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Cracking Truffles

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A big hello to all from Toronto! I have a question that I hope someone can help me with... I finally figured out how to temper and only recently have stopped rejecting truffles because of cracks in the coating (yeah! ). However, only recently when I made a batch of truffles and enrobed them in properly tempered couverture, there were cracks in the coating at the bottom when I lifted the truffle from the parchment paper. Any comments/suggestion will be greatly appreciated.

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This is most likely either a texture or a temperature issue. If your ganache is too cold when dipped it will begin to expand with the "heat" of the tempered chocolate and cause the coating to crack under the pressure. The same thing can happen if your ganache center is too soft. Softer centers are best left to molded candies unless you want to double dip.

One last possibility, if this same ganache recipe has served you well in the past, is that the coating was too thin. Perhaps you dragged the bottom a little too enthusiastically?

I would try the same recipe again with room temperature ganache balls and careful dipping. If you still have trouble, increase the amount of chocolate in your recipe.

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what kind of chocolate are you using?


Dean Anthony Anderson

"If all you have to eat is an egg, you had better know how to cook it properly" ~ Herve This

Pastry Chef: One If By Land Two If By Sea

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Unfortunately, I have to make my truffles in an open kitchen. I use my centers, ice cold from the refrigerator. I gave them one coat with the couverture (by rolling the center in the palm of my hands with some chocolate), let the coating set, and use a final coat to seal the center. Also, I don't temper my chocolate when using this method because the chill from the ganache center causes the chocolate to set. No bloom, ever.

I think the cracking that you are experiencing, is the tempered chocolate contracting away from the center same idea behind molding chocolate--flip the mold over, tap lightly and the chocolates fall out of the mold) . If you see the center oozing out of the truffle, then your center was too cold and your chocolate too warm.

I hope this makes sense.

Cold center--untempered chocolate

Room temperature center--tempered chocolate.

Unorthodox, but it works.


Edited by Char (log)

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Thanks everyone for your responses!

One last possibility, if this same ganache recipe has served you well in the past, is that the coating was too thin. Perhaps you dragged the bottom a little too enthusiastically?

Well I think that's it. I may have dragged it because the ganache was definitely room temperature.

Regarding the chocolate I use, it's Lindt couverture. Does anyone else use this?

Finally...

Unfortunately, I have to make my truffles in an open kitchen. I use my centers, ice cold from the refrigerator. I gave them one coat with the couverture (by rolling the center in the palm of my hands with some chocolate), let the coating set, and use a final coat to seal the center. Also, I don't temper my chocolate when using this method because the chill from the ganache center causes the chocolate to set. No bloom, ever.

Wow...are you serious! This could be a whole new discussion! So you don't temper couverture and still get no bloom doing it the above way? You say that the chill from the ganache causes the chocolate to set but doesn't the couverture have to go through the process of warming up, then being agitated and then being cooled? Do you use chocolate that is already tempered?

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....

Unfortunately, I have to make my truffles in an open kitchen. I use my centers, ice cold from the refrigerator. I gave them one coat with the couverture (by rolling the center in the palm of my hands with some chocolate), let the coating set, and use a final coat to seal the center. Also, I don't temper my chocolate when using this method because the chill from the ganache center causes the chocolate to set. No bloom, ever.

Wow...are you serious! This could be a whole new discussion! So you don't temper couverture and still get no bloom doing it the above way? You say that the chill from the ganache causes the chocolate to set but doesn't the couverture have to go through the process of warming up, then being agitated and then being cooled? Do you use chocolate that is already tempered?

No, I just melt the chocolate until it's warm (not hot) and liquid, I take my centers from the fridge and roll the truffles to give them one coat. I let the chocolate set and then give them a final coat. Let me tell you, I don't even bother testing the chocolate for temper and I"ve never had a bloom. One of my pastry instructors showed me this method some years back and explained it to me: because you are using such a small amount of chocolate with chilled centers, the chocolate cools down rapidly and the motion of your hands agitates the chocolate and tempers it. By using this method, you are able to get coat the truffle with just enough chocolate to seal the center but not so much that someone has to hack their way through an inch thick layer to get to that pesky center of the tootsie roll pop! When you are using tempered chocolate on cold centers, you'll find that the chocolate sets up and the truffle sticks to your fingers. AAARRRGGGHHH!

However, more is not always better and don't think that frozen centers are even better to handle. As the centers thaw, they warm and expand, pushing their way through the chocolatey path of least resistance. The end result? the centers will poke a hole in your truffles and ooze out.

Yes sirreee, you won't catch me messing with room temperature balls ever again!

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This is partly to vent but also a cry for help. I've read the topics on this here and I think I'm doing everything you guys suggested.

