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Skwerl

Chocolates with that showroom finish, 2004 - 2011

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I so wanted to post photos but I have a new computer you see... :wink: I couldn't figure how to get my photos on the computer, and then I couldn't figure how to shrink them without my photoshop program. And then, I gave up. Think sunglasses! So shiny!!

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but I have a new computer you see... :wink:

Say no more, say no more. (shades of Monty Python). All is understood. And the chocolates are more important than the photos. Keep up the good work...but I do want to see what they looked like.


Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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I can't believe how long it has been since I've been online...too busy. Anyway, I have a very fond memory of this thread as it is where my chocolate life really began some years ago. It seems such a long time ago that I was working in my kitchen trying to figure out how to actually temper chocolate and mesmerized by the beauty of a shiny painted bon bon. I just started appearing on HSN last month which is something I never imagined when I posted my first message on eGullet. I owe this website a great deal and I'm glad to see people still are poking around this thread.

Anyway, we do various sizes of Easter Eggs and do the human spinning as well but one way we found to combat the latent heat is to do multiple layers of thin chocolate before filling the shell, clamping and spinning. We use a heavy brush and after painting the egg, brush 4-5 thin layers of chocolate in the mold. This allows for good crystalization and then when we do add the chocolate that will finally create the finished egg, we have a good solid base that is crystallized. You just have to work very clean so you don't have edges.

I hope you can post the egg pictures....I'd love to see them. Bill

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I've been using this method for several years now, and I use a "special" brush...

it's a silicone bbq brush, small, about 1 1/2" wide. Works O.K., but the "bonuses" are that I can never loose bristles, and to clean, I load it up with ohocolate, let it harden, and pull the whole thing off!

I also have an even older and more simple "airbrush", a.k.a a "mouth atomizer". Bought it over 20 ears ago and it is nothing moe than a fat tube hinged to a thin tube at a 90 degree angle. Insert the thin tube into coloured cocoa butter, blow on the fat tube, and there's your airbrush.

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Anyway, we do various sizes of Easter Eggs and do the human spinning as well but one way we found to combat the latent heat is to do multiple layers of thin chocolate before filling the shell, clamping and spinning. We use a heavy brush and after painting the egg, brush 4-5 thin layers of chocolate in the mold.

Congrats on the HSN shows. That's awesome! Thanks for posting your egg method. You are absolutely right on about putting down a layer of chocolate that will be well crystallized first. What a difference that makes. I've been having success with 2 layers of chocolate. I make sure that the end result is opaque - so fairly thick layers. When I add chocolate and spin, I first spin for not quite a minute at room temp. and then hold the mold in front of a fan and continue spinning for approx. 4 minutes. I find this long but the results are great. How long do you spin for? Oh, and then it goes in the fridge to set.

I've been using this method for several years now, and I use a "special" brush...

it's a silicone bbq brush, small, about 1 1/2" wide. Works O.K., but the "bonuses" are that I can never loose bristles, and to clean, I load it up with ohocolate, let it harden, and pull the whole thing off!

I am definitely going to try that! I can see the brush wouldn't be as good for putting down chocolate but what great benefits. Right now I'm trying a foam brush. I can 'squeeze' the chocolate out. I don't prefer it to a regular pastry brush though. Anyone else have clever brush ideas?

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A minute sounds about right for spinning but we don't leave it at room temperature. We use clips on the molds and put it in the refigerator and then about every minute, we rotate the mold so any liquid chocolate will flow to a new area. We rotate the egg about 4 times so it has a chance to get a good flow of the chocolate. We are in Florida so by this time of year, heat is already a problem hence using the refigerator. Time to get started on our end, I can't believe Easter is already coming up on us.

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I've been using this method for several years now, and I use a "special" brush...

it's a silicone bbq brush, small, about 1 1/2" wide. Works O.K., but the "bonuses" are that I can never loose bristles, and to clean, I load it up with ohocolate, let it harden, and pull the whole thing off!

Edward, I have to say a big thank you for this tip. I LOVE using the silicone brush! As you say, it's OK for performance but clean up is SOOO easy. Easy clean up always gets top marks with me! And I like the mini 'aero bar' you get when you pull the set chocolate off the brush :smile:

Thanks again for sharing...

