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Kerry Beal

Confections! (2006-2012)

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Did you stir the chocolate between dipping the caramels and the pretzels?  Also, did you stir the chocolate before you poured out the excess the chocolate?

Temper requires: temperature, time and agitation.  So, if you didn't stir between dipping the two different items, there could have been some over crystalization of your chocolate which caused the blooming.  Then, if you stirred before you dumped the chocolate out, you could have redistributed the crystals thus bringing it all back into temper.

Kerry?  Kerry?  Any thoughts?

I was hoping you wouldn't ask me - I've been cogitating on this and it's got me buffaloed. If the bit poured out at the end was out of temper then it's explainable, but...

I'm assuming that the caramel was the same temperature on the pretzels as the ones being dipped, ie that you weren't trying to dip something too warm. I never completely dip my pretzels, I just drizzle with chocolate, so I haven't had this happen, but I know a friend of mine has real trouble dipping his turtles and I wonder if there is something similar going on.

Are there nuts on the pretzels? Perhaps fat bloom from the nuts? or nuts that were still warm when the chocolate dipped them?

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some things to consider:

1) was the temperature of both the caramel and the pretzels the same whne you started dipping? Many times i see that folks try to dip caramels while they're still warm, which affects the end result. it can work beautifully or end in disaster depending on the state of your chocolate...

2) remember that as you dip whatever it is you're dipping, unless you've got a heated bowl, the product you are dipping will cool your chocolate. the chocolate you finish with is probably not the same as the chocolate you started with. it may need to be rewarmed slightly to keep it's handling characteristics similiar.

3) was the cooling area sitting in sunlight? next to something warm? was a fan blowing over it, and if so was it blowing hot air? environment is very important.

if your chocolate was overtempered and you were dipping slightly warm caramels, that could balance one another and work out great. it's a possible scenario that might explain why the pretzels didn't work.

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tammy, you may be right. The coating on the pretzels may be thicker than on the caramels. They're just store-bought mini-pretzels, not home-made, no nuts or anything. But the holes in the knots are quite small and wanted to hold onto more chocolate. I'll do a better comparison later (on my way to work now).

The caramels had been made the day before, so they should have been the same temperature as the pretzels, both of which were sitting out at room temperature (which was quite warm). And yeah, I stirred the chocolate regularly throughout the entire process, and kept an eye on the temperature. I did have to reheat it a few times both while I was dipping the caramels and after I moved on to the pretzels. As far as I could tell, the chocolate stayed in temper the entire time. I'm inclined to blame a lot of it on the heat here this weekend. My apartment was way too warm to be trying this, but I had a craving for those caramels (so really, it's Kerry's fault). :rolleyes:


Edited by emmalish (log)

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tammy, you may be right. The coating on the pretzels may be thicker than on the caramels. They're just store-bought mini-pretzels, not home-made, no nuts or anything. But the holes in the knots are quite small and wanted to hold onto more chocolate. I'll do a better comparison later (on my way to work now).

The caramels had been made the day before, so they should have been the same temperature as the pretzels, both of which were sitting out at room temperature (which was quite warm). And yeah, I stirred the chocolate regularly throughout the entire process, and kept an eye on the temperature. I did have to reheat it a few times both while I was dipping the caramels and after I moved on to the pretzels. As far as I could tell, the chocolate stayed in temper the entire time. I'm inclined to blame a lot of it on the heat here this weekend. My apartment was way too warm to be trying this, but I had a craving for those caramels (so really, it's Kerry's fault).  :rolleyes:

I will take full responsibility!

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Well, I just "tested" (yum) one of each to see if there was a difference in the thickness of the chocolate, and they're pretty much the same. If anything, I think the caramel might be a wee bit thicker on top. No worry. These are just for me, so I don't mind the way they look.

I'll try dipping the pretzels again some day when it's NOT ridiculously hot and see if that makes any difference (I think it was 26° or 27°C in my kitchen this weekend). I'd love to drizzle them with caramel first, and then dip them next time.


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I have told my mom no chocolate during june, july and august, because I have the same problems. Some set up fine, some will bloom like nothing else. I figured it was the temperature. Also it was the larger (softer) truffles with a heavier coating that bloomed. My moulded chocolate didn't bloom, but took ages to set and lots of banging against the counter, to get out of the mold. What a nightmare.

