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David J.

Chocolate Sphere Molds

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I recieved a double/magnetic sphere mold as a gift. I had asked for a model that has a dimple molded into it:

http://www.chocolat-chocolat.com/c210036p16408423.2.html

One pushes on the projection and it drops inside to make a small filling hole. Filling this mold is a matter of filling the bottom half to a certain level, cliping on the top and spinning it.

But since it was on back order the company substituted another mold that has a solid bottom half and a top with about a hole in the top of each cavity.

I am after making hollow spheres to be filled with a sugarless liquor filling that I can seal off easily, so my first question is, does it really fit the need? I ask the question because the original mold appears to have a slope to the hole that would make it easier to seal by dropping a small disk of chocolate in before topping with tempered chocolate. Additionally, the actual hole would appear to be smaller.

My second question is just how to work with it. I was told that to make a hollow sphere with this you fill it up and tip it out like any other mold, but I'm not sure just how one goes about doing that. The mold has several holes that run all the way through both halves, so just pouring chocolate on top of both would result in a real mess, not to mention that I don't think it would fill each cavity anyway. Using a funnel seems far too slow as the wall thickness would vary greatly from the first to the last cavity due to a longer cooling time. Does one fill the bottom, put the top on, place a card over the holes and hand spin it before a final tipping without the card?

I can return it and wait until it becomes available next year, but I wouldn't mind keeping it if it will work out fine.

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David,

Do you have a picture of the mold you received? I can't picture it.

I have the mold you linked to and I find it great to work with and mold.

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gallery_40084_3942_163285.jpg

Here is a closeup of the top half of the mold:

gallery_40084_3942_125056.jpg

There are 4x8 cavities each about one inch in diameter. The filling holes are 3/8" in diameter.

Note the hole that runs through the mold. There are four of these on each end of the mold. I'm not sure what they are for since there are alignment pins and holes on the top side of each half.

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In school we used chocolate shells that obviously had come out of a mold similar to yours... but we didn't make them. So all I can tell you is that we did fill them up and top them off with chocolate and they were fine, especially once rolled in more chocolate and cocoa, you never saw the original hole.

They really should send directions with a mold like that. The only thing that doesn't sound like it'll cause a huge mess is to paint the shells... but that's only good for a few and very time consuming, and for sure you'd need more than one coat. Why don't you give them a call?

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That does seem like a huge hole in the top. I have no idea why the 4 holes are there, unless it is for use with some form of mechanized device like a spinner.

The thing that appeals to me about the mold is that it is 1 inch. My sphere mold is 1 1/4 inches and I would prefer a smaller size.

I vote you keep it and report back on your success. I can send you some molded spheres from my mold and you can compare the filling and sealing of each.

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In school we used chocolate shells that obviously had come out of a mold similar to yours... but we didn't make them. So all I can tell you is that we did fill them up and top them off with chocolate and they were fine, especially once rolled in more chocolate and cocoa, you never saw the original hole.

They really should send directions with a mold like that. The only thing that doesn't sound like it'll cause a huge mess is to paint the shells... but that's only good for a few and very time consuming, and for sure you'd need more than one coat. Why don't you give them a call?

How did you top them off? I can see it being easy if you have a filling that crusts over, but my original aim was to use them for a liquid filling with no sugar. I wasn't thinking of rolling them in chocolate or cocao but rather leaving them with the shine.

I did write back asking about how to fill the mold. The person told me to fill it to the top and then dump it as you would any hollow mold, but my problem is in the detail of how to fill it quickly enough without making a huge mess.

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That does seem like a huge hole in the top.  I have no idea why the 4 holes are there, unless it is for use with some form of mechanized device like a spinner. 

The thing that appeals to me about the mold is that it is 1 inch.  My sphere mold is 1 1/4 inches and I would prefer a smaller size. 

I vote you keep it and report back on your success.  I can send you some molded spheres from my mold and you can compare the filling and sealing of each.

