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Chocolates with that showroom finish, 2004 - 2011


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I may have done my polishing correctly...  I used a paper towel.. 

Yikes! I hope that the paper towel hasn't scratched your molds... :sad:

John DePaula
formerly of DePaula Confections
Hand-crafted artisanal chocolates & gourmet confections - …Because Pleasure Matters…
--------------------
When asked “What are the secrets of good cooking? Escoffier replied, “There are three: butter, butter and butter.”

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I don't think I scratched the molds using the paper towel :blink: only because the chocolates realeased from the molds. It was the coco butter coloring's that I sprayed into the molds that didn't adhere competely to the chocolate making the chocolates look like chipped paint.

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Upon re-reading John DePaula's post, I think I may have identified the cause of my "chipped paint" on the chocolates. I have PCB colors and Chef Rubber colorings. I did not pay attention to the temperature of the cocobutter as I sprayed it. I don't know if the chef rubber coco butter colorings has an ideal temperature but the molds I sprayed with the chef rubber colorings came out ok. The PCB colorings did not. I will check the temperature of the PCB colorings before I spray...

Jeff

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I have had similar problems before and found it was the cocoa butter I was putting in the molds. If you are getting pieces of colored cocoa butter left in the mold and the chocolate lacks the normal shine, it might be the cocoa butter you use to polish the molds themselves. At least that seemed to be the case for me. I now just polish the molds well with cotton and get much better results. I'm in Florida and I suspect the temperature/humidity may have cause problems with the "polishing" cocoa butter.

I experimented by not polishing some of the mold with cocoa butter and was able to see that was where I was getting the defect.

Upon re-reading John DePaula's post, I think I may have identified the cause of my "chipped paint" on the chocolates.  I have PCB colors and Chef Rubber colorings.  I did not pay attention to the temperature of the cocobutter as I sprayed it.  I don't know if the chef rubber coco butter colorings has an ideal temperature but the molds I sprayed with the chef rubber colorings came out ok.  The PCB colorings did not.  I will check the temperature of the PCB colorings before I spray...

Jeff

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  • 3 months later...
It's important that the mold is clean.  JB Prince says that the molds are dishwasher safe as long as you don't use an abrasive.  Running them through the dishwasher, (where the water temperature doesn't rise above 50C and no heated drying) helps me keep my molds spotless.

It's most important that your chocolate is properly tempered.  If it's not, then your chocolate will not shrink enough as it sets and will stick. 

If you're having some problems getting your chocolate out of the mold, try flexing the mold a bit, or try tapping the inverted mold with the handle of your palette knife.  If that doesn't work, pop it in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.  This can help the chocolate contract a tiny bit more and ease the release from the mold.

The PCB colors need to used between 86 to 91.5°F (30 to 33°C).  Also room temperature plays an important role.  For me, around 70°F (21°C) works best.

Keep at it and have fun!

Chocolate is like golf. When you hit a good shot, it is the best game around but most of the time it is frustrating but the good feeling keeps bringing you back.

I've been working on molded chocolates for about a year now. Sometimes they come out great and I would put them next to anyone's chocolates. But...I keep running into problems with the chocolate not coming out of the mold cleanly or having "chips" of cocoa butter. I seem to be fine with white chocolate in a rounded mold. On other molds, the cocoa butter is "sticking" to the mold, especially in cracks and crevices. When I use dark chocolate, the problem seems to be even worse.

I have a Rev X and Rev 2 and so I believe it is tempered properly. Also, all my palets with transfers come out fine. I've had problems with some couvertures but I've been using El Rey with good results. It is disheartening to spend hours airbrushing only to see muddled results. I'm open to any ideas. I have washed the molds, they don't appear scratched. I then polish them with cotton. Sometimes I use a small amount of cocoa butter but it doesn't seem to matter. When they work, they are very shiny and beautiful.

I suspect humidity might be an issue. I live in Tampa and they normally are "sticky" when cooled at room temperature and don't normally pop out of the mold on their own without using the freezer.

I also suspect the cocoa butter may be out of temper but then why does it work sometimes. Also, I got a brand new mold on Friday and polished it up thinking it was scratched molds and got the same results.

I'd love any ideas that might help me be more consistent. Thanks All.

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But...I keep running into problems with the chocolate not coming out of the mold cleanly or having "chips" of cocoa butter.  I seem to be fine with white chocolate in a rounded mold.  On other molds, the cocoa butter is "sticking" to the mold, especially in cracks and crevices.  When I use dark chocolate, the problem seems to be even worse.  ............ I suspect humidity might be an issue.  I live in Tampa and they normally are "sticky" when cooled at room temperature and don't normally pop out of the mold on their own without using the freezer. 

