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Chocolates with that showroom finish, 2004 - 2011


Skwerl
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I recently bought a Badger 100LG gravity fed brush and this is one of the pieces I've made with it:

gallery_40084_4727_26258.jpg

The brush lets you focus the color much better than the Badger 250, though it won't let you draw a pencil thin line.  I painted the cap yellow and then the sides green to evoke a mostly ripe bananna, but I ended up with more green than I was aiming for.

Then here is a multi-colored spatter effect:

gallery_40084_4727_137877.jpg

I used a toothbrush to spatter the molds.  It took a quite a bit of time and produced quite a mess so I ordered a spatter tip for the airbrush in the hope it will let me replicate this with half the effort.

Very nice, David!

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  • 2 months later...

Ok, this time I got the special spatter tip for the airbrush and this is the effect:

gallery_40084_5951_39108.jpg

gallery_40084_5951_75526.jpg

I had to experiment for a while to find the best way to use the brush. I found that the air source is far enough behind the paint tube that it was best to hold it almost vertical to get the cocoa butter to flow. I also had more luck pulling the needle back and letting it slam back to push more color out of the tube and get a good splat. All that added up to more work than I was hoping for and it took me a couple hours to paint three molds. Still, I had a LOT LESS mess than when I used a brush to flick the color.

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Ok, this time I got the special spatter tip for the airbrush and this is the effect:

gallery_40084_5951_39108.jpg

gallery_40084_5951_75526.jpg

I had to experiment for a while to find the best way to use the brush.  I found that the air source is far enough behind the paint tube that it was best to hold it almost vertical to get the cocoa butter to flow.  I also had more luck pulling the needle back and letting it slam back to push more color out of the tube and get a good splat.  All that added up to more work than I was hoping for and it took me a couple hours to paint three molds.  Still, I had a LOT LESS mess than when I used a brush to flick the color.

Thanks for the tips. 2 hours for 3 molds! I'll stick with the other way it sounds like.

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Thanks for the tips.  2 hours for 3 molds!  I'll stick with the other way it sounds like.

I wasn't timing myself so I'm not positive about the accuracy, but that is what it felt like after the fact. Keep in mind that it included cleaning the brush between the four colors, and some time figuring out the proper technique. I'd have to do it again to truely judge how fast I could manage the 120 cavities I painted the first time. That said my guess is that spattering with a brush is indeed faster as well as far messier.

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Kerry asked me to tell you all about a little trick I am learning. It is spraying the cocoa butter onto a small spatula or even the back of a plastic spoon. The cocoa butter builds up and eventually splatters. I will attempt my first posting of pictures :biggrin:

I use a detail gun as I find an airbrush is just too small. It would probably help a ton if I ever had a lesson or knew anything about spraying!!

gallery_60187_6125_8185.jpg

This is the angle I try to maintain while spraying. The cocoa butter builds up and you sort of use a sweeping motion with the air to get it to splatter. I usually hold the spatula vertical, but change it up when needed.

gallery_60187_6125_2093.jpg

I am still messy, but not as bad as splattering with a brush.

gallery_60187_6125_19922.jpg

These were the results today. I mostly find out what doesn't work, rather than what does work :biggrin: I sprayed and shelled 8 trays in about 90 minutes using the gun and spatula. I also tried taking the nozzle off the gun and spraying with just the needle. It actually worked but you have to fiddle with the air mixture a lot.

gallery_60187_6125_33918.jpg

These are some that actually turned out.

I have a lot to learn and really appreciate all your help.

Ruth Kendrick

Chocolot
Artisan Chocolates and Toffees
www.chocolot.com

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Kerry asked me to tell you all about a little trick I am learning.  It is spraying the cocoa butter onto a small spatula or even the back of a plastic spoon.  The cocoa butter builds up and eventually splatters.  I will attempt my first posting of pictures :biggrin:

I use a detail gun as I find an airbrush is just too small.  It would probably help a ton if I ever had a lesson or knew anything about spraying!!

gallery_60187_6125_8185.jpg

This is the angle I try to maintain while spraying. The cocoa butter builds up and you sort of use a sweeping motion with the air to get it to splatter.  I usually hold the spatula vertical, but change it up when needed.

gallery_60187_6125_2093.jpg

I am still messy, but not as bad as splattering with a brush.

gallery_60187_6125_19922.jpg

These were the results today.  I mostly find out what doesn't work, rather than what does work :biggrin:  I sprayed and shelled 8 trays in about 90 minutes using the gun and spatula.  I also tried taking the nozzle off the gun and spraying with just the needle.  It actually worked but you have to fiddle with the air mixture a lot. 

gallery_60187_6125_33918.jpg

These are some that actually turned out. 

I have a lot to learn and really appreciate all your help.

thanks for the pics! Do you mind expanding a little more on the sparaying part?

Do you hold te gun sideways and the spatula sideways relative to the molds? and the cocoa butter drips down in a splatter effect? Or does it reflect off the spatula in a spatter effect? Or is it some other mechanism?

