updated by @andy-ciordia: 04/10/15 01:48:33AM
Chocolate Drinking Machine Recommendations
updated by @andy-ciordia: 04/10/15 01:48:33AM
Yes, thanks for the reminder to circle back here.
The dispenser works as advertised and actually warms up to a heat we are looking for from cold-start in 30minutes. You can get your liquid to scalding if you like as well so it's got quite a range on it.
The only caveats we've seen is as liquid heats it creates condensation, condensation collects and then is redeposited into the liquid basin which does not really rejoin your chocolate concoction. Due to thermal dynamics and whatnot the surface will be cooler so a thin layer of chocolate sludge may begin to form--I'm sure this is aided or perhaps even created by the condensation. Again these are picks not show stoppers as we wouldn't serve anything that got that low anyhow.
Our method of creation is not to add pure chocolate, cream, etc, to be combined with the machines aid. We combine in our kitchen/stovetop then refrigerate. We pour the chocolate-carafe-container into the dispensary when we are ready to go. If 30m was too long you could pre-heat your drink and probably reduce this time to minutes.
Cleanup is pretty easy; the entire container breaks down. I wonder how long certain seals will hold up with lots of regular use but so far the way it's built everything secures the next piece of the puzzle. We'll see.
That's my general overview, if you have specific questions I can field I'd be happy to.
We started with 2oz servings in little shot glasses but have worked our way up to 3.25oz servings in little espresso cups. We also offer homemade marshmallows so it gives enough room in a 4oz cup.
Our machine is going to go to what you are looking for, parties, catering, etc. We've been trailing it out at one of our indoor stable farmers markets but the general consensus is that the product is too fine to be just walking around with. Maybe if we made it more swiss-miss like (hah).
I just picked up on this thread. I use the same machine as advertised on Sarahs Sweet Shop, but found these are available far cheaper if you shop around. I have 2 of them. Many just melt chocolate in this, but we have developed a hot chocolate that has people queing in the winter, and keeps both machines busy. How we do it is simple - if you only make a half mix (half fill it), it will heat up to around 60 degrees in about 15-20 minutes - my staff put it on as soon as they arrive. In the 2nd machine, they put a full mix, which can take a lot lot longer - not twice as long but almost 3x as long. However, by the time the 1st machine is empty, the 2nd is ready, and we simply refill the first machine so its ready when the other machine then runs out.
We make the mix up from cold, but add a lot of chocolate to it and heat it up to 90, then bring it back down to 60C, it means it thickens a bit better and doesn't require artificial thickening. We leave it churning away happily - it is fine for the day, but we do not keep it from day to day, we make it fresh each day. I can't give you the recipe, but it is easily our best known product, and our top grossing revenue product in the store - which is a boutique chocolate shop. We also only do it in takeaway, as we have no seating. We also make this up from cold, and it has a milk base. There is nothing better on the market I have found, and these two machines paid for themselves 100x over in the first year.
We use a 5l machine, and I picked up one of them for around $400US. New. So shop around.
Hope this bealted first hand example helps!
I have a better idea:
Premake your drinking chocolate base using a scaled up recipe of 1 part liquor, 2 parts granulated sugar, and one part powdered sugar. We make 16 litres at a time, heat it to 165 degrees F and put it in a fridge to cool. It's important to NOT bring it to a boil, but heat it high enough to kill pathogens.
Then when a customer orders, we portion out 200ml and use a cappuccino steamer to heat it. It only takes a few seconds, and at that time the cornstarch in the powdered sugar thickens the drink, making it very rich and creamy.
We also have one of the drink dispensers, but there are challenges with it:
1. You have to throw out what you don't use at the end of the day (waste).
2. For higher volumes, 5 litres doesn't take you very far, so you have to keep refilling it.
3. It limits the types of drinking chocolates you can offer (one per machine)
4. If you use a true cocoa liquor and nobody buys a drinking chocolate for a while, you end up with a skim of very unattractive oil (cocoa butter) on top of the drink in the machine.