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First attempt at using luster dust after reading all this thread :)

I used three different colours- gold, bronze and copper. In one mold, I went over each cavity with some melted cocoa butter, and then sprinkled the luster dust with a small brush, on the other I sprinkled the dust straight on (to see if there was any difference). By the time I got to releasing the chocolates from the molds, I had forgotten which mold was which, but I did see the chocolates from one mold were definitely shinier than the other. By that time I had 2 theories:

1. The shinier ones were from the mold with cocoa butter, and were shinier because of the cocoa butter

2. The opaque ones were from the mold with cocoa butter, and I had put in too much cocoa butter that made them less shiny...

hmm... what to do.. finally, after close inspection, I saw that the shiny ones had some thick residues of cocoa butter in some of the corners- yey! no need to do the whole experiment again :biggrin:

Anyway here is a picture of the shinier ones- bronze, copper, gold from left to right.

Copy of IMG_6537.JPG

Copy of IMG_6523.JPG

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First the good:

IMG_0240.JPG

Ginger rum. Mixed gold luster dust with cocoa butter and painted it in part of the mold. Sort of interesting effect, with how much shinier the part with the cocoa butter is, like gloss and matte finishes on the same piece.

IMG_0243.jpg

Cherry-chambord. Colored cocoa butter painted in with a brush.

The bad: I made these 2 weeks ago, and today the cherry chambord above were about half imploded in the tops, similar to some previous imploding I had on another flavor

IMG_0191.JPG

Hazelnut, collapsed.

The first time this happened with the hazelnut, I thought the shells were just too thin. Now that it has happened again, and also with another flavor, I clearly need to change how I make them.

The ganaches this has happened with are softer cream ganaches. I am thinking that the centers are drying and contracting and pulling on the shell until it goes concave.

Should I agitate my ganache once cool to induce crystallization? Should I not use cream ganache, only butter? Or simply change the formulas?

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First the good:

IMG_0240.JPG

Ginger rum. Mixed gold luster dust with cocoa butter and painted it in part of the mold. Sort of interesting effect, with how much shinier the part with the cocoa butter is, like gloss and matte finishes on the same piece.

IMG_0243.jpg

Cherry-chambord. Colored cocoa butter painted in with a brush.

The bad: I made these 2 weeks ago, and today the cherry chambord above were about half imploded in the tops, similar to some previous imploding I had on another flavor

IMG_0191.JPG

Hazelnut, collapsed.

The first time this happened with the hazelnut, I thought the shells were just too thin. Now that it has happened again, and also with another flavor, I clearly need to change how I make them.

The ganaches this has happened with are softer cream ganaches. I am thinking that the centers are drying and contracting and pulling on the shell until it goes concave.

Should I agitate my ganache once cool to induce crystallization? Should I not use cream ganache, only butter? Or simply change the formulas?

Trying to recall what Wybauw had said about the ganaches that make this happen - I think it related to trying to get your aW level to something closer to the hydration level they were stored at so that water wasn't leaving the ganache.

Here's what I could find from my shelf life notes -

You want to create a balance in the relative humidity so that the filling doesn’t gain or lose water to it’s surroundings. This can be accomplished by replacing 50% of the sugar with glucose or dextrose. Or by adding to the total moisture quantity 10% sorbitol, or 10% glycerine, or 50% glucose or 15% alcohol (refers to 100% ethanol).

The ideal center has the same relative humidity as its surroundings so it neither gives

off water and dries, hardens and crystallizes or absorbs water and increases it’s aW.

Ideally a ganache left to crust overnight will somewhat stabilize with it’s environment.

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If it's nut filled centers you're having problems with the softening issue in, the problem is most likely due to fat migration. Nut fats and cocoa butter don't mix, and the fat migration is caused by the cocoa butter entering the center as well as some oil migrating from the center towards the cocoa butter. Better to use a milk chocolate shell as some dairy fat helps mitigate this problem.