My coated truffles keep cracking. I'm doing everything you guys told me to do - my ganache is rolled and set at room temperature (68 degrees) and I'm using a tempering machine that brings my chocolate (72% eguittard) to 88.7 degrees. I dip quickly using a dipping tool and I allow the chocolates to set.

After about 10 minutes, when they've tricked me into falsely believing they're setting perfectly, the cracking begins.

I am just starting my business and am cutting my teeth on a 150 person wedding favor job due this Friday. I'd really be enjoying the work it if it wasn't for this problem.

I want to cry.

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No solutions, but I feel your pain. I have the same problem. Cracking, and especially a problem with the bottoms sticking to my parchment paper. I was blaming it on the extra high cocoa content of the Michel Cluizel chocolate I was using, but since then I've switched to E. Guittard 72%, and I'm still having the same problem.


Tammy's Tastings

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I know how you are feeling at this moment, but dont feel bad please, things will get better .

The cracking of the truffles may be caused by the humidity of your truffles,mine to tend to crack expecially the ones where the filling is wetter.Usually commercial truffles are made inside shells they filled them and then give it another coat , I dont know if you ever try one but their coating is very thick , wich I dont like .

While some of our expert will come to your rescue ,have you ever consider making chocolates inside a shell or molding them? I know its different but business wise, that would be much easier to deal with , molded chocolates dont crack and their shelf life can be little bit longer.

I hope the problem will be fixed soon and good luck :smile:

By the way I use Eguittard 72% and I dont have problem with it, it has a higher cocoa butter contenent , the problem with you bottom sticking to the parchment is because you ganache may be to soft for dipping so you should coat the bottom of your truffles first then dipped them when that is solid so you have a nice bottom to work with , same thing with caramels if they are softer.


Edited by Desiderio (log)

Vanessa

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I'm no expert on chocolates, but I am well versed in deadlines. What about just rolling the ganache in cocoa powder and dusting with gold or something flashy to get the wedding out of the way, and concentrate on the cracking problem at a later date?

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I'm no expert on chocolates, but I am well versed in deadlines. What about just rolling the ganache in cocoa powder and dusting with gold or something flashy to get the wedding out of the way, and concentrate on the cracking problem at a later date?

Another short term solution is to double dip. You'll get a thicker coating, but I've been assured that the second coating won't crack.


Tammy's Tastings

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I know  how you are feeling at this moment, but dont feel bad please, things will get better .

The cracking of the truffles  may be caused by the humidity of your truffles,mine to tend to crack expecially the ones where the filling is wetter.Usually commercial truffles are made inside shells they filled them and then give it another coat , I dont know if you ever try one but their coating is very thick , wich I dont like .

While some of our expert will come to your rescue ,have you ever consider making chocolates inside a shell or molding them? I know its different but business wise, that would be much easier to deal with , molded chocolates dont crack and their shelf life can be little bit longer.

I hope the problem will be fixed soon and good luck :smile:

By the way I use Eguittard 72% and I dont have problem with it, it has a higher cocoa butter contenent , the problem with you bottom sticking to the parchment is because you ganache may be to soft for  dipping  so you should coat the bottom of your truffles first then dipped them when that is solid so you have a nice bottom to work with , same thing with caramels if they are softer.

I definitely have the problem more with my softer ganaches, so that makes a lot of sense. I like the flavor and texture of the softer ganaches, so it's tricky to balance ease-of-working and the taste!

I can understand how the extra coating for the bottom would work with something like caramels where I'm cutting them. Can you describe how best to accomplish the double dip with a rolled center?

Thanks!


Tammy's Tastings

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eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
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See in some books like the Wybauw one , he usually molds his slan of ganache in a frame and allows it to cool , then pass a very thin coat of chocolate on one side , then cut the slab and dip the squares ( chocolate side down ) same concept as for the caramel slab.In another book I was reading the chocolatier actually made a very thin coat of chocolate on a parchament paper and before it solified completely cut out rounds or ovals or whater size , then on top of this thin chocolate discs he would pipe his ganache , allow it to harden then dip it with the chocolate side down , so you have the hard part on your dipping tool .

I was actaully contemplating in buying truffles shell molds so I can make my own shells to fill , because when you start to see to people you really cant mess to much on freshness .

this is the type of mold I am talking about.

http://www.chocolat-chocolat.com/c210013p16727314.2.html


Vanessa

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See in some books like the Wybauw one , he usually molds his slan of ganache in a frame and allows it to cool , then pass a very thin coat of chocolate on one side , then cut the slab and dip the squares  ( chocolate side down ) same concept as for the caramel slab.In another book I  was reading the chocolatier actually made  a very thin coat of chocolate on a parchament paper and before it solified completely cut out rounds or ovals or whater size , then on top of this thin chocolate discs he would pipe his ganache  , allow it to harden then dip it  with the chocolate side down , so you have the hard part on your dipping tool .

