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General Truffle Troubleshooting


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I'm having trouble with my heart molds (from JD Prince) - most of the chocolates release, but about 6 (of 28) stuck. I pried them with my finger to find out that the tops of the hearts were really stuck in the molds.

I'm using Callebaut semisweet (12 oz) that's been tempered with 3 oz. of cocoa butter, since the Callebaut choc. is not couvature and is too thick to pour back out of the molds normally. I was pleased with this combination of chocolate/ cocoa butter when working with it, but am wondering what I can do to prevent the hearts from sticking.

I began by using cotton pads and rubbing the inside of each mold carefully (or so I thought). Once I filled and banged them and poured the excess chocolate out, I placed them in the refrig. for 5 minutes, then filled them with a truffle center and topped them off. I placed them on a speed rack to firm for 5+ hours before banging them out.

I follow the posts on this forum, but could use some specific guidance.

Thanks for any advice!

Beaches Pastry

May your celebrations be sweet!

Beaches Pastry Blog

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When using the refrigerator to speed things up, please know that you are definitely compromising your temper.

I know that experts will recommend placing in the fridge, but people like Jean-Pierre Wybauw do this with specific conditions in place. Jean-Pierre talks about using the fridge, but the fridge must be a certain temperature and there should be a fan in place to remove moisture from the space. The molds are left outside for a period of time and then placed in the fridge. Molds or pieces of different thicknesses are placed in the fridge for different lengths of time.

Using the fridge just as a shortcut is NOT the way to go. The best way to temper would ideally be at a cool room temperature (some businesses have chocolate rooms which are kept cooler than a regular kitchen) and to allow the chocolate to set overnight. Then, the ganache can be piped in...again left overnight to crystallize or crust over and then backed and tapped out.

I think if you are going to use the fridge, always let your molds come back up to temp before filling, backing and attempting to release your chocolates.

Ideally, it is best to understand the mechanics of tempering and crystallization at a slow speed/pace before upping production to necessitate refrigeration. I think you'll be surprised at the difference in the shine on your chocolates.

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I have been experiencing the same problem with a heart mold and am longing for a day when I can be alone and do a controlled experiment.

When I first started molding chocolate I did it by myself and because I happen to like working in a cool atmosphere I would turn off the heat completely and by the time I had my chocolate tempered, the ambient temperature in the kitchen would be around 60F. I don't recall any similar problems then.

Now, I must frequently work with others in the house and shutting off the heat induces whining esp. from hubby. I did not think it was a big deal but it all starts to make sense now.

It is not practical to keep my fridge at 50F - my chocolate might love it but my chicken certainly won't! Nor is there room in the fridge for a fan. So the difference between the ambient and fridge temps is +30 F and I am thinking that therein lies the problem.

I have tried letting the molds set up at room temp on a cooling rack with a fan directed over them but that does not seem to help. I am considering looking for a couple of those "toy" fans means for the car dashboard. They are battery operated and would likely fit in the fridge with no problem.

But I still think that the answer is to drop the ambient temperature and then the fridge is only about 20F different.

I have tried leaving them for 24 hours before unmolding - it made no difference - they still either stuck or had a mark on them where they had not released properly.

I can't do any experiments with the ambient temp this week as there is too much else happening but I am determined to try next week and will report my findings.

As an aside, the one time the molds were painted with coloured cocoa butter and allowed to set up for days before I filled them with chocolate, they unmolded perfectly!

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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yes always in the freezer i will use the fridge from now on if that will work better

Wybauw suggests leaving your molds at room temp until you see them start to crystallize, then into the fridge until hardened.

I copied the following quote out of the thread I started after the demo I had with Wybauw in the fall.

Don't put things in the fridge until you see it start to thicken around the edges, indicating that crystals are multiplying. Cooling too fast, ie in the freezer, causes uneven contraction of mold and chocolate and causes cracks.

I started this answer last night, realized this morning I hadn't posted it, see now there is a ton of discussion and my contribution is 'too little - too late"

Edited by Kerry Beal (log)
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thanks for the reply. I redid them and let them sit at room temperature until they mostly set up them put them in the fridge for 5-10 minutes and they came out perfectly as far as the color change I guess I wil find out tonight. but they where shiny and the left over chocolate from the sealing was still shiny this morning. I will take pics this evening so you an see what a my first forray into mold was like

thanks again everyone!!!!!

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I have been experiencing the same problem with a heart mold and am longing for a day when I can be alone and do a controlled experiment.

