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gbbaker

Shelf-stable/shelf life of truffles

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Please help. I have been approached to make truffles for a retail store. I have made your basic, that needs refrig.

How do I make a shelf stable truffle ? Ideas or recipes welcome.

gb

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There are multiple options available, depending on a number of things. I think it's important to know how they'll be transported, stored, and what type of shelf life you're (they're?) expecting.

If you're wanting to keep it cream based, you're going to have to focus on keeping your water activity low - you may want to approach this via adding invertase, for example. others approach it by adding antimicrobials (preservatives), but that may not be an option given how it's to be positioned. Another option may be to move to an oil based center (ie, use palm, coconut, soy, canola, etc) a soft, liquid oil that'll cause eutectics between the cocoa butter and itself, such that the center remains soft, and doesn't firm.

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They will be kept cool,not refigerated. How long? They were thinking about the christmas holidays. So I 'm thinking people will buy them for the holidays as gifts.

GB

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You really need to read Wybauw's book Fine Chocolates, Great Experience. This topic is too extensive to really cover well in a few posts.

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I second john on reading the book, it is definately a vast subgect and since you are talking retail , the issue needs to be approached from a professional point of view .The book has a good pharagraph on shelf life etc, I am sure it will be very helpfull , and probably its worth the expense.

Good luck

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I think creating a cream based product that will last past Christmas in a non-refridgerated environment is asking for trouble...if you're not familiar with the basics of shelf stability, i'm going to suggest that a large retail contract is not the time to attempt on the job training...

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I dont think they will be made now for Chrismats , are they??They can last from 2 to 4 weeks , wich is a longg time for artisanal chocolate made in an enviroment that is not stable and you cant control it ( ulsess you do have an equipped lab).Someone that used to write on this forum said their truffle had a 6 weekd shelf life , they use the invertase in their ganaches and they did retail ( and have an official business ).While I wouldnt sell my chocolates if they are older than a week you could make few different test batches and see whats their shelf life.

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No, I would not make them now. Thanksgiving till christmas would be the time period.

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No, I would not make them now.  Thanksgiving till christmas would be the time period.

You might look into getting a vacuum mixer to reduce the oxygen content of your gnache. There is a thread or two on the subject. I asked one company for information and never received it, but somone else was looking to buy one. I don't know if they had more luck than I have.

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You really need to read Wybauw's book Fine Chocolates, Great Experience.  This topic is too extensive to really cover well in a few posts.

I am in search of the book by Wybauw, but the only reference I can find is to the book not being published until November 30, 2006. Is there a previous edition that is available? I couldn't find a reference to an old edition on Amazon and our library doesn't have it, either. I would appreciate any information on where I might be able to find this book now. Thanks!

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You really need to read Wybauw's book Fine Chocolates, Great Experience.  This topic is too extensive to really cover well in a few posts.

I am in search of the book by Wybauw, but the only reference I can find is to the book not being published until November 30, 2006. Is there a previous edition that is available? I couldn't find a reference to an old edition on Amazon and our library doesn't have it, either. I would appreciate any information on where I might be able to find this book now. Thanks!

Hi I can give you few web site I used when I was searching for the book .

http://www.chipsbooks.com/finechoc.htm

http://www.chefsboutique.com/proddetail.asp?prod=91%2Ebooks

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The first thing I would caution is don't make anything and sell it without a proper business license, it just isn't worth the risk. If you are making the truffles at home, be sure that is acceptable in your state. You don't want to lose everything you own to a lawsuit where you have no defense.

On shelf life....it's a concern of mine as well and I'm looking into purchasing a vacuum but they are not cheap. It also only adds a few more weeks (at most) of shelf life.

I didn't read the whole thread but if it wasn't mentioned, invert sugar can help and don't underestimate the preserving powers of alcohol.

I have also heard of "flash" or "fast" freezing that will prolong shelf life but have not gone down that avenue.

Also, be sure to label the product's intended shelf life. People will surprise you by keeping artisan chocolates for months not knowing they are not chock full of the preservatives of Godiva, See's etc.

Please help.  I have been approached to make truffles for a retail store.  I have made your basic, that needs refrig. 

How do I make a shelf stable truffle ?  Ideas or recipes welcome.

gb

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You really need to read Wybauw's book Fine Chocolates, Great Experience.  This topic is too extensive to really cover well in a few posts.

