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Kerry Beal

Cooking with "Chocolates and Confections" by Peter Greweling (Part 1)

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A truffle question - in the book he says to allow the ganache to set for 20 minutes after piping, but I found that after 20 minutes the ganache for the Chai Tigers was still too soft to handle without making a mess. Elsewhere on this forum times as long as a day or two are recommended before rolling. Is this a difference in how much the ganache is agitated, or whether the chocolate was still in temper, or what kind of chocolate, or something else? Or do I just need to work on my truffle skills? They were set fine after an overnight rest on the counter, so I just rolled them this morning and will coat tonight, but for the future I'd like to get the timing right.


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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A truffle question - in the book he says to allow the ganache to set for 20 minutes after piping, but I found that after 20 minutes the ganache for the Chai Tigers was still too soft to handle without making a mess. Elsewhere on this forum times as long as a day or two are recommended before rolling. Is this a difference in how much the ganache is agitated, or whether the chocolate was still in temper, or what kind of chocolate, or something else? Or do I just need to work on my truffle skills? They were set fine after an overnight rest on the counter, so I just rolled them this morning and will coat tonight, but for the future I'd like to get the timing right.

I had the same problem with the Buckwheat Beehives. I solved it by making sure my ganache was tempered.

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A truffle question - in the book he says to allow the ganache to set for 20 minutes after piping, but I found that after 20 minutes the ganache for the Chai Tigers was still too soft to handle without making a mess. Elsewhere on this forum times as long as a day or two are recommended before rolling. Is this a difference in how much the ganache is agitated, or whether the chocolate was still in temper, or what kind of chocolate, or something else? Or do I just need to work on my truffle skills? They were set fine after an overnight rest on the counter, so I just rolled them this morning and will coat tonight, but for the future I'd like to get the timing right.

I had the same problem with the Buckwheat Beehives. I solved it by making sure my ganache was tempered.

I followed his suggested technique of pouring the just-off-boil cream mixture over the tempered chocolate, waiting a minute, then stirring to emulsify. I didn't even think of checking the temperature of the ganache at this point. If it got too warm and brought all of the chocolate out of temper so there was nothing to seed it as it cooled, maybe that would cause this.


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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david, did you say that you had a real difference in terms of ganache setting time between using untempered vs. tempered chocolate in the ganache, please explain in detail if possible.

since i use a lot of recipes from the book here are my 2cents:

"lime & mint" transformed into "vanilla & mint" its quite good even though i found overheating the mint is not good, since the mint developes a "cooked" taste...

"earl grey" is my standard spice steppeing recipe now it works save and gives great results (even in larger dimensions like 6 kilograms)

"madras" is quite fluid but kinda sets up nicely in the end.....

"ginger" didnt work for me way too fluid...

btw. does anyone have a base recipe for a creamy, save "eau de vie" ganache with fruitpulp and as much alcohol content as possible (slabbed & cutable)

cheers

t.


toertchen toertchen

patissier chocolatier cafe

cologne, germany

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So I had a go at the Chai tiger truffles (photos of the process):

gallery_56799_5508_24821.jpg

These were somewhat successful, anyway. Most of them were not very spherical, and the chocolate coating was too thin, but they taste good anyway :smile: . I need much, much more practice with the piping bag, and with the whole rolling and coating process. Which is to say, about 95% of the production process for truffles. My wife was crushed to hear that I would have to keep trying... :rolleyes:


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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So I had a go at the Chai tiger truffles (photos of the process):

gallery_56799_5508_24821.jpg

These were somewhat successful, anyway. Most of them were not very spherical, and the chocolate coating was too thin, but they taste good anyway  :smile: . I need much, much more practice with the piping bag, and with the whole rolling and coating process. Which is to say, about 95% of the production process for truffles. My wife was crushed to hear that I would have to keep trying...  :rolleyes:

Chris

Truffles owe their name to the wild mushrooms, they are not perfectly round & very irregular in shape. I doubt people who handroll truffles can get them all perfectly round (I have never tried). That gives them character. The ones you see that are perfectly round are usually piped into shells. Yours look great. Most people strive to have the shells as thin as possible so they can at least be handled enough to get them to their mouth without crushing.

