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Preservatives and Chocolates


Desiderio
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I have been looking around for other chocolates company to get a better idea of the products out there, prices , packaging , services etc.

Chocolates like Vosges ( sp ?) say their chocolates are made fresh bla bla and they last only 10 days , so to keep them refrigerated till you need to use them etc.

Now I am trying to check out most of the fine chocolates maker around , expecially small company that have a production more similar to the one I am working on.

What are your experiences on teh refrigeration and artisanal chocolates.?

I personally dont like to put my chocolates in the fridge because I think chocolate stored in the fridge have a different taste etc.

Do you usually suggest refrigeration for your products , since the most people I have seen here use fresh ingredients and no preservative.

Just a thought for a new conversation .

Thank you :smile:

Vanessa

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I never put my finished chocolates in the fridge. Most recipes that I make have some glucose, butter, alcohol in them. I find the shelf life to be reasonable up to a number of weeks or more depending on the recipe. There may be some loss of flavour, but I haven't had problems with mold or bacterial contamination with those centers.

I once dipped some chestnuts that I bought in a foil pack at the asian market and they blew apart in a matter of days. I guess they weren't candied.

I had left some chocolates in the bilge of the boat one summer (we go sailing in June) and they brought them home to me when they found them there in October or November when the boat was coming out of the water. The caramel truffle mice centers had shrunk a little, but none of the chocolates were contaminated.

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I once dipped some chestnuts that I bought in a foil pack at the asian market and they blew apart in a matter of days.  I guess they weren't candied. 

Nope, those are not candied. Just roasted and peeled--maybe you can puree those?

But I have to ask, do you really mean literally blew apart? :blink::wacko:

May

Totally More-ish: The New and Improved Foodblog

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I once dipped some chestnuts that I bought in a foil pack at the asian market and they blew apart in a matter of days.  I guess they weren't candied. 

Nope, those are not candied. Just roasted and peeled--maybe you can puree those?

But I have to ask, do you really mean literally blew apart? :blink::wacko:

More like a number of cracks developing followed by fungal mycelium crawling out of the cracks. Then little puddles.

I guess next time I should puree, add some caramelized sugar, vanilla etc to make a nice marron filling. Or perhaps I should use the chestnuts in syrup I made a few years back, dry them well and dip them. They have enough sugar, so they shouldn't blow up.

Edited by Kerry Beal (log)
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I also don't refrigerate, and tell my customers to keep the chocolates cool without refrigerating, to keep the taste, to avoid the sweating that can occur following refrigeration, and for a quicker return to room temperature for best eating.

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For me the decision to refrigerate molded chocolates depends upon the temperature in my storage area and the ingredients in the ganach. I don't make molded chocolates commercially. I make small batches just for family, friends, neighbors, egullet get- togethers, and such. During the winter there is a cool are in the house that stays between 55 and 60 degrees F and I keep them there. During the summer the temp climes to 75 or so degrees so I keep them in air tight containers in the refer. If the ganache contains alcohol, glucose, inverte sugar, and/or butter I am more likely to leave them out of the refer as these are natural preservatives.

Fred Rowe

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Good to read all your answers.I dont like to refrigerate and tell the customes to keep them in a cool dry place ( In colorado we have both :raz: ).And I do to detect the flavor difference in the refrigerated chocolates.Its courious to see many people asking me about keep their chocolates in the fridge , I guess people think their chocolate in general needs to be refrigerated ( I have seen many friends doing that ).

Vanessa

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Good to read all your answers.I dont like to refrigerate and tell the customes to keep them in a cool dry place ( In colorado we have both  :raz: ).And I do to detect the flavor difference in the refrigerated chocolates.Its courious to see many people asking me about keep their chocolates in the fridge , I guess people think their chocolate in general needs to be refrigerated ( I have seen many friends doing that ).

! Really?!? :blink: Most of my customers I have to tell them that this is a fresh product with no preservatives. It is not a "drug store" box of chocolates. One customer had saved some for her son to try when he visited next. Four months later :huh: when he came to see her, I was horrified to hear that he had eaten the remaining chocolates. :shock: He said that the chocolates still looked great but had dried out. Thank goodness he didn't get sick!

By the way, I do put a 'Best By' date on each box of chocolates; however, most people seem to ignore it...

I think I've read that (one famous chocolate maker) puts a big yellow card in the box that says something like "Don't Wait! These are fresh chocolates and should be consumed within 5 days."