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I had read about Kee's creme brulee truffle, speculated about how it was done, and finally decided to try it myself.

I didn't want to settle for a "creme" truffle but wanted to try for the sugar crust as well.  There are several ways to get a thin chunk of carmalized sugar.  For this attempt I carmalized in a pot,  poured it between to silpats and spread it thin with a scraper.  When cooled I broke the sheet up into smaller pieces.  In the future I might try using a stencil to lay out piles of sugar to carmalize with a torch so I can get more consistent sizing with less waste.

Since the sugar would be sealed in the creme for several hours before it was eaten I decided to coat them in cocoa butter for protection.  I melted a bit of butter in a small cup and dipped the pieces in and laid them out on a silpat to set.

The cocoa butter protected the sugar, but I didn't particularly like the way it interfered with the flavor.  The next time I might try spraying it with an airbrush or dip in chocolate instead.

gallery_40084_4727_159188.jpg

I made the creme anglese and cooled it in the fridge until it wouldn't melt the dark chocolate shells.  It proved to still be pipeable, though it was a touch on the thick side.

gallery_40084_4727_101117.jpg

I placed the brulee on the bottom of half the pieces before placing them back in the fridge to set further.

I had been worried about backing off the bare creme pieces, but they proved to set thick enough that it wasn't a problem.

Then I took several dozen pieces to work and conducted a survey.  Everyone who wanted to sample had to try one of each and vote for "Sugar crunch" or "No sugar crunch".  I didn't get any complaints about the requirement to have two pieces.

I was concerned about the cocoa butter being too thick on the sugar, but to my suprise the vote came out 3 to 1 in favor of the sugar crunch.  So the result was people prefer the full "creme brulee" experience even when encased in a chocolate shell.

Good idea, but these must be eaten immediatley? or within a day or two at most.

I am quite intrigued by the idea of a creme brulee truffle but it is it possible to get a decent shelf life ( 1-2 weeks) on a similar recipe?

Sorry for the delayed reply, but I've been away from the board for a while.

Yes, these are special in that they do need to be eaten within a couple days since the degree of water activity is extremly high. I imagine that you could make a version with ganache that would last much longer, but the texture would also be different.

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The set up:

gallery_59865_6000_60924.jpg

The good one:

gallery_59865_6000_29030.jpg

Streaky, leaky and bubbles:

gallery_59865_6000_106116.jpg

I've been lurking on the confectionary threads for awhile and I want to thank the egullet chocolate posters, espcially Kerry Beal for all her generous and valuable advice and Chris Hennes for the cake leveler idea.

Any advice on the above enrobed marzipane is welcome!

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I love that little curl on the "good" one, but when I enrobe my chocolate is never thick enough to hold a shape like that. Is that tempered chocolate in the melter in that photo? Again, it looks much thicker than what I work with. It's hard to tell from the photo, but it almost looks like it's seizing up. What kind of chocolate are you using? And how did you temper?

I haven't attempted enrobing anything formed in balls like this yet, so I'm curious to hear other comments as well.


Edited by emmalish (log)

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Streaky, leaky and bubbles:

gallery_59865_6000_106116.jpg

Any advice on the above enrobed marzipane is welcome!

Was the center at room temperature when you dipped? Centers with a lot of liquid are hard to avoid leakage even when you do everything right. It looks like a thin spot in the chocolate where the leak occurred.

Streaky may be due to chocolate from the sides of the melter that is at a different temperature than the pool in the middle. When you stir in the sides, make sure it is well mixed before you start dipping again.

Bubbles - when you notice them, just pop with your dipping fork before the chocolate hardens, try to avoid adding bubbles when you stir your chocolate.

Love the good one, that is a great little flourish!

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emmalish and Kerry--Thank you for responding! I used a mol d'art to do a "controlled melt" with Guittard 72% wafers. I set the mol d'art at 30C and nothing happened for 24 hours, so I set it at 33C and nothing happened for 8 hours, so I set it at 40C and after 2 hours they were thickly melted as you see. They never melted thin. When I took the bowl out to cool, it hardened out of temper. I don't understand how it got out of temper if it never got warm enough to melt thin. In fact, there were always bits of unmelted wafers in there.