I had the same thought that the holes might be for a spinner, but it would be a real mess with the chocolate dripping out of the fill holes.

Here I was thinking that the spheres would be too small. I suppose a one inch ball might be easier to pop in the mouth and bite.

How thick a shell do you usually cast, and what viscosity do you use? What sort of fillings do you use? Do you ever use a pure liquid? That probably has an effect on how easy it would be to seal.

If I can get a good answer on how to fill them I might just keep it and take you up on your offer to compare.

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That does seem like a huge hole in the top.  I have no idea why the 4 holes are there, unless it is for use with some form of mechanized device like a spinner. 

The thing that appeals to me about the mold is that it is 1 inch.  My sphere mold is 1 1/4 inches and I would prefer a smaller size. 

I vote you keep it and report back on your success.  I can send you some molded spheres from my mold and you can compare the filling and sealing of each.

I had the same thought that the holes might be for a spinner, but it would be a real mess with the chocolate dripping out of the fill holes.

Here I was thinking that the spheres would be too small. I suppose a one inch ball might be easier to pop in the mouth and bite.

How thick a shell do you usually cast, and what viscosity do you use? What sort of fillings do you use? Do you ever use a pure liquid? That probably has an effect on how easy it would be to seal.

If I can get a good answer on how to fill them I might just keep it and take you up on your offer to compare.

I try to make the shell as thin as I can. I use my usual 815 bittersweet Callebaut which has 3 little drops on the front (ie lots of cocoa butter, makes nice thin shells).

I use them to hold fillings that are too soft for regular truffles. I have also just filled them with liqueurs. They don't last a long time with a liquid in them, but they are great for a party.

The sealing isn't too big a deal, I just take a piping bag with tempered chocolate and circle in towards the centre. In my mold the hole you punch in is slanted making it easy to prevent the chocolate from falling into the hole. Then I drizzle with a bit of contrasting chocolate to cover the piped chocolate, or dip the whole thing a couple of times.

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I would like to see a demo on how to work with these molds  :biggrin:

Ok, if I get an answer to my filling question I will experiment with it and write up a demo.

I try to make the shell as thin as I can. I use my usual 815 bittersweet Callebaut which has 3 little drops on the front (ie lots of cocoa butter, makes nice thin shells).

I use them to hold fillings that are too soft for regular truffles. I have also just filled them with liqueurs. They don't last a long time with a liquid in them, but they are great for a party.

The sealing isn't too big a deal, I just take a piping bag with tempered chocolate and circle in towards the centre. In my mold the hole you punch in is slanted making it easy to prevent the chocolate from falling into the hole. Then I drizzle with a bit of contrasting chocolate to cover the piped chocolate, or dip the whole thing a couple of times.

Does anyone know where I can buy 815 Callebaut callets (as opposed to blocks)?

I'm having trouble locating a source.

My worry is the hole will be too large and not sloped which would make it difficult to pipe as you describe. Perhaps if it were extra thick it would work. Maybe a one drop chocolate or the equivilent viscosity created with a little water.

So you dip the molded chocolate too?

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I would like to see a demo on how to work with these molds  :biggrin:

Ok, if I get an answer to my filling question I will experiment with it and write up a demo.

I try to make the shell as thin as I can. I use my usual 815 bittersweet Callebaut which has 3 little drops on the front (ie lots of cocoa butter, makes nice thin shells).

I use them to hold fillings that are too soft for regular truffles. I have also just filled them with liqueurs. They don't last a long time with a liquid in them, but they are great for a party.

The sealing isn't too big a deal, I just take a piping bag with tempered chocolate and circle in towards the centre. In my mold the hole you punch in is slanted making it easy to prevent the chocolate from falling into the hole. Then I drizzle with a bit of contrasting chocolate to cover the piped chocolate, or dip the whole thing a couple of times.

Does anyone know where I can buy 815 Callebaut callets (as opposed to blocks)?

