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Confections! (2006-2012)


Kerry Beal
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Hi! I have a question about chocolate molds. What's the best and easiest way to polish them? Currently I use tissue paper, but it gets a bit tedious and finger/mind - numbing after awhile, especially when trying to get at the little corners in each mold. Or am I just being really impatient? :)

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Cotton batting which you can get from a fabric store works very well & is inexpensive.

I use that too, just make sure it doesn't have flecks of cotton seeds (which some of the natural cotton battings do) that will scratch your molds.

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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Hi! I have a question about chocolate molds. What's the best and easiest way to polish them? Currently I use tissue paper, but it gets a bit tedious and finger/mind - numbing after awhile, especially when trying to get at the little corners in each mold. Or am I just being really impatient? :)

How about old reliable cheesecloth? That's what I use and it works just fine.

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

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Hi! I have a question about chocolate molds. What's the best and easiest way to polish them? Currently I use tissue paper, but it gets a bit tedious and finger/mind - numbing after awhile, especially when trying to get at the little corners in each mold. Or am I just being really impatient? :)

I use a thin microfibre cloth that I bought by the yard at a fabric store. It feels like the softest suede and doesn't shed any fibres.

I also on occasion use the cheesecloth like sponges from the operating room that are very soft and also don't shed. I'm not sure you would be able to get them as easily as I can however.

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unbleached batting, wash and reuse.

sore finger tips during the busy season.

note to self:  must sell enough chocolates to pay someone else to polish molds and foil wrap bunnies.

Foil wrapping - could somebody do a demo on that? My foil wrapping skills totally suck.

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Thanks heaps for the info everyone, I'll be checking it out for sure. Unfortunately I'm a student so the budget is a bit tight. I do however have access to 3d CAD printers and plastic vaccuum forming equipment at university, so I am looking at making my own molds. I'll be trying that avenue out some time soon..

OOH! That would be ever so cool. You could blast all those yucky twee designs out of the water.

For vacuum-formed molds though just be sure the cavities are a comfortable distance apart -- that's really the thing that bugs me about them, one polycarbonate bonbon mold has 20+ cavities and a plastic one has 8-10. I realize that it is probably a stability issue, but still. If you could solve that problem I would pay you to make me some.

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OOH! That would be ever so cool. You could blast all those yucky twee designs out of the water.

For vacuum-formed molds though just be sure the cavities are a comfortable distance apart -- that's really the thing that bugs me about them, one polycarbonate bonbon mold has 20+ cavities and a plastic one has 8-10. I realize that it is probably a stability issue, but still. If you could solve that problem I would pay you to make me some.

Do you mean the polycarbonate are good because they have 20 cavities and the plastic are bad because they don't have enough or vice versa? What kind of molds are you after?

"Alternatively, marry a good man or woman, have plenty of children, and train them to do it while you drink a glass of wine and grow a moustache." -Moby Pomerance

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gallery_44494_2818_32374.jpg

Those were the idea I had last week , then I end up getting tired and I kinda rush to finish them :raz: ,well still quite good , next time need to lower the caramel tgemperature since is very chewy but on the hard side ( hard on your teeth ).Need to try them again when I dont feel the urge to rush .

Vanessa

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Thank you alanamoana, kerry, john for the kind words. Yes, the decorations are from PCB. They look a bit tacky when you see them in the package from PCB (filled blisters and stencilled sheets) but very cool in real life.

Someone at the wedding has now asked me to make similar chocs for a function, and now I'm agonising over the price, as the wedding chocs were a present. i know there are threads out there about pricing - just needed to get the worry out there :huh:

What a grat thread this is for inspiration - hopefully there will be more time soon...

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gallery_44494_2818_32374.jpg

Those were the idea I had last week , then I end up getting tired and I kinda rush to finish them  :raz: ,well still quite good , next time need to lower the caramel tgemperature since is very chewy but on the hard side ( hard on your teeth ).Need to try them again when I dont feel the urge to rush .

They look lovely Vanessa. I've had a few batches of caramel that were too hard on the teeth when the temp got too high too. Does your recipe use any butter?

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Thank you alanamoana, kerry, john for the kind words. Yes, the decorations are from PCB. They look a bit tacky when you see them in the package from PCB (filled blisters and stencilled sheets) but very cool in real life.

Someone at the wedding has now asked me to make similar chocs for a function, and now I'm agonising over the price, as the wedding chocs were a present. i know there are threads out there about pricing - just needed to get the worry out there  :huh:

What a grat thread this is for inspiration - hopefully there will be more time soon...

Are you going to charge by the chocolate or by the finished box?

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gallery_44494_2818_32374.jpg

Desiderio, your caramels look so good.

I made carmels last weekend. Wish I had thought to put nuts in them.

gallery_27944_2966_38908.jpg

Nice looking caramel, how did you get that shape?

