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Molded and Filled Chocolates: Troubleshooting and Techniques


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Just now, Kerry Beal said:

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

 

 

That may work then, I might make a "cookie" butter out of toast and brown butter. Thanks!

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59 minutes ago, Jonathan said:

- 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

 

 

I would be very interested in knowing whether you end by using Bird's Custard (or other similar items) and whether you get that elusive eggy flavor.  I have wanted to achieve this (as in a crème brûlée bonbon), but when I saw the ingredient list for Bird's (cornflower, salt, coloring, flavoring--no eggs), I gave up.  It appears to be an illusion, and while I am not averse to illusions and realize that taste is often governed by what we expect, I never got any Bird's to try.  I don't see why dried egg would have any negative impact on Aw (taste may be another issue).  There is a famous chocolate shop in New York, Kee's, that offers a crème brûlée item and insists it be consumed with two days. It gets rave reviews, but I assume Kee's keeps their food insurance premium paid up.

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3 minutes ago, Jim D. said:

 

I would be very interested in knowing whether you end by using Bird's Custard (or other similar items) and whether you get that elusive eggy flavor.  I have wanted to achieve this (as in a crème brûlée bonbon), but when I saw the ingredient list for Bird's (cornflower, salt, coloring, flavoring--no eggs), I gave up.  It appears to be an illusion, and while I am not averse to illusions and realize that taste is often governed by what we expect, I never got any Bird's to try.  I don't see why dried egg would have any negative impact on Aw (taste may be another issue).  There is a famous chocolate shop in New York, Kee's, that offers a crème brûlée item and insists it be consumed with two days. It gets rave reviews, but I assume Kee's keeps their food insurance premium paid up.

I actually made a "breakfast" bonbon (maple french toast with bacon). I made a custard for the ganache the traditional way and they tasted good but they had to be consumed super quickly so not great for storage and I'm after 3-4 weeks ideally

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7 minutes ago, Jim D. said:

 

I would be very interested in knowing whether you end by using Bird's Custard (or other similar items) and whether you get that elusive eggy flavor.  I have wanted to achieve this (as in a crème brûlée bonbon), but when I saw the ingredient list for Bird's (cornflower, salt, coloring, flavoring--no eggs), I gave up.  It appears to be an illusion, and while I am not averse to illusions and realize that taste is often governed by what we expect, I never got any Bird's to try.  I don't see why dried egg would have any negative impact on Aw (taste may be another issue).  There is a famous chocolate shop in New York, Kee's, that offers a crème brûlée item and insists it be consumed with two days. It gets rave reviews, but I assume Kee's keeps their food insurance premium paid up.

At one of the eG Heartland gatherings I made creme brûlée bonbons based on Kee's.

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58 minutes ago, Jim D. said:

 

I would be very interested in knowing whether you end by using Bird's Custard (or other similar items) and whether you get that elusive eggy flavor.  I have wanted to achieve this (as in a crème brûlée bonbon), but when I saw the ingredient list for Bird's (cornflower, salt, coloring, flavoring--no eggs), I gave up.  It appears to be an illusion, and while I am not averse to illusions and realize that taste is often governed by what we expect, I never got any Bird's to try.  I don't see why dried egg would have any negative impact on Aw (taste may be another issue).  There is a famous chocolate shop in New York, Kee's, that offers a crème brûlée item and insists it be consumed with two days. It gets rave reviews, but I assume Kee's keeps their food insurance premium paid up.

 

Bird invented his custard because his wife had an egg allergy.  I never tasted Bird's till I visited Britain.  As a custard substitute Bird's was not half bad.  But unless you have egg scruples or an allergy I don't see the point.

 

 

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10 hours ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

 

Bird invented his custard because his wife had an egg allergy.  I never tasted Bird's till I visited Britain.  As a custard substitute Bird's was not half bad.  But unless you have egg scruples or an allergy I don't see the point.

 

 

 

I certainly would agree as far as regular sweets go.  Just make a custard from eggs.  But as far as bonbons go:  In some chocolate books (Wybauw, for instance) there are recipes for egg ganache, but I would not be comfortable using fresh eggs (even cooked) in a bonbon.  I think my food inspector might have a heart attack over the very thought.  I did find recipes for making one's own Bird's custard powder.  The only difference from that and the product from the shelf would be that I could be certain that the dried milk powder is as fresh as possible (old milk powder has a really unpleasant smell).  When all is said and done, however, I have a suspicion that yellow food coloring is the crucial ingredient in eggless custard substitute--a good example of the crucial nature of "eating with the eyes."

