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cakedecorator1968

Spraying Chocolate: Equipment, Materials, and Techniques

324 posts in this topic

Has anyone tried using a hobby paint sprayer (the sort used to paint model cars, etc.) with chocolate?

I have found it comes out a little sloppy. It's hard to get the nice even distribution- lots of splotches. Obviously you get what you pay for! :)

I had a feeling that might be the case. Thanks, Serj!

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we use three different airbrush sizes, a small paasche external mixer, a bigger gun usually used for car paint jobs, and a wagner airless. since my first career was in graphic design, i used to do airbush illustrations and photo retouching long before photoshop became an option. the thing that john mentioned when he uses his small airbrush is called "overspray" and it occurs if your pressure level is way to high, all you have to do is turning the pressure down a bit. i like to work with the paasche because it gives me a great control over what iam doing. i can do color transitions, lines, polka dots, and even use some paper maskings for cool marble like effects. the big guns are way to big for that kind of control. if i find the time i do some demo shells, so you caan see what i mean :-)

btw. a few weeks ago we had the advanced chocolates course at callebaut with jp wybauw. it was just cool. i put the pics up as soon as i find some time...

cheers

t.


toertchen toertchen

patissier chocolatier cafe

cologne, germany

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we use three different airbrush sizes, a small paasche external mixer, a bigger gun usually used for car paint jobs, and a wagner airless. since my first career was in graphic design, i used to do airbush illustrations and photo retouching long before photoshop became an option. the thing that john mentioned when he uses his small airbrush is called "overspray" and it occurs if your pressure level is way to high, all you have to do is turning the pressure down a bit.  i like to work with the paasche because it gives me a great control over what iam doing. i can do color transitions, lines, polka dots, and even use some paper maskings for cool marble like effects. the big guns are way to big for that kind of control. if i find the time i do some demo shells, so you caan see what i mean :-)

btw. a few weeks ago we had the advanced chocolates course at callebaut with jp wybauw. it was just cool. i put the pics up as soon as i find some time...

cheers

t.

Can't wait to see both the demo and the JPW stuff!

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I've only had a chance to read through the first three pages of this topic, which have been absolutely illuminating!  I'm going to read through the rest when I have more time, but til then I have a question:

Has anyone tried using a hobby paint sprayer (the sort used to paint model cars, etc.) with chocolate?  I'm more or less experimenting at this point, so the $15 price tag is very appealing compared to hardware store prices!  Specifically, I want to try the Alinea recipe 'LIQUID CHOCOLATE, Chicory, Dandelion, Banana, which calls for coating a frozen chocolate square with chocolate spray.

I'm curious to hear what everyone has to say about it.  It seems to me that, in the absence of any other trials with this product, $15 almost makes the hobby sprayer disposable, if only to report back on my findings!

Basically, I'm looking for the same thing. In the Alinea recipe, there is a chocolate preparation that's liquid around room temperature. That preparation is frozen into a block, then the frozen block is sprayed with a semi-thick layer of chocolate on all sides that will remain solid at room temperature. The sprayed surface in the photo is beyond "velvet" - it's verging on "popcorn" - splattery and textured, but even. This sprayed block is allowed to come to room temperature and is served (with all the other "accessories") on the edge of a bowl, so that the diner breaks the outer layer of sprayed chocolate, and the liquid interior runs out into the bowl.

Here's a photo of the dish before the sprayed "block" is broken open for the liquid contents to run out onto the plate.

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/21/28012111_bcbd16a545.jpg

In the book, the lighting makes the evenly splattered surface pretty clear. Functionally, though, the splatter doesn't matter. The important thing is that the outer layer is thick enough to contain the liquid center.

For most of us "Alinea at home" folks, buying a serious HVLP spray system is probably out of the question. We're looking for a way to get that outer layer of sprayed chocolate onto the frozen "core" block. I don't have the book with me, or I'd give you some idea of what the spraying chocolate is like in terms of ingredients/mix/quantity.

One issue I see with the small air brushes is that in order to coat several blocks, you would need a fair amount of chocolate. The tiny paint pot may be impractical.

I had thought that I could pour/paint on the outer coating, but that isn't nearly as pretty or "authentic." :biggrin:

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we use three different airbrush sizes, a small paasche external mixer, a bigger gun usually used for car paint jobs, and a wagner airless. since my first career was in graphic design, i used to do airbush illustrations and photo retouching long before photoshop became an option. the thing that john mentioned when he uses his small airbrush is called "overspray" and it occurs if your pressure level is way to high, all you have to do is turning the pressure down a bit.  i like to work with the paasche because it gives me a great control over what iam doing. i can do color transitions, lines, polka dots, and even use some paper maskings for cool marble like effects. the big guns are way to big for that kind of control. if i find the time i do some demo shells, so you caan see what i mean :-)

btw. a few weeks ago we had the advanced chocolates course at callebaut with jp wybauw. it was just cool. i put the pics up as soon as i find some time...

cheers

t.

