Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Something lighter for the chocolatiers (and anyone really): an unrequested volunteer guard


Recommended Posts

I am new to chocolate, but have been a home cook all my life. I have been reading here for awhile as I go on my chocolate journey. I learn a lot from the things I read here, but I really don’t have a lot to contribute since I am such a novice, especially with chocolate, so I thought I’d share something light with the community to hopefully give you something fun to take your mind off of some of our intensity these days. Sunday I made my second batch ever of bonbons, and they’re made with my own chocolate, a lavender ganache filling with a little taste of salted caramel. I saw this little guy on top of one of my leaf bonbons offering to protect it from any renegade bugs as they sat on the counter. I love these little jumping spiders, and they’re welcome in my house any time. Cute little sucker who hung out for quite awhile. Anyhow, something lighter for your day.

0831BC7D-9D70-410E-817C-412526AC2913.jpeg

  • Like 4
  • Haha 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Kerry Beal said:

@Douglas K - welcome to eG.

 

He is a cutie - much cuter than the fruit flies that seem to have taken over my chocolate room. 

 

 

Thank you Kerry, you’re one of my heroes here so much appreciated. 

 

I think he’s there to take care of our fruit flies as well. We’re having our first snow as I type this (101 F in Denver on Saturday and today is Tuesday) so much less to worry about them now. They never seem to hang out in the winter, the fruit flies that is, not sure where spiders go.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

@Kerry Beal It was polycarbonate. I did not have a good scraper yet then, but I do now! Amazing how much easier it is with a proper tool. This was only my second batch, so I’m learning as I go along. There’s so many things to keep track of, and I tend to rush things when I haven’t done them before. Plus figuring out how to hold things etc. while trying to get the chocolate mostly back in the bowl... it’s quite a choreography. The last batch was much better.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Douglas K said:

@Kerry Beal It was polycarbonate. I did not have a good scraper yet then, but I do now! Amazing how much easier it is with a proper tool. This was only my second batch, so I’m learning as I go along. There’s so many things to keep track of, and I tend to rush things when I haven’t done them before. Plus figuring out how to hold things etc. while trying to get the chocolate mostly back in the bowl... it’s quite a choreography. The last batch was much better.

Excellent- scraping molds is definitely a ballet! Looking forward to watching you progress through the process.

Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, Douglas K said:

@Kerry Beal It was polycarbonate. I did not have a good scraper yet then, but I do now! Amazing how much easier it is with a proper tool. This was only my second batch, so I’m learning as I go along. There’s so many things to keep track of, and I tend to rush things when I haven’t done them before. Plus figuring out how to hold things etc. while trying to get the chocolate mostly back in the bowl... it’s quite a choreography. The last batch was much better.

 

You must give into the messiness for now, and as you get the techniques, process, and habits down, it'll clean up.  The folks here suggested pouring and scraping over parchment/wax paper, rather than directly into the bowl.  This helps catch the chocolate and makes it easier to re-use; you'll just have to heat it up and/or retemper, which is not too much a big deal if you are doing small quantities.  That, or get a bigger bowl.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, jedovaty said:

 

You must give into the messiness for now, and as you get the techniques, process, and habits down, it'll clean up.  The folks here suggested pouring and scraping over parchment/wax paper, rather than directly into the bowl.  This helps catch the chocolate and makes it easier to re-use; you'll just have to heat it up and/or retemper, which is not too much a big deal if you are doing small quantities.  That, or get a bigger bowl.