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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I only have the perspective of a former student (I've never done chocolates professionally, only in a classroom and a little dabbling at home), I was taught that the "secret" is to minimize the amount of air between the filling and the chocolate shell. I was taught that proper enrobing (whether molded or dipped) keeps the filling in an anaerobic environment, and no air makes for an inhospitable environment for nasties. Obviously, this is not going to preserve the chocolate for more than the few weeks that is the usual shelf life for most artisan chocolates, but what I was taught (and have used as a rule of thumb) was that less air equals longer shelf life.

As I said, I'm by no means an expert and I would love to know if someone has a different experience. I have never refrigerated my finished chocolates for fear of knocking them out of temper.

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No , it is nice and informative to know others experiene and knowledge .

The question and this thred was born after surfing the web for other chocolatiers and how they handle their products.The only one I found since now is Vosges ( sp?) chocolates that says to the customers to refrigerate their chocolates for up two weeks to keep them fresh etc etc.

I never had any problem keep mine at room tmeperature for even more than a month, but I do suggest whoever gets my chocolates to eat them within two weeks if possible ( usually isnt an issue right? :laugh:

I have a friend that buys my chocolate in large amout ( large trust me :laugh: )and she use to buy an industrial amount of FannyMay candy and store them in the fridge , so I told her to not store mine into the fridge as well, but to keep them in the basement , wich is considerably colder (my basement where I keep my chocolate is around 55/58F ). Anyway she had one of the last batch for over a month ( maybe close to 2 months ? ) wich it kinda made me worry ( same as John ) but she said they were fine .I never had mold problem , but that might be a lucky chance and because the climate here in Colorado , extremely dry .But when the real production will start I am going to make sure customers are aware of the very short life and probably put some kinda of note ( as John suggested ) into the box, expecially if you sell Wholesale and dont have direct contact with the customers ( storefront ).

Vanessa

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I made some Halloween chocolates that I gave away to friends. Just some simple ones that I made using a Halloween themed transfer sheet in a magnetic mold. But one of my friends told me in December that she was hoarding them and hiding them from her family. Like you, I almost died. I told her I would make her more for Christmas, but she really needed to discard the ones she had been hoarding. You're right. People don't realize....

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I refrigerate my chocolates in air tight containers. This prevents the refrigerator taste that can occur. The real question you must ask is how long is the shelf life of the product & how long will it take to use up(sell) the current batch of chocolates. You are combating 2 issues, the possible growth of bacteria & mold & how long the chocolates maintain their flavor. Air tight containers increases my shelf life by about 2 weeks (to 5 or 6 weeks depending on season).

Conditions that encourage mold type growths have to be addressed when making the chocolates, scalding the cream, not incorporating air into the ganache & keeping any pockets out of hand formed truffles.

You also need to run taste tests to get an idea of the shelf life of products sitting out on a shelf. These should be run separately for ganaches that use most cream and those that use mostly butter. Take 2 batches of 5 or 6 truffles (depending on how long the trial will run). Place them in separate air tight containers, place 1 in the frig & the other in a cool dry place. Once a week take a chocolate out of the frig & let in come up to room temp in a cover container. Cut them in half & check for nay shrinkage or bacterial growth. Then do a comparative taste test. Do this for 4 or 5 weeks. Keep track of the results. You will start to see a slight loss of flavor in the chocolates that sat out in about 2 weeks. Probably after 4 weeks, you would not want to sell the chocolates since the taste would be so bland and unrepresntative of the taste & flavor you are striving for. You also need to run these in several climate conditions. Shelf life will be much shorter in simmer when it is hot & humid than in winter time.

Encourage your customers to eat the chocolates as soon as possible. This will not be an issue for people who are willing to pay the price of artisan chocolates. Also place an "Enjoy by date" to state a shelf life.

Mark

Mark

www.roseconfections.com

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  • 7 years later...

what's the shelf life the client requires? Could you perhaps make something like a slabbed nut-based praline with no water in it, they have very long shelf life. More information on what you'd like to make and how long it needs to be stored for would be helpful ;)

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Luis,

 

Do you have Wybauw #3 - it goes into shelf life at length (actually #2 has a fair bit too)?  Suggestions such as various sugars, alcohols that can be added and recipes with aW given.  

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  • 2 weeks later...
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