I got the same response from my wife about all the trials & experiments I have worked on.

Mark


Mark

www.roseconfections.com

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Truffles owe their name to the wild mushrooms, they are not perfectly round & very irregular in shape. I doubt people who handroll truffles can get them all perfectly round (I have never tried). That gives them character. The ones you see that are perfectly round are usually piped into shells. Yours look great. Most people strive to have the shells as thin as possible so they can at least be handled enough to get them to their mouth without crushing.

Certainly, but some degree of uniformity in shape makes them look "professional" without also looking machine-made. And I think the shell thickness is a balancing act: in my opinion, one wants the textural contrast of the crisp outer shell combined with the creamy ganache - I think my shells came out too thin, and I ended up with a shell that almost disappears, with only the slightest snap (so I can tell they are properly in temper, but that's about it).


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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david, did you say that you had a real difference in terms of ganache setting time between using untempered vs. tempered chocolate in the ganache, please explain in detail if possible.

The first time the ganache remained too soft to pipe into the beehive shape. I chilled the ganache, but then it was both too soft and too hard in the piping bag which led to runny shapes or a clogged tip, sometimes on the same piece.

Later I redid the ganache with care to ensure the chocolate was tempered and I got a much more consistent plasticity which allowed me to pipe the proper shape. The ganache didn't melt to a runny mess where I was holding the bag as it did previously.

It's been many weeks since I did that so I can't recall much more detail. I attribute it to the more stable Beta crystals in the tempered chocolate. Piped shapes like the beehives are the most demanding on ganache consistency.

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Certainly, but some degree of uniformity in shape makes them look "professional" without also looking machine-made. And I think the shell thickness is a balancing act: in my opinion, one wants the textural contrast of the crisp outer shell combined with the creamy ganache - I think my shells came out too thin, and I ended up with a shell that almost disappears, with only the slightest snap (so I can tell they are properly in temper, but that's about it).

Chris - Don't fret about this too much. I too have felt exactly what you are describing; that my truffles aren't perfect. It has taken me quite some time to accept that it is exactly these imperfections which tell people that our products are made entirely by hand. What better gift can you give (or sell) someone than your labor of love?

I have to admit that in the interest of increasing my rate of production, I experimented over the last few months with pre-made truffle shells (see this topic here) and while it made me faster and my truffles more uniform, they don't have the same value for me.

Be proud of your work. It screams "I made this!" and the people you gift these to will love you for them.


Steve Lebowitz

Doer of All Things

Steven Howard Confections

Slicing a warm slab of bacon is a lot like giving a ferret a shave. No matter how careful you are, somebody's going to get hurt - Alton Brown, "Good Eats"

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Be proud of your work.  It screams "I made this!" and the people you gift these to will love you for them.

Gift? You think I'm giving these away? These things taste GREAT... such a shame all my friends are out of town for the holidays. :biggrin:

I will try to keep my perfectionism under control... thanks for the encouragement.


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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Be proud of your work.  It screams "I made this!" and the people you gift these to will love you for them.

Gift? You think I'm giving these away? These things taste GREAT... such a shame all my friends are out of town for the holidays. :biggrin:

I will try to keep my perfectionism under control... thanks for the encouragement.

I've only just begun to sell mine. Selling them seems even harder than giving them away. I wound up sending out 16 or so 1/2 pound boxes and selling 12 for the holidays. Just enough to pay for my habit. :wink:


Steve Lebowitz

Doer of All Things

Steven Howard Confections

Slicing a warm slab of bacon is a lot like giving a ferret a shave. No matter how careful you are, somebody's going to get hurt - Alton Brown, "Good Eats"

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I've only just begun to sell mine.  Selling them seems even harder than giving them away.  I wound up sending out 16 or so 1/2 pound boxes and selling 12 for the holidays.  Just enough to pay for my habit.  :wink:

I've got a long way to go before I can think about selling things... I have seen the quality of the chocolates produced by other eGullet forum members, and maybe in 5-10 years I can approach it, with a lot of practice. For now, I will try to avoid getting really fat by only making small batches :smile: .