I am in search of the book by Wybauw, but the only reference I can find is to the book not being published until November 30, 2006. Is there a previous edition that is available? I couldn't find a reference to an old edition on Amazon and our library doesn't have it, either. I would appreciate any information on where I might be able to find this book now. Thanks!

Also available at chocolat-chocolat.com at a good price.

Link here.

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Hi everyone,

I'm sure it's a busy time for all... baking, making confections, etc! I was wondering what the shelf life of truffles made with no glucose, corn syrup, invert sugar, etc ( ie no preservatives) is:

- at room temperature of 69F

- in a wine cooler at 57F

Thanks a lot and have a great holiday season all!

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Hi everyone,

I'm sure it's a busy time for all... baking, making confections, etc! I was wondering what the shelf life of truffles made with no glucose, corn syrup, invert sugar, etc ( ie no preservatives) is:

- at room temperature of 69F

- in a wine cooler at 57F

Thanks a lot and have a great holiday season all!

Any alcohol in them?

If just cream and chocolate - about 2 weeks, replace some of the cream with butter you decrease the available water, so they live longer.

Can't comment on the wine cooler, I always keep mine at room temp.

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What might be the shelf life of cream & chocolate truffles if they are refrigerated (at 40F)? Add another week or two?

Cheers,

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I always add about a tsp. of alcohol in them, would that increase the room temp. shelf life?

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If you keep them at approx 40f in a frig, should be in an airtight container. They will last a month without losing taste. Try a simple test of leaving some at each temp range, & each week compare taste 1 after they come up to room temp and decide how you like the taste. Repeat this over 3 to 4 weeks & you will be able to determine the life span. Remember you would have to do this for each flavor.

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My truffles all seem to have roughly a three week shelf life. This has been fine for selling at markets as they typically get eaten within a day or two. I've been getting a lot of questions lately about doing gift boxes for the holidays and I'm wondering if there is anything I can do to increase my shelf life. There are some local holiday events coming up later this month that I think I could do really well at, but it leaves Christmas outside of the three week window. Beyond that, if someone gifts a box of truffles that I made two weeks prior to Christmas, that only leaves one week for the recipeint to consume them. I'd love to extend that.

What are the big chcolate places doing to get long shelf lives? We make fudge that goes into sealed plastic containers so we add potassium sorbate to inhibit mold. I don't think with truffles it's a mold issue at all... they just go bad after a while. Mine start to implode and the bottom will get sucked into the truffle and then the around the base will crack. Is there sometnng I can add to my ganache that would help with this?

When I first started I was all about my chcoolates not having any extra crap in them. No stabilizers, no added preservatives, etc. Now I'm just frustrated that they go bad so quick.

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Something I thought of after posting this... how do you store truffles? After I make mine they end up on a sheet pan until they are needed. I've been thinking about oxidation and how having them just sitting there like that probably isn't the best. Should I be storing them in some other manner? Maybe they need to be vacuum sealed somehow or placed in air tight containers? If so, does anyone have suggestions for containers? I've seen plastic covers for sheet pans. Not sure if they would be tall enough with the truffles on there but I can look into that if that's needed.

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Gary,

Where are you getting your recipes? If you are using Greweling, Notter, or Wybauw, they have sections on shelf life (Wybauw has a whole book on it). They don't use what we think of as preservatives, but there are ingredients such as invert sugar and alcohol that increase shelf life. As you probably already know, there are proportions in a ganache that take into account this factor. I have kept filled chocolates for about a month without any issues. I also purchased a vacuum sealing machine (Weston brand), which I use to freeze ganaches that I plan to use later. On occasion I have used it to freeze boxes of chocolates, which emerged many weeks later none the worse for wear that I could tell (the only incident was that one piece "imploded" from too great a vacuum, but I ate it myself and it tasted fine). There is a thread somewhere on this forum that deals with the procedures involved in freezing chocolates, even a picture with them individually vacuumed and frozen. Quite a few professionals have mentioned that they have no choice but to freeze for the big days in the year. And in another thread someone mentions that ganache can indeed mold. I enclose a little guide with the boxes I fill suggesting the chocolates be stored between 60 and 70 F. and be consumed within a couple of weeks; for storage for a longer time or at a higher temperature, I recommend refrigeration (I know it's not ideal, but it's better than having them mold).