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So the roast turkey bonbons were absolutely ungodly. I don't think I've ever made something that tasted quite this... well see it wasn't even BAD but it was just so disconcerting. There were some elements that worked really well and tasted quite good on their own. The rosemary caramel, the cranberry jelly and even the crispy chicken skin in the base were all quite pleasant but the sage and onion ganache. Just something about it was SO offputting. I'm back at the drawing board, anyone got any ideas?

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42 minutes ago, Jonathan said:

So the roast turkey bonbons were absolutely ungodly. I don't think I've ever made something that tasted quite this... well see it wasn't even BAD but it was just so disconcerting. There were some elements that worked really well and tasted quite good on their own. The rosemary caramel, the cranberry jelly and even the crispy chicken skin in the base were all quite pleasant but the sage and onion ganache. Just something about it was SO offputting. I'm back at the drawing board, anyone got any ideas?

 

Why not just leave that bit out, at least the onion? I'd guess that that was the main culprit of being off-putting? Rosemary/thyme caramel, cranberry jelly and crispy chicken skin and chocolate layer is already very much ticking the boxes in my view. 😊

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6 minutes ago, EsaK said:

 

Why not just leave that bit out, at least the onion? I'd guess that that was the main culprit of being off-putting? Rosemary/thyme caramel, cranberry jelly and crispy chicken skin and chocolate layer is already very much ticking the boxes in my view. 😊

Mainly the textural component of the ganache, I could probably just go with something more mild? I'll admit the whole thing did taste like roast turkey so it fit the brief in that aspect. Maybe just go with a sage ganache instead

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1 hour ago, Jonathan said:

So the roast turkey bonbons were absolutely ungodly. I don't think I've ever made something that tasted quite this... well see it wasn't even BAD but it was just so disconcerting. There were some elements that worked really well and tasted quite good on their own. The rosemary caramel, the cranberry jelly and even the crispy chicken skin in the base were all quite pleasant but the sage and onion ganache. Just something about it was SO offputting. I'm back at the drawing board, anyone got any ideas?

I don't care for sage - so my dressing for turkey doesn't have it. I have some sherry, some anchovies for the umami part. How about a nice caramelized onion ganache, leaving out the sage and maybe adding some white miso for that umami?

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2 minutes ago, Kerry Beal said:

I don't care for sage - so my dressing for turkey doesn't have it. I have some sherry, some anchovies for the umami part. How about a nice caramelized onion ganache, leaving out the sage and maybe adding some white miso for that umami?

I think it may have been the onion that triggered the response I had when tasting it. It made the ganache taste like one of those pre-made french onion dips you see at parties but sweet as well. I may cut the sage and just rely on the rosemary caramel and cranberry jelly to evoke "turkey" and then go with a relatively neutral ganache for texture?

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On 7/2/2021 at 9:10 PM, Kerry Beal said:

At one of the eG Heartland gatherings I made creme brûlée bonbons based on Kee's.

 

Are you able/willing to share that recipe or a description of how you made the filling?

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5 hours ago, Jim D. said:

 

Are you able/willing to share that recipe or a description of how you made the filling?

Let me see if I can find it - I recall I may have just made a batch of creme brûlée and piped it in there and added shards of brûléed sugar.

 

 

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8 minutes ago, Kerry Beal said:

Let me see if I can find it - I recall I may have just made a batch of creme brûlée and piped it in there and added shards of brûléed sugar.

 

 

 

I do the shards thing, too, covering them with a little thinned-out white chocolate to keep them crunchy.  But for the cream part, I have always used your buttercream recipe with lots of vanilla.  If I could make something more custardy, however, that would be better.  I'm thinking Aw may be an issue with the liquid it will take to mix with the Bird's.  Probably add in some white chocolate.

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1 hour ago, Jim D. said:

 

I do the shards thing, too, covering them with a little thinned-out white chocolate to keep them crunchy.  But for the cream part, I have always used your buttercream recipe with lots of vanilla.  If I could make something more custardy, however, that would be better.  I'm thinking Aw may be an issue with the liquid it will take to mix with the Bird's.  Probably add in some white chocolate.

When I made these it was to eat same day - no thought of shelf life!

 

Creme Brulee

6 egg yolks
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
6 tbsp sugar
4 tbsp brown sugar or raw sugar

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 275  degrees F or 120 degrees centigrade in convection oven.

Or steam at 212 for 25 min.