I'm having trouble locating a source.

My worry is the hole will be too large and not sloped which would make it difficult to pipe as you describe. Perhaps if it were extra thick it would work. Maybe a one drop chocolate or the equivilent viscosity created with a little water.

So you dip the molded chocolate too?

I use the blocks, I don't think it comes in the callets. Why not pipe yourself some small callets and drop them upside down into the hole then seal around them.

I do dip the molded chocolate too. You can run it over a wire rack to get a thistle appearance.


Edited by Kerry Beal (log)

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I took a class at Albert Uster with a Swiss chocolatier last year and we used some of these which had been premolded, by machine I'm sure. We filled them using special metal trays. There are 2 trays, one with smaller holes for filling and one with larger holes for bottoming.

When filling, we were taught to use a pastry bag and just go go go. It's a little sloppy. When you've finished, you use a bench scraper to remove the ganache that remains on top of the filling tray. Same sort of idea with the bottoming tray. Cover the whole thing with chocolate, scrape, and lift off the tray.

We coated them or decorated them in at least 10 different ways. They have a little seam around the middle which most would want to cover. Vosges uses these premade shells for their truffles.

Qzina carries the 815 callets.


Edited by Trishiad (log)

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I use the blocks, I don't think it comes in the callets.  Why not pipe yourself some small callets and drop them upside down into the hole then seal around them.

I do dip the molded chocolate too.  You can run it over a wire rack to get a thistle appearance.

I was hoping to use callets due to the easy tempering. With them all the same size you just toss them in and stir. JPW made it look SO easy. Now I have to decide if I still want the 815 enough to deal with blocks.

Would a solid disk float on liquor or flip and sink? It would work with sloping sides, but I'm not sure about straight sides. Or do you mean to pipe a cone shape that is just a bit larger than the hole? I suppose that might work, though I'm not sure how to pipe so accurately.

I have a truffle rack on my gift list, so I will be able to duplicate the thistle look I pictured in my class report.

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I took a class at Albert Uster with a Swiss chocolatier last year and we used some of these which had been premolded, by machine I'm sure.  We filled them using special metal trays.  There are 2 trays, one with smaller holes for filling and one with larger holes for bottoming.

When filling, we were taught to use a pastry bag and just go go go.  It's a little sloppy.  When you've finished, you use a bench scraper to remove the ganache that remains on top of the filling tray.  Same sort of idea with the bottoming tray.  Cover the whole thing with chocolate, scrape, and lift off the tray.

We coated them or decorated them in at least 10 different ways.  They have a little seam around the middle which most would want to cover.  Vosges uses these premade shells for their truffles.

Qzina carries the 815 callets.

The lady at Qzina said that the 815 callets were domestic rather than Belgin. Is there a noticable difference, or is it essentialy the same thing?

Google is a wonderfull tool. Is this what you used?

http://www.auiswiss.com/culin_whatsnew.cfm?catid=1016

Filling tray:

http://www.auiswisscatalogue.com/store/mer...ATEEQUIP/004149

Sealing tray:

http://www.auiswisscatalogue.com/store/mer...ATEEQUIP/004150

It's hard to tell exactly how they are built by the pictures. Are they just flat sheets, or do they have protrusions that fit down into each shell? I'm trying to imagine how it works to get a seal over the filling and I'm having a little trouble.


Edited by David J. (log)

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Would a solid disk float on liquor or flip and sink? It would work with sloping sides, but I'm not sure about straight sides.  Or do you mean to pipe a cone shape that is just a bit larger than the hole?  I suppose that might work, though I'm not sure how to pipe so accurately.

I was thinking of making them just a touch bigger than the hole, I don't think they would float.

The lady at Qzina said that the 815 callets were domestic rather than Belgin.  Is there a noticable difference, or is it essentialy the same thing?

I don't care for the american Callebaut. I find it inferior to the Belgian.

