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What should I upgrade first in my chocolate shop?


Dark side
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Hi! I have a SMALL chocolate shop/cafe in Canada and I've just received a grant that I need to apply to my business and am trying to decide where best to put it.

I have a chocovision rev delta and it serves us well, but I am planning to upgrade to a 3Z, as that is a higher capacity and will be within my price range. 

That will leave me with approx $3500 cad to spend on other items.

We so far do most things small batch/small scale/by hand. 

Considering a panning machine or kitchenaid attachment? a vibrating table? an airbrush setup? Guitar cutter?

Any other thoughts or suggestions??

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2 minutes ago, Dark side said:

Hi! I have a SMALL chocolate shop/cafe in Canada and I've just received a grant that I need to apply to my business and am trying to decide where best to put it.

I have a chocovision rev delta and it serves us well, but I am planning to upgrade to a 3Z, as that is a higher capacity and will be within my price range. 

That will leave me with approx $3500 cad to spend on other items.

We so far do most things small batch/small scale/by hand. 

Considering a panning machine or kitchenaid attachment? a vibrating table? an airbrush setup? Guitar cutter?

Any other thoughts or suggestions??

 

http://www.eztemper.com/

 

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7 hours ago, Dark side said:

Hi! I have a SMALL chocolate shop/cafe in Canada and I've just received a grant that I need to apply to my business and am trying to decide where best to put it.

I have a chocovision rev delta and it serves us well, but I am planning to upgrade to a 3Z, as that is a higher capacity and will be within my price range. 

That will leave me with approx $3500 cad to spend on other items.

We so far do most things small batch/small scale/by hand. 

Considering a panning machine or kitchenaid attachment? a vibrating table? an airbrush setup? Guitar cutter?

Any other thoughts or suggestions??

Guitar cutter usually gets followed by an enrober unless you want to dip thousands of pieces by hand. Of course you can use it to cut pate de fruit or marshmallow.

 

Kitchen aid attachment will require some form of cooling (as will a panning machine within your price range). 

 

Do you currently work with molds?  - if so - I might look at getting more copies of your standard molds, an airbrush and spraybooth setup.

 

Are you having major issues with bubbles? If so - the vibrating table might help. 

 

Where in Canada are you located?

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28 minutes ago, Kerry Beal said:

Guitar cutter usually gets followed by an enrober unless you want to dip thousands of pieces by hand.

 

That's why I've never seriously thought about wanting one... I'm not sure I want to hand dip dozens, much.less thousands. 😁

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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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On 4/15/2021 at 5:11 AM, Kerry Beal said:

Guitar cutter usually gets followed by an enrober unless you want to dip thousands of pieces by hand. Of course you can use it to cut pate de fruit or marshmallow.

 

Kitchen aid attachment will require some form of cooling (as will a panning machine within your price range). 

 

Do you currently work with molds?  - if so - I might look at getting more copies of your standard molds, an airbrush and spraybooth setup.

 

Are you having major issues with bubbles? If so - the vibrating table might help. 

 

Where in Canada are you located?

We dip everything by hand now, but it is all just scooped ganache. That or molded. 

Mold extras is a good consideration. 

 

Will a guitar cut caramel? That would be our most convenient use for it, if so. 

 

I was assuming a chill sesh between layers of chocolate with a panning tool.

 

Havent done any airbrushing yet.. kind of daunting at this point. But fun?!

 

Not issues with bubbles, just thought it might save some time by not having to do all the tapping? 

 

West coast :)

 

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A guitar is a great tool.  The first time you use one and get perfect squares (or rectangles), you will wonder how you endured using a knife.  As has been pointed out previously on eGullet, knives are triangular, and as such they are incapable of cutting "perpendicularly."  But, although some use guitars to cut caramel, I would never do so.  I broke a string once (on a gianduja I had let crystallize a little bit too long), and replacing it is a nightmare (to me, at least).  As usual, on eGullet, there is a video, this one from @pastrygirl, showing how to perform this task.

 

I do not have a vibrating table and manage without one.  They are very expensive.