You know, I've read all through this thread in the past and other threads using cocoa butter in the molds first, (with PERFECT results now every time - thanks everyone!!) but I'm not gonna reread it all today so forgive me if you've already covered this point. But it sounds like you've got one major problem:

Your cocoa butter isn't completly firmed up/hardened back to its solid state when you're pouring the tempered chocolate in, hence the stickiness in the crevices. Even if you're not heating it to apply it, the heat generated from rubbing it in there will be enough to turn it to a semi-liquid state. Think of it exactly like regular butter.....cold butter when you rub it on something will soften and stay softened at room temp, so you need to solidify it again. Try popping the molds into the fridge for a few minutes after they're coated, then allow them to come back to room temp before pouring your chocolate in. If it's terribly warm where you're working, try keeping the molds in a cool, but not cold, place. (You don't want to pour the tempered chocolate into a cold mold, of course.)

I hope that helps solve your problem. If I stated the obvious here for you I'm sorry. :laugh:

Edited to add:

I also suspect the cocoa butter may be out of temper but then why does it work sometimes.

Cocoa butter is not in temper/doesn't need tempering.

Edited by Sugarella (log)
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But...I keep running into problems with the chocolate not coming out of the mold cleanly or having "chips" of cocoa butter.  I seem to be fine with white chocolate in a rounded mold.  On other molds, the cocoa butter is "sticking" to the mold, especially in cracks and crevices.  When I use dark chocolate, the problem seems to be even worse.  ............ I suspect humidity might be an issue.  I live in Tampa and they normally are "sticky" when cooled at room temperature and don't normally pop out of the mold on their own without using the freezer. 

You know, I've read all through this thread in the past and other threads using cocoa butter in the molds first, (with PERFECT results now every time - thanks everyone!!) but I'm not gonna reread it all today so forgive me if you've already covered this point. But it sounds like you've got one major problem:

Your cocoa butter isn't completly firmed up/hardened back to its solid state when you're pouring the tempered chocolate in, hence the stickiness in the crevices. Even if you're not heating it to apply it, the heat generated from rubbing it in there will be enough to turn it to a semi-liquid state. Think of it exactly like regular butter.....cold butter when you rub it on something will soften and stay softened at room temp, so you need to solidify it again. Try popping the molds into the fridge for a few minutes after they're coated, then allow them to come back to room temp before pouring your chocolate in. If it's terribly warm where you're working, try keeping the molds in a cool, but not cold, place. (You don't want to pour the tempered chocolate into a cold mold, of course.)

I hope that helps solve your problem. If I stated the obvious here for you I'm sorry. :laugh:

Edited to add:

I also suspect the cocoa butter may be out of temper but then why does it work sometimes.

Cocoa butter is not in temper/doesn't need tempering.

I actually have not been using cocoa butter on the molds except the colored cocoa butter and it hardens completely before I put in the chocolate. I actually hit the mold with a hair dryer before putting in the chocolate to get the mold closer to the temp of the chocolate. But...as I've mentioned what throws me off is that sometimes it works fine. The white chocolate seems to work best. I'm also not sure about rubbing the mold with cocoa butter then applying colored cocoa butter and then chocolate, seems like too many layers.

When I pour the chocolate into molds with cocoa butter...won't the temp of the chocolate "soften" the cocoa butter anyway? If anything, it seems the bonding between the cocoa butter and the mold is firmer than the bond between the colored cocoa butter and the chocolate. Thanks for the reply, I'll look into it and see if it helps but I suspect it must be something else.

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in watching jean-pierre wybauw give a demonstration, he states that molds do NOT need to be cleaned all the time. people spend all this time polishing, etc. which is silly. the only time you probably need to clean your molds is when your chocolate was totally out of temper and you have crap stuck everywhere.

he states that the mold sort of gets seasoned by being used (like a good cast iron pan or wok), if necessary, some of the residual cocoa butter should be warmed up with a hair dryer gently before being filled/coated with tempered chocolate.

he is also a proponent of cooling tempered chocolate. chucking it into the fridge for a short period of time based on the size or thickness of the mold or coating. as long as you let the tempered chocolate set a bit at room temperature, it shouldn't be a problem to refrigerate it to help it along. he did make sure to specify that if you can't "ventilate" your refrigerator, you can leave the door open a tad so that moisture doesn't collect on your chocolate from the fridge. i'm assuming with large chocolate operations, the chilling process is done with some sort of venting to prevent humidity/moisture from coming into play.

at any rate, this might not help, but it is just another point of view. maybe it will help lessen the amount of elbow grease you expend on that one particularly tedious task

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I actually have not been using cocoa butter on the molds except the colored cocoa butter and it hardens completely before I put in the chocolate.  I actually hit the mold with a hair dryer before putting in the chocolate to get the mold closer to the temp of the chocolate.  But...as I've mentioned what throws me off is that sometimes it works fine.  The white chocolate seems to work best.  I'm also not sure about rubbing the mold with cocoa butter then applying colored cocoa butter and then chocolate, seems like too many layers. 