When I first started molding chocolate I did it by myself and because I happen to like working in a cool atmosphere I would turn off the heat completely and by the time I had my chocolate tempered, the ambient temperature in the kitchen would be around 60F.  I don't recall any similar problems then.

Now, I must frequently work with others in the house and shutting off the heat induces whining esp. from hubby. I did not think it was a big deal but it all starts to make sense now.

It is not practical to keep my fridge at 50F - my chocolate might love it but my chicken certainly won't!  Nor is there room in the fridge for a fan.  So the difference between the ambient and fridge temps is +30 F and I am thinking that therein lies the problem.

I have tried letting the molds set up at room temp on a cooling rack with a fan directed over them but that does not seem to help.  I am considering looking for a couple of those "toy" fans means for the car dashboard.  They are battery operated and would likely fit in the fridge with no problem. 

But I still think that the answer is to drop the ambient temperature and then the fridge is only about 20F different.

I have tried leaving them for 24 hours before unmolding - it made no difference - they still either stuck or had a mark on them where they had not released properly.

I can't do any experiments with the ambient temp this week as there is too much else happening but I am determined to try next week and will report my findings.

As an aside, the one time the molds were painted with coloured cocoa butter and allowed to set up for days before I filled them with chocolate, they unmolded perfectly!

One really good suggestion that I've seen is to pick up a wine cooler / refrigerator - the ones that are about the size of a small dorm 'fridge. I think that some of them have fans and you can set the temp that you want. Usually, these don't go much below 50F but they'd be good for chocolate.

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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. . .

One really good suggestion that I've seen is to pick up a wine cooler / refrigerator  - the ones that are about the size of a small dorm 'fridge.  I think that some of them have fans and you can set the temp that you want.  Usually, these don't go much below 50F but they'd be good for chocolate.

John,

I have a small regular fridge and a bar fridge and between them they are barely adequate to keep my groceries in - I can only shop once a week so you see the problem! I simply do not have room for a 3rd fridge just for chocolate so I must find a solution that doesn't require more fridge space! I live in an 1100 ft townhouse and that 1100 feet includes the basement. One more chocolate mold and I am betting the walls will burst at the seams. :shock:

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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. . .
One really good suggestion that I've seen is to pick up a wine cooler / refrigerator  - the ones that are about the size of a small dorm 'fridge.  I think that some of them have fans and you can set the temp that you want.  Usually, these don't go much below 50F but they'd be good for chocolate.

John,

I have a small regular fridge and a bar fridge and between them they are barely adequate to keep my groceries in - I can only shop once a week so you see the problem! I simply do not have room for a 3rd fridge just for chocolate so I must find a solution that doesn't require more fridge space! I live in an 1100 ft townhouse and that 1100 feet includes the basement. One more chocolate mold and I am betting the walls will burst at the seams. :shock:

I totally sympathize, Anna! My first apartment in Paris was just 425 sq. ft. with a tiny tiny fridge, two plaque stove top and (gasp!) NO OVEN. Ouch! Sometimes you just gotta make due with what you have. And I must say, you seem to get getting by pretty well!

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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Anna I remember a thread a while ago ( wich one was??? ) about farmers market and chocolate selling.One of the egulletier here used a regular cooler , he tweket into a little portable fridge with drawers ( made out pvp ?) where he stored his chocolates for the famrers market.It looked very nice and a great idea.

I thought about the wine coole as well, but if I have to rent a kitchen for now it might not have enough room for that , but I will definately get one in case I have more room.

Vanessa

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When using the refrigerator to speed things up, please know that you are definitely compromising your temper. 

I know that experts will recommend placing in the fridge, but people like Jean-Pierre Wybauw do this with specific conditions in place.  Jean-Pierre talks about using the fridge, but the fridge must be a certain temperature and there should be a fan in place to remove moisture from the space.  The molds are left outside for a period of time and then placed in the fridge.  Molds or pieces of different thicknesses are placed in the fridge for different lengths of time.

Using the fridge just as a shortcut is NOT the way to go.  The best way to temper would ideally be at a cool room temperature (some businesses have chocolate rooms which are kept cooler than a regular kitchen) and to allow the chocolate to set overnight.  Then, the ganache can be piped in...again left overnight to crystallize or crust over and then backed and tapped out.

I think if you are going to use the fridge, always let your molds come back up to temp before filling, backing and attempting to release your chocolates.