I use sheet pans with plastic covers (from Costco) for storage. It is recommended that chocolates be covered--though sometimes I think this is to make the chocolatier feel better, since nothing can really be airtight. But there is the sanitation issue, with insects, dust, etc..

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I'm using Greweling's book for the majority of my recipe. And yes I know invert sugar, glucose, etc., act as a natural preservative but a month under ideal conditions isn't enough for Christmas gift boxes being sold in November.

I'm trying to achieve the shelf life that Godiva and others are getting. If I can just get these to be good for a solid eight weeks I'm golden. Sell mid-November and they're good until mid-January. That would really open things up for me. As it is, I really can't sell for Christmas until mid-December.

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I'm no expert, but I'm thinking vacuum sealing and freezing is your only way to go. For what it's worth, I once received a box of Godiva chocolates that were falling apart, had bloom, tasted stale, had to be thrown out, so whatever they use, it doesn't always work.

I just took a look online, and See's candy has this answer to the question How long will boxed chocolates last? "In other brands you'll find many boxed chocolates with "Best By" dates or "Expiration Dates" up to and exceeding one year from the date of production. These products typically have preservatives added, but will not retain their best flavor over that period. Most See's candies are expected to be sold and consumed within 60-120 days of production, when the candy is at its most robust flavor level. Candy not sold within our shelf-life guidelines is pulled from the shelves and not sold to customers. See's adds no preservatives to its products, assuring our customers the freshest products with the best flavor and ingredients in all our candy."

How they get their product to last 120 days without preservatives, I don't understand.

I looked (randomly) at a smaller chocolatier (Nicky Grant), and they refuse even to use invert sugar, glucose syrup, or Sorbitol in their product. As a result, their chocolates have a stated two-week shelf life. On their website, they say about the long-lasting products: "If you come across a box of chocolates that has a shelf life of 6 months then the flavour of the filling is likely to as far removed from itself as possible. There is a also a high chance that methods have been used with these chocolates to prevent migration of the filling outwards and into the chocolate coating usually by coating the inside of the outer chocolate shell with a sugar based product."

I located the previous eGullet thread on storing and freezing chocolates. The first part of the posts are about storing blocks of chocolate, but later on, writers deal with individual pieces. It's very helpful. If you want info on vacuum sealers, there are also threads about that, and I am happy to report on how I reached a decision on the one I bought.

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I'm very curious how Sees is getting that shelf life. I'll have to take a look at their ingredients. I understand vacuum sealing and freezing for things like sticking up before an event but in this case I need it to last once a customer has bought it.

Thanks again for all the info. Definitely interested in freezing at the kitchen. When you vacuum seal what are you putting the chocolates in?

In terms of shelf life it seems we are dealing with a few different things. Integrity of the shell. Life of the ganache (could separate, go bad, mold). And then any decoration applied. My coconut truffles have an issue with the coconut on top drying out. Using nuts for decoration they could go rancid. So it's not just a matter of adding something(s) to the ganache but solving other issues too.

I'm determined to find a way to get a 60 day shelf life at room temp. Hopefully before Valentines is upon us. Would like to do a lot of gift boxes then, if I can't get this solved on time for Christmas.

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If you follow that link to the previous thread, on page 2 there is a photo from David J on how he freezes chocolates--individual chocolates in the vacuum bag. The only time I did it with finished chocolates, I left them in their gift boxes, put the boxes inside a plastic bag, sealed and vacuumed it. Once I removed the piece that collapsed from the vacuum, the people to whom I gave the chocolates loved them and, even after I told them they had been frozen, they could detect no difference.

I doubt that Sees is going to reveal how they get that shelf life. Frankly I have not been impressed with their product. Perhaps their fillings don't contain really perishable ingredients. I doubt, for example, that they include raspberry purée in their chocolates; the water in it can cause problems (Wybauw includes the water content in his recipes).

Like you, I make a coconut truffle. I use toasted coconut as a decoration, so since it's already dried out, further drying doesn't show.

A 60-day shelf life is quite a goal. How will you know if they are still any good? You can't test one piece and just assume its neighbors are OK. Can you perhaps make chocolates more often and so solve the whole issue? I don't know if you are a hobbyist (as I am) or in business, but if it is the latter, you have liabilities to think about. You don't want to give "Death by Chocolate" a whole new meaning!

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