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GRiker

Greetings from the San Francisco Bay Area

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I've been lurking for a couple years on the website and decided to join to learn and share.

 

I'm a chocolate fan.  For most of my life this just meant chocolate chip cookies and cakes.  Several years ago a friend invited me to her house to dip chocolates.  It was my first exposure to a chocolate tempering machine and even knowing about tempered chocolate.  

 

For the past couple years I've been learning more and more about making candies and tempering chocolate.  One big hurdle to overcome in making significant quantities of chocolates was how to temper enough chocolate so that I could dip more than 40 - 50 candies at a time and how to hold it the temperature consistent for a long enough time to dip them all.

 

In early 2018, my husband helped me create a temperature stable bath using a sous vide cooker.  This enabled me to dip for hours with beautiful results.  That year we made about 500 chocolate dipped caramels and toffees around Mother's Day and another 500 pieces during the holidays. 

 

On these forums I learned about the Greweling books, Chocolates and Confections.  I first purchased the book designed for the Artisan Confectioner, then found the book for the home chocolatier.  Both books have been helpful in understanding the different aspects of chocolate making and given me some ideas.

 

After Christmas 2018, I was eager to try some of the recipes - soft caramels, marshamels, Nougat Torrone, Chocolate Nougat.  Some worked great, others need more tweaking but it was fun.  It was when I was dipping all these that I learned I could replenish my chocolate with 95 oF chocolate and I was able to dip for hours.  That has been a game changer for me.  Instead of tempering more chocolate when I ran out, I could replenish when it got thick or low and keep going!

 

This Mother's Day, we made 750 pieces and just finished making and dipping 1400 pieces.  I was able to dip them all with just a batch each of milk and white chocolate but needed to use two batches of dark as I had to stop and eat!

 

I've been interested in tempering machines, but hesitant because of their limited capacity.  Yesterday, I read all about the EZTemper machine and woke up early this morning thinking about cocoa butter silk and how to use it to shorten my tempering time!  

 

I again used my sous vide to make some cocoa butter silk, tempered some chocolate with it and then a few days later used microplaned cooled silk to make some more.  It worked and I'm curious about exploring more on that topic.  

 

I'm also thinking about learning to do some simple molded bon bons.  Lots to learn still.

 

I use Guittard chocolate almost exclusively.  I live local to the chocolate factory and have buying their chips and now melting chocolate direct from the manufacturer for over ten years.  Their sales rep has been super helpful answering questions about their different chocolates and how to use them.  

 

In addition to chocolate, I enjoy making cheesecakes and if we are lucky, even making dinner for my family!  

 

I'm excited to learn from the members of the forum and contribute as well.  

 

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Thanks for the welcome weinoo. I’m in the South Bay too, Milpitas. Native to Livermore.  Are you still in the Bay Area? 

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Welcome, GRiker!  It looks like you'll fit right in here, and we're glad you've decided to de-lurk. The chocolate and confectionary topics have really been taking off, and there's a lot of community support for folks learning the ropes. I've never done anything more elaborate with chocolate than fudge or fondue, but I enjoy watching people's progress. :) 


Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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17 hours ago, GRiker said:

Thanks for the welcome weinoo. I’m in the South Bay too, Milpitas. Native to Livermore.  Are you still in the Bay Area? 

Not for a long time, though we try to visit annually.


Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

mweinstein@eGstaff.org

Tasty Travails - My Blog

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Smithy- thanks for the welcome. I’ve learned a lot just reading but decided I want to speak up sometimes! It is fun to see what others are doing. 

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