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Molded and Filled Chocolates: Troubleshooting and Techniques


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33 minutes ago, Kerry Beal said:

I think it's fair to say there are as many opinions on how to treat your coloured cocoa butter as there are participants on the board. When I'm using a finger or paint brush - then I like to partially melt the bottle, give it a good shake and go. When I'm spraying I usually heat the cocoa butter to around 35º C and don't bother to do anything to temper it.

 

I find a brand new mold often gives me trouble until I've used it a couple of times. 

 

Re the inclusions - a quick twist of the mold then coax them out onto your hand has worked for me when I've got a lot of inclusions.

Thanks Kerry! That’s what I did with the cocoa butter. That’s interesting about the using molds for the first time. I’ve heard that the first time you use a mold can be the shiniest ever. I will keep trying. 

 

That is what I was thinking for the bars—I’ll try that next time :) .

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Don't slam so hard!  I make a lot of bars, though not with protruding inclusions.  Once the chocolate has set but before it has fully released from the mold, I invert the molds (so the bars are top-side up) onto sheet pans and let them continue crystallizing. It always amuses me to hear them snap-crackle-pop as they release.  Then I can either just lift the mold off, or some need a gentle twist to release.  My new bars that are more rounded & wavy release super quickly (sometimes too quickly), while my old bars with lots of corners more often need a little help. 

 

FWIW, I designed the new wavy ones to minimize polishing because I was tired of all the corners and crevices trapping CB and being hard to clean.  But it seems the easier a mold is to clean, the more likely the shell is to come loose and slip around when you're adding fillings or bottoms - small hemispheres can have this problem as well.  If I ever do another custom bar mold, I'll include a couple of corners to help keep things in place better.  But those polygon/honeycomb bars look like  a good shape - interesting yet not a polishing nightmare!

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1 hour ago, pastrygirl said:

Don't slam so hard!  I make a lot of bars, though not with protruding inclusions.  Once the chocolate has set but before it has fully released from the mold, I invert the molds (so the bars are top-side up) onto sheet pans and let them continue crystallizing. It always amuses me to hear them snap-crackle-pop as they release.  Then I can either just lift the mold off, or some need a gentle twist to release.  My new bars that are more rounded & wavy release super quickly (sometimes too quickly), while my old bars with lots of corners more often need a little help. 

 

FWIW, I designed the new wavy ones to minimize polishing because I was tired of all the corners and crevices trapping CB and being hard to clean.  But it seems the easier a mold is to clean, the more likely the shell is to come loose and slip around when you're adding fillings or bottoms - small hemispheres can have this problem as well.  If I ever do another custom bar mold, I'll include a couple of corners to help keep things in place better.  But those polygon/honeycomb bars look like  a good shape - interesting yet not a polishing nightmare!

That is a genius idea—letting them crystallize right side up! Thank you. 

 

These were pretty easy to clean/polish. There’s a flaw in one of the cavities so I need to contact the place that sold it to me. I just wanted to make sure it was actually showing up in the chocolate before I worried about it (which it did). But they released nicely. I just cracked it down not thinking—because that’s the only thing I’ve ever done ;)  

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  • 1 month later...

I’m hoping someone can help me troubleshoot. I recently made a whole bunch of molded bonbons—using an airbrush, a melter, and using the EZTemper to temper both the chocolate and the cocoa butter for close to the first time. These were all new pieces of equipment for me. When I shelled the painted molds with dark chocolate, I waited until they had become dull and then put them in a cool fridge until they contracted and pulled away from the mold. They looked great. I stored them in a cool room until filling. I made sure none of my fillings were over 30C. Still, I noticed patches resticking to the molds. I have never had such trouble getting my finished pieces to release from the molds. Most came out eventually after much banging and short stints in the freezer, but there were dull spots and places where the cocoa butter didn’t release. I’m not really sure which factor is the most likely candidate for causing the shells to appear to go out of temper. Any thoughts? Thanks!

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Ganaches, caramels and pralines. They all had some sticking. The caramels, I know, weren’t piped until they were at 27C or so. The ganaches were more like 30C. The praline was room temp praline paste with tempered milk chocolate at 30C, so 28-29C when it was piped. 

 

It seems like the fillings shouldn’t be able to pull the shells out of temper, right? Unless maybe the shells weren’t properly tempered, but it really seemed like they were. I tested the chocolate repeatedly for temper and it set up with no streaking within 3-4 minutes. Room temp was 20-21C. 

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1 minute ago, Pastrypastmidnight said:

Ganaches, caramels and pralines. They all had some sticking. The caramels, I know, weren’t piped until they were at 27C or so. The ganaches were more like 30C. The praline was room temp praline paste with tempered milk chocolate at 30C, so 28-29C when it was piped. 

 

It seems like the fillings shouldn’t be able to pull the shells out of temper, right? Unless maybe the shells weren’t properly tempered, but it really seemed like they were. I tested the chocolate repeatedly for temper and it set up with no streaking within 3-4 minutes. Room temp was 20-21C. 

They shouldn't interfere with the temper unless they are way too warm I would say. I suppose if they were high fat and the mold was dark chocolate and in really good temper that the fat could make it's way through and get between the surface and the mould. But since it was 3 different fillings that seems unlikely. 

