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cakedecorator1968

Spraying Chocolate: Equipment, Materials, and Techniques

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Can I just say you guys are incredible! What a huge success. Everything went perfectly. I'm so tired right now but I'll post pics and techniques shortly.

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Here are the pics. First, here is the El Rey white and the hand cream ready for melting. I chopped them both a bit more. I simply heated in the microwave until most of the chunks dissolved and then babied it until completely dissolved so as to not overheat.

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Here are tools. I had a 5.2HP painter. I could have bought the cheaper ones, but my fear was that the chocolate would have been too thick to work through easily (that wasn't a problem at all). You can also see the colored buttercream - Aztez Orange from Chef Rubber.

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eG member Patrick A assisted on the project. We heard the recommendation to work on the ground, but I'm tall and my back ached at the thought, so we set up on our prep table. We draped the table with butcher paper. As I sprayed, Patrick would hold up the paper behind where I was blowing to catch overspray - worked like a charm. I did the 2:1 ratio and it was very thin, but apparently, just right. I would compare it to the viscosity of a cheap Wal-Mart paint - watery indoor latex. I checked the temp, simply by touch - waiting until slightly warm to the touch.

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This photo shows the coverage:

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Here's the final product before decoration. This was a passionfruit cheesecake.

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Unfortunately this pic is blurry, but I tempered some chocolate onto a transfer sheet with a weave design and added my signature card. The event was a fundraiser for our local women's fiber art guild. I didn't know that my colors would match theirs - see the edge of the seating card:

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Thanks again for everyone's suggestions and guidance. As always - you're super!

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Was there much cleanup?

Clean up was very fast the way we did it. The sprayed area was just crumple the paper and toss. Because of how we used the paper, there was no overspray to clean off the floor. The painter was my fear knowing how stubborn chocolate can be. I just let my water get as hot as it could and filled the paint container, washed out the chocolate by hand, re-filled and sprayed it until the container was empty and the water was running clear (just like when you use paint). I then hand washed the container and did some spot check cleaning of the nozzle. I'll check today to see if there is any residue, but I didn't feel any. Less than 5 minutes of cleaning.

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First of all, I have to say that the pieces turned out absolutely gorgeous! Love the effect you get with the spraying.

Next, I wanted to ask more about the "hand cream." I've heard that cosmetic grade hand cream is probably ok to use EXCEPT if they put preservatives in that are "external use only..."

P.S. If you're going to do a lot of spraying, then it may be helpful to setup a spray box. Just a large box that has the side facing you cut out. Then you can fold it for easy storage and not worry at all about cleanup.

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Rob! The mini cheese cakes are just lovely! I wish I were your neighbor!! Yummy!!

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First of all, I have to say that the pieces turned out absolutely gorgeous!  Love the effect you get with the spraying.

Next, I wanted to ask more about the "hand cream."  I've heard that cosmetic grade hand cream is probably ok to use EXCEPT if they put preservatives in that are "external use only..."

P.S.  If you're going to do a lot of spraying, then it may be helpful to setup a spray box.  Just a large box that has the side facing you cut out.  Then you can fold it for easy storage and not worry at all about cleanup.

Thanks John for the complements and tips. The hand cream seemed safe (and 2 days later no one that I know of ended up in the hospital). I read the label very carefully and it contained nothing but cocoa butter - no preservatives, no colors, no fragrances. So, my assumption is still that the "external use" was because the factory isn't food certified. Which, I acknowledge, is reason enough to not use it in a commerical setting...which I'm not.

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First of all, I have to say that the pieces turned out absolutely gorgeous!  Love the effect you get with the spraying.

Next, I wanted to ask more about the "hand cream."  I've heard that cosmetic grade hand cream is probably ok to use EXCEPT if they put preservatives in that are "external use only..."

P.S.  If you're going to do a lot of spraying, then it may be helpful to setup a spray box.  Just a large box that has the side facing you cut out.  Then you can fold it for easy storage and not worry at all about cleanup.