When I pour the chocolate into molds with cocoa butter...won't the temp of the chocolate "soften" the cocoa butter anyway?  If anything, it seems the bonding between the cocoa butter and the mold is firmer than the bond between the colored cocoa butter and the chocolate.  Thanks for the reply, I'll look into it and see if it helps but I suspect it must be something else.

A-HA! You're melting the cocoa butter when you hit it with the hair dryer; you're supposed to use the dryer (if you choose to at all) in the molds before rubbing the cocoa butter in.....that does 2 things..... cleans any dust/lint out of the mold, and warms the mold so the cocoa will spread more smoothly and this also results in a shinier finish on the finished chocolate. (Well, a shinier gloss on the cocoa butter, actually.)

....And yes, you'll have had less problems with white chocolates doing this because the cocoa butter content of white is so high and the 2 are melding together easier.

I'm not recommending using both plain cocoa butter then the coloured ones over top..... either/or is sufficient.

And chocolate, in temper, is not warm enough to melt the cocoa butter in the molds.

Try this:

1 - Clean and buff molds with cotton

2 - Hit molds with hair dryer (optional step)

3 - Apply cocoa butter by rubbing or spraying

4 - Chill molds to solidify cocoa butter

5 - Bring molds back to room temperature

6 - Fill with tempered chocolate

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And to clarify, technically yes, the tempered chocolate IS warm enough to soften the cocoa butter in the molds, making it adhere to the chocolate.....it just isn't warm enough to actually melt it like the hair dryer would. Hope that clarifies.

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to add:

1. never give your molds to the dishwasher, the soap is abrasive. if you must wash them, by hand, you can use a little dawn if you need. spritz the cleaned molds with a little distilled water and let air dry.

2. never use paper towels or dish towels or any towels, the best is those pure cotton makeup pads, not the balls and not the fake ones either

3. chef rubber color is beta 6, that is the best, the rest of the products out there are who knows what, so don't mix them, just dump the rest, you'll save yourself some frustration

nkaplan@delposto.com
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I have started putting my molds in the dishwasher and my chocolates come out even shinier and with less sticking than when I didn't wash them between batches. It's just a home dishwasher, maybe commercial ones have harsher detergents. I do polish them, just to get the water spots off.

I have found that the coloured cocoa butter sticks more often when the layer is too thick. When swirling colour in with your finger or whatever, I have to be careful that it doesn't pool in the bottom, because that is a recipe for sticking. I rarely have any airbrushed chocolates stick.

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I have started putting my molds in the dishwasher and my chocolates come out even shinier and with less sticking than when I didn't wash them between batches. It's just a home dishwasher, maybe commercial ones have harsher detergents. I do polish them, just to get the water spots off.

I echo Nicoles comment, don't ever put them thru the dishwasher. You maybe just lucky Choux. But that's definately a risk you shouldn't take.

I had similar problems with spots sticking, when I began. I was using a clean cotton towel to polish my molds. After I switched to cotton balls to polish, none have gotten stuck.......so I think the cloth wasn't polishing the surface as throughly. I haven't heard about using make-up pads......but next time I'll make that switch. Thanks Nicole.

I also ditto Sugarellas steps. I do the same with-out the blowdryer step.

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Has anyone else tried putting moulds in the dishwasher with no ill effects? I had heard the warnings about not putting them in, and someone else told me it was fine to dishwash them. So I tried it, works great, chocolates come out better. Has anyone else tried it or are we all following someone else? Maybe the myth needs to be busted.

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I think a lot of it really depends on how hard your water is. Minerals in hard water will etch glass and your drinking glasses will turn whitish over time in the dishwasher.... it'd happen to plastic quicker I would assume.

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Has anyone else tried putting moulds in the dishwasher with no ill effects? I had heard the warnings about not putting them in, and someone else told me it was fine to dishwash them. So I tried it, works great, chocolates come out better. Has anyone else tried it or are we all following someone else? Maybe the myth needs to be busted.

I bought quite a few molds at J.B. Prince (I like their selection, prices and customer service). Here's the insert that arrives with the molds:

These chocolate molds are made from food safe rigid polycarbonate plastic.  They are durable, will not bend, and have highly detailed designs.

