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jturn00

Chocolate and water/Creating chocolate coral using

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I was just reading the starchefs website (Starchefs.com/Balaguer demo) and there were instructions about how

"Chef Oriol Balaguer uses ice cubes to create a “coral” textured chocolate egg. "

Shouldn't chocolate and water never mix? Is it becasue the chocolate is tempered before pouring over the ice cubes that this method works?

The resulting egg looks great!

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I was just reading the starchefs website (www.starchefs.com) and there were instructions about how

"Chef Oriol Balaguer uses ice cubes to create a “coral” textured chocolate egg. "

Shouldn't chocolate and water never mix?  Is it becasue the chocolate is tempered before pouring over the ice cubes that this method works?

The resulting egg looks great!

Jeff

You aren't really getting the water in the chocolate, just pouring the chocolate over the ice where it sets up immediatly, then the melting water drains away.

I have accidently thrown an ice cube in my chocolate, fished it out, with chocolate coating attached, and not had the chocolate seize. Water on the other hand, no such luck.

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This technique works pretty well for making isomalt "trees" too.

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I guess the key here is to make sure the ice is cold, far colder than 0C/32F. That way, it can cool down the chocolate without melting the ice.

I wonder if you could mix chocolate with liquid nitrogen or dry ice to create other interesting effects? Has anyone tried?


PS: I am a guy.

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I guess the key here is to make sure the ice is cold, far colder than 0C/32F. That way, it can cool down the chocolate without melting the ice.

I wonder if you could mix chocolate with liquid nitrogen or dry ice to create other interesting effects? Has anyone tried?

Oh my God!! What an excellent idea. If you dripped it on a pool of chocolate you'd probably get skip marks from the droplets of LN, if you poured a stream of LN into a 3 sided container of chocolate...

I'll bring some home from work over the next few days and try it.

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Now we're talking :)


Filipe A S

pastry student, food lover & food blogger

there's allways room for some more weight

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I wonder if you could mix chocolate with liquid nitrogen or dry ice to create other interesting effects? Has anyone tried?

Oh my God!! What an excellent idea. If you dripped it on a pool of chocolate you'd probably get skip marks from the droplets of LN, if you poured a stream of LN into a 3 sided container of chocolate...

I'll bring some home from work over the next few days and try it.


Edited by Kerry Beal (log)

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Chocolate has a love/hate relationship with liquid: it loves a lot and hates a little.

Did you ever wonder why chocolate doesn't seize when you add cream to make ganache? Or why water is sometimes added to chocolate to thicken it enough to be able to pipe rosettes, shell borders, etc.? It's all a matter of proportions. A good rule of thumb is always to allow at least 1 tablespoon of tepid liquid for every 2 ounces of chocolate to prevent the dry particles of cocoa and sugar in the chocolate from clumping together, forming a thick lump. Chocolates that contain high percentages of cocoa solids may require a little more liquid, so be ready to add an extra tablespoon or more of liquid if the chocolate shows signs of thickening.

Elaine

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Chocolate has a love/hate relationship with liquid:  it loves a lot and hates a little.

Did you ever wonder why chocolate doesn't seize when you add cream to make ganache?  Or why water is sometimes added to chocolate to thicken it enough to be able to pipe rosettes, shell borders, etc.?  It's all a matter of proportions. A good rule of thumb is always to allow at least 1 tablespoon of tepid liquid for every 2 ounces of chocolate to prevent the dry particles of cocoa and sugar in the chocolate from clumping together, forming a thick lump.  Chocolates that contain high percentages of cocoa solids may require a little more liquid, so be ready to add an extra tablespoon or more of liquid if the chocolate shows signs of thickening.

Elaine

Oh boy, now I'm getting all excited again. I've seen pictures of piping what looked like thick shiny chocolate around a large molded egg and didn't really recognize what was being piped, but I'll bet it was thickened chocolate.

I just pulled out Chocolate Artistry and found 'techniques to thicken chocolate'. I notice you suggest a variety of things that can be used, do you find that glycerine has any advantages over water or alcohol? I don't know if I have time to play with this over the long weekend, but I will be giving it a try soon. It's too bad it will be after easter, I have about a hundred huge egg molds. I'll bet you could you use the thickened chocolate to attach together 2 halves of an egg, in order to encase other molded objects inside.