Thanks John for the complements and tips. The hand cream seemed safe (and 2 days later no one that I know of ended up in the hospital). I read the label very carefully and it contained nothing but cocoa butter - no preservatives, no colors, no fragrances. So, my assumption is still that the "external use" was because the factory isn't food certified. Which, I acknowledge, is reason enough to not use it in a commerical setting...which I'm not.

Ok, whoa... (backing up now...) let me get a clarification here. Sorry if I'm a little dense.

Are you saying that the cocoa butter you used was marked "external use only?"

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(Note: short, jovial response not appropriate here based on John's response)

When I realized my only option in town was the hand cream from our health food co-op, I bought the cream and called the 800 number on the package. It was a small operation so the person I spoke with had definitive knowledge of the product. I explained what I planned on doing with it. There was a clear under and overtone to the response. Basically he explained that (overtone) their plant was not certified for food product use and they did not market their product for that use. His less legalistic response (undertone) was that there was absolutely nothing in there except cocoa butter, and that nothing else is processed in their plant except cocoa butter - to which he added his "health food store" response that they don't use any additives of any kind in their products. He made it clear that it wasn't what the product was designed for, but didn't dissuade me.

In the end, you would have had to have heard the conversation to appreciate it (I think we've all had similar ones however). When I hung up the phone I had no concerns about using the hand cream.

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I spotted a picture of someone using a small dual action airbrush for chocolate and this got me to wondering.

I was under the impression that one had to go to the huge paint sprayers for this work, but now I'm wondering if I could get away with my cheap Badger airbrush for small cakes.

Does anyone have direct experience with a small airbrush and thined chocolate?


Edited by David J. (log)

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david, you probably can get away with it. i don't know about even coverage though.

to add an addendum to gfron1's experience with the cocoa butter:

i asked my colleague what he thought about using vegetable oil in a pinch (if you don't have cocoa butter)...he said it is fine, but you might not end up with the nice velvety effect that you do with cocoa butter. the cocoa butter is there not only for thinning the chocolate but also so that it sets up quickly on the frozen sprayed item. vegetable oil doesn't "set up" the same way as it doesn't contain the same crystal structure that cocoa butter does.

so, i'll give it a try one day, and post results...just because i'm curious what the visual results will be. the chocolate might have enough cocoa butter included to give you the velvety look...who knows. i guess i'd rather use vegetable oil instead of something i might question as to being food-safe.

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I've got a cheap Badger for the smaller colored cocoa butter jobs.

What model badger airbrush do you have?

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I've got a cheap Badger for the smaller colored cocoa butter jobs.

What model badger airbrush do you have?

I have model 250-4 with the 4 oz jar, but I'd recommend the 250-1 mini with the 3/4 oz jars. I think that's a better size for colored cocoa butter work. You can see the mini in Chef Norman Love's hands in my recent trip report of his guest chef class at the French Pastry School.

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Hi Everyone,

I'm wondering what you all think of the Cocoa Butter Sprays that you can purchase from Chef Rubber etc?

Are they any good? I'm thinking of using them in place of an airbrush to colour my Chocolate Moulds. Would you get a similar effect? Does anyone have any photos of chocolates made using this product?

I'm new to chocolate making, and am in the process of collecting supplies, to start making them. (Not quite a chocolate virgin as I took a basic class LOL)

Thanks so much for any advice and opinions,

Danni

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Hi Everyone,

I'm wondering what you all think of the Cocoa Butter Sprays that you can purchase from Chef Rubber etc?

Are they any good?  I'm thinking of using them in place of an airbrush to colour my Chocolate Moulds.  Would you get a similar effect?  Does anyone have any photos of chocolates made using this product?

I'm new to chocolate making, and am in the process of collecting supplies, to start making them. (Not quite a chocolate virgin as I took a basic class LOL)

Thanks so much for any advice and opinions,

Danni

They are very good. I use the jewel line with an airbrush or finger or q-tip.

