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Spraying Chocolate: Equipment, Materials, and Techniques


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7 hours ago, Goober said:

Question regarding costing for standard recipe cards:

How much cocoa-butter do you estimate is used for the back spraying of a typical 36 cavity count semi-sphere mould?

 

I'm not sure, I've never weighed my moulds after spraying to find out, but that would be an interesting thing to know. I would guess that it's a less than a couple of teaspoons.

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6 hours ago, nammer said:

I wasn’t lying ;). It is a bit inevitable but if you’re OCD about it then you can take the time to pipe your caps to get just the right amount of chocolate and little excess.

 

Hehe, I wasn't implying. :P

 

I guess it depends on the colours as well, how much that it shows. I'm a little bit of OCD about it. I'm capping tomorrow so I'll try to use less chocolate this time. The bonbons are pink/white so it will definitely be clear if anything like this happened. :) 

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7 hours ago, Goober said:

Question regarding costing for standard recipe cards:

How much cocoa-butter do you estimate is used for the back spraying of a typical 36 cavity count semi-sphere mould?

 

 

 

 

As a beginner, I think I'm using around 2 cl for a mould. But half of it hits elsewhere. 

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Hi all. After much time, I finally ordered a compressor and airbrush. I got a Paasche Model H airbrush kit, and a California Air Tools Light and Quiet 1P1060S Portable Air Compressor. Both have been ordered, but I haven't received them yet. I wanted to ask about fitting the hose to the compressor. From what I read on the amazon reviews and questions asked, the paasche comes with a 1/4" hose. The manual for the compressor says it has a 1/4" universal quick connect. So I'm pretty sure I need a fitting. The paasche hose doesn't look like it will connect into a quick connect. I narrowed the fitting down to this link.

https://www.amazon.com/DuRyte-4-Inch-Industrial-Stainless-Coupler/dp/B01BSDALWO/ref=sr_1_cc_4?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1519401926&sr=1-4-catcorr&keywords=npt+to+quick+connect

 

Does this look like the right fitting to connect the air hose to a quick connect on a compressor? I really do appreciate the help.

Also, for reference, below are links to the compressor and airbrush.

 

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01LYHYHEA/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004O7HTYU/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

Thanks again!

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4 hours ago, Kerry Beal said:


I was almost mildly grumpy at myself for not asking you about those before I bought mine when I saw that price, I paid $15 and change each on amazon.ca. But then it occurred to me that once you convert that to Canadian money and add on shipping from the U.S. (I got free shipping), it probably wouldn't have made much difference.

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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41 minutes ago, Tri2Cook said:


I was almost mildly grumpy at myself for not asking you about those before I bought mine when I saw that price, I paid $15 and change each on amazon.ca. But then it occurred to me that once you convert that to Canadian money and add on shipping from the U.S. (I got free shipping), it probably wouldn't have made much difference.

True that - I'm always calculating to decide which side of the border I should purchase on. Think I may have bought mine from one of the airbrushing stores.

 

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Hello all, just an update on my airbrush situation. I got the compressor and airbrush hooked up...the compressor is a bit beefier them I imagined. It is supposed to be rather quiet, but it may seem loud to me because I'm just not used to having a machine like this in the kitchen, nor have I ever payed much attention to compressors. I did some tests on two molds, one was successful, other not so much. On the polycarbonate with the hearts, I dripped blue cocoa butter in a cavity, then sprayed with air to spread it out, then did the same with yellow for a more blotchy effect. Bummed that those hearts didnt release so well, only three pieces came out intact. The geodesic bonbon all released super well, no problems at all. For those I dipped the end of a spoon into yellow cocoa butter, then hit it with compressed air to splatter it. Then over that, I used the blue cocoa butter in a siphon on the airbrush, I had never thought I'd be able to get such a smooth gradient of color on a bonbon. The funny thing was, really, that I expected the blue color that was on the geodesic domes to stick, and I expected the hearts to release no problem. I just sort of imagined that such a fine transition of color would have issues, I'm shocked, however, that that wasnt the case. Still wondering about the hearts though. The cocoa butter was in temper, I dropped a few drops on the parchment and it crystallized in a minute or so, maybe I'm missing something else.