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In school we used chocolate shells that obviously had come out of a mold similar to yours... but we didn't make them. So all I can tell you is that we did fill them up and top them off with chocolate and they were fine, especially once rolled in more chocolate and cocoa, you never saw the original hole.

They really should send directions with a mold like that. The only thing that doesn't sound like it'll cause a huge mess is to paint the shells... but that's only good for a few and very time consuming, and for sure you'd need more than one coat. Why don't you give them a call?

How did you top them off? I can see it being easy if you have a filling that crusts over, but my original aim was to use them for a liquid filling with no sugar. I wasn't thinking of rolling them in chocolate or cocao but rather leaving them with the shine.

I did write back asking about how to fill the mold. The person told me to fill it to the top and then dump it as you would any hollow mold, but my problem is in the detail of how to fill it quickly enough without making a huge mess.

We filled them with ganache and would put them in the fridge for about 10 minutes. Then we would just top off with chocolate in a cornet. I don't think you need your filling to crust over.... just that it's thick enough to support the weight of the chocolate without it sinking into the filling. If you were doing a liquor filling, maybe the 10 min in the fridge would thicken it up just enough to support the chocolate. Good luck.

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David, those are indeed the trays we used. The filling hole is slightly tapered so that it fits just perfectly. The finishing hole is a bit larger and concave to cover the ganache entirely.

I keep thinking about how to cap off a bonbon filled with just booze. Layer upon layer of a light spray with an airbrush? A disk large enough to cover just the outside of the bonbon hole and then a final dipping to cover the fact that the "bottom" is a touch bigger than the rest? I dunno.

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David, those are indeed the trays we used.  The filling hole is slightly tapered so that it fits just perfectly.  The finishing hole is a bit larger and concave to cover the ganache entirely.

I keep thinking about how to cap off a bonbon filled with just booze.  Layer upon layer of a light spray with an airbrush?  A disk large enough to cover just the outside of the bonbon hole and then a final dipping to cover the fact that the "bottom" is a touch bigger than the rest?  I dunno.

Which way are the holes in the filling tray tapered, inward like a funnel? Is it a flat sheet or does it have a stem that fits inside the hole? Could you draw a picture?

I had suspected that the finishing tray might be concave since it has to have a definite thickness to cover the ganach a straight sided hole would produce a cylindrical pillar. That makes it a bit tougher to machine and explains part of the reason it is so expensive.

I had an idea for covering the pure liquid filling. If I took a tapered countersink bit like this:

http://www.amazon.com/IRWIN-12411-Speed-St...39?ie=UTF8&s=hi

I could possibly produce a sloping hole that would let a solid disc lodge in it. Then the sealing tray would cover that and form the rest of the sphere. I'll have to actually cast a mold to see what the spheres look like to see what I can do with them.

I ordered Callebaut 811 from Qzino since they don't carry 815 and the cocao percentage is within 2%. I should get that in a couple days and then I'll try the mold out. I was told by Chocolat-Chocolat to fill it with a piping bag so I'll give that a shot. I'll have to see how quickly I can fill all 32 cavities and if the first and last have significantly different wall thicknesses as a result of sitting filled for different lengths of time. The base formula might be liquid enough to work out.

From what the rep said I think that commercial uses have automated filling machinery that doses each cavity at the same time.

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David, those are indeed the trays we used.  The filling hole is slightly tapered so that it fits just perfectly.  The finishing hole is a bit larger and concave to cover the ganache entirely.

I keep thinking about how to cap off a bonbon filled with just booze.  Layer upon layer of a light spray with an airbrush?  A disk large enough to cover just the outside of the bonbon hole and then a final dipping to cover the fact that the "bottom" is a touch bigger than the rest?  I dunno.

Which way are the holes in the filling tray tapered, inward like a funnel? Is it a flat sheet or does it have a stem that fits inside the hole? Could you draw a picture?