Kerry--The centers were room temp, they had been out air drying since I started the chocolate melting. I'm glad to hear that is common to leak, you're right it leaked at the thin spots. Re: streaky, you're right, I didn't stir once I started dipping. That caused the streaking, and did it cause the loss of temper as well?

Your comments are very helpful. Thank you!

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emmalish and Kerry--Thank you for responding!  I used a mol d'art to do a "controlled melt" with Guittard 72% wafers.  I set the mol d'art at 30C and nothing happened for 24 hours, so I set it at 33C and nothing happened for 8 hours, so I set it at 40C and after 2 hours they were thickly melted as you see.  They never melted thin.  When I took the bowl out to cool, it hardened out of temper.  I don't understand how it got out of temper if it never got warm enough to melt thin.  In fact, there were always bits of unmelted wafers in there. 

Kerry--The centers were room temp, they had been out air drying since I started the chocolate melting.  I'm glad to hear that is common to leak, you're right it leaked at the thin spots.  Re: streaky, you're right, I didn't stir once I started dipping.  That caused the streaking, and did it cause the loss of temper as well?

Your comments are very helpful. Thank you!

kerry can probably better address this, but based on wybauw's advice: tempering is all about crystallization which relies on time, temperature and agitation. if it took too long to melt the chocolate without stirring, there was probably overcrystallization of the wrong kinds of crystal forms. i often find this to be the case when i'm trying to temper a very small amount of chocolate. i'd say you'd be better off starting with more chocolate, melting to 115-120F in the microwave, transferring your chocolate to the mol d'art and then seeding the melted chocolate with tempered wafers. make sure to stir well. i think people have also had success with smaller amounts when they've used immersion blenders (stick blenders) to blend in the unmelted chunks of chocolate.

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I've got a Mol d'Art melter on order, so I'm also interested in hearing how to work with them.

According to the manual posted on their website, the melter should be set between 45° and 50° to melt the chocolate, and then lowered down to 30°-35° to temper. It also says it should take approximately 3 hours, depending on the amount of chocolate. I like alanamoana's idea of melting the chocolate in the microwave (waaaay faster than 3 hours) and then transferring it to the melter to temper and maintain temperature.

Does anyone who has a Mol d'Art melter have any advice?

Also, do you have a thermometer to check the temperature of the melted chocolate?


Edited by emmalish (log)

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I am also interested in the method of tempering chocolate in a Mold'art melter as I have just started a new job where I have use of one. I have never used one before and am looking forward to brushing up my chocolate work/decor skills.

How exactly does one temper in a Mold'art melter?

D.

PS what I understood from their on line manual is that the machine melts and holds the tempered chocolate but the tempering itself is done outside of the machine..ie on a marble slab. Is there an easier way?

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I am also interested in the method of tempering chocolate in a Mold'art melter as I have just started a new job where I have use of one.  I have never used one before and am looking forward to brushing up my chocolate work/decor skills.

How exactly does one temper in a Mold'art melter?

D.

PS  what I understood from their on line manual is that the machine melts and holds the tempered chocolate but the tempering itself is done outside of the machine..ie on a marble slab. Is there an easier way?

I find the easiest way to temper is to set them to 110F overnight and let it melt all your chocolate. Then the next day turn the temperature down and stir. You can start seeding right away to aid in cooling it off, or let it sit and stir it every so often until it gets close to your temper point before you add your seed. Then stir until your seed melts out (at the correct temp for your type of chocolate) and you are ready to test your temper. That makes it simple with no mess.

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Also, do you have a thermometer to check the temperature of the melted chocolate?

I like to use an infra-red themometer as there is no probe getting in the way and I don't have to clean it off. The melter holds temperature well enough that I don't feel the need to continuously monitor it with a probe.

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Thank you for showing that lovely swirl on the good one. I have been after a swirl like that for a while!! Remember Kerry?? How did you do it?

I use those melters also. I also melt overnight- I melt to 58C then I take the tray out of the melter and place it on the cold stainless/marble, stir a bit and then seed. I think it takes about 20-30 mins depending on the qauntity. While doing this I remember (or forget) to set the thermostat to my working temp. I use a digital thermometer cause the one on the melter is not accurate or digital for that matter! I always always test my temper before beginning any real work.