5.Multiple machines take upspace
6. Most dispenser binsare made of plastic, not glass. The plastic begins to look ratty after a being cleaned out a number of times.
By premaking a base, and using a steamer to heat individual portions, you can offer a multitude of drinking chocolates with different infused spices, because you add the spices to the drink just before you steam it in the cup. This steeps it just as if it were a tea.
Try this recipe:
1 oz good cocoa liquor
1 oz powdered sugar
2 oz granulated sugar
1/2 tsp Indonesian Cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground Cloves
Sweetened whip cream with a touch of vanillaon top with a sprinkle of fresh ground nutmeg.
My two bits for what it's worth.
On the first days of what looks like long cold winter in Santa Fe, I am on my second cup of thick hot chocolate from Taza.
Just about a year later now, how is your hot chocolate dispenser working out. Did you purchase the BRAS Scirocco or the SF Cioccolata Calda. Have some questions but I will wait until I find out which one you bought....
I have this hot drink dispenser and love it. I make my own chocolate sludge with spices, then dilute it, still making a thick chocolate shot which we serve in a 3 oz portion with a shot of whipped cream or handmade marshmallow. The machine warms and agitates and has a wide temp range. It does get some condensation inside but usually not until its gotten pretty low, The bowl capacity is plenty large to take to a function/festival and sell a lot of shots.
It's that time of year again, so people are looking more and more at hot chocolate. One of the avenues I've been exploring is using one of the insulated Zojirushi water boilers to heat milk instead of water. There are multiple temperature settings, including 175F. Pour your house-made syrup into the bottom of a cup then add hot milk.An alternative would be to create a syrup that has the milk in it and then just add hot water (you can get to boiling in these machines). This would avoid the waste problem at the end of the day that Brad mentions.
I also like the flexibility this approach offers - one for milk, one for water, one for soy milk ...
Price is about $170 each for a 4 liter machine, discounted. Make sure to get the insulated variety as they are far less expensive to operate and can maintain temps above 140F for several hours after being unplugged.
clay - http://www.thechocolatelife.com/clay/
updated by @melanie-boudar: 09/08/15 02:17:39PM
I just happen to have one of these Zojirushi's in my garage sale pile, which I just reclaimed. I also have the Italian made BRAS hot chocolate machine, but I am perplexed at the amount of plastic on a high end machine. If I did not know the machine was made in Italy, I would think it was made in China!! Anyone out there use the BRAS.
Clay, I just read your book, very nice, thanx. S.
Interesting thought. I wonder how much like a hot water kettle it is--being that if there is a raw heating element in it the amount of output is sure to scorch at the source, and clean up would be a beast. I need to see if there is anyone selling these local to go look at one.
Your idea is solid though, just keep the liquid at temp and then drop a few pre-weighed ganache bits in and you're good to go.
Let's see if I attach the photos correctly!!!
The interior looks a lot like a rice cooker, but the pan can not be removed. There is a small hole at the bottom where water flows through and then up the exterior tube that give you a visual water level. This is the part that confuses me as far as hot chocolate is concerned, if the tube is filled with a chocolate mixture, how do you clean it. There is just no physical way.
Maybe Clay knows something about this and has used the Zojirushi???
Hope these photos help....
Great recommendations people!
Instead of starting a new thread, (which I might do later anyway) I thought I would ask all of you experts here. We have a small chocolate & patisserie boutique. We make everything there from scratch. Anyway, we originally made our hot chocolate by making a ganache and then steaming it with a little exta milk added. We weren't keen on doing this so we decided to get a continuos hot chocolate machine. The first one we boght was kind of cheap, around $300 Aus $. After having the machine on for a few hours we noticed the flavour would change and then eventually turn rancid and off smelling. It seemed to be happening sooner and sooner and so we thought we'd bought a dudd machine that maybe was only good for powder mixes etc. So eventually we invested in a better machine. it was around $700, and it heats via a baine marie. We thought this would be a lot better, and it was for a little while but eventually it has started to do the same thing. Yesterday it went bad after only 5-6 hours of putting the fresh batch in.