Before use, these molds should be carefully cleaned in warm or hot water with mild soap.  DO NOT USE A DETERGENT OR SOAP THAT CONTAINS ABRASIVES.

It is possible to put these molds in a dishwasher – even a commercial one, BUT DO NOT USE DISHWASHER DETERGENT.  It contains abrasives that will scratch the plastic.

After washing, the molds can be dried with a soft, lint free cloth or cotton balls.

Thank you for buying from the J.B. Prince Company.

So what do I think? I like to have clean molds when I start a production run, so I do wash them in the dishwasher: top rack, a tiny bit of dish washing liquid (NO DETERGENT), AND NO HEATED DRYING. When the washing cycle finishes, you can dunk them in distilled water to prevent dissolved minerals in the tap water from drying and leaving a film. (If you live in Paris, you need to do this! The mileage at your location may vary.)

My chocolates come out with an unbelievable shine (someone once told me that it just doesn't look natural for chocolate to look that shiny…) and I get close to zero duds. Occasionally I have to chill a tray for a few minutes to help contract the chocolate a bit more, but the finish is still excellent. Do not chill in the freezer as this can cause the chocolate to fracture and ruin the surface.

John DePaula
formerly of DePaula Confections
Hand-crafted artisanal chocolates & gourmet confections - …Because Pleasure Matters…
--------------------
When asked “What are the secrets of good cooking? Escoffier replied, “There are three: butter, butter and butter.”

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Has anyone else tried putting moulds in the dishwasher with no ill effects? I had heard the warnings about not putting them in, and someone else told me it was fine to dishwash them. So I tried it, works great, chocolates come out better. Has anyone else tried it or are we all following someone else? Maybe the myth needs to be busted.

I bought quite a few molds at J.B. Prince (I like their selection, prices and customer service). Here's the insert that arrives with the molds:

These chocolate molds are made from food safe rigid polycarbonate plastic.  They are durable, will not bend, and have highly detailed designs.

Before use, these molds should be carefully cleaned in warm or hot water with mild soap.  DO NOT USE A DETERGENT OR SOAP THAT CONTAINS ABRASIVES.

It is possible to put these molds in a dishwasher – even a commercial one, BUT DO NOT USE DISHWASHER DETERGENT.  It contains abrasives that will scratch the plastic.

After washing, the molds can be dried with a soft, lint free cloth or cotton balls.

Thank you for buying from the J.B. Prince Company.

So what do I think? I like to have clean molds when I start a production run, so I do wash them in the dishwasher: top rack, a tiny bit of dish washing liquid (NO DETERGENT), AND NO HEATED DRYING. When the washing cycle finishes, you can dunk them in distilled water to prevent dissolved minerals in the tap water from drying and leaving a film. (If you live in Paris, you need to do this! The mileage at your location may vary.)

My chocolates come out with an unbelievable shine (someone once told me that it just doesn't look natural for chocolate to look that shiny…) and I get close to zero duds. Occasionally I have to chill a tray for a few minutes to help contract the chocolate a bit more, but the finish is still excellent. Do not chill in the freezer as this can cause the chocolate to fracture and ruin the surface.

I have washed molds on the top shelf of the dishwasher in the past with no ill effects, however I have concerns that over time the surface of the plastic will become dehydrated, more pourous and therefore produce less shiny chocolate.

I don't like putting dirty molds back in the cupboard so I do like to wash them, so I run them under a spray of hot water in the sink, clean any bits sticking in the cavities with a vase brush from Lee Valley. It has a lovely soft cotton tip and comes in a variety of sizes appropriate for different sized cavites. I then sit the molds on their side on a towel and wait for them to dry.

I don't often polish my molds anymore, unless they have water spots or if I am molding something like a figure. To polish I use either some soft suedelike microfibre cloth that I purchased at a fabric store (no lint) or a cheesecloth like piece of fabric called a lap sponge that is used in the operating room to mop up (also lint free). Not so easy to get unused versions of this unless you have connections to someone who works in a hospital.

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I have put molds in the dishwasher without detergent and also hand washed with just hot water because like others, I like clean molds as I keep them at my house and am not a true production environment. I don't think that has adversly affected my chocolates as I had as much of a problem with a brand new mold as the others.

Great idea to use distilled water though as Florida has lots of minerals in the water.

I'll also use the my wine cooler rather than the freezer to cool the molds to see if that helps. I still think the problem is with the way the chocolate is setting up rather than the molds themselves. Probably the humidity, temperature or both. When I spent some time at Chris Elbows shop I remember how he would just go to the molds and pull out the shell, mine don't get the firm.