2. Butter the inside of 5 custard cups.  Mix together the yolks, cream and white sugar.  Place custard cups in a large glass lasagna pan.  Divide egg mixture amoung the custard cups.  Put into oven and then add cool water into pan until it comes about half way up the sides of the cups.  Bake for about 45 minutes, or until the custards are barely set.  Let sit in the pan with the water until they cool to room temperature.  Refridgerate for at least 2 hours.  Divide the brown or raw sugar evenly over the custards.  Either place under broiler or flame with a torch until the sugar melts and brown.  Return to the refridgerator until cool.  Best served within a few hours of caramalizing the sugar.  
 

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30 minutes ago, Kerry Beal said:

When I made these it was to eat same day - no thought of shelf life!

 

Creme Brulee

6 egg yolks
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
6 tbsp sugar
4 tbsp brown sugar or raw sugar

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 275  degrees F or 120 degrees centigrade in convection oven.

Or steam at 212 for 25 min.

2. Butter the inside of 5 custard cups.  Mix together the yolks, cream and white sugar.  Place custard cups in a large glass lasagna pan.  Divide egg mixture amoung the custard cups.  Put into oven and then add cool water into pan until it comes about half way up the sides of the cups.  Bake for about 45 minutes, or until the custards are barely set.  Let sit in the pan with the water until they cool to room temperature.  Refridgerate for at least 2 hours.  Divide the brown or raw sugar evenly over the custards.  Either place under broiler or flame with a torch until the sugar melts and brown.  Return to the refridgerator until cool.  Best served within a few hours of caramalizing the sugar.  
 

 

Thanks for digging that out.  As a bonbon filling, I think we might be talking a day or two!  I happened to see a co-worker of my kitchen/recipe inspector last night, and I brought up the issue of using eggs in bonbons.  He agreed that the inspector would have a stroke for sure.

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1 hour ago, Jim D. said:

 

Thanks for digging that out.  As a bonbon filling, I think we might be talking a day or two!  I happened to see a co-worker of my kitchen/recipe inspector last night, and I brought up the issue of using eggs in bonbons.  He agreed that the inspector would have a stroke for sure.

Yeah totally - but when I had Kee's Creme Brulee - essentially the same thing but no shards. 

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Regarding the use of Bird's custard powder:  I made the powder from an online recipe (confectioner's sugar, cornstarch, nonfat milk powder).  First you mix the powder with a little cold milk (I used cream), then whisk it into the rest of the milk/cream and bring to a simmer.  Of course at that point it has no taste (but then neither does crème anglaise nor pastry cream at that stage--the flavoring is essential).  I then treated the mixing of the custard and some white chocolate as one would a regular ganache.  I used proportions of about 55% Opalys chocolate to 45% custard.  It formed an emulsion, but the fat in the Opalys was too much, and it separated.  So I beat in some more custard, and that fixed the issue.  Therefore it seems that a 50-50 mix might work.  That would be a significant change from the usual proportions required for a cream ganache.  Then I tried out my new fiori di Sicilia flavoring; the resulting taste was very good.  But would this ganache set?  Within a few hours It had set enough that cavities could have been sealed, and by the next day it had set even more but was still creamy and somewhat soft.  I can see this ganache paired with an apricot pâte de fruit.

 

Another crucial question:  would this creamy, custardy ganache have the high water activity level I anticipated?  It did not--the reading was 0.70.  I'm guessing that the added solids (cornstarch and milk powder) were responsible for that.  I haven't begun experimenting with added sugars (glucose, invert, sorbitol).  The breaking of the ganache would also suggest that even less chocolate could be used.  The advantage to this filling for me (over, say, a regular vanilla cream ganache such as Notter's or a buttercream using fondant, butter, and chocolate) is that it needs less chocolate to get it to set, thus allowing for more flavoring to come through.  Perhaps even that elusive blueberry flavor or, the most challenging for me, peach flavor?

 

Further experiments will involve using dark chocolate instead of white and adding vanilla seeds and extract for a buttercream/crème brûlée filling.

 

If anyone can point out any pitfalls in this experiment, I would welcome that information.  For example, does cornstarch do something terrible inside a bonbon?  Is this filling more likely to have mold grow?  I don't think Aw can fully predict mold growth, but am not sure about that.

 

This recipe reminded me a bit of Notter's lime ganache, in which he uses pectin to thicken the ganache, allowing for less chocolate to be used and for more lime juice to be added for a stronger flavor.

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There seems to be a great fear of working with eggs for bonbon fillings and I have to ask why. As long as the eggs are cooked over 80C to kill any possible salmonella and the AW is adequate, why would it be anymore problematic than dairy? Am I missing something?

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1 hour ago, Muscadelle said:

There seems to be a great fear of working with eggs for bonbon fillings and I have to ask why. As long as the eggs are cooked over 80C to kill any possible salmonella and the AW is adequate, why would it be anymore problematic than dairy? Am I missing something?