 

I too use a Chocovision Delta and like it very much, but all tempering machines with bowls (unless the bowls are enormous) do not allow for dumping the chocolate so as to form shells.  I've tried every trick I could think of, but the resulting mess was too much to stand.  So my latest purchase is a Mol d'Art melting machine.  Given how long it takes to adjust to a given temperature, I would never use it to temper chocolate, but I use it as a receptacle for dumping molds.  The rectangular models are perfect for doing this.  The chocolate accumulates, then you can empty the container back into the Delta for more work and, as a bonus, if the temperature of the chocolate is right, you compensate for overtempering problems in the Delta bowl.

 

I would spend my money on an airbrush setup.  If you have not decorated chocolates with cocoa butter and if you have an appreciative audience for your bonbons, these go over incredibly well.  "Too pretty to eat" is the most common response--and that's even when you, the chocolatier, know they aren't as pretty as you meant them to be!  If you go this route, there is a very long and informative thread on eG all about airbrushes, compressors, cocoa butter, etc.  I have been very happy with a Grex airbrush.

 

Another piece of equipment I would recommend is a dehydrator for melting chocolate overnight so as to shorten the time it takes for the Delta to melt the chocolate from scratch.  I also use it for melting colored cocoa butter so as to have it ready.  The dehydrator has improved my workflow incredibly.  I can recommend one if you are interested.

 

Good luck with this happy task of spending money!

 

 

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54 minutes ago, Dark side said:

We dip everything by hand now, but it is all just scooped ganache. That or molded. 

Mold extras is a good consideration. 

 

Will a guitar cut caramel? That would be our most convenient use for it, if so. 

 

I was assuming a chill sesh between layers of chocolate with a panning tool.

 

Havent done any airbrushing yet.. kind of daunting at this point. But fun?!

 

Not issues with bubbles, just thought it might save some time by not having to do all the tapping? 

 

West coast :)

 

Only some caramels cut with a guitar. I wouldn’t depend on it.

 

 

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It's true, I cut caramels and giandujas on my guitar.  I'm also pretty fast at replacing broken wires if you know what I mean 😆

 

From a business standpoint (rather than just fun toys), what are your pain points?  What are your best sellers/most profitable items and what would help you make & sell more of those? 

 

At first I was excited by the mini enrober for the 3Z but after watching the video I'm not impressed.  I think you'll still be hand dipping.  The guitar would save you all the hand scooping and cutting. 

 

I'd say either a guitar or more molds and an airbrush setup.  Would you rather be hand dipping all day or polishing and painting molds all day?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, pastrygirl said:

It's true, I cut caramels and giandujas on my guitar.  I'm also pretty fast at replacing broken wires if you know what I mean 😆

 

From a business standpoint (rather than just fun toys), what are your pain points?  What are your best sellers/most profitable items and what would help you make & sell more of those? 

 

At first I was excited by the mini enrober for the 3Z but after watching the video I'm not impressed.  I think you'll still be hand dipping.  The guitar would save you all the hand scooping and cutting. 

 

I'd say either a guitar or more molds and an airbrush setup.  Would you rather be hand dipping all day or polishing and painting molds all day?

 

 

 

 

 

 

These are great points to consider, thank you. 

Our caramels are our top seller followed by truffles. I'm happy hand dipping them at this point, but that may just be because I cannot fathom how much more amazingly efficient enrobing might be. 

 

But something that would streamline those processes while sticking with our "handmade" values would be great. A guitar could be handy for that especially if strong enough for caramel, though I would have to rework some ganache recipes for setting up in pans in appropriate dimensions.

 

Do you have a recommendation for a tough guitar?

 

Airbrushing looks fun, but feels like a whole other arena of confection that I'm not really ready to perform in lol. 

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8 hours ago, pastrygirl said:

It's true, I cut caramels and giandujas on my guitar.  I'm also pretty fast at replacing broken wires if you know what I mean 😆

 

From a business standpoint (rather than just fun toys), what are your pain points?  What are your best sellers/most profitable items and what would help you make & sell more of those? 

 

At first I was excited by the mini enrober for the 3Z but after watching the video I'm not impressed.  I think you'll still be hand dipping.  The guitar would save you all the hand scooping and cutting. 

 

I'd say either a guitar or more molds and an airbrush setup.  Would you rather be hand dipping all day or polishing and painting molds all day?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of course you can cut with the guitar then round up the ganache!

