Chocolate Drinking Machine Recommendations

Andy Ciordia
@andy-ciordia
10/23/10 10:30:55AM
157 posts
I thought this would be an easier search but I'm hitting a wall. We'd like to start serving some drinking chocolate at area markets and as I search for a machine to keep warm and agitate our heart-stopping concoction all I am seeing is 900$ machines and $50 ones. Is there no middleground? Are the billete high end machines really worth it? How fast do the cheapies break down?


Have you gone through this row and found a path that can be shared? It's getting cold out and we want to warm some patrons souls up.


updated by @andy-ciordia: 04/10/15 01:48:33AM
Jenny Bunker
@jenny-bunker
10/23/10 06:28:29PM
10 posts
Hi,I have never actually used these machines, but I too was searching and found this:http://www.sarahs-sweet-fountains.com/drinking-chocolate-dispenser-stainless-steel-p-227.htmlThis model seems to be cheaper because it has a 3 liter capacity verses the more expensive 6 liter model:http://www.sarahs-sweet-fountains.com/drinking-chocolate-machine-chocolate-shot-dispenser-p-193.htmlGood luck!Jenny
Kerry
@kerry
10/24/10 10:12:57AM
288 posts
I've helped people get their hands on the $900 ones - they are a nice piece of equipment. Can you link me to a $50 one so I can see what you are referring to to compare?


--
www.eztemper.com

www.thechocolatedoctor.ca
Andy Ciordia
@andy-ciordia
10/25/10 02:05:34PM
157 posts
Thanks Jenny, great to know there's a smaller version at half the price.Kerry1, the little home ones: http://www.amazon.com/Back-Basics-CM300BR-Cocoa-Latte-Hot-Drink/dp/B0002TUVQM/ref=pd_sim_dbs_k_9 they seem to come in a few varieties. Cheap, plastic, paddle.. not much science to it.
Tom
@tom
10/25/10 06:28:50PM
205 posts
I have looked into this half heartedly every now and then but haven't found anything that has made me buy. One question to ask when you look at a machine is does it heat the liquid from cold - many do not. I presume this has to do with the fact that things like urns heat really rapidly and would burn a milk based drink so the heating has to be gentle. I have also looked at other things that may do the job such as soup warmers (soup kettles) which hold soup at 80 degrees celcius, again you have to preheat liquid before it goes in. Also you may look under 'milk warmers' again a lot of these require preheating the beverage.I did send an email to Sarah of Sarah's Sweet Fountains and she said that their unit will heat from cold but it will be slow, I downloaded their specs and this machine seems to be the best I have seen so far. But that is just looking on the internet.
Kerry
@kerry
10/25/10 06:38:41PM
288 posts
I wonder if the little ones stir - I'd probably go after the 3 litre one mentioned above.


--
www.eztemper.com

www.thechocolatedoctor.ca
Andy Ciordia
@andy-ciordia
10/25/10 08:55:35PM
157 posts
Tom, can you share the spec sheet?I hadn't really given too much thought to the pre-heat idea and it's one worth knowing going into it.
Andy Ciordia
@andy-ciordia
10/29/10 12:16:20PM
157 posts
We ordered one today. I'll do a review of it once we receive and put it through it's paces. Thanks for hoisting up the documentation.
Tom
@tom
11/01/10 11:06:24PM
205 posts
Cool, it would be good to get the lowdown.
Tracy Hueth
@tracy-hueth
01/17/11 01:47:46PM
4 posts
did you get this up and running?
Andy Ciordia
@andy-ciordia
01/18/11 02:40:25PM
157 posts

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.

Tracy Hueth
@tracy-hueth
01/18/11 02:47:02PM
4 posts

Thanks Andy. How much are your serving sizes and what are you putting them in? I am looking to have this as an additional serive along with our mini-donuts. We get hired to do events like weddings, parties, etc.

Andy Ciordia
@andy-ciordia
01/18/11 02:54:16PM
157 posts

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).

Stu Jordan
@stu-jordan
01/24/11 07:11:17PM
37 posts

Hi Andy,

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!

Tracy Hueth
@tracy-hueth
01/31/11 05:57:53PM
4 posts

Stu - would you mind letting us know where you got a 5L machine for around $400? I have spent quite a bit if time and the only $400 machine I found was a smaller machine.

Brad Churchill
@brad-churchill
02/01/11 03:23:17AM
527 posts

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.

Brad

Solis Lujan
@solis-lujan
10/09/11 12:43:42AM
26 posts

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....

Melanie Boudar
@melanie-boudar
10/09/11 05:29:58AM
104 posts

http://www.webstaurantstore.com/cecilware-choco-1-delice-countertop-hot-chocolate-dispenser-120v/385CHOCO1.html

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.

