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"Making Artisan Chocolates" by Andrew Shotts


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lol, I was mostly referring to his use of various oils and extracts that are hard to come by. Half the recipes in the book require something that I would consider "exotic," so my point is that cocoa butter, by comparison, is not that odd! :smile: Lime oil? Mojito liqueur? Apple essence?!? :wacko:

Chris Hennes
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chennes@egullet.org

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Chris, although cocoa butter is the main ingredient you're altering (and usually the most important), you're also adjusting sugar and, possibly, milkfats by altering the chocolates called for. All these can affect the final product. It doesn't mean you can't substitute/experiment, but a few calculations beforehand to work out %s can often save some failures. :smile:

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  • 4 months later...

I've doubled and otherwise messed around with the proportions of Schott's ganache recipes with no ill effects. The only thing I might suggest being careful with are his pate de fruit recipes, since his cooking instructions are based solely on time and not temperatures, and so if you're working with a larger volume you probably wouldn't get up to the appropriate temperature in the time he suggests.

Tammy's Tastings

Creating unique food and drink experiences

eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40

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  • 9 months later...

Lucid Lime Bonbons (pp. 111)

OK, he calls these "Lime-Pastis" but I don't have any Pastis: what I have is Lucid Absinthe. So I'm going with "Lucid Lime" instead. I got three new molds from Chef Rubber last week. I have never successfully made molded bonbons before, but I followed along with Trishiad's fantastic Demo: Basic molded chocolates and slightly beyond and at last got some that I am not too embarrassed to serve. I still have a lot of learning to do, however!

The ingredients list is pretty tame for these, except for requiring lime oil (and salted butter!!). They are molded in milk chocolate: I used 38% E. Guittard.

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Making this ganache is straightforward:

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I decided to try to use a squeeze bottle to fill them, thinking I would have better control. Hah. No. Stupid. Use a pastry bag.

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I did a kinda crummy job of capping them, I am always forgetting how well chocolate sticks to itself. But, I managed to get that done mostly OK. I let it set and tried to unmold them.

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After A LOT of banging on the counter, they all came out somewhat intact, but the reason for their reluctance to release was obvious:

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Damn! Out of temper. And, as you can see along the top, the shells were too thin to handle all the necessary banging to get them out and they all have hairline fractures. Oh well, they taste good. My wife's colleagues won't complain :smile:.

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In the future there are a few changes I will make to these: first, the ganache is too firm for a molded bonbon. I prefer it to be softer than this recipe gives, so I'm going to play around with it a bit. Second, I wanted even more lime flavor: I don't think the chocolate I used played very well with the lime, so that needs some work as well. Finally, of course, the shells need to be thicker and the chocolate needs to be properly tempered. I'm not sure what went wrong there: I tested it before molding and it was perfect. Oh well. Practice, practice, practice.

(ETA: No, Lucid isn't paying me for these. :smile: )

Edited by Chris Hennes (log)

Chris Hennes
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chennes@egullet.org

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Lucid Lime Bonbons (pp. 111)

In the future there are a few changes I will make to these: first, the ganache is too firm for a molded bonbon. I prefer it to be softer than this recipe gives, so I'm going to play around with it a bit. Second, I wanted even more lime flavor: I don't think the chocolate I used played very well with the lime, so that needs some work as well. Finally, of course, the shells need to be thicker and the chocolate needs to be properly tempered. I'm not sure what went wrong there: I tested it before molding and it was perfect. Oh well. Practice, practice, practice.

Your chocolates may not have been 'perfect', but they still looked pretty darned good to me and I was blown away by your pictorial tutorial. Thanks for all the photos and the step-by-step.

I started out making chocolates from Shotts. His was the first chocolate book I purchased and I read the entire book out loud to my DH on a trip home from Moab a couple of years ago.

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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Chris,

I made those same chocolates from his book, but instead of using Absinthe or Pastis, I used Jagermeister and they were amazing. They remain my all time favorite chocolate!