Ideally, it is best to understand the mechanics of tempering and crystallization at a slow speed/pace before upping production to necessitate refrigeration.  I think you'll be surprised at the difference in the shine on your chocolates.

I wanted to wait to reply until I had a chance to try again.

I followed your suggestion NOT to use the refrigerator, as well as other suggestions to allow time to lapse between filling the hearts, piping in the truffle filling, and finally closing the chocolates off.

Since I'm in Florida I"m really careful about room temperature when working with chocolate, but was hoping that the refrig. suggestion would work. I'll have to play with that more, focusing on watching the crystalization.

All but 3 (out of 28) of the hearts popped out of the molds and look great! I'm very pleased with the results. I find these chocolates to have a shinier surface.

Many thanks for your guidance -

Beaches Pastry

May your celebrations be sweet!

Beaches Pastry Blog

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Just to quote the master, JP Wybauw says (in his book) there are a few possibilities

1. chocolate is undercrystallized

2. chocolate is over-crystallied

3. insufficient cooling

can be avoided by

1. working with chocolate with correct amount of beta crystals

2. ensuring smooth but not overly rapid cooling

Basically what Kerry said.

Edited by ejw50 (log)
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Well a winter storm raged through here yesterday so I had nothing better to do than make chocolates!

I turned off the heat in the house and let the temperature drop before I started. It did not drop as much as I would have liked, however, it did prove a point. Molded up hearts and another oval mold that had been giving me so much trouble and both worked perfectly. It seems that the temperature differential between the room and the fridge plays a larger role than I had imagined.

So the procedure was:

Drop the temp in the house to around 60F.

Pour the molds (both were solid, unfilled) and let rest at room temp until starting to set up.

Put them into the 'fridge for 15 minutes.

Allow them to rest at room temp for at least 30 minutes.

Unmold.

I want to repeat this experiment as soon as possible to ensure it wasn't just a freaky thing and that some other variable was responsible. I hope to do that next week and will report back.

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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Anna,

If there's a way to keep the chocolate out without putting it in the fridge at all, please try that as well. One of my colleagues insists you get much better shine by allowing crystallization to occur naturally at ambient temperature. I'm not saying you have to keep the house at 60F :blink: , but after you're done molding, just let it sit and see how they turn out.

Good luck with your experimentation.

Well a winter storm raged through here yesterday so I had nothing better to do than make chocolates!

I turned off the heat in the house and let the temperature drop before I started.  It did not drop as much as I would have liked, however, it did prove a point.  Molded up hearts and another oval mold that had been giving me so much trouble and both worked perfectly.  It seems that the temperature differential between the room and the fridge plays a larger role than I had imagined. 

So the procedure was:

Drop the temp in the house to around 60F.

Pour the molds (both were solid, unfilled) and let rest at room temp until starting to set up.

Put them into the 'fridge for 15 minutes.

Allow them to rest at room temp for at least 30 minutes.

Unmold.

I want to repeat this experiment as soon as possible to ensure it wasn't just a freaky thing and that some other variable was responsible.  I hope to do that next week and will report back.

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Anna,

If there's a way to keep the chocolate out without putting it in the fridge at all, please try that as well.  One of my colleagues insists you get much better shine by allowing crystallization to occur naturally at ambient temperature.  I'm not saying you have to keep the house at 60F  :blink: , but after you're done molding, just let it sit and see how they turn out.

Good luck with your experimentation.

Well a winter storm raged through here yesterday so I had nothing better to do than make chocolates!

I turned off the heat in the house and let the temperature drop before I started.  It did not drop as much as I would have liked, however, it did prove a point.  Molded up hearts and another oval mold that had been giving me so much trouble and both worked perfectly.  It seems that the temperature differential between the room and the fridge plays a larger role than I had imagined. 

So the procedure was:

Drop the temp in the house to around 60F.

Pour the molds (both were solid, unfilled) and let rest at room temp until starting to set up.

Put them into the 'fridge for 15 minutes.

Allow them to rest at room temp for at least 30 minutes.

Unmold.

I want to repeat this experiment as soon as possible to ensure it wasn't just a freaky thing and that some other variable was responsible.  I hope to do that next week and will report back.

I'd LOVE to be able to drop my room temp to about 60 degrees!!

I usually have a tall thin floor fan oscillating in my kitchen when I work with chocolate so that it circulates the air around the chocolate as it cools. I don't have a lot of control over the temp and humidity of the kitchen, and in Florida both can be a real problem.

