Hi there -- This weekend I made slab/cut style truffles rather than the traditional round style I am used to and I ran into a few issues that I'm hoping you veterans might be able to help with.
1) I had varying thicknesses in different parts of the slab. I know they sell vibrating tables to ultimately fix this problem, but I'm wondering if there is a technique that I could try that might be a hair cheaper. My current "technique" (ha) is to just pour the ganache into my frame and spread it around the best I can with an offset spatula.
2) I had releasing issues. I made my frame out of some metal bars I found at Lowe's based on a post I saw at egullet, and as it noted in the post, I put them right on my Silpat. It molded beautifully, no leaks, but after taking the bars off, brushing on some tempered chocolate and flipping the whole thing to get it ganache side up for cutting, I went to pull the Silpat off and in a few spots it stuck and broke. I'm wondering if I needed to 1) let the ganache crystalize further (mine was about 18 hours old), 2) coat the Silpat with tempered chocolate first (I know this helps releasing from silicone molds), 3) put the whole slab in the fridge for a few minutes before flipping. 4) something else.
3) Some tiny cracks and pin holes formed on maybe 6 of the truffles and something oily oozed out. I'm guessing that is just liquified cocoa butter. It isn't a huge deal, but I'd like to avoid this. Any thoughts on what happened?
4) Slightly grainy ganache. I don't think this has anything to do with the shape of the truffles, but the recipe. I used a new recipe that called for tempered chocolate, cream, butter, and honey. Room temperature butter thoroughly worked into tempered chocolate. Butter and honey scalded together, cooled to 105, and then added all at once to the chocolate/butter mixture. My guess is that it was adding the butter to the tempered chocolate directly (generally I put it with the cream) or the fact that I did not incorporate everything fully enough. I just read something scary that said too much air whipping into ganache dramatically reduces shelf life, so I was probably a little stingy with the stirring.
I know this is a boatload of questions. Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks!
updated by @katie-perry: 04/11/15 01:49:37AM