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Molded and Filled Chocolates: Troubleshooting and Techniques


rookie
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  • 4 months later...

Just bumping this topic up to ask a question -

Between Easter and a favor for a colleague a couple of weeks ago, I made a colossal amount (for me, anyway - somewhere around 500 pieces) of molded pieces filled with flowing caramel and various ganaches. I'm still nibbling my way through the pieces that didn't get used up, and I'm noticing that many of the ganache-filled pieces look like the ganache has somehow shrunk, and the bottoms have collapsed, for lack of a better word, just slightly. No visible cracks, it just looks like they've been sort of vacuum sealed from the inside.

Have I done something wrong, or have others had this problem?

Patty

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Just bumping this topic up to ask a question -

Between Easter and a favor for a colleague a couple of weeks ago, I made a colossal amount (for me, anyway - somewhere around 500 pieces) of molded pieces filled with flowing caramel and various ganaches.  I'm still nibbling my way through the pieces that didn't get used up, and I'm noticing that many of the ganache-filled pieces look like the ganache has somehow shrunk, and the bottoms have collapsed, for lack of a better word, just slightly.  No visible cracks, it just looks like they've been sort of vacuum sealed from the inside.

Have I done something wrong, or have others had this problem?

Some of the ganaches that I make shrink over time (and some molds show it more) - I think it's all part of the shelf life thing. I recall finding some frogs that I had molded and carried around in the bilge of the boat for a whole summer - I think they found them when they put the boat away for the winter in November or so - they tasted fine - but there were definate signs of shrinkage of the filling.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I've just begun seriously tackling molded chocolates as most of my work to date has been dipped.

Today, I wanted to try a formula given to me for an intense vanilla/white chocolate ganache. The ganache is very thin with 250 grams cream and 390 grams white chocolate, and 25 grams butter.

After molding the "shells", I piped the ganache into them and them began sealing the plaques. The trouble was that the chocolate appears "heavier" than the ganache and forces it over the top of the impression making it difficult to seal.

Are there any techniques for sealing soft/liquid products into the shells? Perhaps placing a thin layer of cocoa butter on top before sealing?

Steve Lebowitz

Doer of All Things

Steven Howard Confections

Slicing a warm slab of bacon is a lot like giving a ferret a shave. No matter how careful you are, somebody's going to get hurt - Alton Brown, "Good Eats"

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I've just begun seriously tackling molded chocolates as most of my work to date has been dipped.

Today, I wanted to try a formula given to me for an intense vanilla/white chocolate ganache.  The ganache is very thin with 250 grams cream and 390 grams white chocolate, and 25 grams butter.

After molding the "shells", I piped the ganache into them and them began sealing the plaques.  The trouble was that the chocolate appears "heavier" than the ganache and forces it over the top of the impression making it difficult to seal.

Are there any techniques for sealing soft/liquid products into the shells?  Perhaps placing a thin layer of cocoa butter on top before sealing?

You should let them set up overnight so that a thin shell forms over your filling. I found this has worked best for my products that have similar characteristics as the ganache you're describing. Same for caramel filled pieces.

Jeffrey Stern

www.jeffreygstern.com

http://bit.ly/cKwUL4

http://destination-ecuador.net

cocoapodman at gmail dot com

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As mentioned letting then sit overnight is a good solution. You can also airbrush a thin layer of melted cocoa butter on them - but that's a pain to take out all the equipment just to do that.

A third option is to dip your metal spatula and coat one row at a time - so you don't put a huge weight of chocolate on each piece.

I often coat flowing caramel right after I pipe it - as long as you don't put the backing chocolate on one side of the piece allowing it to flow up on the other side - you can often get away with it.

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Thanks. With this batch I was trying to work fast as I won't be able to do much the next couple of days and was juggling the temper of both white and dark chocolate.

I've just unmolded the pieces and we'll how many of them leak.

I'll definitely try letting them sit overnight when I do them next. I figure I'll be doing these same pieces again this weekend.

Steve Lebowitz

Doer of All Things

Steven Howard Confections

Slicing a warm slab of bacon is a lot like giving a ferret a shave. No matter how careful you are, somebody's going to get hurt - Alton Brown, "Good Eats"

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Steve,

your recipe is a little unbalanced. I make the classic vanilla all the time it it is one of my personal favourites. My recipe is: 135 grams white chocolate, 70 grams cream, 1 vanilla bean, 1 tsp glucose, 1 T Galiano Liqueur.