 

Yes, for small quantities dumping the chocolate over parchment is definitely preferable--unless you have a bowl at least the diameter of the mold.  I use a tempering machine. It has a large bowl, but it's still not large enough to dump molds.  I have learned over the years to tilt the mold (not 180 degrees, closer to 90) so that the excess chocolate runs into the bowl without mess. With that method I don't have to temper so much chocolate since I am collecting some of it each time. Then I quickly move the mold over parchment to finish tapping out the excess. This method does require some "adjusting" because the chocolate in the top cavities runs down into the lower ones, making the top ones have shells that are too thin.  I have developed a technique for counteracting that issue but won't go into it here as it is probably of little interest to others.  What many chocolatiers prefer is a rectangular melting tank (such as in some Mol d'Art models), which is large enough to dump the mold with no mess, but that involves larger quantities than @Douglas K is using at present.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Jim D. said:

 

Yes, for small quantities dumping the chocolate over parchment is definitely preferable--unless you have a bowl at least the diameter of the mold.  I use a tempering machine. It has a large bowl, but it's still not large enough to dump molds.  I have learned over the years to tilt the mold (not 180 degrees, closer to 90) so that the excess chocolate runs into the bowl without mess. With that method I don't have to temper so much chocolate since I am collecting some of it each time. Then I quickly move the mold over parchment to finish tapping out the excess. This method does require some "adjusting" because the chocolate in the top cavities runs down into the lower ones, making the top ones have shells that are too thin.  I have developed a technique for counteracting that issue but won't go into it here as it is probably of little interest to others.  What many chocolatiers prefer is a rectangular melting tank (such as in some Mol d'Art models), which is large enough to dump the mold with no mess, but that involves larger quantities than @Douglas K is using at present.

I often melt in bowls like these. I have a few sizes - even the largest I tend to tilt the mold over the bowl while tapping and scraping. Early in my learning I found dumping out onto parchment was the most efficient way to go until I got a lot faster. I could reheat that chocolate and add it back into the bowl to keep my temper going for a much longer time. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, Kerry Beal said:

I often melt in bowls like these. I have a few sizes - even the largest I tend to tilt the mold over the bowl while tapping and scraping. Early in my learning I found dumping out onto parchment was the most efficient way to go until I got a lot faster. I could reheat that chocolate and add it back into the bowl to keep my temper going for a much longer time. 

Those are exactly the same bowls I use for small quantities.  I love those Nordicware bowls.  I too sometimes reheat the chocolate emptied out on parchment. Sometimes in a big batch, when the chocolate in the Delta machine is clearly becoming over-crystallized, I scoop up that dumped chocolate, heat it enough to get it definitely out of temper, then add it to the chocolate in the machine.  This works very well to deal with that over-crystallized state (which creeps up on one because its signs are not so clear-cut as might be wished).

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

@jedovaty I’ve definitely given in to the mess. It’s funny where I will find a smear of chocolate, but as you say it cleans up easily with water.

 

@Jim D. and @Kerry Beal I appreciate the tips. I have used parchment paper for catching drips when resting the molds, but never thought of just dumping the chocolate onto it. I never saw myself really getting into making confections a lot, but rather found it a good way to use chocolate as I learn to make it. I like to cook so it combines my interests, and I’m really finding it a lot of fun, and so I see myself doing it a lot more.

 

As for bowls, I have a large 2 liter measuring cup from Pyrex Like this. I used to use it a lot for brewing when I did that more, and I find it handy for when I’m making chocolate. I like the mass of it for temperature inertia when tempering much more than my stainless steel bowls, and the handle is handy. I am getting ideas for how to do things, and I work in process control, so I’m fairly handy with those kinds of things. I see some fun challenges ahead before I invest in equipment.

 

I am definitely learning from the folks here, and I definitely appreciate how helpful everyone is here, so thank you!

Link to post
Share on other sites
41 minutes ago, Douglas K said:

@jedovaty I’ve definitely given in to the mess. It’s funny where I will find a smear of chocolate, but as you say it cleans up easily with water.

 

@Jim D. and @Kerry Beal I appreciate the tips. I have used parchment paper for catching drips when resting the molds, but never thought of just dumping the chocolate onto it. I never saw myself really getting into making confections a lot, but rather found it a good way to use chocolate as I learn to make it. I like to cook so it combines my interests, and I’m really finding it a lot of fun, and so I see myself doing it a lot more.

