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Molded and Filled Chocolates: Troubleshooting and Techniques


rookie
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1 hour ago, pastrygirl said:

 

No.  I ladle chocolate on & scrape off the mold as usual to seal the bonbons.  After they've set and contracted a bit, I do it again to fill in that little concave spot.  And usually again, because I'm obsessive 🙄 

 

Doesn't that take a lot of extra time?  And doesn't it thicken the bottom (and we all know how we hate a thick bottom)? 😛

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13 hours ago, Jim D. said:

 

I agree.  Even after multiple attempts, with the mold looking as if the spaces between cavities are completely clear of chocolate, I remove the acetate sheet (either plain or a transfer sheet), and there is still a lot of chocolate.  When I empty the mold, it is very difficult to get the chocolates out since they are "cemented" to that remaining chocolate.  When it works, It's a great effect and, in particular, helps when the filling is a little too high and can't be removed (as when I use a cookie inclusion), but I need more practice.

I generally temper the chocolate for the base and then up the temp by about a degree (e.g. I temper my white choc to about 28 normally but will bring it up to 29 before capping) to increase the fluidity, then just a little bit and use a bench scraper across the guitar sheet, I find acetate is too stiff normally and the guitar sheet makes scraping much easier

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46 minutes ago, Jonathan said:

I find acetate is too stiff normally and the guitar sheet makes scraping much easier

 

guitar sheet is exactly what I meant to write when I put acetate in there 🙄

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1 hour ago, Jim D. said:

 

Doesn't that take a lot of extra time?  And doesn't it thicken the bottom (and we all know how we hate a thick bottom)? 😛

 

Yes, any extra step takes time.  I guess whether the bottoms end up too thick depends on how full the cavities are to begin with.  Maybe I've been more worried about leaks?  I blame Paul Kennedy at Savour for the idea of the "beauty coat".

 

I use guitar sheets in certain circumstances, but to use them all the time seems wasteful.

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10 hours ago, pastrygirl said:

 

Yes, any extra step takes time.  I guess whether the bottoms end up too thick depends on how full the cavities are to begin with.  Maybe I've been more worried about leaks?  I blame Paul Kennedy at Savour for the idea of the "beauty coat".

 

I use guitar sheets in certain circumstances, but to use them all the time seems wasteful.

I did consider the waste when crunching numbers, at the end of the day a single guitar sheet runs me about a dollar and caps off 4-5 trays and I’m lazy so I find it worthwhile personally, not everyone may feel the same

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Posted (edited)

It's not the cost so much (but for those of us actually trying to make a profit/living, every dollar counts) as how much more plastic waste do I really need to create?  Between gloves, plastic wrap, bonbon trays, clear boxes to show them off, and more trays & bags to keep truffles fresh, all the bubble wrap for shipping ... I think I make enough already :(

 

How many customers even look at the bottoms?  Sure, having your logo or another design on the bottom can make it extra special, but I think chocolatiers are just doing it to impress each other on Insta 🤣

Edited by pastrygirl (log)
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37 minutes ago, pastrygirl said:

It's not the cost so much (but for those of us actually trying to make a profit/living, every dollar counts) as how much more plastic waste do I really need to create?  Between gloves, plastic wrap, bonbon trays, clear boxes to show them off, and more trays & bags to keep truffles fresh, all the bubble wrap for shipping ... I think I make enough already :(

 

How many customers even look at the bottoms?  Sure, having your logo or another design on the bottom can make it extra special, but I think chocolatiers are just doing it to impress each other on Insta 🤣


Reading that, I thought some people might like to know that cellulose acetate can be 100% compostable. That’s what I use. In bulk, they are 0.20$USD per sheet. So that’s an additional cost of approx 1 cent per bonbon. They give a nice sleek look and I can fill my bonbon generously 😊
 

I don’t know if it’s because of the material but even if it gives a perfectly flat bottom, the surface, although not dull looking, never gets as shiny as it would with a plastic sheet. 
 

 

8079B4A7-2747-4A85-BED5-7D365D6126CB.png

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1 hour ago, Muscadelle said:


I don’t know if it’s because of the material but even if it gives a perfectly flat bottom, the surface, although not dull looking, never gets as shiny as it would with a plastic sheet. 
 

 

I think the contrasty look with the shiny top is very nice.