"It only hurts if it bites you" - Steve Irwin

"Whats another word for Thesaurus?" - Me

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I've made those chocolates using pastis and they are one of my favorites. I must admit that the lime gets kind of lost, though. The pastis flavor overwhelms just about everything.

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Maybe someone can provide some advice. I am a rank amateur at chocolate making but have this book and have made a number of the hand dipped chocolate recipes from it. Everyone loves the results, but I have what I guess I would call a production problem. When I cut the set ganache, often either the ganache cracks parallel to the knife cut and falls off the foot or the foot cracks. I would guess I am losing about a third of the chocolates this way. What am I doing wrong? My first guess was that I was applying too thick a foot and maybe cutting the ganache too cold, but I've adjusted for this and it still happens. I've tried cutting with a chef's knife as well as a serrated knife. Should I warm the knife? or is this inevitable when using a less than professional cutter?

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rickster, I have had the same problem, and I have some solutions for you:

  • Make sure the foot is very thin.
  • Use the tip of a paring knife and take multiple passes. This requires some patience, of course, because by "multiple" I usually take 2-3 to get through the ganache and then maybe five more to get through the foot.
  • Use tempered chocolate for the foot, but cut it the moment it has set firm enough to handle, don't let it sit for a while. It seems like you get maybe a 30 minute window with dark chocolate before it really gets that brittle "snap" that is characteristic of well-tempered chocolate. It cuts cleaner before it reaches that point.
  • I got sick of the paring knife method and switched to using a large drywall spatula (image here). This works well as long as you follow the above guidelines, and wet it first.

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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Maybe someone can provide some advice. I am a rank amateur at chocolate making but have this book and have made a number of the hand dipped chocolate recipes from it. Everyone loves the results, but I have what I guess I would call a production problem. When I cut the set ganache, often either the ganache cracks parallel to the knife cut and falls off the foot or the foot cracks. I would guess I am losing about a third of the chocolates this way. What am I doing wrong? My first guess was that I was applying too thick a foot and maybe cutting the ganache too cold, but I've adjusted for this and it still happens. I've tried cutting with a chef's knife as well as a serrated knife. Should I warm the knife? or is this inevitable when using a less than professional cutter?

I make sure that the chocolate that I use for the foot is not tempered. That way it's not so brittle. I also apply as thin a layer of chocolate for the foot as I can. I warm my knife in hot water, then wipe it clean and dry with a paper towel before every cut. My ganache is always at room temperature. I usually have very little problems with breakage while cutting.

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I've found that I'll have ganache cracking problems with some ganaches, but not others. Temperature is a big factor, but it's also just the consistency of the ganache - some sets up harder and is prone to breaking when cut. Slightly softer ganaches have their own cutting challenges, but they don't break. Try upping your liquifiers a little bit in the recipe.

I think Schott calls for refrigerating most of his slab ganaches - I'd be cautious about that and use room temp instead if you're having cracking problems.

Tammy's Tastings

Creating unique food and drink experiences

eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40

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I think Schott calls for refrigerating most of his slab ganaches - I'd be cautious about that and use room temp instead if you're having cracking problems.

You're right about refrigeration/freezing. This was what I thought was giving me too thick a foot, so I tried applying the foot to room temperature ganache and got a thinner result and still had the cracking problem.

I have been using pistoles melted for the foot, not worrying about getting them to any particular temperature.

Thanks for al the advice. I think I will try warming the knife and cutting sooner and at room temperature ad see what happens

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[*] I got sick of the paring knife method and switched to using a large drywall spatula (image here). This works well as long as you follow the above guidelines, and wet it first.

Thanks to Chris and the others for all the useful answers. Shotts is not generous with his directions on 'how to'.

As for the spatula, I will look for one today. The difficulty may be finding a stainless steel one. That's my only addition to all the advice. If you are using stuff from the hardware/building supply store, make certain that you buy either plastic...which does not stand up to use all that well...or stainless which won't rust.