Clay Gordon
@clay
10/09/11 12:14:20PM
1,680 posts

Andy:

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/
Melanie Boudar
@melanie-boudar
10/09/11 10:06:27PM
104 posts
At night you can put the bowl in the fridge and rewarm the next day. You disassemble the nozzel and clean daily. We use almond milk which is dairy free and lasts longer than cows milk plus adds a nice nutty taste.
updated by @melanie-boudar: 09/08/15 02:17:39PM
Mark J Sciscenti
@mark-j-sciscenti
10/10/11 10:19:23AM
33 posts

Hi Melanie, I should send you some of my Mayan hot drinking chocolate mix to see how you like it and how it works out in the machine. What is the capacity/volume that it holds?

Solis Lujan
@solis-lujan
10/13/11 02:53:40PM
26 posts

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.

Andy Ciordia
@andy-ciordia
10/21/11 10:16:31AM
157 posts

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.

Andy Ciordia
@andy-ciordia
10/21/11 10:17:41AM
157 posts
Solis, if you're able, can you take a shot of the interior of your Zojirushi? I'm trying to understand how the unit heats.
Richard Foley
@richard-foley
10/21/11 10:46:39PM
48 posts
These Machines are good for mixing and heating liquid ganache but not pure chocolate. I have 3 Carpiagani machines, work pretty good. We pour in the liquid ganache and display dark, milk, and white. Ours is heated With water Bain Marie style. The Italian machines are pretty good also, again, not using pure chocolate, they are not designed for that. Sarahs looks like the made in China copy of the Italian machine.Nothing better than real ganache made hot chocolate or Moccas, every coffee bar should have one of these and make quality hot chocolate instead of syrup or powder made crap that is so common.
Solis Lujan
@solis-lujan
10/22/11 06:30:02PM
26 posts
Will do....
Melanie Boudar
@melanie-boudar
10/23/11 04:58:02AM
104 posts

I think the capacity is about three gallons. I'd love to check out your drinking chocolates for my store.

Solis Lujan
@solis-lujan
10/28/11 12:33:17AM
26 posts

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....

Andy Ciordia
@andy-ciordia
10/28/11 09:48:08AM
157 posts
Excellent and thank you. To me clay was thinking of this as a milk/almond/soy holder which would then be combined with your ganache. For the water level, I think your right it'd be hard to clean and wonder if it would be easy to stop it up to not function.
Channy
@channy
05/25/13 09:21:42PM
11 posts

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?

Any ideas?

Thanks in advance

Chantelle

Brad Churchill
@brad-churchill
05/26/13 01:37:08AM
527 posts

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.

Cheers.

Brad

Channy
@channy
05/26/13 11:02:01PM
11 posts

Thanks Brad.

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?

Cheers

Shannon Campbell
@shannon-campbell
11/25/13 04:41:35PM
13 posts

I have theBenchmark 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.

Louise O' Brien
@louise-o-brien
01/12/14 09:48:26AM
14 posts

Brad

How much cornstarch do you add to your hot chocolate to thicker it. I have experimented and have fouund that the cornstarch taste come through the hot chocolate. Louise

Brad Churchill
@brad-churchill
01/14/14 01:35:50AM
527 posts

Louise;

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

450g liquor

900g sugar

60g cornstarch

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!)

Cheers

Brad

Andy Ciordia
@andy-ciordia
01/14/14 01:54:05PM
157 posts

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.

Louise O' Brien
@louise-o-brien
01/14/14 03:19:07PM
14 posts

Brad

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...

Louise

Louise O' Brien
@louise-o-brien
01/14/14 03:23:23PM
14 posts

Andy

This sound really interested also. The cream in the ganache would help thicken the hot chocolate I presume. Do you sell hot chocolate packs for your customer to bring home? Is it a truffle mixture you use?

Louise

Andy Ciordia
@andy-ciordia
01/17/14 10:51:49AM
157 posts

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.

Louise O' Brien
@louise-o-brien
01/17/14 12:28:58PM
14 posts

Hi Andy

Thank you for some great recipes, they both sound great.

Louise


updated by @louise-o-brien: 09/12/15 12:44:01AM
Brad Churchill
@brad-churchill
01/17/14 09:02:39PM
527 posts

So Louise, did you try the recipe I supplied?

 / 2
 

Tags

Member Marketplace


Activity

slaviolette
 
@slaviolette • 6 months ago • comments: 0
Created a new discussion "Cost of goods produced":
"Hi Everyone, Been a long time member but I have not been in in a few years, the fact is that I had to close down my small chocolate business.. but now is..."
chocolatelover123
 
@chocolatelover123 • 8 months ago • comments: 0
Created a new forum topic:
New Chocolate Brand - "Palette"
Marita Lores
 
Marita Lores
 
Vercruysse Geert
 
Vercruysse Geert
 
Marita Lores