Scneich, it would be amazing to see your spraying demo's. I have been a member of Egullet for not quite a year now and have learned so much from you. I don't know how many times I looked at your lab set-up and your Selmi demo photos. So informative!

So just letting you know there's another one keeping an eye on this thread for your demo! (No pressure at all!!!)

Thanks for being so willing to share.

Lana

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tomdarch: I've done that recipe from the book and I just used a plain ol' Wagner sprayer. I use those for pretty much everything I do (which doesn't include needing to be able to do detail work for cakes or chocolate molds). The wagner makes a velvety surface if the object to be sprayed is frozen and you don't hold the sprayer too close to what you're spraying. If you do 2 or 3 very thin coats and stick it back in the freezer for a couple minutes between coats instead of doing one thicker coat it will have that more coarse look to it.


It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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Hallo, schneich

I would like to buy the sprayer you recommended, Wagner W 180 P set. But I have some questions. Can I use it alone or I have to buy a Compressor additionally? And the effect of spray is rough or fein? Thanks a lot!

And looking forward to seeing your photos!

we use three different airbrush sizes, a small paasche external mixer, a bigger gun usually used for car paint jobs, and a wagner airless. since my first career was in graphic design, i used to do airbush illustrations and photo retouching long before photoshop became an option. the thing that john mentioned when he uses his small airbrush is called "overspray" and it occurs if your pressure level is way to high, all you have to do is turning the pressure down a bit.  i like to work with the paasche because it gives me a great control over what iam doing. i can do color transitions, lines, polka dots, and even use some paper maskings for cool marble like effects. the big guns are way to big for that kind of control. if i find the time i do some demo shells, so you caan see what i mean :-)

btw. a few weeks ago we had the advanced chocolates course at callebaut with jp wybauw. it was just cool. i put the pics up as soon as i find some time...

cheers

t.

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tomdarch: I've done that recipe from the book and I just used a plain ol' Wagner sprayer. I use those for pretty much everything I do (which doesn't include needing to be able to do detail work for cakes or chocolate molds). The wagner makes a velvety surface if the object to be sprayed is frozen and you don't hold the sprayer too close to what you're spraying. If you do 2 or 3 very thin coats and stick it back in the freezer for a couple minutes between coats instead of doing one thicker coat it will have that more coarse look to it.

Thanks! What would you say is the minimum amount of chocolate to put in the container? Do you need to take any specific steps (e.g. warming the container) while spraying? Did you modify the chocolate mix for spraying from the Alinea recipe?

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I fill it enough to make sure I get through the job, acknowledging that I will be tilting the sprayer as I us it, so I have to have enough to stay above the intake line. As far as warming - I bring my cocoa butter or chocolate mix down to just above room temp, and lately I've taken to blasting my nozzle with a heat gun to ensure smooth outflow. I don't heat my storage bottle because the spraying goes very fast and its not necessary.


Chef, Curious Kumquat, Silver City, NM

A recent write-up in Dorado magazine

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I have also used Wagner paint sprayer quite a bit. I preheat my oven to "warm" and as soon as preheated, turn it off. Then put my Wagner sprayer in to warm it up (including the container) . I use the chocolate at 90-95F. I have done cakes and larger chocolate items (both frozen before spraying to get the velvety look) and never had any problems with clogging. The spray seemed pretty course to me and sprayed a pretty broad area so there was lots of over spray. It does give an excellent velvety texture. I got an air brush, because I didn't think that I could get the control that I wanted with the Wagner prayer.

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Hi all,

I'm making a cake for a friend's birthday, and I would like to top it with a thin layer of marzipan sprayed with greenish chocolate. I don't think I'll be spraying chocolate on a very frequent basis, so I'm looking for a simple and cheap solution. The simplest I can think of, is using a manual spray bottle. This probably won't give me much of an even spray, but hopefully it will suffice to colour a 15cm disk of marzipan (somewhat evenly) green? I do have a recipe for the green chocolate solution for spraying, but I guess that is composed with a paint sprayer in mind? Do you think I will have to thin it out to get the solution through a manual spray bottle?

Interestingly, there's a formula for a cocoa solution to be sprayed with a manual spray bottle in Friberg's pastry book; this recipe uses light corn syrup (60 ml), warm water (720 ml) and cocoa powder (55 gr). Is there a way to tweak that recipe to give me a green chocolate solution?