I was actaully contemplating in buying truffles shell molds so I can make my own shells to fill , because when you start to see to people you really cant mess to much on freshness .

this is the type of mold I am talking about.

http://www.chocolat-chocolat.com/c210013p16727314.2.html

i thought about one of those molds for more liquid fillings and realized how much work they are! you have to fill two sides, stick them together, fill your truffles then top the mold and then coat them with chocolate. even though they are expensive, the amount of time you save by buying the pre-made shells might be worth it. the only real advantage i can see with making them yourself is that you can control (to some extent) the thickness of your shell.

chefrubber also sells "chablon" mats which are rubber mats with circles or ovals cut out which you use as a template for the little circles onto which you can pipe your ganache and then dip.

if you're doing truffles, you can coat them by hand with a very thin coating of chocolate before you dip them (this is what is mentioned above regarding double coating). you can control the thickness a little better this way. this should help with the cracking and with the sticking to the paper.

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if you're doing truffles, you can coat them by hand with a very thin coating of chocolate before you dip them (this is what is mentioned above regarding double coating).  you can control the thickness a little better this way.  this should help with the cracking and with the sticking to the paper.

Thanks, alanamoana - I think I'll try that this time - I recently did some hand coating prior to rolling truffles in cocoa powder and coconut, and was surprised at how effective it was. Do you recommend using tempered chocolate for the first coating, or will simply melted chocolate do? And how about if you're rolling in cocoa powder or something else? Tempered or no? Seems like the warmth from your hands might bring the chocolate out of temper anyway...


Tammy's Tastings

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eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40

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Dmalouf,

I know it seems impossible now, but in time an order for 150 pieces won't faze you a bit. In fact, you'll probably knock it out in an hour or two. For now, it's only Wednesday and a second dip is a dandy option. In the future you may want to re-evaluate your recipe. It may simply be too soft. The type of chocolate doesn't matter too much except that some are thinner than others and may not give your ganache enough coverage.

It is really important to let your ganache dry and shrink a bit, I let mine rest overnight at the very least. Many chocolatiers do a first coat in the palm of their hands. Too much trouble for me. I would rather take the time to be sure the environment is right and the recipe really works. Sometimes your recipe and chocolate can be perfect but they are cooling too quickly or not quickly enough which leads to eruptions and cracks also.

Decide what "thin coating" really means to you. When I was first learning, I was trying for this paper thin shell (one of the problems with being self taught!). I quickly learned that paperthin was really not an option. I think you'll find that chocolates with the thinnest shells contain a pretty dense ganache. The only chocolates I've had that seem to break this rule are those from Drew Shotts at Garrison. He's using an enrober with a cooling tunnel which helps facilitate such a thin shell.

Anyway, double dip those bad boys, take a deep breath, and realize how good you smell after spending the day with chocolates.

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How long are you letting your centers sit before you dip?

I let my centers sit for at least eight hours, and generaly overnight so they form a thin dry skin. That prevents the centers from sticking to the fork and I don't have any problem with cracking. It really makes the dipping operation go much faster and cleaner.

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How long are you letting your centers sit before you dip?

I let my centers sit for at least eight hours, and generaly overnight so they form a thin dry skin.  That prevents the centers from sticking to the fork and I don't have any problem with cracking.  It really makes the dipping operation go much faster and cleaner.

Having been a lucky recipient of some of David's chocolates, I noted that your coating is quite thick compared to some others of my experience. Do you double dip? What kind of chocolate are you using?


Tammy's Tastings

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eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40

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How long are you letting your centers sit before you dip?

I let my centers sit for at least eight hours, and generaly overnight so they form a thin dry skin.  That prevents the centers from sticking to the fork and I don't have any problem with cracking.  It really makes the dipping operation go much faster and cleaner.

Having been a lucky recipient of some of David's chocolates, I noted that your coating is quite thick compared to some others of my experience. Do you double dip? What kind of chocolate are you using?

I don't double dip, so the thickness is entirely dependant upon the viscosity of the chocolate I use. If I am not mistaken you received orange zest flavored truffles made with Callebaut Semi-Sweet Chocolate 49%. I have found that it is a pretty thick chocolate. I am contemplating obtaining some pure cocoa butter so I can thin it myself since I have a couple slabs of it. In the future I may try to find other chocolates with different viscosities for use depending on whether I am dipping or molding.

