|By Mikeh (Mikeh) on Sunday, December 05, 1999 - 11:30 pm: Edit|
I'm doing a variety of molded chocolates as Christmas gifts this year, and I could use some help moving my finished product from homemade to professional looking.
I'm having two problems with the bottoms of my chocolates. I'm using tempered low-viscosity couverture to create the shells, and then I fill them with various centers -- usually various flavors of soft ganache. I fill the ganache to within an 1/8" of the top of the mold, let it set, and then seal it with more tempered chocolate. My first problem is that while a seal is created on the bottom, when the chocolates are bitten into they break along that bottom seal into two pieces. A minor point, but I find it annoying. I've thought about _very_ briefly passing a torch over the bottoms before sealing to melt the outside of the shell and create a better seal. However, I worry about burning the chocolate or the mold. Any ideas?
My second problem is that I can't seem to avoid getting a thin ridge on the bottom of my chocolates, much like the foot that forms on dipped centers. Am I trying to fill the molds too full?
|By W.DeBord on Monday, December 06, 1999 - 10:28 pm: Edit|
Do you scrape a metal spatula cleanly over the mold to remove the excess chocolate left on the plastic?
I understand the first problem you mentioned. This also happens to my chocolates when bitten into. Are you tempering or chilling your chocolate to set? The refrigerator method leaves the chocolate harder to bite. I don't think you can do alot to prevent this. I try to keep my chocolate coat very thin and always eat at room temp.. If you want to heat molded chocolate heat a spatula and touch that to your chocolate to warm it.
Personally, I hand dip all my candies. I can do this much faster than using a mold. You also can decorate them in countless creative ways. People always think my molded chocolates were purchased. I like credit where credit is due.
|By Mikeh (Mikeh) on Monday, December 06, 1999 - 11:52 pm: Edit|
I tried using a metal spatula and then switched to a plastic bowl scraper because it seems to do a better job. This is my first time using molds; I guess this part just takes some practise. I too like the look of hand dipped centers, but this year I'm personalizing peoples gifts by molding chocolates according to whatever hobby they have. For instance, I'm doing a set of chess pieces (these are solid, not truffles) for a friend, my dad is getting golf balls, etc.
I'm using tempered chocolate. Finally after many, many failed attempts I'm getting really good at tempering chocolate.
Regarding the credit where credit is due, people can usually tell that my chocolates are hand made because I use top quality chocolate (Bernard Callebaut) that tastes a lot better.
Can you please give me some ideas about different centers that you use? Recipes or pointers to recipes are also appreciated.
|By Morgane on Tuesday, December 07, 1999 - 10:22 am: Edit|
When you put your filling in the mould, try to leave the sides clear. What I mean is keep your filling in the centre. That way the sides of your chocolates will be thicker. That should prevent the bottom from detaching itself.
|By W.DeBord on Wednesday, December 08, 1999 - 08:11 am: Edit|
I don't do much with molds but if you hand dip here are a few I enjoy that date back to my mother's generation:
Coconut (better than a mounds bar)
1/4 c. butter, melted
6 tbsp. h2o
2 tsp. vanilla
4 c. xxx sugar
1 c. instant nonfat dry milk
3 c. flaked coconut
Chocolate for dipping.
Add dry ingred. to wet slowly, then mix and shape when cool.
Don't judge this with-out tasting it because it's pretty good...
3/4 lb. butter
2 pkgs. regular vanilla pudding
1 tsp. almond extract
a few drops red food color
1/2 c. well drained fine chopped maraschino cherries
1/2 c. milk
1 lb. xxx sugar
Chocolate for dipping
Melt butter add puddings, stir. Add milk and cook on low heat constantly stirring. Let boil for 2 min., remove from heat then add the rest of ingred.. When cool shape then dip. This basic recipe has more variations.
I also like "Toll House Heritage Cookbook" revised edition from Nestles 1980 copy right. There's a couple good ones in there.
|By Gord (Gord) on Wednesday, December 15, 1999 - 01:52 am: Edit|
W.DeBord (et al),
I too am playing with chocolates this year as gifts. I have been playing a little with hand dipping (and require about a million more hours practice) but tonight as an experiment I also stretched out some nylon bug screen (new, not used) across a pan and poured the couverture across the ganache. Early results were encouraging (but I was left with a screen impression on the bottom - have to work that one out), but I am curious as to whether you have tried such a thing, or have seen a specialized product or have heard of a technique for doing this. It seems to me when the big manufacturers do this it's a poured process and the excess gets reclaimed for further use.
Any thoughts on the pouring idea?
|By W.DeBord on Wednesday, December 15, 1999 - 08:33 am: Edit|
If you have a round object as you pour choc. it doesn't always cover the entire object. That method always gave me inconsistant results and wasted alot of choc. too.
Long Grove Confectionary is in my area. They are a med. size candy company and I know that they hand dip. I think these big manufacturers production lines are not repeatable in a small scale.
Why are you guys avoiding hand dipping? It's o.k. if it's not "Totally Perfect" look at a box from the store.
If you want to hide some imperfection than go back and drizzel a contrasting choc. over the top, (no one but you will look past the decoration on top). Put it in a pretty paper cup and a nice quality box and everyone will be dazzled.
I'd try using the screen to get an interesting texture by rolling around on the screen, etc...
Another x-mas way to decorate is by making (or buying) small wreaths, bows, candy canes, snowmen etc... out of royal icing. Let it harden then adhear to candy.