving than I expected it to be... within certain parameters... if the chocolate gods are in a good mood that day... until you get too cocky about it being forgiving... and then it reminds you who's boss and doesn't do what it did every time the last 200 times you did it that exact same way. Keeps it from getting boring. :D

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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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