 

As for bowls, I have a large 2 liter measuring cup from Pyrex Like this. I used to use it a lot for brewing when I did that more, and I find it handy for when I’m making chocolate. I like the mass of it for temperature inertia when tempering much more than my stainless steel bowls, and the handle is handy. I am getting ideas for how to do things, and I work in process control, so I’m fairly handy with those kinds of things. I see some fun challenges ahead before I invest in equipment.

 

I am definitely learning from the folks here, and I definitely appreciate how helpful everyone is here, so thank you!

A 4 litre pyrex measuring cup was my first tempering bowl. 

 

I suspect if you look hard enough in old eG posts you'll see a demo I did on tempering milk chocolate and that bowl was featured. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Similar Content

    • By Kasia
      MILLET GROATS CHOCOLATE CREME WITH CRANBERRY MOUSSE
       
      Today I would like to share with you the recipe for the best chocolate crème I have ever eaten. It is thick, smooth and very chocolaty in flavour and colour. Despite the chocolate, the dessert isn't too sweet. But if somebody thinks that it is, I recommend serving it with slightly sour fruit mousse. You can use cherries, currants or cranberries. You will make an unusually yummy arrangement and your dessert will look beautiful.

      My children were delighted with this dessert. I told them about the fact it had been made with millet groats after they had eaten it, and ... they didn't believe me. Next time I will prepare the millet groats crème with a double portion of ingredients.

      Ingredients (for 4 people)
      chocolate crème
      100g of millet groats
      200g of dark chocolate
      1 tablespoon of dark cocoa
      250ml of almond milk
      fruit mousse
      250g of fresh cranberries
      juice and peel of one orange
      half a teaspoon of grated ginger
      4 tablespoons of brown sugar

      Boil the millet groats in salty water and drain them. Melt the chocolate in a bain-marie. Blend the millet groats, chocolate, cocoa and milk very thoroughly until you have very smooth crème. Pour the milk in gradually to make the right consistency of your desert. Prepare the fruit mousse. Put the washed cranberries, ginger, juice orange peel and sugar into a pot. Boil until the fruits are soft. Blend. Put the chocolate crème into some small bowls. Put the fruit mousse on top. Decorate with peppermint leaves. Serve at once or chilled.

      Enjoy your meal!


    • By Lisa Shock
      The basic formula for these cakes was developed by the wife of a mayonnaise salesman in an effort to help him out. I did a bit of research, and have found many variations. Early variants generally involve using less cocoa, which I cannot recommend. Later variants involve using cold water instead of boiling, adding salt, and additional leaveners. I personally do not feel that any additional salt is needed, as mayonnaise and that famous, tangy brand of salad dressing (sometimes the label just says 'Dressing') both contain a fair amount of salt. If you are using homemade mayonnaise or a low sodium product, an eighth teaspoon of salt may boost the flavor a bit. And, of course, somewhere along the way fans who prefer a certain salad dressing over mayonnaise started using it to make this cake. Nowadays, the Hellman's website has a different formula -one with added eggs and baking powder. I have not tried this newer formulation.
       
      Some versions of this recipe specify sifted cake flour. This will result in a very light cake with virtually no structural integrity, due to the paucity of eggs in this recipe compared to a regular cake. Cupcakes made this way give beautifully light results. However, every time I try to make a traditional 8" double layer cake with cake flour, I experience collapse. I recommend AP flour or at least a mix of cake and pastry flour.
       
      I have never made this with a gluten-free flour replacer. This recipe does not have very much structural integrity and as such does not make a good candidate for a gluten-free cake.
       
      I have made this cake many times, the type of sandwich spread you choose will affect the outcome. Made with mayonnaise, the cake has a good chocolate flavor and moistness. Made with that famous, tangy, off-white salad dressing that gets used as a sandwich spread, the cake has a subtle bit of extra brightness to the flavor. If one chooses to use a vegan mayonnaise, the result is tasty but lacking a little in structure; I would bake this in a square pan and frost and serve from the pan.
       