I had suspected that the finishing tray might be concave since it has to have a definite thickness to cover the ganach a straight sided hole would produce a cylindrical pillar. That makes it a bit tougher to machine and explains part of the reason it is so expensive.

I had an idea for covering the pure liquid filling. If I took a tapered countersink bit like this:

http://www.amazon.com/IRWIN-12411-Speed-St...39?ie=UTF8&s=hi

I could possibly produce a sloping hole that would let a solid disc lodge in it. Then the sealing tray would cover that and form the rest of the sphere. I'll have to actually cast a mold to see what the spheres look like to see what I can do with them.

I ordered Callebaut 811 from Qzino since they don't carry 815 and the cocao percentage is within 2%. I should get that in a couple days and then I'll try the mold out. I was told by Chocolat-Chocolat to fill it with a piping bag so I'll give that a shot. I'll have to see how quickly I can fill all 32 cavities and if the first and last have significantly different wall thicknesses as a result of sitting filled for different lengths of time. The base formula might be liquid enough to work out.

From what the rep said I think that commercial uses have automated filling machinery that doses each cavity at the same time.

I was the chocolate instructor at the Wilton School of Confectionery Art for over 20 years. Meta McCall from Canada taught the course before me. She used to add a few drops of melted cocoa butter on top of the liqueur to seal the opening. Once the cocoa butter forms a crust, you spread chocolate on top to complete the seal.

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I was the chocolate instructor at the Wilton School of Confectionery Art for over 20 years.  Meta McCall from Canada taught the course before me.  She used to add a few drops of melted cocoa butter on top of the liqueur to seal the opening.  Once the cocoa butter forms a crust, you spread chocolate on top to complete the seal.

Brilliant in it's simplicity. Have you tried it yourself Elaine?

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I was the chocolate instructor at the Wilton School of Confectionery Art for over 20 years.  Meta McCall from Canada taught the course before me.  She used to add a few drops of melted cocoa butter on top of the liqueur to seal the opening.  Once the cocoa butter forms a crust, you spread chocolate on top to complete the seal.

Brilliant in it's simplicity. Have you tried it yourself Elaine?

No, I haven't tried that method but I'm sure it works. Meta was (is still?) an accomplished chocolatier. I have tried her alternate method of spreading chocolate on a strip of paper sized to fit over the openings of a row of de-moulded, liqueur-filled chocolate cups, pressing down to seal the sides, and peeling the paper off when the chocolate sets. It's not a perfect seal, but it does work on regular moulded hollow shells. I sometimes mould the chocolate shells in stiff-sided, gold foil cups, place a tiny raspberry in the bottom, fill (never to the top) with liqueur, and top with the chocolate-covered strips of paper. You can use a transfer sheet to do this. Again, it's not a perfect seal and you must warn people it is a one bite indulgence.

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I was the chocolate instructor at the Wilton School of Confectionery Art for over 20 years.  Meta McCall from Canada taught the course before me.  She used to add a few drops of melted cocoa butter on top of the liqueur to seal the opening.  Once the cocoa butter forms a crust, you spread chocolate on top to complete the seal.

Brilliant in it's simplicity. Have you tried it yourself Elaine?

No, I haven't tried that method but I'm sure it works. Meta was (is still?) an accomplished chocolatier. I have tried her alternate method of spreading chocolate on a strip of paper sized to fit over the openings of a row of de-moulded, liqueur-filled chocolate cups, pressing down to seal the sides, and peeling the paper off when the chocolate sets. It's not a perfect seal, but it does work on regular moulded hollow shells. I sometimes mould the chocolate shells in stiff-sided, gold foil cups, place a tiny raspberry in the bottom, fill (never to the top) with liqueur, and top with the chocolate-covered strips of paper. You can use a transfer sheet to do this. Again, it's not a perfect seal and you must warn people it is a one bite indulgence.

This method could certainly be used to seal David's spheres, then once set, add a little extra chocolate to reinforce.