For anyone else that can't drop the room temperature of your kitchen when working with chocolate, what do you do to help make your chocolate-production time more successful?

Beaches Pastry

May your celebrations be sweet!

Beaches Pastry Blog

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Anna,

If there's a way to keep the chocolate out without putting it in the fridge at all, please try that as well.  One of my colleagues insists you get much better shine by allowing crystallization to occur naturally at ambient temperature.  I'm not saying you have to keep the house at 60F  :blink: , but after you're done molding, just let it sit and see how they turn out.

Good luck with your experimentation.

. . .

I have tried the "no fridge" route on a number of occasions and the results have not been good. I am quite certain that each chocolatier working in a home environment has to find the solution that works for them. There is a certain combination of ambient temps, fridge temps, humidity, etc. that gives the best results and without commercial equipment that can be closely controlled, I think we will all find a different solution.

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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For me, I have all kinds of problems when my room temperature is below 68F. The chocolate just sets faster than you can say Callebaut!

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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:laugh::laugh::laugh:

My house gets pretty warm ( even when outside is 0 ) so when I moved to my basement , wich is pretty cold, I had to adjust some things , because as John said chocolate set firm pretty fast :shock: Also need to keep the melter little bit higher .The way my molded chocolates ( and enrobed as well ) came out in the colder enviroment , though, is much better , they are shiner and the chocolate just has that nice snap to it all the time.I also agree that fridge doesnt give that nice shine to the final product than is you leave your moled chocolates inside the mold for another 12 hours , I did an experiment a while ago ( I think I even posted here ) .

here

http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=86464&hl=

Edited by Desiderio (log)

Vanessa

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  • 9 months later...

Hi all!

I've got a great Lime / ginger truffle recipe that has worked in the past...however this time, after adding the Limoncello, the ganache seized when I checked on it after a few hours...why???:( Here's the recipe if anyone wants it,

- 8 oz semi sweet chocolate ( I use Valrhona )

-1/2 cup creme fraiche

- 2 tbsp butter

- 2 tsp grated lime zest

- 2 tsp Limoncello

For coating:

- tempered chocolate

- icing sugar

- ground ginger

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Hi all!

I've got a great Lime / ginger truffle recipe that has worked in the past...however this time, after adding the Limoncello, the ganache seized when I checked on it after a few hours...why???:( Here's the recipe if anyone wants it,

- 8 oz semi sweet chocolate ( I use Valrhona )

-1/2 cup creme fraiche

- 2 tbsp butter

- 2 tsp grated lime zest

- 2 tsp Limoncello

It sounds like your ganache just set stiffer than you are used to, perhaps due to a little less liquid. I've also noticed that a ganache sets quicker when you temper the chocolate. You might try to add just a bit more creme next time.

What technique did you use to put the ganache together?

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Thanks David, I boiled the cream and poured it over tempered chopped chocolate

Hi all!

I've got a great Lime / ginger truffle recipe that has worked in the past...however this time, after adding the Limoncello, the ganache seized when I checked on it after a few hours...why???:( Here's the recipe if anyone wants it,

- 8 oz semi sweet chocolate ( I use Valrhona )

-1/2 cup creme fraiche

- 2 tbsp butter

- 2 tsp grated lime zest

- 2 tsp Limoncello

It sounds like your ganache just set stiffer than you are used to, perhaps due to a little less liquid. I've also noticed that a ganache sets quicker when you temper the chocolate. You might try to add just a bit more creme next time.

What technique did you use to put the ganache together?

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I mean the ganache got grainy, I didn't change anything really.

However...I fixed it as per baking 911. Divided the ganache in half, refrigerated one half and heated the other and mixed them together!

Thanks David, I boiled the cream and poured it over tempered chopped chocolate
Hi all!

I've got a great Lime / ginger truffle recipe that has worked in the past...however this time, after adding the Limoncello, the ganache seized when I checked on it after a few hours...why???:( Here's the recipe if anyone wants it,

- 8 oz semi sweet chocolate ( I use Valrhona )

-1/2 cup creme fraiche

- 2 tbsp butter

- 2 tsp grated lime zest

- 2 tsp Limoncello

It sounds like your ganache just set stiffer than you are used to, perhaps due to a little less liquid. I've also noticed that a ganache sets quicker when you temper the chocolate. You might try to add just a bit more creme next time.

What technique did you use to put the ganache together?

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