How many per day?
when you talk about dipping by hand, do you mean single dip with the fork? you could try to speed up the process by first rolled them by hand with a very thin coat.
that should help you with "stickiness", also keep your chocolate at right temp. to prevent getting thicker and slow down the process.
otherwise if you hand-roll them you should be able to do about 200/250 hour. just take 4 or 5 truffle in your hand at time.
I'm not sure if you're looking for an actual production total or just the number you can dip in an hour. My average production is around 400 chocolates/8 hour day if I'm working by myself. This number includes everything - making the ganaches, tempering the chocolate, cutting and/or rolling the set ganache, dipping, decorating, packaging, dishes, cleaning up and packing away (I share kitchen space and need to pack all my equipment and move it back to my storage cage at the end of my production day). Hope that's helpful.
Just dipping or the whole shebang from scooping, rolling, etc.? And would you already have your chocolate tempered and ready to go or not? By writing down the time I start and stop each task and then dividing by the number of truffles, I came up with an average of about 30 seconds to dip each truffle. I also learned that I had to stop what I was doing and re-warm my chocolate about every hour. Plus there is some setup time, since I'm working out of my home kitchen. It could be realistic for me to have scooped and rolled the day before, but I'd still have to temper the chocolate that day. So let's say out of an 8-hour day I'd have to subtract about 2 hours for setup/cleaning, and packing upall the truffles at the end of the day. Then subtract another hour and a half to temper the chocolate, that leaves me with 5 1/2 hours to work in. I'd also spend about 5 minutes out of each hour, conservatively, re-warming my chocolate, so let's just cut that back to 5 hours because it's an easier number for me to work with. 5 hours x 60 minutes per hour x 2 truffles per minute comes out to 600. In some universe where someone else is tempering my chocolate and setting up my kitchen and all I have to do is stand there and dip for8 hours, I guess it would be 960. Now, if I was starting from having to scoop and roll ganache, each ganache ball takes me an average of 45 seconds to scoop and roll. So if I take that 5 hour time to work in and each truffle needs 1 minute and 15 seconds of my time then I could do 240+ (cause less dipping time means less times I need to stop and rewarm). And all of these estimates would only apply if I were using a single type of ganache (so I didn't have to stop and wash my scoop--because I only have one) and dipping in just 1 type of chocolate. I haven't established yet what a typical workday is for me. I worked for about 10 hours on Tuesday and only made 161 truffles because I was using 4 different ganaches, a pureed fruit filling, and making a little truffle mortarboard and doing some writing with a syringe.
Someone please tell me I'm not the only person analyzing their time in the kitchen?
ETA: And I also need time to bring all my stuff into the kitchen, remove all my stuff from the kitchen at the end of the day, and photograph the truffles.
400 in one 8-hour day including making ganache sounds absolutely miraculous! How do you manage? I don't even make my ganache the same day, though I do scoop and roll the same day I dip. I've been analyzing my time to try to figure out where it's all going, how I can get more done in the same amount of time. Please tell me more!
It's really just a matter of practice and planning your production carefully. I've been at it for two years now and my speed has increased gradually along the way. I'm also careful about how many different flavors I'm making in any one day. When I'm by myself I top out at 5 different flavors, anything above that becomes overwhelming. I also try not to work with multiple chocolates for coating the truffles, i.e. I'm either dipping in dark chocolate that day or dipping in milk chocolate.
It's good that you're calculating setup and takedown time. It will give you a very good idea where your inneficiencies are. I bet you're finding them in the set up and takedown time.
Here are some benchmarks we have for minimum performance here at Choklat.
Scooping: 200 per hour
Hand Rolling: 450 per hour
Dipping and coating: 230 per hour.
Foil Wrapping: 240 per hour
My staff all surpass these minimums, and do it all day.
We just finished revamping our COGL spreadsheet and I needed the analytics so I could understand the true costs. On an average day our main chef can dip about 550+ truffles in about 5 hours. This is lower than our old average, we're now using TCHO as our dipping chocolate as well as our main chocolate and it's much thicker which requires more drain/tap time.
Like you mentioned startup, re-temper times, and "SQUIRREL" moments all create delays. Not quite sure how to get things faster at the moment. Looking into enrobing machinery and all that.
i have been looking at solution for our production and also to keep a certain standard and not just simply roll truffles to get "numbers".
i have a 25kg tempering machine but FBM also does a 7 kg with enrobbing belt.
7 kg tank means about 40 kg (+/-) an hour... that should be able to speed up truffles making a bit! we are starting testing next week for a client that need 4000 pcs per order.
will let you know how it goes...