Any thoughts or advice are greatly appreciated everyone :smile:

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Hi all,

I'm making a cake for a friend's birthday, and I would like to top it with a thin layer of marzipan sprayed with greenish chocolate. I don't think I'll be spraying chocolate on a very frequent basis, so I'm looking for a simple and cheap solution. The simplest I can think of, is using a manual spray bottle. This probably won't give me much of an even spray, but hopefully it will suffice to colour a 15cm disk of marzipan (somewhat evenly) green? I do have a recipe for the green chocolate solution for spraying, but I guess that is composed with a paint sprayer in mind? Do you think I will have to thin it out to get the solution through a manual spray bottle?

Interestingly, there's a formula for a cocoa solution to be sprayed with a manual spray bottle in Friberg's pastry book; this recipe uses light corn syrup (60 ml), warm water (720 ml) and cocoa powder (55 gr). Is there a way to tweak that recipe to give me a green chocolate solution?

Any thoughts or advice are greatly appreciated everyone  :smile:

I've tried it but could not get it to work. It would not go through the sprayer.

I added some cocoa butter; same non working.

I've also seen Chef Friberg's recipe; if that works please let us know!


Edited by ejw50 (log)

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I guess I would be inclined to try freezing the dessert, then spraying cocoa butter that has been tinted. If you must, add a bit of white choc - say 10-20%.

what are you going for here - color or texture?

And you can also buy the cans of spray from all of the pastry shops. Not the cheapest option but its aerosol so it would apply better.


Chef, Curious Kumquat, Silver City, NM

A recent write-up in Dorado magazine

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Thanks for your replies, guys!

ejw50: Yes, I'm afraid that the chocolate solution might be to viscous to get through the spray bottle properly...

I'm mainly looking for colour, so it might be a better option to use greenish marzipan... I wanted a very light, green colour on the top of a strawberry cake. Thanks again, I'll experiment a little bit and let you know how it turns out! Another option would be to simply use the marzipan as is; I think the slight off-white colour would work as well, as long as I put some other decorations on top. Anyways. Thanks, guys!

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You could also use green luster dust - either dust it directly on the marzipan, or mix with a little clear alcohol first.

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...I am pretty sure this question has been asked and if so please direct me to the right thread !

...if not, then what is the best airbrush for a small commercial business, to use for spraying colored cocoa butter into chocolate molds?

Gravity feed versus suction feed...pros and cons etc

Any pointers much appreciated! :smile:

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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 just got the Walmec gun. I am too busy with chocolate orders so hopefully Thursday I can go and get a compressor for the gun. A big thanks to Lana and to Kerry for all their input and experiences. Now of course I am overwhelmed with what I need to do and know for this new piece of equipment. It will be a big asset to my business. I currently use the universal 360 by Badger but it can't handle the viscosity of chocolate. It does work well for the cocoa butter.

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I just got the Walmec gun. 

Wow! Congrats Deb! Which model did you end up getting? We're going to have to get together and spray. :biggrin:

Keep us informed as to your learning curve. I haven't been using my gun at all. I keep moving on to different projects waiting for some free time. It's coming... the summer is almost here...

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I bought exactly what you got. I figured you knew what you were doing!! I hope your right!!!!

Deb.

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I bought exactly what you got.  I figured you knew what you were doing!! I hope your right!!!!

Deb.

Me too!! :smile:

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Hi All,

I bought a can of PCB colored cocoa butter, I tried to use it but the chocolate got stuck to the mold, I read the direction and it told me to warm up the can before using it, so I tried that as well and the same result.

How can I warm up the spray can and how do I know it is the right temperature???

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Hi All,

I bought a can of PCB colored cocoa butter, I tried to use it but the chocolate got stuck to the mold, I read the direction and it told me to warm up the can before using it, so I tried that as well and the same result.

How can I warm up the spray can and how do I know it is the right temperature???

You can warm it in the microwave with a few short blasts, just try not to melt all of it. Shake it well before using. If you are using it with a paint brush, just make sure you are spreading it in fairly thin coats and allow it to set up at least 30 minutes to an hour in a 60-70F environment. If you are using it in an airbrush, you can warm the airbrush with a heat gun or hair dryer before spraying, and rewarm the airbrush and your portions of cocoa butter between sprays. If you keep a hairdryer or heat gun handy, you should be able to keep it warm in whatever you dispense what you need into.


Jeffrey Stern

www.jeffreygstern.com

http://bit.ly/cKwUL4

http://destination-ecuador.net

cocoapodman at gmail dot com

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