The glucose is optional. The vanilla bean can be replaced with vanilla paste.

I usually infuse the vanilla bean (cut and split in half) with the cream. I tend to make a bit extra cream and as I add it into the melted and warm white chocolate, I watch for the emulsion and how viscious it gets. I don't want to viscious and I don"t want watery! The chocolate should be above 35 C (prefereably 40-45 C) and the cream should be just as warm (or equivalent!)

Then after emulsifying I let it crystalize for a few hours or overnight. Then I cap!

edited to say:

When you add the cream do it in 3 parts. Pour 1/3 into the chocolate and stir. It will look like broken ganache, then add some more, it will start to come together, and then the third time add the rest (but use your judgement on what is enough..remember, not watery,and not too thick). Then add your alcohol.

Edited by prairiegirl (log)
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Steve,

your recipe is a little unbalanced.  I make the classic vanilla all the time it it is one of my personal favourites.  My recipe is:  135 grams white chocolate, 70 grams cream, 1 vanilla bean, 1 tsp glucose, 1 T Galiano Liqueur.

The glucose is optional. The vanilla bean can be replaced with vanilla paste. 

I usually infuse the vanilla bean (cut and split in half) with the cream.  I tend to make a bit extra cream and as I add it into the melted and warm white chocolate, I watch for the emulsion and how viscious it gets. I don't want to viscious and I don"t want watery!  The chocolate should be above 35 C (prefereably 40-45 C) and the cream should be just as warm (or equivalent!) 

Then after emulsifying I let it crystalize for a few hours or overnight. Then I cap!

edited to say:

When you add the cream do it in 3 parts.  Pour 1/3 into the chocolate and stir. It will look like  broken ganache, then add some more, it will start to come together, and then the third time add the rest (but use your judgement on what is enough..remember, not watery,and not too thick). Then add your alcohol.

I hadn't posted the whole formula (which isn't originally mine) as I wasn't overly concerned about the ganache itself. However, given your comment that it seems unbalanced, here it is for completeness:

250 grams heavy cream

90 grams invert sugar

3 vanilla beans

390 grams white chocolate

25 grams butter

6 grams cognac

Method:

1. Combine the cream, invert sugar,and scraped vanilla bean and bring to a boil. Let steep for 20 minutes

2. Take out vanilla pods and bring the cream back to a boil

3. Pour cream over the chocolate and stir until smooth

4. Add butter and stir until the butter melts out and is combined

5. Add the cognac once the mixture has cooled below 100F and stir to combine

I really like the flavor and you can vary it somewhat by your choice of cognac (or in today's case frambois). I've used vanilla paste in other products but personally prefer the taste of the bean.

Steve Lebowitz

Doer of All Things

Steven Howard Confections

Slicing a warm slab of bacon is a lot like giving a ferret a shave. No matter how careful you are, somebody's going to get hurt - Alton Brown, "Good Eats"

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When pressed for time, 15-20 minutes in the fridge can help get crust on top of a filling, especially if you can put them under the fridge fan (if there is one). I'm not saying it's right, just that it can make it work.

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I have a can of cocoa butter that is usually used for spraying marzipan. I spray thin fillings with it-even plain honey let sit over night and have no problems closing. Super easy-no equipment.

Can of cocoa butter? Tell more... I'm assuming it's food safe. Do you have to melt it before use? Is it aerosol? Where do you get it?

Thanks Ilana!

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  • 11 months later...

Decided to use a flat mold - not a tile - small square, about .5" deep. The chocolates will not release!!

Could be the cocoa butter I sprayed - possibly too thick and there is an engraved? design (that will appear on the top of the square once released) on the mold not permitting the squares to release? Could be the extra cocoa butter I added to the chocolate? They were in the 'fridge fifteen minutes. I turned the mold over to tap out the chocolates - nothing; I have 'tapped' the tray hard and still they will not release. They are back in the 'fridge...

It seems to me that molds with some sort of curve or angle will release easier. What am I missing? You know that when I go check again, they will release with no problem...just being hopeful!

Thanks all!

"But you have no chocolate? My dear, how will you ever manage?"

-- Marquise d Sévigné

"If I knew you were comin' I'd've baked a cake, hired a band, goodness sake..."