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Why put them in the fridge before filling? I shell, fill, close and then put in fridge for about an hour before popping them out. If you chill first and then leave at room temp, you can have them stick again.

Ruth Kendrick

Chocolot
Artisan Chocolates and Toffees
www.chocolot.com

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13 minutes ago, Chocolot said:

Why put them in the fridge before filling? I shell, fill, close and then put in fridge for about an hour before popping them out. If you chill first and then leave at room temp, you can have them stick again.

I feel like I’ve read a few places to chill the shells for a few minutes in the fridge once they start to crystallize. I’ll have to look around and see. But that’s what I’ve always done and I’ve never had so much trouble :( .

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6 hours ago, Pastrypastmidnight said:

I feel like I’ve read a few places to chill the shells for a few minutes in the fridge once they start to crystallize. I’ll have to look around and see. But that’s what I’ve always done and I’ve never had so much trouble :( .

That would be me - I always chill when making the shells - then a few minutes after backing off 

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@Pastrypastmidnight I’ve had this same issue as well. At the chocolate shop where I apprenticed this never happened, but at home it would happen somewhat frequently. The only differences I could come up with were environment related: I switched from glass shelves in the fridge to wire shelving and I cooled the house down to 67-68F (I was working at 70-72F before). Both of these seem to have helped, but for some reason I still occasionally get one or two bonbons that like to stick back to the mold after initially crystallizing!

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1 hour ago, Daniel D said:

@Pastrypastmidnight I’ve had this same issue as well. At the chocolate shop where I apprenticed this never happened, but at home it would happen somewhat frequently. The only differences I could come up with were environment related: I switched from glass shelves in the fridge to wire shelving and I cooled the house down to 67-68F (I was working at 70-72F before). Both of these seem to have helped, but for some reason I still occasionally get one or two bonbons that like to stick back to the mold after initially crystallizing!

Thank you for the tips! I’m sorry it happens to you, but I’m glad I am not completely alone :) .

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Hi Folks:

 

First time poster here!  (Although I browse the content quite often). I've been making filled chocolates for a while, but have stuck with fairly simple ganache-like fillings. I'm trying to up my game a bit, but I'm having some trouble understanding at which temperature certain fillings should be piped in. I'm using Grewling's guide to the temperature at which to pipe in fillings and he refers to 'room temperature', 'warm' and 'hot'. What is 'warm' and what is 'hot'? I'm guessing 'hot' can't be hotter than 90F, as it will melt the shell? I'm currently making a jelly that i'd like to pipe in, layering with a ganache, but the jelly is still at 98F and setting pretty quickly, on the road to un-pipeable. Anyone's thoughts would be greatly appreciated! Thanks, Jen

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If you want a softer caramel, just cook it to a lower temp.  Processing it would probably be a disaster! 

 

If I'm making chewy caramels, I cook them to about 259F, but if I only went to 240-something I bet it would be liquid enough to pipe once cooled.  If I'm making a piped caramel center I make a thin caramel sauce and thicken it with chocolate.

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I take my piped caramels to 107C/225F. It’s able to pipe and it self levels at room temp and it keeps just as long as any of my ganaches. 

 

I also process my set/slabbed pâte de fruit with a little glucose to pipe it. Cut it into chunks and do very short pulses until it starts to loosen up so you don’t burn out your food processor :) .

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Another question here!

 

The jelly is in good shape now (thanks!) I've made some shortbread cookies, cut them to size and have started brushing them with cocoa butter (to keep the crunch). Gosh, they stink. And the flavor completely masks the flavor of the shortbread cookie. I'm using cocoa butter from a local health food store, and I'm wondering if there are certain types of cocoa butter that are used for different things-- I'm using Sunfood brand Super Foods, Organic Cacao Butter (this). Anyone have any guidance on this? Thanks again!

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28 minutes ago, SweetandSnappyJen said:

Another question here!

 

The jelly is in good shape now (thanks!) I've made some shortbread cookies, cut them to size and have started brushing them with cocoa butter (to keep the crunch). Gosh, they stink. And the flavor completely masks the flavor of the shortbread cookie. I'm using cocoa butter from a local health food store, and I'm wondering if there are certain types of cocoa butter that are used for different things-- I'm using Sunfood brand Super Foods, Organic Cacao Butter (this). Anyone have any guidance on this? Thanks again!

Maybe try a deodorized cocoa butter. 

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39 minutes ago, Jim D. said:

Yes, definitely use a deodorized one. I find that even the deodorized has a somewhat offputting smell and taste. I can only begin to imagine what the other is like.

 

I thought non-deodorized smelled like chocolate and that is why some white chocolates such as El Rey are more flavorful ... no?

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2 hours ago, pastrygirl said:

 

I thought non-deodorized smelled like chocolate and that is why some white chocolates such as El Rey are more flavorful ... no?

Never having smelled it, I don't know what it smells like. I think you are correct, though, that it has a somewhat chocolate smell, but (IMHO) not in a good way. I am not a fan of El Rey. I have a kilo that I can't imagine ever using in any way. A minority view, I know.

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