 

But heres a pic of the compressor and my little work area, as well as bonbons. Thanks for all the help. All in all, I thought it was such a pain choosing the equipment, when I started I thought an airbrush and a compressor were always sold as a set, but there are so many other variables. All in all, the compressor and airbrush were about $180.

 

On 2/23/2018 at 8:32 AM, Kerry Beal said:

Looks a little different than what I have.

 

Thanks for that Kerry. I do apologize, however, for not being clearer. I was talking about the quick connect from the compressor end of the paasche hose to the universal quick connect on the compressor. It indeed was the one I had linked to on amazon. However, I will be picking up a quick connect for the airbrush, and if I'm not mistaken, I think I can get a quick connect for the paasche, and and adapter for a badger, so I can connect my badger 250 without having to get a seperate badger hose. And for anyone reading this in the future, things became much clearer when I went to Home Depot with my air hose. When I was searching for fittings online, it was very confusing, it was much easier in person. Going to the store, I was able to make sure that the fitting was compatible with my air hose as well as being able to plug it into the display compressors to make sure it would fit.

 

Thanks again for the help everyone, it is much appreciated!

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@minas6907, the geodesic domes look very nice, especially considering this was your first try. As for the hearts, this is what happens with airbrushing quite often. I too make sure my cocoa butter is in temper and it's possible to speculate forever what caused the problem, but we will never know for sure. I have used the Paasche with siphon jars, and that setup does take (at least with me) frequent reheating of the cocoa butter and the airbrush itself--but not too much reheating, of course! It's also possible the problem occurred when making the chocolate shell. I had the same issue with hearts recently--some came out perfectly, others were a mess. If I recall correctly, @Chocolot had a similar problem with some hearts for Valentine's. Maybe there's something about that heart shape that makes it more temperamental? The bottom line: when making pieces with colored cocoa butter, it's crucial to make extras.

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12 minutes ago, Rajala said:

What about the amount of cocoa butter in the mould? Wouldn't that be able to cause this?

Yes, I have had problems when I have made the layers(s) of cocoa butter thick; this especially tends to occur when spraying a layer of white behind other colors. I was trying to make a transfer sheet once and overlayed multiple layers of different colors (using a paintbrush). The result was that most of the cocoa butter flaked off--a hint that too thick c.b. causes problems. But it's tough to avoid when you are trying to make sure a cavity is completely covered in color.

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Hi all, thanks so much for the replies!

 

On 2/27/2018 at 3:37 AM, keychris said:

I'm pretty surprised it took you this long to get into spraying cocoa butter!

I am too! Really, the last few years I didnt have the time to get into it, I hardly used cocoa butter in the first place on bonbons, I usually opted for a little luster for color. I was also intimidated by the warming of the airbrush, I didnt know to what degree exactly, then I realized I knew nothing about airbrushes, but overall its a lot simpler then I thought it would be. I dont have a dehydrator to put these items in, but just use a heat gun, and it works fine. If i see the color slows down, I just warm it a little and it picks right back up. I really thought it was going to be much more difficult.

 

On 2/27/2018 at 5:24 AM, Jim D. said:

it's possible to speculate forever what caused the problem, but we will never know for sure.

 

On 2/27/2018 at 5:26 AM, Rajala said:

What about the amount of cocoa butter in the mould? Wouldn't that be able to cause this?

This is hard for me to say. The two layers of color on the hearts are rather thin. Theres globs of yellow on the domes that is definitely thicker, but they released fine. I have noticed, however, on the larger bonbons, like the hearts, I get those pesky release marks. The bonbons I molded initally were solid pieces, so I feel like the hearts took longer to set up, and quite frankly, me banging the mold and forcing the bonbons out probably didn't help either.

