Typical yield of molded truffles from 1 lb chocolate?

Cotton
@cotton
10/14/16 08:42:45PM
8 posts

I've been lurking here for some time, but this is my first question to ask out loud: how many molded truffles should I expect out of 1 lb (or 1 kg) of dark chocolate?  If you can't tell, I'm quite the amateur... but I'm working on it!  I guess I'm hoping to find information that would provide a range of proficiency, something like:  1) a novice would successfully convert 50% of the tempered chocolate into "x" truffles, 2) a mid-experienced artisan would convert 75% of the chocolate into "y" truffles, and 3) a real pro can convert 90% of it into "z" truffles.  (Of course, these all made-up numbers; I merely offer a scheme that might allow a consistent discussion.)

A follow-on question is: what is the best way to salvage to remaining tempered chocolate after I've completed my molding? Right now, I use a 1/4-size baking sheet lined with parchment paper where I pour the remaining chocolate and smooth it out as thinly as I can.  I then cover it with another piece of parchment and place it in a fridge to set. Once hardened, I break it into smaller pieces and store in left-over plastic tubs with tight-sealing lids.

Oh, I am in south Texas where it stays quite warm much of the year!  (To wit, here it is mid-October and we hit 90 degrees today.)

Some more background:  I'm still switching back and forth between seeding and tabling my chocolate for tempering; I'm not sure which method I prefer yet  I'm using mostly 21-cavity polycarbonate molds from Fat Daddio and Pavoni, but I just received my order of a couple of Chocolate World molds (with 24 cavities each) and I'm really excited to use those.  I'm using mostly Callebaut and El Rey chocolates in the 54% to 6o+% range; sometimes, I bite the bullet and attempt to use Valrhona, but its cost makes me quiver a bit!  I don't have fancy equipment (not yet) to keep the chocolate in-temper.  I usually use a stainless steel bowl and put in the microwave at 50% power (evidently, the round shape of the bowl does not produce the sparks that usually come with metal in the microwave).  At my skill level and my lack of control of continuously keeping the chocolate in-temper, I usually prepare no more than two molds at a time.  (I've tried three molds a couple of times, but the "peter principle" keeps rearing its ugly head!)  Finally, I am using a basic cream ganache with some flavorings added, like chili powder or coffee, or Lor-Ann oil flavorings.

In summary, I am inefficient in my use of the chocolate and I want to get better at it.  Any suggestions?

Brad Churchill
@brad-churchill
10/15/16 05:35:17PM
527 posts
Hi Cotton;

The answer to your question is a calculation of very simple math. Add up the weight of all of the ingredients you are using and then divide that by the number of pieces you get.

An "average" commercial, molded chocolate bon bon weighs around 12 grams when finished. However there is no hard fast rule which defines this value. Our truffles for example weigh around 23 grams.

There are also no hard fast rules with respect to how far a "pro" can make a pound of chocolate go.

In the chocolate industry a "pro" calculates food cost. That's really the driving force behind what gets produced. After all, nobody goes into business to make a 100lb easter bunny to sell for 5 bucks! (exaggeration here but I'm sure you get the point)

Simple solution: calculate your food cost, and then determine if/how it needs to be altered, and what ingredients can do that.

Brad
Cotton
@cotton
10/16/16 03:22:46PM
8 posts

Thank you, Brad.  What I'm hearing you say is that I'm following/focusing on the wrong metric.  In other words, focus on costs, not weight.

Good advice.  Much appreciated!

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