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I learned that ganache containing dark couverture chocolates are best left to sit for 24 hours before dipping/coating. I sometimes get cracks the day after finishing moulded chocolates when I pipe in the ganache filling, chill for about an hour, let come back to room temperature and then cap. On the other hand, at school, where we let it sit the full 24 hours at room temperature there wasn't any problem.

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i thought about one of those molds for more liquid fillings and realized how much work they are!  you have to fill two sides, stick them together, fill your truffles then top the mold and then coat them with chocolate.  even though they are expensive, the amount of time you save by buying the pre-made shells might be worth it.  the only real advantage i can see with making them yourself is that you can control (to some extent) the thickness of your shell.

I have one of the double sphere molds, after you make it a couple of times you pick up some tricks to get a thin shell. You use chocolate at the high end of your working temperature, so it is a fluid as possible, a little less than half fill the round half, put the two sides together, band the crap out of it to distribute the chocolate, turn it around a couple of times as it cools.

My biggest problem with it is the size, I like a nice small truffle (especially with a liquid centre) and the smallest sphere mold I can find is about an inch. So to get them smaller you have to buy premade, but then you can't control the chocolate they are made from.

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i thought about one of those molds for more liquid fillings and realized how much work they are!  you have to fill two sides, stick them together, fill your truffles then top the mold and then coat them with chocolate.  even though they are expensive, the amount of time you save by buying the pre-made shells might be worth it.  the only real advantage i can see with making them yourself is that you can control (to some extent) the thickness of your shell.

I have one of the double sphere molds, after you make it a couple of times you pick up some tricks to get a thin shell. You use chocolate at the high end of your working temperature, so it is a fluid as possible, a little less than half fill the round half, put the two sides together, band the crap out of it to distribute the chocolate, turn it around a couple of times as it cools.

My biggest problem with it is the size, I like a nice small truffle (especially with a liquid centre) and the smallest sphere mold I can find is about an inch. So to get them smaller you have to buy premade, but then you can't control the chocolate they are made from.

thanks kerry! what do you do about the hole? do you just let the chocolate come out while you're banging it around?

do you have one of those fancy filler/hole plugging plates? which i can't find an example of right now, but i'm looking...

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i thought about one of those molds for more liquid fillings and realized how much work they are!  you have to fill two sides, stick them together, fill your truffles then top the mold and then coat them with chocolate.  even though they are expensive, the amount of time you save by buying the pre-made shells might be worth it.  the only real advantage i can see with making them yourself is that you can control (to some extent) the thickness of your shell.

I have one of the double sphere molds, after you make it a couple of times you pick up some tricks to get a thin shell. You use chocolate at the high end of your working temperature, so it is a fluid as possible, a little less than half fill the round half, put the two sides together, band the crap out of it to distribute the chocolate, turn it around a couple of times as it cools.

My biggest problem with it is the size, I like a nice small truffle (especially with a liquid centre) and the smallest sphere mold I can find is about an inch. So to get them smaller you have to buy premade, but then you can't control the chocolate they are made from.

Kerry,

I'm looking to make liquor filled chocolates, both hand dipped and molded. Which molds have you found easiest to use for this? Is the sphere mold referenced above a good one for the job? I saw a bottle mold somewhere on the net, but it is made from a cheap thin plastic. Does anyone produce a decent polycarbonate version?

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For liquor filled chocolates any mold will do, it's all about the crystalization. I use a simple square or round shape. I've been thinking about making a starch box but don't really have the focus right now.

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i thought about one of those molds for more liquid fillings and realized how much work they are!  you have to fill two sides, stick them together, fill your truffles then top the mold and then coat them with chocolate.  even though they are expensive, the amount of time you save by buying the pre-made shells might be worth it.  the only real advantage i can see with making them yourself is that you can control (to some extent) the thickness of your shell.

I have one of the double sphere molds, after you make it a couple of times you pick up some tricks to get a thin shell. You use chocolate at the high end of your working temperature, so it is a fluid as possible, a little less than half fill the round half, put the two sides together, band the crap out of it to distribute the chocolate, turn it around a couple of times as it cools.

My biggest problem with it is the size, I like a nice small truffle (especially with a liquid centre) and the smallest sphere mold I can find is about an inch. So to get them smaller you have to buy premade, but then you can't control the chocolate they are made from.

Kerry,

I'm looking to make liquor filled chocolates, both hand dipped and molded. Which molds have you found easiest to use for this? Is the sphere mold referenced above a good one for the job? I saw a bottle mold somewhere on the net, but it is made from a cheap thin plastic. Does anyone produce a decent polycarbonate version?

David , when I do the liquor filled I use an half phyramid , but any will do the trick , as Trishad said is the cristallization the important and tricky thing .

Check this ones

http://www.chocolat-chocolat.com/c210023.2.html


Vanessa

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