Kerry

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I prefer to thicken chocolate with water rather than any of those liquids that are normally off limits: extracts, alcohol, etc. (The amounts to add will vary.) For best results, thicken up to 4 ounces of tempered chocolate at a time--just enough to half fill a 10-inch decorating bag. The warmth of your hand will help keep the chocolate from setting up too quickly.

I have done solid chocolate "cakes", decorated with piped chocolate swags, shell borders, and flowers using this technique. It could be used to create an unusual groom's "cake", served with a mallet alongside it. And, of course, it is ideal for decorating fancy chocolate Easter eggs, bunnies, etc.

You should know before you start experimenting that this technique can be as frustrating as it is useful. It's best to thicken the chocolate, put it in the bag, and use it immediately. Once it sets up it cannot be remelted.

Kerry, did you also notice my technique for dipping ice into water that appears in my book, Chocolate Artistry? I first saw Maida Heatter demonstrate this technique and couldn't wait to try it. The technique always generates gasps when I show people how to freeze water in tart shells with a large, opened paper clip positioned in the bottom to serve as a handle. Once frozen, I release it from the tart shell and quickly dunk it in and out of a small cup of tempered chocolate, never allowing the chocolate to go above the top edge of the ice. Holding the dipped ice close to the countertop surface, use your finger tip to coax the chocolate cup to drop off the ice. Immediately place the ice back into its tart shell and refreeze.

The chocolate cup may have a few drops of moisture in the bottom, which I blot with a paper towel. This imperfection is inconsequential since it won't show once the cup filled. The outside of the cup will be a fluted replica of the tart shell in which the ice was frozen.

This is one of those techniques that I use only when my back is to the wall and I don't have--or choose not to use--a conventional mold. To speed the procedure, I freeze multiple tart shells, removing one at a time and keeping the rest in the freezer. Any leftover dipping chocolate should not be added to chocolate in reserve, nor should imperfect chocolate shells be remelted because of water contamination.

Isn't chocolate amazing?

Elaine

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The technique always generates gasps when I show people how to freeze water in tart shells with a large, opened paper clip positioned in the bottom to serve as a handle. Once frozen, I release it from the tart shell and quickly dunk it in and out of a small cup of tempered chocolate, never allowing the chocolate to go above the top edge of the ice. Holding the dipped ice close to the countertop surface, use your finger tip to coax the chocolate cup to drop off the ice.  Immediately place the ice back into its tart shell and refreeze. 

Ooh, I can't wait to try this! Thanks for sharing.

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I prefer to thicken chocolate with water rather than any of those liquids that are normally off limits: extracts, alcohol, etc. (The amounts to add will vary.)  For best results, thicken up to 4 ounces of tempered chocolate at a time--just enough to half fill a 10-inch decorating bag.  The warmth of your hand will help keep the chocolate from setting up too quickly. 

I have done solid chocolate "cakes", decorated with piped chocolate swags, shell borders, and flowers using this technique.  It could be used to create an unusual groom's "cake",  served with a mallet alongside it.  And, of course, it is ideal for decorating fancy chocolate Easter eggs, bunnies, etc.

You should know before you start experimenting that this technique can be as frustrating as it is useful. It's best to thicken the chocolate, put it in the bag, and use it immediately.  Once it sets up it cannot be remelted.

Kerry, did you also notice my technique for dipping ice into water that appears in my book, Chocolate Artistry?  I first saw Maida Heatter demonstrate this technique and couldn't wait to try it.  The technique always generates gasps when I show people how to freeze water in tart shells with a large, opened paper clip positioned in the bottom to serve as a handle. Once frozen, I release it from the tart shell and quickly dunk it in and out of a small cup of tempered chocolate, never allowing the chocolate to go above the top edge of the ice. Holding the dipped ice close to the countertop surface, use your finger tip to coax the chocolate cup to drop off the ice.  Immediately place the ice back into its tart shell and refreeze. 

The chocolate cup may have a few drops of moisture in the bottom, which I blot with a paper towel.  This imperfection is inconsequential since it won't show once the cup filled.  The outside of the cup will be a fluted replica of the tart shell in which the ice was frozen. 