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From what the rep said I think that commercial uses have automated filling machinery that doses each cavity at the same time.

We've used a truffle machine at work to fill the truffle shells during peak times. I will take a picture of it when I am in at work on Friday and post it so you can see what one looks like. During nonpeak times we simply use 'squeezy' bottles to fill the truffles shells with gananche. We have 2 plastic capping trays similar to the metal one that you linked to earlier. For small quantities capping the truffles with a piping bag works just as well.


Edited by lemon curd (log)

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No, I haven't tried that method but I'm sure it works.  Meta was (is still?) an accomplished chocolatier.  I have tried her alternate method of spreading chocolate on a strip of paper sized to fit over the openings of  a row of de-moulded, liqueur-filled chocolate cups, pressing down to seal the sides, and peeling the paper off when the chocolate sets.  It's not a perfect seal, but it does work on regular moulded hollow shells.  I sometimes mould the chocolate shells in stiff-sided, gold foil cups, place a tiny raspberry in the bottom, fill (never to the top) with liqueur, and top with the chocolate-covered strips of paper.  You can use a transfer sheet to do this.  Again, it's not a perfect seal and you must warn people it is a one bite indulgence.

That's what I love about this place, so many brilliant ideas! The chocolate paper strip should form a good enough seal for a second dip. The hole is small enough that it should be structuraly strong. I can use my really thick chocolate (two and one drop(s) for milk and dark respectively) to ensure a thick seal.

I checked the Albert Uster website and found that the shells they sell match my mold in diameter. That means I could probably buy their filling and sealing trays if I wanted. They are a bit pricey though, so I will probably start out by piping my ganache carefully and sealing with a pastry bag.

I want to try the three different non-sugar shell recipies in JPW's book to see which works out and tastes best. I have a co-worker who likes the filling semi-sweet, but with no crunchy shell and that gives me a personal chalenge to learn how.

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From what the rep said I think that commercial uses have automated filling machinery that doses each cavity at the same time.

We've used a truffle machine at work to fill the truffle shells during peak times. I will take a picture of it when I am in at work on Friday and post it so you can see what one looks like.

My truffle machine pictures didn't turn out very well, but I found the equivalent here. See the center picture 'hand depositor' machine.


Edited by lemon curd (log)

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      So I set out in my own vehicle - which of course had no gas, and needed oil... at least the toll highway got me past the problem.  Airport wants $175/week to park - so a quick text to @Alleguede and he came to fetch my car from the airport to park in his driveway until I return.
       
      So here I sit in the lounge awaiting my departure.
       
      I'm doing the Jet Lag program that I have done several times before that has worked well for me. Overcoming Jet Lag, by Charles F. Ehret and Lynne Waller Scanlon. This involves food and caffeine modification. So for the past 4 days I've been drinking Rooibos Provence throughout the day and between 3 and 4:30 slugging down as much real tea as my bladder can handle! The dietary part consists of alternating days of 'feasting' and 'fasting' with high protein breakfasts and lunches and high carb dinners. I had planned to get the driver to stop at the Tim Horton's at the top of my street to pick up the black coffee that is to be taken at around 6 pm the day of travel - unfortunately as I was driving myself that didn't happen - so when I hit the lounge I drank down two cups of strong black caffeinated coffee - better late than never. I'm not much of a coffee drinker - and particularly not black. Should be good for some palpitations when I start the next part of the program which is to sleep as soon as I get on the plane!
       
      This is a 'fasting day', 800 calories suggested - I left my carb meal until I reached the lounge.
       

       
      ]
       
      One of the two cups of coffee.
       

       
      These are the "Gentlemen Retire to the Library' chocolates that I posted before that I am taking along - port wine PDF and tobacco ganache. I used Sosa tobacco flavouring this time instead of a cigar so I don't have to concern myself with nicotine poisoning.
       
       
       
       
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