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I hold the spatula in my left hand, and have the blade on edge. I spray the end of the spatula by holding the gun in my right hand and holding it very close to the spatula. The mold is sitting on edge. I usually end up turning the mold to get all the areas splattered. The cocoa butter sprays on, rather than drips on. Not a great description. I hold the gun and spatula real close to the mold. I still have a lot of work to do on it before I am consistent. It uses a whole lot less cocoa butter than throwing with a brush (at least the way I throw:-)

Ruth Kendrick

Chocolot
Artisan Chocolates and Toffees
www.chocolot.com

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I hold the spatula in my left hand, and have the blade on edge.  I spray the end of the spatula by holding the gun in my right hand and holding it very close to the spatula.  The mold is sitting on edge.  I usually end up turning the mold to get all the areas splattered.  The cocoa butter sprays on, rather than drips on.  Not a great description. I hold the gun and spatula real close to the mold.  I still have a lot of work to do on it before I am consistent.  It uses a whole lot less cocoa butter than throwing with a brush (at least the way I throw:-)

THis sounds pretty cool, do you mind answering a few questions

1. you say the blade is on edge. THis sounds like vertical, correct??

2. You say you spray the end of the spatula. Are you aiming for the center of the spatula or slightly off? Do you get any spray directly into the mold accidently?

3. The mold is on edge, so I assume that means vertical rather than horizontal, correct?

Edited by ejw50 (log)
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THis sounds pretty cool, do you mind answering a few questions

1. you say the blade is on edge. THis sounds like vertical, correct?? Yes

2. You say you spray the end of the spatula. Are you aiming for the center of the spatula or slightly off? Do you get any spray directly into the mold accidently?

The spatula (or plastic spoon) is pretty small, so I just aim for the end of it. Yes, I spray plenty accidently :biggrin:

3. The mold is on edge, so I assume that means vertical rather than horizontal, correct?

Yes, sometimes at a bit of an angle. I will post another photo and hope it doesn't confuse you further. In looking at it, I realize I really need to do a better job of cleaning off the gun!!

It is hard to see, but I have the mold on an edge so it is vertical. I try to aim the color into the cavities, but I'm not always successful. I usually end up with a lot on the flat part and have to scrape it off.

I hope I haven't confused you further.

gallery_60187_6125_87807.jpg

Ruth Kendrick

Chocolot
Artisan Chocolates and Toffees
www.chocolot.com

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gallery_60187_6125_8429.jpg

gallery_60187_6125_18098.jpg

Here are todays attempts. The first one is with a gloved finger, the second one was with a cotton ball.

I had some extra ganache from filling some molds, so I hurried and colored these, made the shells, filled and closed, all within 30 minutes. I did 3 trays. Much faster than spraying.

Ruth Kendrick

Chocolot
Artisan Chocolates and Toffees
www.chocolot.com

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  • 2 months later...

Hi guys-- I've just joined eGullet and am very excited to be a part of this community. I'm going to jump in with a technical question. I am new to the world of airbrushed chocolates and very antsy to produce something beautiful. Yesterday we were attempting to airbrush some chocolates with the colored cocoa butter from chefrubber and failed miserably. We were using the Badger 250 airbrush to paint the butter onto the molds priors to molding the chocolate. The problem is that the butter would not feed through airbrush. We managed to get a couple spritzes, but overall it was a failure. It seems the butter was just not coming up the little tube. We had heated the butters to 31C and kept them warm using a yogurt maker. We were able to use some other very liquid paints with the airbrush, so I think that the problem stems from our attempts to simply use the warmed colored cocoa butter. I had done some research on the issue, particularly reading the very informative posts here, and thought we were following the best practices. Should I be mixing the cocoa butter with something prior to airbrushing? I would appreciate any advice you might be able to share.

hungryburro.com-- tasty healthy food from around the world
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Your tip may be clogged with cocoa butter, use hot water to flush the tip and the tube separately and then if they are running clear dry them and see how it goes. Also, the position of the tip relative to the air nozzle takes some adjustment. Have you tried spinning the tip around to different heights? I find when the tip is slightly above the air nozzle it works well. I'll attatch a pic to help.

gallery_23496_1650_158050.jpg

So the tip and the air nozzle aren't directly aligned, and you can twist it around to find where it works for you. Apparently I last used red!

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For airbrushing, you will want your cocoa butter to be hotter than 31C - it can be above the temper range, as it will temper when it aerosolizes (is that a word?). It needs to be quite liquid for airbrushing. And as the previous poster indicated, you should also check to make sure nothing is clogged, and play around with your height adjustment.

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Some moldy bonbons were just brought to my attention. :shock: Oooops. I've only been playing with molded chocolates (mostly at home) for about 2 years, but I've never had moldy ones before, so I'd appreciate any input on what might have gone wrong.

My assistant made them while I was away, in mid-September, so they're 3 to 4 weeks old. I don't have stabilizers and don't use a whole lot of sugar, so I know that is getting to the end of their lifespan, but I was still surprised. A lot of the bottoms were incomplete (small holes), and after we found one moldy one, we looked at the rest and they all had a little airspace (1 to 2 mm) between the shell and the ganache that was fuzzy with mold. Would the incomplete bottoming allow the ganache to dry out and shrink, or were they just poorly filled in addition to poorly bottomed? I've only done a few batches with her, so it was actually a pretty decent solo try. I'd like to be able to discuss what went wrong next time we make bonbons together.

I prefer slightly softer ganache because of the contrast with the crisp shell, and I want to be able to keep them at least two weeks. I think some invert sugar is coming on the next container order, so that should help with shelf life, right? Am I just lucky that these were the first moldy ones?

Fuzzy bonbons is sooo not 'luxury hotel'!

Edited by pastrygirl (log)
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I keep a sewing needle handy to unclog the tip every time I switch color, I usually work in a colder enviroment and I don't have problem. One thing that migth help us to wash it in warm water after each session.

Vanessa

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