This is one of those techniques that I use only when my back is to the wall and I don't have--or choose not to use--a conventional mold.  To speed the procedure, I freeze multiple tart shells, removing one at a time and keeping the rest in the freezer.  Any leftover dipping chocolate should not be added to chocolate in reserve, nor should imperfect chocolate shells be remelted because of water contamination.

Isn't chocolate amazing?

Elaine

Elaine,

Chocolate is amazing, isn't it? I can't think of any other single thing I have had so much fun with and remained interested in for so long (well maybe one thing). There is just no end of different things you can do with chocolate. Lately I have been making chocolate from scratch, that's new for me. I have also been experimenting with panning, my latest experiments have involved almonds coated with milk chocolate and various really excellent spice rubs, makes for some interesting taste sensations. I think one of the next educational videos I'm going to make will be on panning techniques with chocolate. When I purchased my coating pan it came with no directions at all, and it has been an expensive (but interesting) learning curve.

The ice tart shell idea sounds like it will be fun to try. It sounded sort of familiar, then I recalled at the PMCA last year they were talking about cooled shell molding that 'big chocolate' uses to make cups. They essentially take an ice cold metal cup, plunge it into a mold containing a precise amount of tempered chocolate, the cone displaces the chocolate, and after release leaves a perfect cup. I've lost the details on how they release the cup from the plunger. I love learning home ways to make things that are produced professionally. Thank for the fabulous idea. I think it's time I read you book from cover to cover, taking notes. I can't believe how many details I missed on my first read.

Kerry

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Isn't chocolate amazing?

Elaine

:shock::blink: My knowledge was little drop of water + chocolate = seizure; lot's of water + chocolate = ok. I need to read more! Off to the bookstore!

What can you do with the chocolate that has been "contaminated" with water -- be it imperfect shells or the dipping chocolate?


Cheryl, The Sweet Side

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Isn't chocolate amazing?

Elaine

:shock::blink: My knowledge was little drop of water + chocolate = seizure; lot's of water + chocolate = ok. I need to read more! Off to the bookstore!

What can you do with the chocolate that has been "contaminated" with water -- be it imperfect shells or the dipping chocolate?

I would add cream etc, and use for ganache.

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What can you do with the chocolate that has been "contaminated" with water -- be it imperfect shells or the dipping chocolate?

You could use it for ganache, or brownies, or to add to buttercream, or any other recipe that uses melted, untempered chocolate.

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I prefer to thicken chocolate with water rather than any of those liquids that are normally off limits: extracts, alcohol, etc. (The amounts to add will vary.)  For best results, thicken up to 4 ounces of tempered chocolate at a time--just enough to half fill a 10-inch decorating bag.  The warmth of your hand will help keep the chocolate from setting up too quickly. 

I have done solid chocolate "cakes", decorated with piped chocolate swags, shell borders, and flowers using this technique.  It could be used to create an unusual groom's "cake",  served with a mallet alongside it.  And, of course, it is ideal for decorating fancy chocolate Easter eggs, bunnies, etc.

You should know before you start experimenting that this technique can be as frustrating as it is useful. It's best to thicken the chocolate, put it in the bag, and use it immediately.  Once it sets up it cannot be remelted.

Kerry, did you also notice my technique for dipping ice into water that appears in my book, Chocolate Artistry?  I first saw Maida Heatter demonstrate this technique and couldn't wait to try it.  The technique always generates gasps when I show people how to freeze water in tart shells with a large, opened paper clip positioned in the bottom to serve as a handle. Once frozen, I release it from the tart shell and quickly dunk it in and out of a small cup of tempered chocolate, never allowing the chocolate to go above the top edge of the ice. Holding the dipped ice close to the countertop surface, use your finger tip to coax the chocolate cup to drop off the ice.  Immediately place the ice back into its tart shell and refreeze. 

The chocolate cup may have a few drops of moisture in the bottom, which I blot with a paper towel.  This imperfection is inconsequential since it won't show once the cup filled.  The outside of the cup will be a fluted replica of the tart shell in which the ice was frozen. 