Jeffrey Stern

www.jeffreygstern.com

http://bit.ly/cKwUL4

http://destination-ecuador.net

cocoapodman at gmail dot com

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So I've read through this thread probably 5 or 6 times in the past few years, and most of the comments have been really helpful, but I don't remember if this question was asked specifically so I'm gonna go out on a limb and ask it and hopefully won't get heckled by everyone for asking something that's already been asked :wink:

I recently got the half dome molds that Norman Love uses with most of his chocolates to create that beautiful cocoa butter shine. I picked up some colored cocoa butter from Chef Rubber, and decided to try the swirl technique that's talked about at the beginning of this thread. I did the white first, then the green, making sure to chill each one before doing the next and let the mold come back to room temp before adding the dark chocolate. The chocolate was in temper when I filled the molds, but I noticed right away that they weren't releasing like they should, when the other mold I filled was releasing just fine. I filled the chocolates, capped them, and they still weren't releasing. I put them in the fridge, and only a few came out unscathed, after probably 2-3 hours of fridge time most of them had big chunks of mostly green that stayed in the mold.

I guess the question I'm posing is whether it was because I didn't buff first (felt like I didn't need to since the molds were brand new), the cocoa butter was too thick, or did I get a little over zealous and poured the mold too quickly and it wasn't quite in temper i.e. should I let it sit a minute or two before I start shelling (as the other mold I shelled came out just fine, though it didn't have any colored cocoa butter, it was just a plain dark shell. Note I did hand temper the batch of chocolate, and I do remember giving the molds a quite rinse because the packaging materials it was shipped in was sticking to the molds. So maybe it was a buffing issue? Dang, what a silly mistake! :sad:

The other question is pertaining to a quote made earlier in the thread about molds being like cast iron pans and needing a good seasoning. Since these are brand new molds should I shell them with a chocolate before attempting a colored cocoa butter design to "season" them, or do you all feel that would be unnecessary?

I'm obviously not going to give up trying this, but I was hoping someone would see the error in my ways, as I'm a bit perplexed.

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Greetings everyone, im a baker/pastry chef in london working at tom aikens. Im slowly but surely getting more and more into chocolate work but need some good, reliable sources of information. Im particularly interested methods and techniques(not so much recipes yet) and also learning about chocolate moulding using coloured cocoa butter.

Does anyone know of any good books, websites, videos and names i can check out? Like i said, the whole chocolate moulding and crazy cocoa butter effects really interests me so anything involving that would be much appreciated.

Look forward to hearing from you all very soon. Thanks alot guys

Stu

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Hello Stu! And Welcome!

Some great books that have helped me out thus far in my chocolatiering journey are Chocolate and Confections by Peter Greweling and The Art of the Chocolatier by Edward Notter. Both go into the techniques of making chocolate, as well as talking about coloring/airbrushing molds. They also have formulae for chocolates, so you get a 3 in 1 essentially. I would say the other best resource for learning how to working with designs in molds is reading the threads on here (they've been a big help for me) and just experimenting.

I'd also check out Norman Love's website, it doesn't exactly give you a lot of info on techniques (though you can take a class from him if you find yourself in Tampa, FL :wink:), but it does give you an idea of what level you can take your chocolates to and ideas. I love looking at his chocolates, they are stunning!

Anyway, I hope this helps. I would also check out the Pastry and Baking Index that is pinned at the top of the Pastry and Baking page, halfway down the page it has a bunch of useful chocolate threads (if you haven't found that already) or you can link directly to it from here

Good luck!

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The bad: I made these 2 weeks ago, and today the cherry chambord above were about half imploded in the tops, similar to some previous imploding I had on another flavor

IMG_0191.JPG

Hazelnut, collapsed.

The first time this happened with the hazelnut, I thought the shells were just too thin. Now that it has happened again, and also with another flavor, I clearly need to change how I make them.

The ganaches this has happened with are softer cream ganaches. I am thinking that the centers are drying and contracting and pulling on the shell until it goes concave.

Should I agitate my ganache once cool to induce crystallization? Should I not use cream ganache, only butter? Or simply change the formulas?

I've also had the "implosion" with that exact same mold. It doesn't happen immediately, but after a couple of weeks. It is my belief that this particular mold casts very thin shells on the sides and as the center dries out, sucks in the sides a bit. If you cast the shells twice, you should get a thicker wall which will eliminate this problem.


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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The bad: I made these 2 weeks ago, and today the cherry chambord above were about half imploded in the tops, similar to some previous imploding I had on another flavor

IMG_0191.JPG

Hazelnut, collapsed.