 

So here is attempt #2 and #3. The first pic is bonbons that were sprayed with 50% cocoa butter and 50% white chocolate. I remember reading on a thread to use that proportion in thinning down white chocolate for spraying. However, the effect is very subtle. Later I realized that that mixture would be used for other applications instead of coloring a bonbon. Anyways, I ended up making a white cocoa butter to try again, in addition to some red I had also made. This time I molded empty shells, and really, I cant believe the results. I just used one mold with different effects on four sets on eight bonbons. First, I sprayed one side of the bonbon with white. Then I dripped a little red and white into the cavity and sprayed with just air, although some white spray still went through. Then I tried the artists tape mentioned previously to get a sharp line that seems to be so popular nowadays, and finally, I sprayed on side on the cavities with white, and the other with red.

 

Frankly I'm shocked at how they came out, this went much smoother then I had thought. Thank you very very much for the tips. It was a pain choosing a compressor and airbrush, but I can tell this is something I'm going to have fun with!

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10 hours ago, Jim D. said:

very nice, especially considering that you are a beginner with spraying. Your stripes are very clean--something I have not succeeded in getting--yet. What tape did you use? Usually the cocoa butter manages to seep under the tape and ruin the effect.

Thank you so much! I was quite surprised at the stripes, but there was definitly some seepage, this bonbons are in the back of the picture, with the seeping side opposite of the camera :-). The tape I used is linked below. 

 

https://www.amazon.com/Scotch-FA2038-8-Inch-Artist-Curves/dp/B0027AC9RI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1520396642&sr=8-1&keywords=artists+tape+for+curves

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10 hours ago, minas6907 said:

Thank you so much! I was quite surprised at the stripes, but there was definitly some seepage, this bonbons are in the back of the picture, with the seeping side opposite of the camera :-). The tape I used is linked below. 

 

https://www.amazon.com/Scotch-FA2038-8-Inch-Artist-Curves/dp/B0027AC9RI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1520396642&sr=8-1&keywords=artists+tape+for+curves

That's the same tape that I just purchased. I'm anxious to try it (as @tikidoc found it really worked--without seepage, I gather), but I'm sorry to hear that it didn't work all that well for you. In the middle of Easter production I don't have time for fuzzy stripes, but your experience tells me that I need to find more time for experimenting!

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9 hours ago, Jim D. said:

That's the same tape that I just purchased. I'm anxious to try it (as @tikidoc found it really worked--without seepage, I gather), but I'm sorry to hear that it didn't work all that well for you. In the middle of Easter production I don't have time for fuzzy stripes, but your experience tells me that I need to find more time for experimenting!

It worked ok, really, it was better then I expected it to. For me, that kind of design isn't practical for what I do, I just wanted to see the outcome. For me, it was an accomplishment, especially to have such a bright white bonbon that was cast with dark chocolate. I should have paid more attention to making sure the tape was really pressed against the cavity. If I did do any tape designs in the future, I think I would go with a different product. Thats no very much tape for $5, and I think you could get similar results with another delicate painters tape, like what @Rajala is using, which would cost the same for a much larger roll that would last quite some time.

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1 minute ago, minas6907 said:

It worked ok, really, it was better then I expected it to. For me, that kind of design isn't practical for what I do, I just wanted to see the outcome. For me, it was an accomplishment, especially to have such a bright white bonbon that was cast with dark chocolate. I should have paid more attention to making sure the tape was really pressed against the cavity. If I did do any tape designs in the future, I think I would go with a different product. Thats no very much tape for $5, and I think you could get similar results with another delicate painters tape, like what @Rajala is using, which would cost the same for a much larger roll that would last quite some time.

I should add that the molds you used could not have been easy to tape. I will be using a demisphere, which is much more open and allows for more "finger space" to do the taping. I once used the blue painter's tape just as an experiment, and it allowed a lot of bleeding, but I was using a regular dome. By the way, do you allow the chocolate to dry totally before removing the tape or do it sooner?

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2 minutes ago, Jim D. said:

do you allow the chocolate to dry totally before removing the tape or do it sooner?

The cocoa butter felt more set up then I was planning on. It did seem a bit difficult to remove, I think there was a hefty coating of cocoa butter, but again, this is my first time using the tape. I think I was just thrilled not to have any of the cocoa butter sticking to the mold like the first time!

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