This is one of those techniques that I use only when my back is to the wall and I don't have--or choose not to use--a conventional mold.  To speed the procedure, I freeze multiple tart shells, removing one at a time and keeping the rest in the freezer.  Any leftover dipping chocolate should not be added to chocolate in reserve, nor should imperfect chocolate shells be remelted because of water contamination.

Isn't chocolate amazing?

Elaine

Elaine,

Chocolate is amazing, isn't it? I can't think of any other single thing I have had so much fun with and remained interested in for so long (well maybe one thing). There is just no end of different things you can do with chocolate. Lately I have been making chocolate from scratch, that's new for me. I have also been experimenting with panning, my latest experiments have involved almonds coated with milk chocolate and various really excellent spice rubs, makes for some interesting taste sensations. I think one of the next educational videos I'm going to make will be on panning techniques with chocolate. When I purchased my coating pan it came with no directions at all, and it has been an expensive (but interesting) learning curve.

The ice tart shell idea sounds like it will be fun to try. It sounded sort of familiar, then I recalled at the PMCA last year they were talking about cooled shell molding that 'big chocolate' uses to make cups. They essentially take an ice cold metal cup, plunge it into a mold containing a precise amount of tempered chocolate, the cone displaces the chocolate, and after release leaves a perfect cup. I've lost the details on how they release the cup from the plunger. I love learning home ways to make things that are produced professionally. Thank for the fabulous idea. I think it's time I read you book from cover to cover, taking notes. I can't believe how many details I missed on my first read.

Kerry

Your experiments sound exciting and will continue to fuel your artistic spirit. I can honestly say that after working (and playing) with chocolate for over 30 years I'm still as passionate about it as I was the very first time I touched it.

Are you familiar with the French cold molds that many pastry chefs use to knock out flowers and leaves lickety split by plunging them into chocolate? The copper "molds" come in a metal box and are stored in the freezer until needed. I haven't seen them in awhile but I'm sure they're still available. They remind me of fancy door knobs with a handle attached to the back--which may give you something else to add to your list of experiments.

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Isn't chocolate amazing?

Elaine

:shock::blink: My knowledge was little drop of water + chocolate = seizure; lot's of water + chocolate = ok. I need to read more! Off to the bookstore!

What can you do with the chocolate that has been "contaminated" with water -- be it imperfect shells or the dipping chocolate?

I would add cream etc, and use for ganache.

You can chop up chocolate that has absorbed moisture and use it to make chocolate chunk cookies. or.....you can eat it.

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Are you familiar with the French cold molds that many pastry chefs use to knock out flowers and leaves lickety split by plunging them into chocolate? The copper "molds" come in a metal box and are stored in the freezer until needed. I haven't seen them in awhile but I'm sure they're still available. They remind me of fancy door knobs with a handle attached to the back--which may give you something else to add to your list of experiments.

Hi Elaine,

You are referring to Maggyfleur. I have a set of them, and they are alot of fun to work with. They are also good to dip into cooking sugar to make sugar flowers. They are very expensive, but will last a lifetime and make a very impressive end result. I was super lucky to find mine on Ebay, but they go for about $350 - $400 USD.

Magyfleur

On this site you can purchase them by piece if you want, so it makes them much more accessible.


Don't waste your time or time will waste you - Muse

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Are you familiar with the French cold molds that many pastry chefs use to knock out flowers and leaves lickety split by plunging them into chocolate? The copper "molds" come in a metal box and are stored in the freezer until needed. I haven't seen them in awhile but I'm sure they're still available. They remind me of fancy door knobs with a handle attached to the back--which may give you something else to add to your list of experiments.

Hi Elaine,

You are referring to Maggyfleur. I have a set of them, and they are alot of fun to work with. They are also good to dip into cooking sugar to make sugar flowers. They are very expensive, but will last a lifetime and make a very impressive end result. I was super lucky to find mine on Ebay, but they go for about $350 - $400 USD.

Magyfleur

On this site you can purchase them by piece if you want, so it makes them much more accessible.

Try this link, instead: Magyfleur at Bakedeco.com


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 prefer to thicken chocolate with water rather than any of those liquids that are normally off limits: extracts, alcohol, etc. (The amounts to add will vary.)  For best results, thicken up to 4 ounces of tempered chocolate at a time--just enough to half fill a 10-inch decorating bag.  The warmth of your hand will help keep the chocolate from setting up too quickly. 

