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"Making Artisan Chocolates" by Andrew Shotts

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Well it arrived today, I've been eyeing it on Amazon since September and it was finally released. Lots of info inside, a good introduction to ingredients and flavour pairings. A bunch of recipes that I'm dying to try. Strawberry Balsamic Truffle anyone?

Not much info on technique, or should I say new techniques for decorating chocolates.

One bone to pick: Bacterial contamination does not equal mould! He says a couple of times that if you contaminate your ganache with bacteria, you'll get mould. 2 different things in my book.

I forgot to give the thumbs up for including ounce and gram measures in the book. It makes things so much easier!

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Got a copy of Making Artisan Chocolates today (preordered). At first skim through, has a great deal of good information. Also there are a lot of great recipes to try. Looks like time for trying new things out.

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Got mine too. Been trying to get finish a review on it but there's just so much info. I think it will be a great reference/go to book. I think it would also be a perfect book for a newbie. Getting a chocosphere order together so I can start to play! I already have a long list of recipes I want to try. The folks at work were looking at me like I was crazy because I had a list of recipes penciled down and how much chocolate I would need. I'll only need 27 pounds of chocolate for the ones I want to try first! :laugh:

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I'm glad to hear the reviews are good - I'm waiting for my copy to arrive!

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I've also found that he makes some claims that just don't seem right to me, with my small amount of experience so far. For example, he says you can't make a ganache with melted chocolate, or it will break. I make ganache with melted chocolate all the time, and have never had a broken ganache.

He proposes an odd method for tempering. He has you use the seed method, but to take the temperature all the way down to the bottom of the tempering curve, then back up to the working temperature. I thought the great advantage of seed tempering was that you didn't need to go down and then back up.

And nearly all the recipes call for small amount of 2 different chocolates. Which probably produces more complex results in the finished ganaches, but seems a little silly when it's something like half 60% and half 80% - why not just use 70%? But perhaps I just don't have a discriminating enough palate...

Lots of great ideas, though, for inspiration. I think it's a book that's not sure of its target market - it has a lot of basic information, including an extensive piece on how chocolate is made. And the recipes make small quantities (with strict instructions not to double or triple batches), which points towards it being a book marketed at ambitious home cooks. But then he calls for ingredients like g pectin, with no explanation or source listed. Odd.

We've been discussing the strawberry balsamic recipe in some detail here. It has some problems.

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I've read through the book, but haven't had a chance to cook from it yet.

Pluses: I really like the techniques chapter, and the ranking of the recipes by difficulty.

Minus: Unless I missed it, there are examples but no ratios. It talks about the different ganaches, but you have to infer how to create a new one rather than working from a ratio. For example, the first recipe is for a dark chocolate ganache, which I fully intend to make. But what if I want to include a liquor in that ganache -- it isn't clear what modifications I'd need to make except by trial and error. Contrast this with Charcuterie, which gives the ratio and then goes through example recipes.

Minus: The ganache recipes use corn syrup -- something that I'd prefer to avoid. From the description in the techniques chapter, the corn syrup makes it easier for the emulsion to hold, but the basic overview didn't state it as an outright requirement. Again, I would have liked to see a better description of the ganache formulations by ingredient, and with alternatives.

That being said, all I need is the time, and it's chocolate...

--Dave

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Hey guys, big news, Andrew Shotts has joined eG and has been participating on the pectin g thread. I've sent him a link to this thread and hopefully we get a thread going that's as exciting as the charcuterie thead that has Michael Ruhlman participating.

So watch for bonbonman appearing soon in a thread near you.

So, I'm off to Amazon to order a copy so I can be a proper participant.

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My copy arrived yesterday and the caramel filling in the Turtle Tablet recipe was just jumping off the page at me.

I made a batch in the evening but just kept it simple by piping the filling into round milk chocolate cups and then I dipped these in a blend of Callebaut milk and 70% dark chococolate. I really like milk chocolate but prefer it less sweet to any I have tried from Callebaut so far. Adding some 70% makes all the difference.

Anyway I took these to work today and they went really quickly and were highly praised.

This was the first caramel ganache I have made and I really liked it - I can see this recipe becoming a favourite.

As a beginner I think I am going to find this book just what I was looking for. And this site is so fantastic for helping when you cannot work out what is going wrong! I have leant so much here - thank you egulleters.

Got to choose my next recipe now.

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Ok, so I have 2 copies on order from amazon. Gotta share with my friends. And I've made a deal with another eG'er to share some pectin g. Hope it makes it across the border without being mistaken for drugs or something. "yeah officer, I've been snorting 'g', unlike coke, my nose doesn't run for days after"

I want to raise the question of what goes in to writing a book. So Drew, tell us, how long did it take, what was the process from inception to now? Did I hear a rumor elsewhere that you might be working on some other books in the future? C'mon, inquiring minds want to know!

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Somewhere I read a mention of a series of six books. I'm curious what the subjects of each will be as well.


Edited by duckduck (log)

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... A bunch of recipes that I'm dying to try. Strawberry Balsamic Truffle anyone?

...

Ooooh me-e! So I have ordered one as well on the strength of that recipe alone.

What an incredible treat to have the author online with us. Warm welcome!