I use El Rey most of the time and perhaps the temp of my machine needs to be higher/lower for that chocolate. I do notice the longer the chocolate is in the machine, the more it seems to lose its shine. The last molds I do are always worse than the first ones. But again, my transfers normally come out perfect.

Like John, when mine come out they have a great shine and almost glass like appearance. I like a few hours from Norman Love's shop and stop by often and the last few batches I've done would not look out of place in his box (they may not be as good tasting but the appearance is there).

On somewhat of another subject, anyone know of any good training/classes coming up for chocolate? I'd like to take something regarding bon bon production and I'm sure it would help.

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I use El Rey most of the time and perhaps the temp of my machine needs to be higher/lower for that chocolate.  I do notice the longer the chocolate is in the machine, the more it seems to lose its shine.  The last molds I do are always worse than the first ones.  But again, my transfers normally come out perfect. 

I keep a hydrometer in my work area and noticed one day that there was a spike in the humidity. I don't recall the exact percentage, but it may have been as high as 62%. The chocolate was a major pain to work with that day, constantly trying to seize.

So working in Florida where it's difficult to keep the temperature and humidity in check, I can imagine that there will be problems from time to time.

What do you think about using a dehumidifier in your work area?

John DePaula
formerly of DePaula Confections
Hand-crafted artisanal chocolates & gourmet confections - …Because Pleasure Matters…
--------------------
When asked “What are the secrets of good cooking? Escoffier replied, “There are three: butter, butter and butter.”

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Busy day, so I'm not sure I've read all the previous posts correctly. I may just be yacking to myself. But somebody might find it of use.

Never "Setup" fudge in the fridge or chocolate in the freezer. In both cases the temp is too cold and actually halts crystallization.

I believe someone mentioned "sticky" chocolate and think this is most likely "sugar bloom" not to be confused with fat bloom. Where humidity or moisture is pulled into the chocolate and dissolves the sugars and redeposits on the open surface.

Until you can get a dehumidifier.

If your kitchen is warm and you need to "set" your bon bons or any other open faced molds, place a sheet of wax paper over them before placing in the fridge. Let them return to room temp before removing wax paper and unmolding.

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Actually, what happens if you put chocolate in the freezer is you run the risk of 'shocking' it - that is, you force extremely rapid crystallization on the very outer surfaces, which effectively acts as an insulator for all the residual heat that's trapped inside. You may likely get a product that looks nice initially, but 6 hours later as that heats worked itself out, you're in trouble.

There's some commercial high speed moulding equipment that exploits this phenemenon, one of the names given to it is cold cone technology. The idea is the create your shell thin enough and your equipment cold enough so that the chocolate is essentially 'shocked' all the way through, leaving negligible residual trapped heat. Pretty interesting stuff.

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Actually, what happens if you put chocolate in the freezer is you run the risk of 'shocking' it - that is, you force extremely rapid crystallization on the very outer surfaces, which effectively acts as an insulator for all the residual heat that's trapped inside.  You may likely get a product that looks nice initially, but 6 hours later as that heats worked itself out, you're in trouble.

Right, the same reason a frozen truffle center dipped into untempered chocolate will set.

"cold cone technology? Negligible residual heat?"

I am intrigued....that wouldn't happen to come in a table top unit with minimal assembly required.

:wink:

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The PCB colors need to used between 86 to 91.5°F (30 to 33°C).  Also room temperature plays an important role.  For me, around 70°F (21°C) works best.

I use a digital thermometer to check the temperature of the PCB colors but it sometimes gets messy or tedious with multiple color. Does the yogurt maker keep the colors in this temperature range? It would make my life easier when I paint the molds using multiple colors.

Edited by jturn00 (log)
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The PCB colors need to used between 86 to 91.5°F (30 to 33°C).  Also room temperature plays an important role.  For me, around 70°F (21°C) works best.

I use a digital thermometer to check the temperature of the PCB colors but it sometimes gets messy or tedious with multiple color. Does the yogurt maker keep the colors in this temperature range? It would make my life easier when I paint the molds using multiple colors.

Since I wrote that comment, I've stopped measuring the temperature with a thermometer. I just warm it in the microwave on LOW until it's mostly melted and the container is just slightly warm to the touch.

If I'm working with a lot of colors at once, the yogurt maker can help keep them at temperature; though mine seems to be a bit too warm, so I have to cycle it on/off.

John DePaula
formerly of DePaula Confections
Hand-crafted artisanal chocolates & gourmet confections - …Because Pleasure Matters…
--------------------
When asked “What are the secrets of good cooking? Escoffier replied, “There are three: butter, butter and butter.”

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