I have done solid chocolate "cakes", decorated with piped chocolate swags, shell borders, and flowers using this technique.  It could be used to create an unusual groom's "cake",  served with a mallet alongside it.  And, of course, it is ideal for decorating fancy chocolate Easter eggs, bunnies, etc.

You should know before you start experimenting that this technique can be as frustrating as it is useful. It's best to thicken the chocolate, put it in the bag, and use it immediately.  Once it sets up it cannot be remelted.

Kerry, did you also notice my technique for dipping ice into water that appears in my book, Chocolate Artistry?  I first saw Maida Heatter demonstrate this technique and couldn't wait to try it.  The technique always generates gasps when I show people how to freeze water in tart shells with a large, opened paper clip positioned in the bottom to serve as a handle. Once frozen, I release it from the tart shell and quickly dunk it in and out of a small cup of tempered chocolate, never allowing the chocolate to go above the top edge of the ice. Holding the dipped ice close to the countertop surface, use your finger tip to coax the chocolate cup to drop off the ice.  Immediately place the ice back into its tart shell and refreeze. 

The chocolate cup may have a few drops of moisture in the bottom, which I blot with a paper towel.  This imperfection is inconsequential since it won't show once the cup filled.  The outside of the cup will be a fluted replica of the tart shell in which the ice was frozen. 

This is one of those techniques that I use only when my back is to the wall and I don't have--or choose not to use--a conventional mold.  To speed the procedure, I freeze multiple tart shells, removing one at a time and keeping the rest in the freezer.  Any leftover dipping chocolate should not be added to chocolate in reserve, nor should imperfect chocolate shells be remelted because of water contamination.

Isn't chocolate amazing?

Elaine

Elaine,

Chocolate is amazing, isn't it? I can't think of any other single thing I have had so much fun with and remained interested in for so long (well maybe one thing). There is just no end of different things you can do with chocolate. Lately I have been making chocolate from scratch, that's new for me. I have also been experimenting with panning, my latest experiments have involved almonds coated with milk chocolate and various really excellent spice rubs, makes for some interesting taste sensations. I think one of the next educational videos I'm going to make will be on panning techniques with chocolate. When I purchased my coating pan it came with no directions at all, and it has been an expensive (but interesting) learning curve.

The ice tart shell idea sounds like it will be fun to try. It sounded sort of familiar, then I recalled at the PMCA last year they were talking about cooled shell molding that 'big chocolate' uses to make cups. They essentially take an ice cold metal cup, plunge it into a mold containing a precise amount of tempered chocolate, the cone displaces the chocolate, and after release leaves a perfect cup. I've lost the details on how they release the cup from the plunger. I love learning home ways to make things that are produced professionally. Thank for the fabulous idea. I think it's time I read you book from cover to cover, taking notes. I can't believe how many details I missed on my first read.

Kerry

Your experiments sound exciting and will continue to fuel your artistic spirit. I can honestly say that after working (and playing) with chocolate for over 30 years I'm still as passionate about it as I was the very first time I touched it.

Are you familiar with the French cold molds that many pastry chefs use to knock out flowers and leaves lickety split by plunging them into chocolate? The copper "molds" come in a metal box and are stored in the freezer until needed. I haven't seen them in awhile but I'm sure they're still available. They remind me of fancy door knobs with a handle attached to the back--which may give you something else to add to your list of experiments.

Thanks for the suggestion, I know I have seen them at Beryl's in the past. Wasn't quite sure what you did with them, now I know. Looks like John's suggestion at Bakedeco is an excellent option, not having to buy them all. I'm going to check out a couple of Canadian sources where I may have seen them as well.

Kerry

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I prefer to thicken chocolate with water rather than any of those liquids that are normally off limits: extracts, alcohol, etc. (The amounts to add will vary.)  For best results, thicken up to 4 ounces of tempered chocolate at a time--just enough to half fill a 10-inch decorating bag.  The warmth of your hand will help keep the chocolate from setting up too quickly. 

I have done solid chocolate "cakes", decorated with piped chocolate swags, shell borders, and flowers using this technique.  It could be used to create an unusual groom's "cake",  served with a mallet alongside it.  And, of course, it is ideal for decorating fancy chocolate Easter eggs, bunnies, etc.