 

You definitely have a point.  I use sugar cookies (which include eggs) as inclusions in bonbons, so what would be the difference?  But both Greweling and Notter specifically exclude egg ganaches from their books (Wybauw does not).  Perhaps overly cautious?  In the case of the ganache I described above, eggs aren't really necessary for the taste.  They would make the custard mixture taste "richer," but I doubt that aspect of the taste would be noticed by most people (pastry cream and similar products are a different matter).

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I talked to the people at Decagon about this. It doesn't matter what the ingredient is, eggs or cream cheese or whatever. If it is "clean" going in and meets the aW, it is safe. At Callebaut in Montreal, we learned a good recipe that uses lemon curd in the ganache. I have made it for years and there is no problem, other than I eat too much of it.

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Ruth Kendrick

Chocolot
Artisan Chocolates and Toffees
www.chocolot.com

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1 hour ago, Chocolot said:

I talked to the people at Decagon about this. It doesn't matter what the ingredient is, eggs or cream cheese or whatever. If it is "clean" going in and meets the aW, it is safe. At Callebaut in Montreal, we learned a good recipe that uses lemon curd in the ganache. I have made it for years and there is no problem, other than I eat too much of it.

 

Very helpful information, Ruth.  Yum! for the lemon curd idea.

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On 7/11/2021 at 12:09 PM, Jim D. said:

Regarding the use of Bird's custard powder:  I made the powder from an online recipe (confectioner's sugar, cornstarch, nonfat milk powder).  First you mix the powder with a little cold milk (I used cream), then whisk it into the rest of the milk/cream and bring to a simmer.  Of course at that point it has no taste (but then neither does crème anglaise nor pastry cream at that stage--the flavoring is essential).  I then treated the mixing of the custard and some white chocolate as one would a regular ganache.  I used proportions of about 55% Opalys chocolate to 45% custard.  It formed an emulsion, but the fat in the Opalys was too much, and it separated.  So I beat in some more custard, and that fixed the issue.  Therefore it seems that a 50-50 mix might work.  That would be a significant change from the usual proportions required for a cream ganache.  Then I tried out my new fiori di Sicilia flavoring; the resulting taste was very good.  But would this ganache set?  Within a few hours It had set enough that cavities could have been sealed, and by the next day it had set even more but was still creamy and somewhat soft.  I can see this ganache paired with an apricot pâte de fruit.

 

Another crucial question:  would this creamy, custardy ganache have the high water activity level I anticipated?  It did not--the reading was 0.70.  I'm guessing that the added solids (cornstarch and milk powder) were responsible for that.  I haven't begun experimenting with added sugars (glucose, invert, sorbitol).  The breaking of the ganache would also suggest that even less chocolate could be used.  The advantage to this filling for me (over, say, a regular vanilla cream ganache such as Notter's or a buttercream using fondant, butter, and chocolate) is that it needs less chocolate to get it to set, thus allowing for more flavoring to come through.  Perhaps even that elusive blueberry flavor or, the most challenging for me, peach flavor?

 

Further experiments will involve using dark chocolate instead of white and adding vanilla seeds and extract for a buttercream/crème brûlée filling.

 

If anyone can point out any pitfalls in this experiment, I would welcome that information.  For example, does cornstarch do something terrible inside a bonbon?  Is this filling more likely to have mold grow?  I don't think Aw can fully predict mold growth, but am not sure about that.

 

This recipe reminded me a bit of Notter's lime ganache, in which he uses pectin to thicken the ganache, allowing for less chocolate to be used and for more lime juice to be added for a stronger flavor.

This is fascinating. I've been trying to replicate a Nanaimo Bar in a bonbon and trying to achieve that Birds Custard creaminess with the chocolate flavour coming only from the shell and not resorting to a coconut/vanilla white chocolate ganache. Being a Brit I am very familiar with Birds and will have a go at this ganache using the shop-bought version (which is pretty easy to find here in Canada). Thanks for the info!

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4 hours ago, Stephen Beaumont said:

This is fascinating. I've been trying to replicate a Nanaimo Bar in a bonbon and trying to achieve that Birds Custard creaminess with the chocolate flavour coming only from the shell and not resorting to a coconut/vanilla white chocolate ganache. Being a Brit I am very familiar with Birds and will have a go at this ganache using the shop-bought version (which is pretty easy to find here in Canada). Thanks for the info!

@Stephen Beaumont welcome to eG. Sorry we didn't properly greet you back in March. 

 

When you say Lakeshore - which lake are we talking?

 

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