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"What did it take from inception to now?" Lots of trips to my wonderfull photographer's studio in Newport. Insane amounts of time speaking into a voice recorder, so my wife could re-type it, and lots of tasting all of the stuff that was tested by my recipe tester, Kendra Mellar. That is about all I can say because I do not have days to type. It was a lot of work and fun, as I mentioned. Yes, I am working on other stuff, four to six books to be exact. Ideas are in my head and chapters are on file. I will let you know the content as I get closer to completion of the second one, later this year. Again, thank you all for the warm welcome and I hope you are all happy with the book. Drew

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"What did it take from inception to now?" Lots of trips to my wonderfull photographer's studio in Newport. Insane amounts of time speaking into a voice recorder, so my wife could re-type it, and lots of tasting all of the stuff that was tested by my recipe tester, Kendra Mellar. That is about all I can say because I do not have days to type. It was a lot of work and fun, as I mentioned. Yes, I am working on other stuff, four to six books to be exact. Ideas are in my head and chapters are on file. I will let you know the content as I get closer to completion of the second one, later this year. Again, thank you all for the warm welcome and I hope you are all happy with the book. Drew

Drew,

It's great to have you here! I love the pictures in your book. I am still quite a newbie on chocolate and as such, I appreciate quality pictures to go with the recipes.

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First recipe:

The Dark Chocolate Truffle ganache. Because it turned out that my instant read thermometer wasn't an instant anything (it simply doesn't work), I decided not to try to dip the truffles, instead, I put the ganache in small ramekins.

Notes:

I used 62% chocolate, and added 1 tablespoon of Sonoma Valley Portworks Duet (a Sherry with essence of Hazelnut).

Results:

The resulting deserts were extremely rich, and both easy and tasty. I put two ramekins straight into the fridge, and let two cool overnight. It wasn't a straight comparison, last nights were topped with whipped cream, and this afternoon I took one, chilled it further, and then did a brulee crust on it.

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And I can report that I tried the hazelnut praline, and it's great. Really nice flavor and texture.

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The book arrived today, I've been having a nice cruise through it. Haven't quite decided what to try first, but the peppered pineapple seems to be calling to me.

I do have a question for you Drew. I notice your 'foot' chocolate is not tempered. I have noticed that some sources suggested tempered, some untempered. Can you comment on that? My thought is that the 'foot' chocolate seems to shatter when it is in temper and I wonder if the untempered chocolate cuts more cleanly?

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I'm also interested in the answer to Kerry's question, as I've been having trouble with the foot chocolate shattering even when not tempered. I also found that the quantities recommended in the book created a much too thick foot, and I could minimize the breaking by using less and making as thin a foot as I could. Any tips about making the foot would be really appreciated!

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OK, please, someone, explain "foot" chocolate to me. :biggrin: I am glad I didn't read this last night else I would not have had a moment of sleep from puzzling over it.

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I am assuming that "foot" chocolate is the melted chocolate, tempered or untempered, that is poured over a slab of ganache before it is to be cut into squares to be dipped into tempered chocolate. I believe this thin layer of chocolate helps to keep the ganache squares together when dipping.

Do I assume correctly? :huh:

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I am assuming that "foot" chocolate is the melted chocolate, tempered or untempered, that is poured over a slab of ganache before it is to be cut into squares to be dipped into tempered chocolate. I believe this thin layer of chocolate helps to keep the ganache squares together when dipping.

Do I assume correctly?  :huh:

Yes, that is the "foot" that they are refering to.

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I'm also interested in the answer to Kerry's question, as I've been having trouble with the foot chocolate shattering even when not tempered.  I also found that the quantities recommended in the book created a much too thick foot, and I could minimize the breaking by using less and making as thin a foot as I could.  Any tips about making the foot would be really appreciated!

You could also use a small food-safe sponge paint roller.

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I was taught by a Swiss chocolatier that you use untempered chocolate for the foot so that it is easy to cut through. It needs to be thick enough to just support the ganache for slicing, transporting, and diping.

I've tried the paint roller but found that I could get a nice thin coating (not quite as thin as with a roller) with my offset and avoid dealing with the cleaning of the roller.

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I am assuming that "foot" chocolate is the melted chocolate, tempered or untempered, that is poured over a slab of ganache before it is to be cut into squares to be dipped into tempered chocolate. I believe this thin layer of chocolate helps to keep the ganache squares together when dipping.

Do I assume correctly?  :huh:

Yes, that is the "foot" that they are refering to.

Thanks to both of you. :wub:

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Just a reminder in questioning Drew that he's going to teaching a hands on course at Notter School the rest of the week. I would imagine he'd be a bit busy to post. Wish I were there myself. If anybody ends up going, throw us a bone, will ya? Any small tips would be appreciated. :biggrin:

http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?&act=c...y=2007&m=1&d=18

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Thanks for catching my back ducky. I am back after three long and fun filled days in Orlando at Chef Notter's school. Ok, the "foot" should be untempered and as thin as possible. You should almost be able to see the plastic below. The foot should be the thickness of a thick piece of paper, no more. I hope this helps and I will answer any other questions tomorrrow. You guys missed a great class. We made 16 different ganache and over 2000 bonbons in three days including candy bars, chocolate caramel corn, crispy crunchies, rocher, panned nuts, orangettes, and, and, and, I gotta' hit the rack, I am tired. Later, Drew.

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