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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When you are ready to start selling things (and it will be long before 5 to 10 years - cause believe me people will start to ask once they taste things) the packaging has got to be one of the most important factors in making your product look professional. It doesn't have to be expensive, and you can find some really neat things in a variety of places, but it will sell the product for you.

Every year at the gift show I look at the Saxon chocolate booth. Their chocolates are crap, but their packaging is top drawer. Great place to get ideas.

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Chris,

Try rolling the truffles twice. Once after piping them, let them set up for a few minutes and then re-roll to get a more round shape.

It will be hard to obtain a perfect round shape, but that may help work out some of the bumps!

And, really as everyone else has said, the taste is what it is all about when you are getting started. The rest will come after rolling a ton of truffles!

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I started the Habanos last night - it's a slabbed ganache so it has to crystallize overnight, so no pics yet, I'm afraid. I was very careful to ensure that the chocolate for the ganache was properly tempered (I think I under-agitated the coating for my marshmallows), and it made a big difference in how quickly it set up - it was plenty firm enough for the second layer after an hour's rest. I have a newfound respect for those of you working with white chocolate - what a pain! It is so thick! I was trying to temper it using the seeding technique, which I have used successfully for dark and milk, but I could not get all the pieces to melt out, even after a lot of agitation at 86 degrees F. I was a bit disappointed by the lack of habanero flavor and heat in the dark chocolate ganache - I think maybe I misunderstood the recipe, or had a "dud" habanero - there is no heat to speak of. Oh well...


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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Yes, white chocolate is a complete pain to work with. One tool you might want to add to your arsenal is a stick/immersion blender, if you don't already have one. It's great for blending in the unmelted bits at the end of seed tempering.


Tammy's Tastings

Creating unique food and drink experiences

eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40

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Yes, white chocolate is a complete pain to work with. One tool you might want to add to your arsenal is a stick/immersion blender, if you don't already have one. It's great for blending in the unmelted bits at the end of seed tempering.

Do I need to be concerned about working air into the ganache? I noticed that the white chocolate ganache ended up with a lot more tiny bubbles than the dark, but I don't know yet how this affects the finished texture.


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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Chris, I use the immersion blender in the chocolate when i'm tempering it - for making ganache or for dipping/molding. You do want to be careful about incorporating air, all the same, but it's not as bad as mixing it right into the ganache.


Tammy's Tastings

Creating unique food and drink experiences

eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40

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get a white chocolate with a higher fluidity (more cocoa butter)

or

simply add some cocoa butter yourself

(rule of thumb: 1000 g choc + 100-200 g cocoa butter)

cheers

t.


toertchen toertchen

patissier chocolatier cafe

cologne, germany

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I had planned on using the E. Guittard white chocolate, but chocosphere is out of stock right now, so I just used the Ghiradelli that the local Wegmans sells. I need to buy some cocoa butter too, for other projects, so then I will at least have some options.

I finished the habanos this morning (photos here):

gallery_56799_5508_22610.jpg

gallery_56799_5508_22655.jpg

While it remains painfully obvious that I need more enrobing practice, at least toward the end I figured out what the problem with the streakiness in my chocolate was: the heating pad, when cased into a bowl and wrapped around the chocolate, was simply getting too warm and untempering the chocolate bit by bit. Once I solved that the streakiness went away.


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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and remember to stir the chocolate occasionally while you're dipping.

i think your dipping looks great!

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Chris, I use the immersion blender in the chocolate when i'm tempering it - for making ganache or for dipping/molding.  You do want to be careful about incorporating air, all the same, but it's not as bad as mixing it right into the ganache.

The trick with using a stick blender is always keep the head immersed in the chocolate, put it in underneath before you start. That way you don't force any air into the ganache.


Mark

www.roseconfections.com

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The trick with using a stick blender is always keep the head immersed in the chocolate, put it in underneath before you start. That way you don't force any air into the ganache.

That makes sense - thanks. The tiny air bubbles I was worried about are completely unnoticeable in the finished confections, but I will be careful when I am using the blender to do the mixing. I need to decide what to do next... I've done rochers, hand-rolled truffles, marshmallows, and slabbed ganache truffles. Obviously I need to keep working on general technique, but what should I do next in my progression through the techniques in the book?


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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