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Cleaning chocolate moulds after airbrushing

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On 3/25/2019 at 6:59 PM, Kerry Beal said:

Toastess TWT-20

What a terrific idea this cleaning technique is (coming from someone with sore hands from rubbing cocoa butter from the tops of molds for hours on end last night). The TWT-20 seems to have been replaced by larger models, though there are still some older ones on eBay. Of course Amazon saw me looking and came up with several other suggestions (a little creepy but sometimes helpful). One I saw has a temperature control. You have mentioned those shop cloths before. No doubt I can find them, but I think you said previously you just toss them in the washer. How in the world do you get the colors out? I would also be a bit concerned about cocoa butter going down the drain (I am fanatical about the kitchen sink when I wash molds, having required one plumber visit in the time I have been working with chocolate). I suppose the shop cloths are not cheap enough to throw them away? (I can hear the gasps now, but at least I'll stop wasting paper towels. 😄)

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21 minutes ago, Jim D. said:

What a terrific idea this cleaning technique is (coming from someone with sore hands from rubbing cocoa butter from the tops of molds for hours on end last night). The TWT-20 seems to have been replaced by larger models, though there are still some older ones on eBay. Of course Amazon saw me looking and came up with several other suggestions (a little creepy but sometimes helpful). One I saw has a temperature control. You have mentioned those shop cloths before. No doubt I can find them, but I think you said previously you just toss them in the washer. How in the world do you get the colors out? I would also be a bit concerned about cocoa butter going down the drain (I am fanatical about the kitchen sink when I wash molds, having required one plumber visit in the time I have been working with chocolate). I suppose the shop cloths are not cheap enough to throw them away? (I can hear the gasps now, but at least I'll stop wasting paper towels. 😄)

Temperature control would be helpful - that sucker gets hot!

 

The blue towels you see in that picture are Scott Shop Towels. I don't wash them, I use them like hefty paper towels and pitch them when I'm done. I also have the reusable cloth towels that I bring home (unused) from the disposable obstetrical packs - I don't let them get that dirty so those I do wash and reuse.

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21 minutes ago, Kerry Beal said:

Temperature control would be helpful - that sucker gets hot!

 

The blue towels you see in that picture are Scott Shop Towels. I don't wash them, I use them like hefty paper towels and pitch them when I'm done. I also have the reusable cloth towels that I bring home (unused) from the disposable obstetrical packs - I don't let them get that dirty so those I do wash and reuse.

Exactly what I needed to know and wanted to hear. Thanks.

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1 hour ago, Jim D. said:

Of course Amazon saw me looking and came up with several other suggestions (a little creepy but sometimes helpful). One I saw has a temperature control.

Do you have a brand and/or model number?

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1 hour ago, jbates said:

Do you have a brand and/or model number?

Here is the one I was checking out. I didn't post the link before because I haven't decided definitely. It's a little larger than I wanted, and space is at a premium in my setup. But I like that the heat is (somewhat) adjustable since I don't want to melt the chocolate shells. There are a lot of warming trays out there, it turns out.

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Here is a cheaper one that is adjustable - not crazy about the raised plastic ends - but still - price is right. 

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I have a Salton glass top warming tray I have had forever.  It lives on my dining room table.  I no longer use it for heating because at some point the plug standards changed and it no longer plugs in correctly anymore.

 

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This warming tray is 15 1/2" x 12" (large enough for my largest molds, plus some extra room for moving the mold back and forth), is completely flat, has temperature control, and is priced around $35.

 

@Kerry Beal, is it possible, using this method of removing excess cocoa butter, to put off cleaning the molds until I have finished spraying, or do I still need to stop and do it after each is sprayed? The former would be so much more efficient (the gun wouldn't cool off as fast, for one thing), but I realize there are limits to how much a heated surface can accomplish.

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35 minutes ago, Jim D. said:

This warming tray is 15 1/2" x 12" (large enough for my largest molds, plus some extra room for moving the mold back and forth), is completely flat, has temperature control, and is priced around $35.

 

@Kerry Beal, is it possible, using this method of removing excess cocoa butter, to put off cleaning the molds until I have finished spraying, or do I still need to stop and do it after each is sprayed? The former would be so much more efficient (the gun wouldn't cool off as fast, for one thing), but I realize there are limits to how much a heated surface can accomplish.

 

35 minutes ago, Jim D. said:

This warming tray is 15 1/2" x 12" (large enough for my largest molds, plus some extra room for moving the mold back and forth), is completely flat, has temperature control, and is priced around $35.

 

@Kerry Beal, is it possible, using this method of removing excess cocoa butter, to put off cleaning the molds until I have finished spraying, or do I still need to stop and do it after each is sprayed? The former would be so much more efficient (the gun wouldn't cool off as fast, for one thing), but I realize there are limits to how much a heated surface can accomplish.

I give everything a quick 'cold' wipe as I go along to remove the excess - the hot plate doesn't get brought out until the end. 

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On ‎3‎/‎31‎/‎2019 at 6:41 AM, Kerry Beal said:

 

I give everything a quick 'cold' wipe as I go along to remove the excess - the hot plate doesn't get brought out until the end. 

How does this the warming tray differ from an electric skillet which has a warm setting?? Do you have a temp read for your minimal setting? Wondering if I am missing something by not having this appliance?

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1 hour ago, A Polderman said:

How does this the warming tray differ from an electric skillet which has a warm setting?? Do you have a temp read for your minimal setting? Wondering if I am missing something by not having this appliance?


I would assume, not having actually tried this technique myself, that any heated flat surface large enough for the mold to slide across to wipe the surface would work. But it might be tricky in anything with high sides unless it has a large enough interior surface to take the sides getting in the way out of play.

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2 hours ago, A Polderman said:

How does this the warming tray differ from an electric skillet which has a warm setting?? Do you have a temp read for your minimal setting? Wondering if I am missing something by not having this appliance?

No minimal - one temp and it’s warm enough to burn me if I leave it on.

 

40 minutes ago, Tri2Cook said:


I would assume, not having actually tried this technique myself, that any heated flat surface large enough for the mold to slide across to wipe the surface would work. But it might be tricky in anything with high sides unless it has a large enough interior surface to take the sides getting in the way out of play.

Exactly - there are no sides in mine so molds can slide freely.

 

 

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I have previously exclaimed over @Kerry Beal's idea of using a warming tray and shop towels to clean colored cocoa butter from molds, but that was in the abstract. I have just finished trying it. I bought the shop towels, and my sister happened to have a warming tray she wasn't using. It has temp control, but the lowest setting is still fairly warm. I placed a Silpat on the tray (it tempered the heat somewhat), then the towels on top of that. I must say I am impressed. Instead of spending (literally) hours using an offset spatula and countless paper towels cleaning molds after the cocoa butter crystallized, today I sprayed each mold, then turned it upside down on the shop towels, rubbed it back and forth, and in 5 seconds the top was free of cocoa butter.  Yes, if I used paper towels immediately after splattering or spraying a mold, the cocoa butter would come off, but it takes me far more than 5 seconds. And the brief time needed with a warming tray allows me to put the sprayer down, rub the mold, and get back to the sprayer, allowing less time for the cocoa butter to cool down. Someone who posted in another thread was seeking a way to hold on to the sprayer and wipe the mold at the same time; it's theoretically possible with this method as the Silpat keeps the towels from sliding around. After I finished spraying and all cocoa butter had crystallized, I saw a few places I missed, so I heated up the tray and ran each mold over a shop towel briefly. Every bit of cocoa butter came off, even with being quite firm at that point.

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