The weird thing is, it seems to happen a lot less if I change the recipe to have no cream in it, only milk. (not a fan of this either). I have eventually tried modifying the recipes a lot, but my favourite recipe which is a modification from a very skilled French chocolatier, seems to go bad every time. Anyone know if it could be that certain creams have fats that go off quicker?
Thanks in advance
Your milk products are going rancid. The temperature of your contents needs to be above 165 degrees F to stop bacteria growth. Anything less, and you are essentially creating a one gallon petrie dish.
The problem with the types of machines listed here is that if the temp is too low, your milk product is souring. If the temperature is too high, your product is separating and you are getting a skim of cocoa butter on top (not appealing to look at). I have a couple of them, and stopped using them. Now, my staff creates a "base", refrigerates it, and then just steams it as needed. This is much safer from a pathogenic perspective, and there is almost no waste, as a refrigerated product lasts longer than our demand allows it to.
It is VERY possible to create an absolutely fabulous drink by steaming it. Here are 150+ online reviews of our drinking chocolates in a recent competition we won: http://yychotchocolate.com/omg/
Oh... if you want to make a very nice sour cream, just leave a litre of buttermilk on your counter for 8 hours, and strain off the thin liquids. I do that quite often instead of buying it in the store.
I figured that something was turning rancid. We had the machines turned to 60 degrees C. Not sure what it is in Fahrenheit.. So should we have turned them up higher? I figured above 65c would be too high. What I didn't like about the steaming was the foamy textures. I might try adjust the recipe again. Also hoping to use this at a stall without any kind of coffee machine (only a chocolate machine). Has anyone else ever had their mix turn rancid so quickly?
I have the Benchmark dispenser . I do not love it. I don't hate it -- but I do not love it. It does not hold my chocolate at the temperature it is set to. I heat it on the stove top to temp, then let the dispenser keep it there, but it's usually about 15 degrees less than the highest temp on the device. It's also a condensation nightmare.
I wouldn't recommend this one personally.
Cornstarch is balanced between the ratio of milk and sugar and liquor. More liquor and sugar and less milk, and the drink ends up thick enough that you don't need cornstarch. In our case, our drinking chocolate is not dark at all, and a bit sweet, so with the lack of liquor we need cornstarch. Here is my base recipe. The trick here is to mix the cornstarch into the sugar first so it doesn't clump up, and then bring the milk/sugar/cornstarch mix to a boil before adding the liquor.
4L homogonized milk
Have fun, and into each 200ml add 1/2 tsp cinnamon and 1/8 tsp cloves, then top with whipped cream and a good sprinkle of nutmeg. (make sure you're sitting down when you try it. Your knees will go weak!)
We have a new shop with a cafe element, we've done away with pre-prepped notions. We have blocks of our ganache ready and weighed. We heat them lightly then blend them with frothed milk to a proportion the customer wants. Thick to stand a spoon up, or diluted to a more hot chocolate. It's simple, we always have ganache on hand for enrobing and it's as close to a liquid truffle as you'll get. So one further option if you don't have a cafe is to just pick up a steamer and prep on demand takes <45s per serving and you're always fresh.
I really appreciate that you shared this recipe with me, I have been trying to replicate the hot chocolate we get on our holidays in Italy and Croatia and have failed, I;m going to give it a go for sure to your recipe, I am looking forward to going weak at the knees, thats what I love about chocolate...
We do not sell this in a take-home form. I don't think it'd be hard to make a take home form. Making it a pretty take home form would be a challenge and keep the cost down. It would also be a very temporary product since we don't add stabilizers or preservatives to our products.
Like I mentioned it's our truffles just without an enrobing. So you're dealing with a butter/cream ganache. I mix something like 31g of ganache in a demitasse with hot frothed milk to it and stir until you get something like pudding and then add more to dilute--or not depending on the customer.
Now for a hot chocolate (not sipping chocolate) which will take a vast amount more milk I make a cacao based syrup out of a dark and a mild cocoas, a little sugar, vanilla and water. Thicken, reduce, squeeze bottle it, and that just lasts.