      The cocoa you use will also affect the flavor.  For a classic, homey flavor use a supermarket brand of cocoa. To add a little sophistication, use better, artisan type cocoa and use chocolate extract instead of the vanilla extract.
       
      Supposedly, the traditional frosting for this cake should have a caramel flavor. Look for one where you actually caramelize some sugar first. Modern recipes for the icing seem like weak imitations to me; using brown sugar as the main flavor instead of true caramel.
       
      Chocolate Mayonnaise or Salad Dressing Cake
      makes enough for two 8" round pans, or a 9" square (about 7 cups of batter)
       
      2 ounces/56g unsweetened, non-alkalized cocoa
      1 cup/236g boiling water
      1 teaspoon/4g regular strength vanilla extract
      3/4 cup/162g mayonnaise, vegan mayonnaise, or salad dressing (the tangy, off-white, sandwich spread type dressing)
      10.5ounces/300g all-purpose flour
      7 ounces/200g sugar
      0.35ounce/10g baking soda
       
      Preheat your oven to 350°.
      Grease or spray two 8" round pans or an equivalent volume square or rectangle.
      Place the cocoa in a medium (4-5 cup) bowl. Add the hot water and stir with a fork to break up any clumps. Allow to cool down a little,  then add the vanilla extract and the mayonnaise or salad dressing spread. Beat well to eliminate lumps. In the bowl of an electric mixer or larger regular bowl if making by hand, sift in the flour and add the sugar and baking soda. Mix the dry ingredients to distribute evenly. Slowly beat in the cocoa mixture. Mix until the batter has an even color. Pour immediately into the pans. If making two 8" rounds, weigh them to ensure they contain equal amounts.
      Bake for approximately 20 minutes, or until the center of the top springs back when touched lightly. (The toothpick test does NOT work well on this moist cake!) Allow the cake to cool a little and shrink from the sides of the pan before removing. Removal is easier while still a little warm.
      Good with or without frosting.
      Good beginner cake for kids to make.
       
       
       
    • By Kasia
      I prepared two versions: the first one with desiccated coconut and blueberries and the second with dark chocolate and strawberries. Choose your favorite dessert or go crazy and make your own version.

      Bright dessert

      Ingredients (for 2 people)
      200g of white chocolate
      100g of blueberries
      200ml of 30% sweet cream
      200ml of mascarpone cheese
      2 tablespoons of desiccated coconut

      Melt 150g of the white chocolate in a bain-marie. Draw six 8 cm circles on a sheet of baking paper. Put 2-3 tablespoons of chocolate on each of them and smear it around to cover the whole circle. Leave them at room temperature to congeal and then put them in the fridge for 2 hours. Melt the rest of the white chocolate in a bain-marie. Whisk the cream. Add the mascarpone cheese after whisking. Add the white chocolate and the desiccated coconut and stir thoroughly. Wash the blueberries and drain them. Put the first chocolate circles onto a plate, then a layer of the cream and a couple of blueberries and once again chocolate, cream and blueberries. Put the last chocolate circle on the top. 
      Decorate with the rest of the cream, fruit and peppermint leaves. Serve chilled.

      Dark dessert

      Ingredients (for 2 people)
      200g of dark chocolate
      1 tablespoon of cocoa
      a couple of strawberries
      200ml of 30% sweet cream
      200ml of mascarpone cheese

      Melt 150g of the dark chocolate in a bain-marie. Draw six 8cm circles on a sheet of baking paper. Put 2-3 tablespoons of chocolate on each of them and smear it around to cover the whole circle. Leave them at room temperature to congeal and then put them in the fridge for 2 hours. Melt the rest of the dark chocolate in a bain-marie. Whisk the cream. Add the mascarpone cheese after whisking. Add the dark chocolate and the cocoa and stir thoroughly. Wash the strawberries and remove the shanks. Leave 3-4 nice bits of fruit for decoration, and cut the rest into small pieces. Put the first chocolate circles on a plate, then a layer of the cream and a couple of strawberry pieces and then once again chocolate, cream and strawberries. Put the last chocolate circle on the top. Decorate with the rest of the cream, fruit and peppermint leaves. Serve chilled.