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Was the cocoa butter tempered? Chocolate only shrinks from a mold if it's tempered. I think you can do with a little bit of non-tempered cocoa butter on the mold if later tempered chocolate is used, but too much non-tempered cocoa butter probably isn't a good idea.

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Thanks - no, CB was not tempered - just a bit added while tempering the chocolate.

As I thought, once I wrote this post, I returned to the 'fridge and was able to release the squares. But I will keep that in mind about the CB if I ever use large amounts.

squares.jpg

"But you have no chocolate? My dear, how will you ever manage?"

-- Marquise d Sévigné

"If I knew you were comin' I'd've baked a cake, hired a band, goodness sake..."

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  • 11 months later...

This is really frustrating me, a while back I made the big mistake of washing several molds, including several 30 pc maple leaf polycarbonaate molds.

I've tried everything, shaking the mold dry, wiping it out with soft towels, spraying in a layer of cocoa butter, filling up the cavities with 70% dark, but all to no avial. When I cast a thin layer I get sticking in the tight crevices.

What am I doing wrong?

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When you say a thin layer, you mean a thin hollow shell? Are you trying to remove the hollow shell or are you filling/capping before trying to extract the pieces?

I find that cooling/refrigerating my molds before turning out the pieces works very well for me. It may also be possible that you're simply casting too thin a shell and need to do a thicker one (e.g. two layers). I've done this with white chocolate a few times just to make sure the shell was sturdy enough.

Steve Lebowitz

Doer of All Things

Steven Howard Confections

Slicing a warm slab of bacon is a lot like giving a ferret a shave. No matter how careful you are, somebody's going to get hurt - Alton Brown, "Good Eats"

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Thanks for the reply.

No,the filled bonbons stick after unmolding them. I usually cst my thin layer, pop it into the fridge for a few minutes, fill it (in this case it was a butter ganache) cap it, and usually next morning turn them out.

Before I did the above, I filled the mold full with 70% and when solid, turned them out. There was some slight sticking, but nothing as bad as this.

I never had troubles using this mold or the above techniques for almost two years, using the same couverture.

I'm "blaming" the trouble on popping the molds in a commerical d/washer. But you know, I've washed other molds (the geometric domes, merlions, hedgehogs, etc) with virtually no sticking.

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Some dishwasher detergents are corosive. This may (although from what you've said, its unlikely) have created a "rough" surface in the smaller crevices where possible pooling may have taken place.

But some other guidelines:

- Ensure molds are spotless. Don't wash them between moulding. Wrap in clingwrap until next session.

- Mould temperature should be around 23 centigrade

- Cool moulds at ideally 11 centigrade for 20 minutes before filling. Do NOT keep in fridge of say 5 centigrade for longer than 5 minutes. OTherwise consensation will occur easily in humid area.

- Careful with casting too thin a layer, particularly in moulds with "sharp" corners. Tempered choc contracts when setting thus increasing risk of fractures around corners.

- Careful about casting too thick a layer. Choc temp INCREASES for a while whilst setting. (Latent heat - if you were awake at science lessons :-)) So this increase in temp around thick layers particularly in corners, will throw that bit out of temper. Then very likely that mould will stick.

- Choc must not be stodgy or "over-crystallised. If you find that this is happening, simply add some warm (40 deg C) choc to stodge to re-balance the crystal/liquid ratio. Don't allow temp to exceed 33 deg C else it all loses temper!

Hope this helps. Let me know if its not!!

MIchael

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Edward, you are fairly advanced and experienced with your chocolate work. I don't think that the issue is your tempering ability. There was a posting about 2 years ago with someone having mold issues. This person learned that the problem was the water and the detergent he/she was using. I think that if using a commercial dish washer then perhaps the detergent is to caustic for your molds. Or, depending on the type of dishwasher, maybe the water is not hot enough to properly clean the deep crevices. Some of these machines have a load done in a few minutes. I always wash my molds with a dishwasher. I take them out after the rinse stage and dry with a tea towel. Well, that is my two cents!!

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Never, ever, ever wash your molds with anything more than plain hot water. I've gotten to the point where I don't wash them at all. I recently bought a dehydrator and am putting my molds into that and then cleaning them with paper towels. Of course, I'm also dehydrating stuff with it too.

Steve Lebowitz

Doer of All Things

Steven Howard Confections

Slicing a warm slab of bacon is a lot like giving a ferret a shave. No matter how careful you are, somebody's going to get hurt - Alton Brown, "Good Eats"

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