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16 hours ago, pastrygirl said:

I have a Dedy guitar with 7.5 mm base. You can get a heavier wire to use as replacement if you have frequent breakage. 
 

 

 

Im just learning about guitar usage... What does the measurement on the base refer to? 

And there are cutting frames- are the measurements there regarding the spacing between the strings or can you change that yourself when youd like?

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The 7.5 mm base refers to the distance between the grooves. Then I have 4 different sets of wires in multiple of that distance - 15, 22.5, 30, and 37.5 mm for cutting different sizes. It is easy to change from one set to another. 

 

I make small truffle bites that I cut 22.5 mm square, when I make caramels I cut them 37.5 mm one way then change to the 15 mm set to cut rectangles. 


base

4718F78C-13ED-47CD-9213-C4C1F669E080.jpeg.e6f45664f3fff305c52e98c1603995e9.jpeg
 

wires

FEAB8F4B-B99B-4E1C-A813-CA6D8626D1A7.jpeg.2e56b00ecff7c5d0f1c3a44019b3bb34.jpeg
 

427D81BF-BFD6-4424-A0D6-96B8F78A130A.jpeg.e884c9dbc19a9e60855b971828283b61.jpeg

 

truffles, 22.5 mm square 

D8E8977B-0B0D-4EF7-A6B0-0D01D7FA3102.jpeg.dc32732b7d6ef1d1798101e5319df39a.jpeg


caramels 15 x 37.5

852FF70E-47DE-4C94-9B23-A37DA73194B0.thumb.jpeg.5f629fc707e8745db11b25b6f9387226.jpeg

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10 hours ago, carol lang said:

I like the idea of the silicone molds for caramels. My question is , what method do you use to deposit the hot caramel into the molds? 

 

I just pour the whole batch onto the molds and then use a scraper to spread it evenly into the cavities. I usually get a couple cavities that don’t fill completely or a few drips over the edge of the mold, but I have to have something to taste for quality control, right? 😉

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On 4/17/2021 at 8:06 AM, Jim D. said:

 

I do not have a vibrating table and manage without one.  They are very expensive.

 

On the vibrating table note, you could try a vibrating platform used for dental stone, you can get cheap-ish ones for about $30 and just mount a flat platform on top of that? I've been meaning to try it actually since it's a similar principle

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3 hours ago, Jonathan said:

On the vibrating table note, you could try a vibrating platform used for dental stone, you can get cheap-ish ones for about $30 and just mount a flat platform on top of that? I've been meaning to try it actually since it's a similar principle

Yes, can be done and has been done. At one point a few people on eGullet had done that and some documented the process. If I find the topic I’ll link to it... have to finish some other stuff before I wade into an eGullet search. I think that they were all happy with the resulting shaker table.

 

I picked up a nice shaker table made by Bakon that I bought from a chocolatier who was closing her business. It is great for getting rid of air bubbles in my more detailed moulds.

 

 

 

Edited by curls
added links to eGullet topics (log)
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i suppose this is where i own up to the fact that i sit a percussive massager on a tray in the kitchen to vibrate things

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On 4/17/2021 at 8:36 AM, carol lang said:

I like the idea of the silicone molds for caramels. My question is , what method do you use to deposit the hot caramel into the molds? 

 

I also use silicone molds - pour from pan and spread with spatula. I've found much less expensive molds on Amazon ($12 for two 40-cavity molds), though they are rectangular. The caramels wrap up nicely (by hand though) in 5x5 cellophane squares (also available on Amazon).

 

BUYGOO 2 Pack 40 Cavity Narrow Rectangle Silicone Caramel Candy Molds Chocolate Bar Mold for Truffles, Ganache, Jelly, Praline, Brownie, Butter, Ice Cube Tray (eG-friendly Amazon.com link)

 

Crinklee Clear Caramel, Candy and Chocolate Wrappers, Natural Cellophane, 1000 Square Sheets, 5x5 Inches (eG-friendly Amazon.com link)

 

caramels_single.png

Photo Jan 15, 9 47 05 AM.jpg

Edited by Smithy
Adjusted Amazon links to be eG-friendly (log)
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