    • By Kasia
      Chocolate cake with plums
       
      The first cake I ever dared to bake by myself was a chocolate cake. I have since baked it many times, always using the same recipe, and many times I have spoiled it at the beginning of preparation. It is necessary to cool down the chocolate mixture before adding the rest of the ingredients. On a hot summer day this process is very long, so I accelerated it by putting the pot with the mixture into some cold water in the kitchen sink. Many times, by mistake, I turned on the tap and poured water onto the cooling mixture. In hindsight these situations were amusing, but at the time it wasn't funny.

      This chocolate cake is excellent without any additives. You can enrich it with your favourite nuts or butter icing. Today I added some plums to the top of the cake. It was great and its sweet chocolate-plum aroma lingered long in my home.

      Ingredients (25cm cake tin):
      200g of flour
      150g of butter
      3 tablespoons of cocoa
      120g of brown sugar
      15ml of almond milk
      100g of dark chocolate
      1 egg
      1 teaspoon of baking powder
      plums

      Heat the oven up to 180C. Smooth the cake tin with the butter and sprinkle with dark cocoa.
      Put the butter, milk, sugar, cocoa and chocolate into the pan. Heat it until the chocolate is melted and all the ingredients have blended together well. Leave the mixture to cool down. Add the egg, flour and baking soda and mix them in. Put the dough into the cake tin. Wash the plums, cut them in half and remove the stones. Arrange the plum halves skin side down on top of the cake. Bake for 50 minutes. Sprinkle with caster sugar before serving.

      Enjoy your meal!

    • By MadelaineCriden
      Chocolate Dipped Pecan Meringues
      Serves 10 as Dessert.
      What I love about these cookies is not only that they’re easy and liked by all, but also that they have a certain adult quality about them. Its that almost-burnt flavor, that caramelized, brown sugar taste that deepens and balances the sweetness. They are crunchy, light, and even great without being dipped in chocolate, white or dark. Serve a few in a bowl with some raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries, add a little whipped cream or ice cream, and you have a more formal dessert. Whether you nibble on them with friends while watching football or enjoy them crushed into ice cream, cuddled up with a good book, enjoy!
      Chocolate-Dipped Pecan Meringues
      Makes 25-30 1 1/2” cookies
      1/2 cup pecans
      2 egg whites
      pinch salt
      1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
      1/8 cup white chocolate chips
      1/8 cup dark or milk chocolate chips (your choice)
      Method:
      1. Preheat oven to 385 degrees and lightly grease baking sheet, or better yet, use a silpat baking mat on top of the baking sheet.
      2. Pulse pecans in a food processor (preferably a small one) until coarsely ground. Take care not to over pulse, or else oils will release and coarse texture will be lost.
      3. Whip eggs whites with a pinch of salt until soft peaks form and add sugar slowly, while continuing to beat whites. Beat until stiff peaks form.
      4. Immediately fold in pecans, taking care not to deflate the egg whites (the sugar does help to stabilize them, though).
      5. Drop or pipe about a tablespoonful of batter onto baking sheet or mat, and leave 1” of room between cookies. Bake for 10 minutes, then turn oven down to 285 degrees. Bake for another 15-20 minutes until golden all over. Cookies will still be slightly soft to the touch, but they will harden as they cool out of the oven, yielding a crunchy texture.
      6. While cookies cool, melt the chocolates in separate dishes in the microwave. Dip bottoms of the cookies in melted chocolate once completely cool and firm and place them on wax paper, then in the fridge, so the chocolate can harden.
      Note: white chocolate-dipped cookies will not need to be refrigerated to harden, but the milk or dark chocolate-dipped ones probably will.
      Enjoy!
      Maddy
      CookLikeMad.com
      Keywords: Dessert, American, Easy, Snack, Cookie
      ( RG2096 )
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...