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The colored cocoa butters from Chef Rubber are very good. But it sounds like you're referring to something else? Can you link to the actual product you're interested in?

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The colored cocoa butters from Chef Rubber are very good. But it sounds like you're referring to something else? Can you link to the actual product you're interested in?

Yes, I am referring to the cocoa butter sprays. My chocolatier friend mentioned the Cocoa butter Sprays, and said he uses them instead of using an air brush. So, I just wondered what everyone thinks of his product and how it compares to actually air brushing the normal cocoa butters.

https://www.shopchefrubber.com/home.php?cat=1151

Thanks!

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I've not used them, so I can't comment on the usability. But they're definitely not very cost effective relative to the cocoa butters - $22 for 100 ml vs $19.50 for 200 ml. And I wonder what they're using for propellant and how food safe it is?

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And I wonder what they're using for propellant and how food safe it is?

Do you think it would be any different from pan spray propellants?

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I played with one can of spray gold cocoa butter over at a shop I was teaching in. It was impossible to control the amount of spray - I ended up with a lot more spray in the mold that I would have liked.

It may have been more useful when spraying on finished product than into a mold however.

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I've not used them, so I can't comment on the usability. But they're definitely not very cost effective relative to the cocoa butters - $22 for 100 ml vs $19.50 for 200 ml. And I wonder what they're using for propellant and how food safe it is?

I have a can that I still haven't used.

question on cost. Does anybody else use the el cheapo Badger airbrush that Norman Love uses? Have any of you gotten a chocolate + cocoa butter mixture to spray from these to get the velvet effect? It didn't work for me, but maybe I was doing it wrong.

Rather than buy a whole new brush, I just bought a can of the velvet spray stuff.

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I've not used them, so I can't comment on the usability. But they're definitely not very cost effective relative to the cocoa butters - $22 for 100 ml vs $19.50 for 200 ml. And I wonder what they're using for propellant and how food safe it is?

I have a can that I still haven't used.

question on cost. Does anybody else use the el cheapo Badger airbrush that Norman Love uses? Have any of you gotten a chocolate + cocoa butter mixture to spray from these to get the velvet effect? It didn't work for me, but maybe I was doing it wrong.

Rather than buy a whole new brush, I just bought a can of the velvet spray stuff.

You know for the velvet effect that the cocoa butter mixture should be warm and the chocolate item frozen?

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question on cost.  Does anybody else use the el cheapo Badger airbrush that Norman Love uses?  Have any of you gotten a chocolate + cocoa butter mixture to spray from these to get the velvet effect?  It didn't work for me, but maybe I was doing it wrong. 

Rather than buy a whole new brush, I just bought a can of the velvet spray stuff.

I tried the canned stuff for velveting dessert components and it worked (you have to work with a frozen or very cold item to be sprayed as Kerry said) but it's just too expensive. Much more cost effective to buy pails of cocoa butter and a sprayer (I just use the ol' Wagner power sprayer) for that job unless it's a one time thing. For the chocolate/cocoa butter ratio, I started at the 1:1 that I'd read about and worked my way down from there until it started getting a bit difficult to work with. My goal was to use the minimum amount of additional cocoa butter that I could get away with and still get the result I want. The ratio can go surprisingly low without trouble if you keep the sprayer in a pan of warm water when not spraying. I've gone as low as 3 parts chocolate to 1 part cocoa butter but 2:1 is what I usually work with because the resulting shell seems to be of better texture on the plate. The 3:1 seemed to make a shell that wanted to flex and bend rather than cut or break. That's strictly based on observation though, no extensive testing or anything was done by me.


Edited by Tri2Cook (log)

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You know for the velvet effect that the cocoa butter mixture should be warm and the chocolate item frozen?

Yeah, I tried that, but had problems getting it to work when I tried it. Maybe my temperature was too low. I tried a 2:1 chocolate:cocoa butter ratio. I've gotten straight cocoa butter to work on chocolates. But maybe (probably) I was doing it wrong . Will try again sometime.


Edited by ejw50 (log)

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