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5 hours ago, pastrygirl said:

It's not the cost so much (but for those of us actually trying to make a profit/living, every dollar counts) as how much more plastic waste do I really need to create?  Between gloves, plastic wrap, bonbon trays, clear boxes to show them off, and more trays & bags to keep truffles fresh, all the bubble wrap for shipping ... I think I make enough already :(

 

How many customers even look at the bottoms?  Sure, having your logo or another design on the bottom can make it extra special, but I think chocolatiers are just doing it to impress each other on Insta 🤣

Oh I don’t bother with transfers so much, more so for when I’m using inclusions in the base to make sure they sit flat too haha. I’ve been looking into paper corflute as a substitute for bubble wrap when shipping but it’s hard to find here in Aus

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hello!

 

could someone explain me, wtah going wrong with my chocolates? Why are these streaks of chocolate forming around the edges of the candy? I tried to warm up the surface with a hairdryer, before closing, and do not warm it up, the result is disappointing from time to time...

 

Screenshot_2.png

Screenshot_3.png

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@EvgenyP when chocolate crystallizes it contracts slightly, which allows it to come out of the mold, but which also means there is a tiny gap between the shell and the mold that chocolate can get forced into when you add the bottom layer. 

 

How to avoid?  Not sure.  Do you usually shell, fill, and cap the same day?  The bottom photo looks like a shape that can easily come loose from the mold and slide side to side while capping, increasing the risk of more chocolate getting down (up?) the sides of the mold.

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There have been quite a few previous discussions of this issue, and no one has come up with a solution.  It doesn't usually happen with domes (such as your first photo), but it often occurs with the shallow molds (such as the "quenelle" in your second photo, also with demispheres).  I used to worry about it a lot until I saw examples from Melissa Coppel's chocolates.  My "solution" is that if she can ignore it and put those photos out there for the world to see, then I can learn to ignore it too.  If you are really meticulous and careful, you can sometime scrape the chocolate from the cocoa butter, but this sometimes damages the shells.

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to prevent it from happening, you probably need to mold, fill and cap before the shell has contracted away from the mold. This can lead to cracking if the shell and base contract at different rates or shelf life issues if the filling needed to evaporate some moisture off. If you have an Eztemper, this would help because your filling will crystallise faster and therefore be ready to cap faster :)

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@EvgenyPI still get them from time to time but I drastically reduced those by not tapping the mold to remove air bubbles when capping. I realized that many of those air bubbles that would come up to the top where created by the air between the shell and mold that was escaping and that’s why I had chocolate slipping in between leaving big streaks. 

Sometimes when you look at finished bonbons of Melissa Coppel you can see some small chocolate ring  at the bottom too. They don’t have to be all perfect all the time, remember that maaaany photos are edited and that some bonbons that you see on Instagram and such are just pictures of the shell and not the finished product. 😊

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hello everyone!

 

I am very truly inspired of all your chocolates! You are amazing. I am a pastry chef but till now I worked with greek desserts and had an at home cookie business. I make decorated cookies. But I would like to learn new things and move forward. 

 

I love chocolate. I love painting, that is why I do the decorated cookies. And I would like to learn how to make these amazingly beautiful chocolates. 

 

I am wondering, which classes should I take to learn some basic things. Please let me know if you have experience with any chocolate schools that have online classes.

 

Also I  made these shells today and I saw that the inside looked pretty funky. Do you know what happened here?

 

Thank you all for your help!

Dimi

 

 

IMG_0060.jpg

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I keep making new threads for my troubleshooting but will just pop my many many problems on here even though I'm doing bars not bonbons.

 

I've had a couple inclusion bars give me this result where there are beads of liquid on the surface after unmoulding. This bar is filled with biscuit pieces and was left to cool at room temperature for 15 minutes, put in the fridge for another 15, and then left overnight to finish up. A previous bar had apricot in it and was put back in the fridge after it had already started releasing, both of which I had assumed were the reason for the liquid, but none of that is applicable to this bar.

 

As a side not for reasons I absolutely do not understand the temper didn't work here so they didn't release particularly well and are a bit swirly (chocolate failures are going to be the death of me).

 

 

Any guidance would be greatly appreciated. I feel my results are just so darn inconsistent at the moment...

16231472277157596697712674789499.jpg

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5 hours ago, wannabechocolatier said:

Do metal scrapers not damage polycarbonate molds?

No - if you are using a taping knife it's best to grind and polish the edge a bit to remove any burrs though. And don't whack the sides of the mold with the metal.

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40 minutes ago, Kerry Beal said:

No - if you are using a taping knife it's best to grind and polish the edge a bit to remove any burrs though. And don't whack the sides of the mold with the metal.

I guess that would also resolve my worry of the scraper scratching my marble surface. Would I be able to properly grind it down with sandpaper do you think?

