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That shiny drop spot on chocolate bars


jedovaty
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I can't get rid of that shiny spot where the chocolate first hits the mold.  Here's what I've tried:

 - super clean the mold

 - extra polish on mold with super soft microfiber cloth

 - more expensive, professional mold

 - two tempering methods (bowl over hot/cold water, silk)

 - bringing the mold to 90-95F

 

Attached photo shows my typical result (photo with 4 bars) and the best results so far (photo with 3 bars).  The best result came from the mold being at roughly 90F this time.  The chocolate I make is from home-roasted beans, using a little cacao butter and sugar, no other ingredients.  I usually do silk tempering right in the wet grinder, but have wanted to improve the "snap", so changed recently to pouring the contents into a bowl, heating to 130F for complete melting, then chilling to roughly 93-95F, adding grated silk, mixing like crazy, then pouring into the molds, smack on the counter rapidly several times, and into the fridge to chill quickly, ~30 minutes. 

 

I make chocolate in kitchen ambient range 60-75F, and humidity typically averages around 65%, although it can be as low as 40% or high as 80%, since I keep my windows open and live near the ocean.

 

Can it get any better, or is this the best one can accomplish at home? 

 

I'm 5-6 years into this hobby and finally starting to tweak these finer points :)

typical results.jpg

best results.jpg

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That search term brought up only three threads, this was one of them, however, it gave me a place to start and I found a few other suggestions, which include:

 - let sit at room temp until you see crystallization before putting into fridge

 - different molds

 

I've just wrapped up my chocolate making, and will revist in a few months :)  Thanks for the help!

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I'm no expert in making solid chocolate bars, but I encounter the same demolding marks when I use magnetic molds for filled chocolates.  I am inclined to conclude they are unavoidable.  I am sure that is not the answer you want to hear, and I certainly will be interested in your future experiments.

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10 minutes ago, Jim D. said:

I'm no expert in making solid chocolate bars, but I encounter the same demolding marks when I use magnetic molds for filled chocolates.  I am inclined to conclude they are unavoidable.  I am sure that is not the answer you want to hear, and I certainly will be interested in your future experiments.

Agreed - you can minimize but you can't eliminate if using certain molds

 

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13 minutes ago, Kerry Beal said:

Agreed - you can minimize but you can't eliminate if using certain molds

 

 

I am ashamed I have not done chocolate work in some while, but what plain bar molds would alleviate demolding marks?  My bar molds are Tomric.  I was able to get pretty good results with Tomric but not as perfect as I would like.  Not as flawless a shine as I achieved from my beloved Brunner egg.

 

 

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I've had success putting them straight into the fridge after moulding (no wait time) and letting them completely set in the fridge. Idea being to cool as quickly as possible given the large volume of chocolate in the mould.

 

Alternatively, painting a thin layer of tempered chocolate into the mould first can help keep a smooth looking finish. Or spraying the mould first with a chocolate/cocoa butter mix (60% chocolate/40% ccb ... use at the working temp of the chocolate) can give a fantastic gloss ... but it does mean more time.

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8 hours ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

 

I am ashamed I have not done chocolate work in some while, but what plain bar molds would alleviate demolding marks?  My bar molds are Tomric.  I was able to get pretty good results with Tomric but not as perfect as I would like.  Not as flawless a shine as I achieved from my beloved Brunner egg.

 

 

Plain is the worst! Large flat surfaces suffer the most from marks. The firm polycarbonate molds are better than the hobby grade but any large flat surface...

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1 hour ago, Kerry Beal said:

Plain is the worst! Large flat surfaces suffer the most from marks. The firm polycarbonate molds are better than the hobby grade but any large flat surface...

 

Yes, I think the conclusion in past discussions has been to avoid the completely plain molds.  Since bars are so popular especially of late, there are lots of interesting designs available.  But if someone insists on a plain mold, @gap's suggestions sound promising.

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JNW: your thread from a while back is where I learned of KB's recommendation to try different molds, and her experience with the tomrics.

 

I found another thread, and here, the poster has tried chilling faster as well as waiting for crystallization before putting into the fridge.

 

It seems a lot of others with the tomric molds are having this issue.  I've let mine sit overnight in the fridge before, still got the marks.  This may have to do with different chilling rates between the surface exposed to fridge/ambient air, and the part touching the plastic mold, which in the case of the tomric molds, could be exacerbated by the base having that air gap, thus creating a greater insulation in addition to that of the plastic.  If this is partially or wholly to blame, then a very slow chilling would be better than a fast one, but, that will be a problem with using silk as a tempering.  Add to that the theories of the larger surface area of these bar molds, and of course now it's clear this isn't really going to work.