The first time this happened with the hazelnut, I thought the shells were just too thin. Now that it has happened again, and also with another flavor, I clearly need to change how I make them.

The ganaches this has happened with are softer cream ganaches. I am thinking that the centers are drying and contracting and pulling on the shell until it goes concave.

Should I agitate my ganache once cool to induce crystallization? Should I not use cream ganache, only butter? Or simply change the formulas?

I've also had the "implosion" with that exact same mold. It doesn't happen immediately, but after a couple of weeks. It is my belief that this particular mold casts very thin shells on the sides and as the center dries out, sucks in the sides a bit. If you cast the shells twice, you should get a thicker wall which will eliminate this problem.

Interesting. It does look like the sides with the white chocolate stripe did not implode, so I guess the extra layer did add strength there. I haven't been using my smaller molds lately - been making solid bars instead - but will get back to it soon. I spent a few hours yesterday with a local chocolatier who stressed tempering the ganache, although they do only slabbed & enrobed ganache, not filled pieces. She did some on the marble slab and some in the robot coupe with the liquid at only 145F so the chocolate wouldn't overheat. There are a lot of things in cooking that you can fake your way through, but not chocolate :hmmm:


Edited by pastrygirl (log)

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Punk Patissier,

You may find a class at the Callebaut centre in Banbury worth attending website. They run courses aimed at professional level as well as introductory. Some of the courses take place in London.

Valrhona have just published a book which I have not seen yet but could be worth a look Amazon link

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Valrhona have just published a book which I have not seen yet but could be worth a look Amazon link

This is the English version of "Encyclopédie du chocolat", which was originally published about 1 year ago in France. I have it (the French version) and it does not cover what Punk Patissier is looking for. It's a really good book, but it must be considered for what it was intended for: giving the bases on a huge spectrum of chocolate utilizations (pralines, cakes, ice-creams, cookies and so on). A professional already knows almost everything written in the book, there are "only" the basics. It's a great book for the amateurs, or for people starting to be a professional, but there is almost nothing advanced.

Teo


Teo

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Ewald Notter's book "Art of the Chocolatier" is probably the best book for design techniques. I also have the new book "Couture Chocolate" from William Curley that has some design techniques. And of course JP Wybauw's book "Chocolate Decorations" talks about alot of different techniques for coloring and shaping chocolates.

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The bad: I made these 2 weeks ago, and today the cherry chambord above were about half imploded in the tops, similar to some previous imploding I had on another flavor

IMG_0191.JPG

Hazelnut, collapsed.

The first time this happened with the hazelnut, I thought the shells were just too thin. Now that it has happened again, and also with another flavor, I clearly need to change how I make them.

The ganaches this has happened with are softer cream ganaches. I am thinking that the centers are drying and contracting and pulling on the shell until it goes concave.

Should I agitate my ganache once cool to induce crystallization? Should I not use cream ganache, only butter? Or simply change the formulas?

I've also had the "implosion" with that exact same mold. It doesn't happen immediately, but after a couple of weeks. It is my belief that this particular mold casts very thin shells on the sides and as the center dries out, sucks in the sides a bit. If you cast the shells twice, you should get a thicker wall which will eliminate this problem.

Interesting. It does look like the sides with the white chocolate stripe did not implode, so I guess the extra layer did add strength there. I haven't been using my smaller molds lately - been making solid bars instead - but will get back to it soon. I spent a few hours yesterday with a local chocolatier who stressed tempering the ganache, although they do only slabbed & enrobed ganache, not filled pieces. She did some on the marble slab and some in the robot coupe with the liquid at only 145F so the chocolate wouldn't overheat. There are a lot of things in cooking that you can fake your way through, but not chocolate :hmmm:

It could also be the relative material strength of dark chocolate vs white chocolate. My pieces which implode are white chocolate.


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 guys. I have w.curleys book and I visit him from time to time. He's a traditionalist and disengage like to get to techical with his work . Il try the books recomended by you all and see what I can find. Many thanks and all the best for your future experiments. Stewart

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What I need is a book or resource that holds of on the recipes and focuses solely on the methods and techniques. Rodent have to be a massive encyclopedia, just a good reliable reference for when I'm experimenting and trying new things.

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