You should know before you start experimenting that this technique can be as frustrating as it is useful. It's best to thicken the chocolate, put it in the bag, and use it immediately.  Once it sets up it cannot be remelted.

Kerry, did you also notice my technique for dipping ice into water that appears in my book, Chocolate Artistry?  I first saw Maida Heatter demonstrate this technique and couldn't wait to try it.  The technique always generates gasps when I show people how to freeze water in tart shells with a large, opened paper clip positioned in the bottom to serve as a handle. Once frozen, I release it from the tart shell and quickly dunk it in and out of a small cup of tempered chocolate, never allowing the chocolate to go above the top edge of the ice. Holding the dipped ice close to the countertop surface, use your finger tip to coax the chocolate cup to drop off the ice.  Immediately place the ice back into its tart shell and refreeze. 

The chocolate cup may have a few drops of moisture in the bottom, which I blot with a paper towel.  This imperfection is inconsequential since it won't show once the cup filled.  The outside of the cup will be a fluted replica of the tart shell in which the ice was frozen. 

This is one of those techniques that I use only when my back is to the wall and I don't have--or choose not to use--a conventional mold.  To speed the procedure, I freeze multiple tart shells, removing one at a time and keeping the rest in the freezer.  Any leftover dipping chocolate should not be added to chocolate in reserve, nor should imperfect chocolate shells be remelted because of water contamination.

Isn't chocolate amazing?

Elaine

Elaine,

Chocolate is amazing, isn't it? I can't think of any other single thing I have had so much fun with and remained interested in for so long (well maybe one thing). There is just no end of different things you can do with chocolate. Lately I have been making chocolate from scratch, that's new for me. I have also been experimenting with panning, my latest experiments have involved almonds coated with milk chocolate and various really excellent spice rubs, makes for some interesting taste sensations. I think one of the next educational videos I'm going to make will be on panning techniques with chocolate. When I purchased my coating pan it came with no directions at all, and it has been an expensive (but interesting) learning curve.

The ice tart shell idea sounds like it will be fun to try. It sounded sort of familiar, then I recalled at the PMCA last year they were talking about cooled shell molding that 'big chocolate' uses to make cups. They essentially take an ice cold metal cup, plunge it into a mold containing a precise amount of tempered chocolate, the cone displaces the chocolate, and after release leaves a perfect cup. I've lost the details on how they release the cup from the plunger. I love learning home ways to make things that are produced professionally. Thank for the fabulous idea. I think it's time I read you book from cover to cover, taking notes. I can't believe how many details I missed on my first read.

Kerry

Your experiments sound exciting and will continue to fuel your artistic spirit. I can honestly say that after working (and playing) with chocolate for over 30 years I'm still as passionate about it as I was the very first time I touched it.

Are you familiar with the French cold molds that many pastry chefs use to knock out flowers and leaves lickety split by plunging them into chocolate? The copper "molds" come in a metal box and are stored in the freezer until needed. I haven't seen them in awhile but I'm sure they're still available. They remind me of fancy door knobs with a handle attached to the back--which may give you something else to add to your list of experiments.

Thanks for the suggestion, I know I have seen them at Beryl's in the past. Wasn't quite sure what you did with them, now I know. Looks like John's suggestion at Bakedeco is an excellent option, not having to buy them all. I'm going to check out a couple of Canadian sources where I may have seen them as well.

Kerry

Ah, there they are www.dr.ca the set for $304 US. They are located in Montreal, I've never had any problem getting things from them in the past.

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Regarding the Mayfleur molds, I recommend buying one first to see how you like the way it works. Personally, I think the chocolate flowers and leaves made with them look unnaturally stiff. Still, if I had to make hundreds of flowers and leaves, I think I'd probably sacrifice stiffness for speed.

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I've been seeing all types of silicone molds (shaped ice cube styles) in retail stores lately and have managed to talk myself out of buying them every time, but ... this ice block dipping technique could be a great way to get some new chocolate "cup" shapes on the mini pastry table!

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Try this link, instead: Magyfleur at Bakedeco.com

Thanks John!


Don't waste your time or time will waste you - Muse

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