 

Wonder what makes the tomric molds more susceptible to this issue versus the other brands?  Is it the shape of the base and the air cavity it creates?  Maybe a different material?

 

5 years with these four molds, guess it's okay to now pick some up new ones in the interests of improving the end product.  I started with using lids of reditainers, that was fun having a circular shaped mold, but a pain to wrap.  I've always liked these thin break-away bars, easier to portion and share.

 

 

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8 hours ago, jedovaty said:

JNW: your thread from a while back is where I learned of KB's recommendation to try different molds, and her experience with the tomrics.

 

I found another thread, and here, the poster has tried chilling faster as well as waiting for crystallization before putting into the fridge.

 

It seems a lot of others with the tomric molds are having this issue.  I've let mine sit overnight in the fridge before, still got the marks.  This may have to do with different chilling rates between the surface exposed to fridge/ambient air, and the part touching the plastic mold, which in the case of the tomric molds, could be exacerbated by the base having that air gap, thus creating a greater insulation in addition to that of the plastic.  If this is partially or wholly to blame, then a very slow chilling would be better than a fast one, but, that will be a problem with using silk as a tempering.  Add to that the theories of the larger surface area of these bar molds, and of course now it's clear this isn't really going to work.

 

Wonder what makes the tomric molds more susceptible to this issue versus the other brands?  Is it the shape of the base and the air cavity it creates?  Maybe a different material?

 

5 years with these four molds, guess it's okay to now pick some up new ones in the interests of improving the end product.  I started with using lids of reditainers, that was fun having a circular shaped mold, but a pain to wrap.  I've always liked these thin break-away bars, easier to portion and share.

 

 

Chocolate contracts, the molds contract - heavy polycarbonate contracts at a different rate than the lighter stuff - hence more marks on the lighter molds. 

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On 9/9/2021 at 1:56 PM, jedovaty said:

I can't get rid of that shiny spot where the chocolate first hits the mold.  Here's what I've tried:

 - super clean the mold

 - extra polish on mold with super soft microfiber cloth

 - more expensive, professional mold

 - two tempering methods (bowl over hot/cold water, silk)

 - bringing the mold to 90-95F

 

Attached photo shows my typical result (photo with 4 bars) and the best results so far (photo with 3 bars).  The best result came from the mold being at roughly 90F this time.  The chocolate I make is from home-roasted beans, using a little cacao butter and sugar, no other ingredients.  I usually do silk tempering right in the wet grinder, but have wanted to improve the "snap", so changed recently to pouring the contents into a bowl, heating to 130F for complete melting, then chilling to roughly 93-95F, adding grated silk, mixing like crazy, then pouring into the molds, smack on the counter rapidly several times, and into the fridge to chill quickly, ~30 minutes. 

 

I make chocolate in kitchen ambient range 60-75F, and humidity typically averages around 65%, although it can be as low as 40% or high as 80%, since I keep my windows open and live near the ocean.

 

Can it get any better, or is this the best one can accomplish at home? 

 

I'm 5-6 years into this hobby and finally starting to tweak these finer points :)

typical results.jpg

best results.jpg

Asked a chocolatier about this, and they said it could be solved by either spraying a clear coat of cocoa butter first or experimenting with your environmental conditions, cooling process, and working temp. 

 

I asked about coating the cavity the same way you would for a bonbon shell and they said it would not work. Easy enough to try out and make sure, though.

Edited by wannabechocolatier (log)
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7 hours ago, wannabechocolatier said:

Asked a chocolatier about this, and they said it could be solved by either spraying a clear coat of cocoa butter first or experimenting with your environmental conditions, cooling process, and working temp. 

 

I asked about coating the cavity the same way you would for a bonbon shell and they said it would not work. Easy enough to try out and make sure, though.

Yup - gotta try things out to see if they work - sometimes you discover gold!

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Had another thought.  With my specific results, the big mark is always precisely where I first drop the molten chocolate.  I'm just pouring a very steady 50g chocolate directly into each mold, since I work with at most 2lbs at a time, in order to minimize waste.  You all think results would be different if I let the chocolate "drop" on another part of the mold, fill the whole thing up, then scrape off?  I see the "pros" doing it this way, but again, I have such a small amount of chocolate, this method wouldn't work well with my lack of scraping experience (I suppose I could increase the amount of chocolate I make, but then, I want a roaster that can handle more).