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Yes does caramels look great , remainds me of a caramel candy I used to eat when I was little ,yumm.

Kerry , this caramel usual is the same I use for mars bars, and it has some butter ( actually called for margarine , but I always did with butter ) and condesend milk ,usually if cooked at the right temperature is nice and soft , just perfect , but I wanted to have a lttle harder caramel for these ones ,and actually was doing something else as usuall and it did cook little over what I wanted .

Vanessa

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Kerry, I poured the caramel into buttered mini muffin tins.  When I took them out I pressed them against a wire rack to get the markings.

Desiderio, is your Mars Bar recipe on line anywhere?

Ann

Ann , I used something like that , I only make the caramel my self instead of using the caramels store bought ( but it would save you time ),and you can omit the almond use peanuts or just plain, the main thing is the nougat then you do whater you like with it :raz: .

http://dessert.allrecipes.com/AZ/MrslmndBrs.asp

Vanessa

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OOH! That would be ever so cool. You could blast all those yucky twee designs out of the water.

For vacuum-formed molds though just be sure the cavities are a comfortable distance apart -- that's really the thing that bugs me about them, one polycarbonate bonbon mold has 20+ cavities and a plastic one has 8-10. I realize that it is probably a stability issue, but still. If you could solve that problem I would pay you to make me some.

Do you mean the polycarbonate are good because they have 20 cavities and the plastic are bad because they don't have enough or vice versa? What kind of molds are you after?

In an ideal world, plastic (lightweight) molds with more cavities so that I don't have to do all that scooping/levelling of chocolate, banging and shaking to only come out with 8-10 bonbons per mold. It's also a waste of precious tiny-new-york- kitchen counter space! In fact, my favorite polycarbonate mold has 40 cavities. :wub: I have the polycarbonate molds and love them, but they are a PITA to haul to classes because I usually need at least 1 each for 10-12 students.

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I had some pecans, brown sugar and cream left over from making a caramel cake last weekend so I decided to make pralines for my bookclub last night. I used a recipe for Bourbon Pecan Pralines out of Bill Neal's Southern Cooking.

Here's a photo:

gallery_13473_3065_289011.jpg

They came out pretty well, I think, with a good creamy texture.

I also posted in the "Pralines" thread in the Southern Culture Forum. In that post, I linked to the recipe I used and have some questions also. If anyone has some experience with pralines I'd appreciate your advice there!

Edited by ludja (log)

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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I had a busy confectionary day yesterday, testing some recipes for a "Halloween Candy for Grownups" truffle sale.

One of my ideas was to do some vegan/non-dairy truffles for some friends who requested them. Thanks to discussion here on eGullet and searching the web I got some good ideas and decided to use coconut milk instead of cream. Technically, this worked very well. But the first vegan chocolate I tried (Green&Black 72% baking bar) was quite unpleasant, so yesterday I tested out a couple of others, first plain, and then in actual truffles.

gallery_7436_3666_156695.jpg

They were both much tastier chocolates than the Green&Black. The Endangered Species bar was slightly better for eating on its own, but the Terra Nostra made MUCH better ganache and truffles, so we finally have a winner! (These will be called "coconut ghosts" in the Halloween collection.)

One of the other recipes I'm working on is a pumpkin seed praline truffle. Yesterday's version was much closer to what I'm looking for than my previous attempt, thanks once again to eGullet! In the thread on keeping praline crunchy in a ganache center I found out about using an all-butter ganache. But I wanted to use dark chocolate instead of milk, so I had to make some changes. At Kerry's suggestion, I started off with equal parts butter and chocolate, but that was too buttery and never firmed up. So I added another part of chocolate for a 2:1 ratio. Much better. Perhaps a little too firm, so I'll probably settle somewhere around 1.75:1 in the final version. I dipped them in 72% chocolate and sprinkled a little bit of praline powder on top. Sorry no pictures, but they were tasty and pretty.

The other flavor I'm expermenting with is an apple caramel. I made the caramel yesterday and let it set up for a full 24 hours as Kerry suggested in her confectionary thread, but I'm worried that it's still going to be too soft to dip. Anyone have any suggestions for chocolate coating caramels - I've never tried it before...

Tammy's Tastings

Creating unique food and drink experiences

eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
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Its all depend on the temperature you cook your caramel as well,if that one you made is to soft it might need to be cooked longer.For example when I make the sea salt caramles I cooked them up to 255 ( the recipe calls for 248 ) and I am in altitude and I should be cooking them 9 degree less ( for the calculation I did on the boiling point here ), but that dont work for me at 253/255 they are nice and firm , I can dip them no problem and they have a nice texture ( I like my caramles little firm than soft ).

Good luck

Another thing you can do is to spread a very thin layer of chocolate on the caramel slab after it drys out cut the caramels and dip.

Edited by Desiderio (log)

Vanessa

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