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Thank you all for the great advice on working with the mol d'art. Somewhere I saw a post that high percentage chocolate is difficult to work with, and that they used chocolate in the 50% range. Does anyone think the Guittard 72% is a problem?

Lior--very gracious of you to ask my advice. I got the cute swirl because I was using a loop, not a fork, and when I set the dipped center on the parchment, I dragged the loop out, pulling alot of chocolate with it. I had to get rid of the chocolate, so I pulled it along the side of the piece and dumped it on top as if with a piping bag, where you pull away with a "@." Which left me with a thin, leaky bottom.


Edited by Mary Elizabeth (log)

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Thank you all for the great advice on working with the mol d'art.  Somewhere I saw a post that high percentage chocolate is difficult to work with, and that they used chocolate in the 50% range.  Does anyone think the Guittard 72% is a problem?

Lior--very gracious of you to ask my advice.  I got the cute swirl because my hands are used to piping bags, where you pull away with a "@."

if the chocolate is too viscous, you can add cocoa butter...right kerry? kerry?...it might depend on the brand of chocolate and how much cocoa butter is in it in the first place.

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Mary Elizabeth, I'm probably missing something (I'm quite new to this myself), but I don't see how you tempered your chocolate. You say you melted it, but that it was quite thick and there were still chunks of chocolate in it? What process did you use to temper? Did you check the temperature of the chocolate with a thermometer?

As I said, I'm new to this too, so I don't know if percentage will have an impact. I've only worked with Cacao Barry 64% so far, but I just bought some 70% as well.


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Thank you all for the great advice on working with the mol d'art.  Somewhere I saw a post that high percentage chocolate is difficult to work with, and that they used chocolate in the 50% range.  Does anyone think the Guittard 72% is a problem?

Lior--very gracious of you to ask my advice.  I got the cute swirl because my hands are used to piping bags, where you pull away with a "@."

if the chocolate is too viscous, you can add cocoa butter...right kerry? kerry?...it might depend on the brand of chocolate and how much cocoa butter is in it in the first place.

Yes indeed you can add cocoa butter - I do if I have chocolate that is too thick at the working temperature. I don't know enough about the Guittard 72% to know how much cocoa butter is in there. I've noticed that a lot of the chocolates that state the %age are not what I would normally use as couverature for molding or dipping, that they are more for eating.

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Thank you all for the great advice on working with the mol d'art.  Somewhere I saw a post that high percentage chocolate is difficult to work with, and that they used chocolate in the 50% range.  Does anyone think the Guittard 72% is a problem?

Lior--very gracious of you to ask my advice.  I got the cute swirl because my hands are used to piping bags, where you pull away with a "@."

if the chocolate is too viscous, you can add cocoa butter...right kerry? kerry?...it might depend on the brand of chocolate and how much cocoa butter is in it in the first place.

Yes indeed you can add cocoa butter - I do if I have chocolate that is too thick at the working temperature. I don't know enough about the Guittard 72% to know how much cocoa butter is in there. I've noticed that a lot of the chocolates that state the %age are not what I would normally use as couverature for molding or dipping, that they are more for eating.

also, don't know if this is the signature "e. guittard" line or the regular guittard chocolate. they have also started coming out with single origin chocolates. i find that the e. guittard 61% is a great general use chocolate and tempers very easily with a good viscosity for molding, etc. i think it is called lever du soleil (rising sun or something like that).

when adding cocoa butter, what percentage would you recommend? i would say to start off with a small percentage based on the weight of the chocolate...5%?

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I used to work exclusively with the Guittard 72 for tempering. It's actually quite a fluid chocolate, so I can't imagine that you'd want/need to add additional cocoa butter for regular use. I found it to be quite an easy chocolate to work with. I think your problem was from trying to do a direct temper in the melter. As tempting as it sounds, i've never had much luck with that at all, and do what the others describe - turn the melter up to high for a few hours to melt, then seed with tempered chocolate. And I always test for temper before working, because the temperatures can be right and temper can still be off, sadly.

I'm much better at it than I was, but tempering chocolate is still the bane of my existence.


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So if 72% is nice and fluid, then I suspect there may have been some issues with the chocolate being 'supertempered" ie too many beta crystals, or not tempered. If it never went over the working temperature when it was melting then I suspect it's the first.

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