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22 minutes ago, jedovaty said:

Had another thought.  With my specific results, the big mark is always precisely where I first drop the molten chocolate.  I'm just pouring a very steady 50g chocolate directly into each mold, since I work with at most 2lbs at a time, in order to minimize waste.  You all think results would be different if I let the chocolate "drop" on another part of the mold, fill the whole thing up, then scrape off?  I see the "pros" doing it this way, but again, I have such a small amount of chocolate, this method wouldn't work well with my lack of scraping experience (I suppose I could increase the amount of chocolate I make, but then, I want a roaster that can handle more).

only one way to find out

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4 hours ago, jedovaty said:

Had another thought.  With my specific results, the big mark is always precisely where I first drop the molten chocolate.  I'm just pouring a very steady 50g chocolate directly into each mold, since I work with at most 2lbs at a time, in order to minimize waste.  You all think results would be different if I let the chocolate "drop" on another part of the mold, fill the whole thing up, then scrape off?  I see the "pros" doing it this way, but again, I have such a small amount of chocolate, this method wouldn't work well with my lack of scraping experience (I suppose I could increase the amount of chocolate I make, but then, I want a roaster that can handle more).

If that's the issue you could also try gently piping rather than dumping the chocolate in. Maybe start with the piping bag's tip in contact with the mold surface so that there's no 'drop' to begin with.

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Nooo, it'll be a while before I try anything.  I'm on vacation in toronto right now 😁, and it'll be a month or two before I make more chocolate.

 

Both ideas will be challenging based on how I make chocolate.  Dump/scrape a large amount is problematic because I make so little ~900g, i.e. I'll have to probably make a double batch which I'm willing to try.  The piping method seems like it will be tricky keeping the chocolate at the temperature where it flows evenly, without getting lumpy.  Not to mention extra messy, considering I'm already the world's clumsiest derp :P 

 

Will report back when I try one or both methods!

Edited by jedovaty (log)
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2 hours ago, jedovaty said:

Nooo, it'll be a while before I try anything.  I'm on vacation in toronto right now 😁, and it'll be a month or two before I make more chocolate.

 

Both ideas will be challenging based on how I make chocolate.  Dump/scrape a large amount is problematic because I make so little ~900g, i.e. I'll have to probably make a double batch which I'm willing to try.  The piping method seems like it will be tricky keeping the chocolate at the temperature where it flows evenly, without getting lumpy.  Not to mention extra messy, considering I'm already the world's clumsiest derp :P 

 

Will report back when I try one or both methods!

Not sure if I know where you normally hang out - but you should visit while you are in Toronto.

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My experience with this is the bar contracts as it cools/solidifies. Since the back of the bar cools faster, it contracts faster than the top of the bar, and the bar cups. You end up with a last spot that always stays in contact with the mold, which is what leaves the mark. It's always in the center, though sometimes can be offset towards either long side. I just made three batches of chocolate on successive days, so thought I would try a few things. I'm primarily using a Chocolate World mold CW1936, which is a 57 gram bar. I'm making chocolate in a melanger, and the batches this time were around 1600g for a 56% milk chocolate. I also re-tempered a 75% dark chocolate. Since the house is warm, I've been putting the molds into the refrigerator for 15 minutes after filling, then moving to the basement to finish. 

 

I tried changing the spot where I pour the chocolate when I start filling each cavity, and I found no difference in where the marks form on the finished bars. Also, since the fridge has glass shelves, I tried raising the molds off the shelf to get better air circulation underneath to no avail. I think unless I can figure out a way to cool the bottom of the mold rapidly first, I will always get these marks. I know I'm not alone since I've purchased bars from bean to bar shops that have worse marks than mine, so I don't feel so bad. 

 

I wouldn't be too worried about the piping method. I just did a whole bunch of chocolate letters without issue by piping them to fill. I've done very little of that before, and it went quite well without anything getting lumpy. I just don't think piping is going to make any difference regarding mold marks. 

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2 hours ago, Douglas K said:

My experience with this is the bar contracts as it cools/solidifies. Since the back of the bar cools faster, it contracts faster than the top of the bar, and the bar cups.

 

If this is the case, then it'd be prevented by creating a shell first, as you would with bonbons, wouldn't it? Want to try that next and report back? :D

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7 hours ago, wannabechocolatier said:

 

If this is the case, then it'd be prevented by creating a shell first, as you would with bonbons, wouldn't it? Want to try that next and report back? :D

 

I would think, from others’ experience I’ve read here, that you’d end up more with a potato chip with the flat bars. Or at least a big dish. The best idea I’ve seen is the one above involving spraying a cocoa butter/chocolate mix first. I’m just not in the mood for that kind of work right now, but I have thought of doing some decorated bars in the future.🙂

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