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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  • 5 months later...

Frist, before I talk about the Espresso:

I made the salted caramels and most people here thought they were too salty. Next time I will use less salt.

I made the Triple Espresso-Vanilla-page 124

They were tasty and all but a few issues:

1. It said the amounts were good for 28 chocolates. The vanilla ganache was enough for 24 hearts, around 24 "kids" and 10 large mice with a tiny bit left over. The espresso was enough for 28. Why? Weird!

2. The espresso calls for a coffee paste. My coffee was probably ground too large. It never made a paste at all. Do you know what grind size is required?

3. The espresso ganache is made with a tiny bit of whole milk-odd I thought and anyhow, it was not enough hot liquid to melt the chopped chocolate. I had to use a bain marie to melt the chocoalte and coffee milk mixture. It was quite thick so I added some more of my so called coffee paste and a drop of cream.

I found a difference between the textures of the two layers but perhaps because of something I did like too large grinds or so on.

If anyone has made these I am very interested in their results and comments or tips.

Thanks

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  • 8 months later...

Finally got some G Pectin and made the Strawberry Balsamic and the Raspberry Lemon (not wasabi) with Boiron purees. Balsamic was a bit too strong and I know what you mean about an off taste. The raspberry were okay but I think I'd rather just have a plain ganache on the bottom so that the raspberry flavour is dominant. I also tried the Peppered Pineapple using Andrew's recipe for the puree. Taste is nice. HOWEVER - problem with crystallization for all three types, especially the pineapple truffle . Crystals seem to be between the top of the pate de fruit layer and the dipped chocolate. Does anyone know why this occurred?

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  • 1 year later...

I have made a few different recipes from this book with pretty good results, but I have been having problems with the banana caramel truffles. Yesterday I made ganache following the recipe exactly, and it came out very soft. So I let it sit overnight, and it was still too soft to even try to get. So I decided to just mold it, and now I have 40 stupid pieces stuck in the mold. If these didn't taste so good I don't think I would attempt them again, because I'm about to pull my hair out :laugh: . Does anyone have an idea what I can do to get the ganache to come out stiffer?

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I have made a few different recipes from this book with pretty good results, but I have been having problems with the banana caramel truffles. Yesterday I made ganache following the recipe exactly, and it came out very soft. So I let it sit overnight, and it was still too soft to even try to get. So I decided to just mold it, and now I have 40 stupid pieces stuck in the mold. If these didn't taste so good I don't think I would attempt them again, because I'm about to pull my hair out :laugh: . Does anyone have an idea what I can do to get the ganache to come out stiffer?

I haven't got the book up north with me here - but if you PM me the ingredient quantities I'll try to make some suggestions.

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  • 1 month later...

I am working my way through the hand-dipped chocolates in this book. Had terrific success with the ginger caramel crunch, but am leery of the two slabs currently resting in my kitchen -- one is the Grand Marnier and one is the Chinese Five Spice praline. I caught an error in the recipe for the Grand Marnier and used 1 oz of liqueur, not the (incorrect) 1/4 cup, but the ganache still came out extremely soft. Anyone else have this problem? I'm hoping that the overnighT rest will firm it up enough to dip, but at this point, I have my doubts.

The proportions on the praline are just funky - 3oz choc to 13+ oz of praline paste does not yield anything resembling a ganache. What you get is a hunk of praline paste bound together with a little chocolate, lol! Would have dipped just fine without a foot, and the flavor is good, but the texture is extremely firm. Has anyone else tried these?

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Well, it took two days, but the Grand Marnier ganache finally firmed up enough to dip.

My guess is that I could/should have let the praline go longer in the food processor, which would have given me more of a paste (if it didn't burn out first, lol!). The pralines are very.....textural, but tasty. I do like the flavor combo.

Onward to the salted caramels...

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