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Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, wannabechocolatier said:

I guess that would also resolve my worry of the scraper scratching my marble surface. Would I be able to properly grind it down with sandpaper do you think?

yup - just a really fine grit - check the 'corners' too

Edited by Kerry Beal (log)
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  • 4 weeks later...

I'm currently in the middle of designing a box set of 6 chocolates based on the 6 flavours of the "Drink Me" potion from Alice in Wonderland (cherry-tart, custard, pine-apple, roast turkey, toffee, and hot buttered toast according to the books). There are 3 flavours I'm still puzzling out and any input from you guys would be great!

- Hot buttered toast, I've tried infusing toast in cream before for a ganache but the resultant flavour still got lost relatively easily with everything else. Is there any way to increase the "bread/toast" flavour of a ganache (while still maintaining reasonable shelf life?)
- Custard, mainly getting that "egg" flavour, adding straight pasteurized egg yolk to the ganache (basically adding chocolate to a custard) is going to seriously hit shelf life, any way to incorporate that slight "eggy" flavour to distinguish it from just being a vanilla bonbon? I wonder if I could add a little commercial custard powder but no idea what that's going to do to shelf life and I suspect would probably negatively impact texture

- Roast Turkey, this one I actually have some ideas on. I considered breaking down the individual elements in a "meal of roast turkey" into a bonbon, so a thyme and rosemary (not sure about the rosemary) caramel for the "gravy", a cranberry jelly for the cranberry sauce, a roasted onion and sage (not sure if the sage or onion pushes it too far) ganache for the "stuffing" and an in-set of crisped chicken skin dehydrated and mixed in with chocolate to form a disc for texture. This is something I suspect I'm going to have to play around with because as much as I find the concept fascinating it still has to taste good. I'm doing a trial batch this weekend but if anyone has any ideas on what direction I could take this one it would be much appreciated!

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1 minute ago, Jonathan said:

I'm currently in the middle of designing a box set of 6 chocolates based on the 6 flavours of the "Drink Me" potion from Alice in Wonderland (cherry-tart, custard, pine-apple, roast turkey, toffee, and hot buttered toast according to the books). There are 3 flavours I'm still puzzling out and any input from you guys would be great!

- Hot buttered toast, I've tried infusing toast in cream before for a ganache but the resultant flavour still got lost relatively easily with everything else. Is there any way to increase the "bread/toast" flavour of a ganache (while still maintaining reasonable shelf life?)
- Custard, mainly getting that "egg" flavour, adding straight pasteurized egg yolk to the ganache (basically adding chocolate to a custard) is going to seriously hit shelf life, any way to incorporate that slight "eggy" flavour to distinguish it from just being a vanilla bonbon? I wonder if I could add a little commercial custard powder but no idea what that's going to do to shelf life and I suspect would probably negatively impact texture

- Roast Turkey, this one I actually have some ideas on. I considered breaking down the individual elements in a "meal of roast turkey" into a bonbon, so a thyme and rosemary (not sure about the rosemary) caramel for the "gravy", a cranberry jelly for the cranberry sauce, a roasted onion and sage (not sure if the sage or onion pushes it too far) ganache for the "stuffing" and an in-set of crisped chicken skin dehydrated and mixed in with chocolate to form a disc for texture. This is something I suspect I'm going to have to play around with because as much as I find the concept fascinating it still has to taste good. I'm doing a trial batch this weekend but if anyone has any ideas on what direction I could take this one it would be much appreciated!

I use Harry Hornes or Birds Custard powder in a few fillings with no harm to shelf life. 

 

Could you make a buttered toast 'cookie butter'?

 

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1 minute ago, Kerry Beal said:

I use Harry Hornes or Birds Custard powder in a few fillings with no harm to shelf life. 

 

Could you make a buttered toast 'cookie butter'?

 

Perhaps? If I made some toast and dehydrated it would it adversely affect shelf life all that much? I've done a "croissant" flavour before where I baked some croissants, infused them in the cream for the ganache and then added some brown butter but the ganache just tasted a bit like salted butter caramel in the end. Perhaps some barley malt would give it more of a "bready" note?

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2 minutes ago, Jonathan said:

Perhaps? If I made some toast and dehydrated it would it adversely affect shelf life all that much? I've done a "croissant" flavour before where I baked some croissants, infused them in the cream for the ganache and then added some brown butter but the ganache just tasted a bit like salted butter caramel in the end. Perhaps some barley malt would give it more of a "bready" note?

Very likely not - bread has a pretty low Aw and toasted bread even lower.

 

 

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