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Chocolate bars not fully releasing


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Posted (edited)

Yesterday I made two solid milk chocolate bars with inclusions (squares of caramel and bits of shortbread). Like I usually do, after filling the moulds I let them sit out for 15 minutes, then popped them in the fridge for 15 minutes more, then left them to continue setting at room temperature. I couldn't tell you how long it normally takes bars like these to fully release for me but when I checked these bars over 12 hours later they still hadn't fully released, which has never happened before.

 

My question is were these bars likely doomed from the start or is there something I could have done in the cooling process to help them to fully release? They were incredibly full of inclusions, which maybe could have been a factor, or maybe the tempering wasn't quite right. Hoping an expert here can shed some light!

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Edited by cc.canuck
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releasing is dictated by the contraction of the chocolate, so you need to look at either the temper of the chocolate, because if it's not properly tempered it won't contract fully, or the thickness of the shell, if it's too thin it doesn't have the "strength" to contract away from the surface. If you feel the temper was fine, putting it into the freezer for 20 minutes should help it out.

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1 minute ago, keychris said:

releasing is dictated by the contraction of the chocolate, so you need to look at either the temper of the chocolate, because if it's not properly tempered it won't contract fully, or the thickness of the shell, if it's too thin it doesn't have the "strength" to contract away from the surface. If you feel the temper was fine, putting it into the freezer for 20 minutes should help it out.

That point about thickness may have something to do with it. I should have said this in the original post but what I did for these bars was basically line the mould with a thin layer of chocolate, place my inclusions on top, and then pour on the remaining chocolate. I was already planning on pouring in more chocolate to line the bars in future because the system didn't work perfectly. Perhaps that process is the culprit.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

New release issues now but thought I'd open this back up rather than starting a new thread. 

 

A couple of my white chocolate bars have sections like this where bits of chocolate got stuck and I'm really at a loss as to why. I've stopped heating up my moulds because I now have the strip of cocoa butter. I also wonder if I need to refine my cleaning process, or maybe stop cleaning so often (normally after every use).16220215868554007293676764732906.thumb.jpg.2aa8299d7b81b96497f60d6abd189b81.jpg16220216805221467396856205702011.thumb.jpg.9984068242175bcba26d21be193235a5.jpg

Edited by cc.canuck (log)
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Hi there,

 

From my experience I don't think not heating the molds would be a big issue. I don't heat any of my molds, they are at 21/22 degrees C (the temperature of my workshop) before filling and I normally don't have any issues. My workshop is also humidity controlled (less than 60%)

 

The cleaning/polishing of molds is something that drives me crazy. I clean after each use as you do. Finally settled on a process of washing the molds in hot water then dry straight away to avoid any salts from the water getting left on the mold. I then polish before use. I used to have loads of issues with coloured cocoa butters getting left on the molds, and still get the occasional one or two bonbons that stick a bit and lose a bit of colour, but never had the sticking chocolate issue that you have there either with bonbons or tablets. Clean molds and well tempered chocolate should result in a clean release I'd have thought.

 

Good luck!

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25 minutes ago, Anthony C said:

Hi there,

 

From my experience I don't think not heating the molds would be a big issue. I don't heat any of my molds, they are at 21/22 degrees C (the temperature of my workshop) before filling and I normally don't have any issues. My workshop is also humidity controlled (less than 60%)

 

The cleaning/polishing of molds is something that drives me crazy. I clean after each use as you do. Finally settled on a process of washing the molds in hot water then dry straight away to avoid any salts from the water getting left on the mold. I then polish before use. I used to have loads of issues with coloured cocoa butters getting left on the molds, and still get the occasional one or two bonbons that stick a bit and lose a bit of colour, but never had the sticking chocolate issue that you have there either with bonbons or tablets. Clean molds and well tempered chocolate should result in a clean release I'd have thought.

 

Good luck!

Do you dry using a hair dryer or similar? I'm going to start doing that as I had previously been leaving them to air dry

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No, I use a soft towel for drying. Then a towel for polishing glasses to do my final polish. I only dry the cavities though.. to make sure there is no moisture in them. I leave the molds overnight then so that the rest air dries.

 

I think a hairdryer could result in the water evaporating and leaving any salts behind so I don't know if that is a good idea. Maybe others use this technique and I am just being over cautious.

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Just to add a little confusion to this issue of cleaning molds (there are many, many posts on this subject scattered around the forum):  When the eGullet workshop last met in Las Vegas, we were able to watch Melissa Coppel in action.  She vigorously cleans her molds with alcohol, so they are super-spotless.  Jin Caldwell, across town from Melissa, does not clean her molds between uses at all.  Both produce beautiful chocolates.  One might draw the conclusion that it doesn't really matter, although I do clean mine just in case.  Sometime during the summer I plan to test a really dirty mold with bits of colored cocoa butter still visible to see what happens when it is used to make new bonbons.

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2 hours ago, cc.canuck said:

Do you dry using a hair dryer or similar? I'm going to start doing that as I had previously been leaving them to air dry

 

How long do you leave them to dry?  Could there have been a few tiny droplets of water still in the mold? 

 

I let my molds air dry overnight, then polish them with cotton balls.

 

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On 5/26/2021 at 12:35 PM, cc.canuck said:

New release issues now but thought I'd open this back up rather than starting a new thread. 

 

A couple of my white chocolate bars have sections like this where bits of chocolate got stuck and I'm really at a loss as to why. I've stopped heating up my moulds because I now have the strip of cocoa butter. I also wonder if I need to refine my cleaning process, or maybe stop cleaning so often (normally after every use).16220215868554007293676764732906.thumb.jpg.2aa8299d7b81b96497f60d6abd189b81.jpg16220216805221467396856205702011.thumb.jpg.9984068242175bcba26d21be193235a5.jpg

 

It seems to me as a regional loss of temper,

 

If so, stirring the chocolate a little bit more before molding can be a remedy.

Another reason can be ... maybe less likely ... if your mold is thin, you should take into account the heat of your hands.

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I think we can see just from this small thread that everyone has a different method of cleaning or not cleaning their molds 😆 I guess the thing is to find something that works for you, gives good results and doesn't give you too much stress 👍

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 5/27/2021 at 4:26 PM, Anthony C said:

I think we can see just from this small thread that everyone has a different method of cleaning or not cleaning their molds 😆 I guess the thing is to find something that works for you, gives good results and doesn't give you too much stress 👍

Yes absolutely! I'm washing my moulds less frequently and simply giving them a good old polish in between uses, which has definitely helped. It's such a joyful thing checking in on bars and seeing that they have completely released. Very satisfying.

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