Forum Activity for @Mark Heim

Mark Heim
@Mark Heim
10/09/15 07:11:34PM
101 posts

Hands-on Bean-to-bar Chocolate School: Curriculum, Cost, and more


Posted in: Chocolate Education

There are several good ones offered.  Look at the PMCA and AACT websites.  Also once a year they have an excellent 4 week course at ZDS in Solingen, Germany.

 

Mark Heim
@Mark Heim
10/09/15 03:06:49PM
101 posts

How to make a shelf stable chocolate liqueur?


Posted in: Tech Help, Tips, Tricks, & Techniques

Are you talking about a soft white creme center, or a clear center (sugar crust liquor)?

Mark Heim
@Mark Heim
10/09/15 02:59:03PM
101 posts

Using coconut oil in truffles help


Posted in: Tech Help, Tips, Tricks, & Techniques

Are you sure you're making a meltaway?  With enough off the coconut milk and agave syrup, you'll be making a type of ganache, an oil in water emulsion. 

Mark Heim
@Mark Heim
10/09/15 01:02:28AM
101 posts

Hands-on Bean-to-bar Chocolate School: Curriculum, Cost, and more


Posted in: Chocolate Education

I have taught bean to bar courses, including hands on work, they take 2 weeks. 

Mark Heim
@Mark Heim
09/16/15 12:42:17AM
101 posts

What courses would you like to see


Posted in: Chocolate Education

Thank you for your areas of interest. 

Locations can be anywhere in the country.  Most have been on the east coast but typically wherever a host company offers, as long as they have the facilities and equipment to give everyone the hands on experience they are looking for.  There has been a lot of interest in offering courses in the west.  Their largest obstical has been in finding more than one or two host companies that can and are willing to do this, however these classes, being designed for the artisan rather than industry, we will be looking at culinary schools and the like, expanding the possibilities.  And depending on interest, they would try to be closer to where people live, ideally offered in more than one location.

Again, what I'm looking for here is what you would look for, what they would need to offer, how best to do it, time of course, and consider the concerns and desires of the artisan.  So all your ideas, suggestions, concerns will be a great help as we don't want to start by assuming what you would want.  Letting you tell us.

Thank you again. 

Mark Heim
@Mark Heim
09/14/15 10:38:12PM
101 posts

What courses would you like to see


Posted in: Chocolate Education

Panning for the artisan, would it be just chocolate, but include decoration techniques?  Such as river stone or marbling?

Artisan candy bars, what kind of centers are you thinking about?  Maybe ganache or a nut praline as a component?  Croquant?  Baked biscuit or wafer? 

Where hosted would most likely be at a culinary school, locations could be anywhere.

Cost would be determined mostly by how long, but costs a small shop could afford is part of what I'm looking for.  PMCA starts their cost at where they would break even, not looking to make money, but money they do make they put back into the industry for things like scholarships.

Thank you for your input.

Mark Heim
@Mark Heim
09/13/15 06:39:15PM
101 posts

What courses would you like to see


Posted in: Chocolate Education

 

I am a retired confectioner (40+ years), now consulting, and a member of the PMCA Education Committee.  PMCA currently offers several courses during the year on a variety of topics, some of them I have led or taught.  However they are targeted more for the larger companies.  So they get very technical, including the chemistry behind the confections, covering the basic confectioney forms a large company would use, and also cover equipment for mass production.  We have had several artisan confectioners attend in the past but their major complaint is that the course is too technical, too much time spent on industrial sized equipment, and a lack of time spent on how to generate their own new ideas and artisinal techniques. 

 

We are now looking to offer courses geared more to the artisan confectioners by limiting the chemistry, eliminating production equipment discussion, and offer more into what an artisinal shop owner would be more interested in such as how to make more varieties of a particular confection, understanding what makes it work and how to alter your way.  Also to reduce the course length (to reduce cost) from 4-5 days to maybe 3.  As an example a caramel course would be more on unique ingredient use, forms, and techniques they could use to achieve color, function, and texture.  It would have about 3/4 or more of the time hands on making these products.  However they would have instructors who could explain the "why" of how things do or do not work as they have the fundamental chemistry knowledge as well as artisinal techniques.

 

I am looking for your ideas on what would make your ideal course:

- confectionery types / topics / depth / length

In other words, looking for your help to design courses that would be of the most value to the artisan.

This is your chance to help design what you want rather than try to find something close to it.

Thank you

Mark Heim

 

 

Mark Heim
@Mark Heim
08/17/15 11:34:56PM
101 posts

Chilling Molds


Posted in: Opinion

The mold should be at or just below the temperature of the tempered chocolate you're using.  If it cools to quickly you can see bloom as type 4 or even 3 crystals will form.  How much depends on the size, percent, and dispersion of the seed.  Chocolate should always cool slow enough to only allow type 5 crystals to continue to grow.  People commonly see swirling on the chocolate surface using molds that are too cool.

However using compound coating using a fat that only crystallizes in one form it may work as you want to cool much faster than chocolate.

With shell molding, some will chill the already set chocolate shell to allow you to fill with a warmer filling so you do not detemper the shell.  But chilling too much may allow some condensate to form on the outside, bringing on sugar bloom. 

 

Mark Heim
@Mark Heim
08/15/15 10:36:40PM
101 posts

final bean temp when roasting


Posted in: Tech Help, Tips, Tricks, & Techniques

There is no one temperature for roasting beans.  It depends on several factors such as the beans being over or underfermented, the type/source of the beans, and the type of flavor you are trying to achieve.  Looking to toast or roast.  Each lot of beans should be tested to develop the best flavor profile - what you're looking for.  Because of this, if you ask 10 people the best temp, you'll get 12 answers and they can all be right.

Mark Heim
@Mark Heim
06/30/15 08:10:46PM
101 posts

Shelf stable recipes for filled bars


Posted in: Tech Help, Tips, Tricks, & Techniques

There are several forms, mostly fondant cremes.  They can be made in a wide range of textures, and can be made in a form allowing further processing, like enrobing, but then soften.  Feel free to contact me for some basic recipes, targeting your textural objectives.

Mark Heim
@Mark Heim
05/12/15 12:15:15AM
101 posts

Chocolate Courses - any updates?


Posted in: Chocolate Education

PMCA regularly offers a week long chocolate course, one coming up this June. 

 

Mark Heim
@Mark Heim
04/07/15 10:44:44PM
101 posts

What is a good machine for making a lot of Nut Praline Paste?


Posted in: Tech Help, Tips, Tricks, & Techniques

Look at a Stephan mixer.  Work very well, and they have a bowl scraper you use while grinding. 

Mark Heim
@Mark Heim
03/13/15 04:33:21PM
101 posts

Where is the tempering error(s)?


Posted in: Tech Help, Tips, Tricks, & Techniques

The speed you cool the chocolate is key to keeping in temper.  When the chocolate is tempered, only ~3-5% of the cocoa butter is crystallized.  Doesn't sound like much until you realize shortening is only about 15%.  If these seed crystals are small and well dispersed you're at ideal temper.  When cooling you want it to be gradual enough to pull the heat created with further crystallization and slowly cool.  If it cools too quickly it will start forming unwanted crystals, typically type IV, causing early fat bloom.  Once set you gradually warm back to room temperature.  Sugar bloom is initiated when the surface temperature of the chocolate is below the dew point temperature for the room.  You see it on the surface of a glass of ice water.  This moisture formed will start to dissolve the sugars.  One percent moisture will create three percent syrup.  This surface syrup then dries out and crystallizes, giving you the sugar bloom.

Mark Heim
@Mark Heim
03/10/15 06:34:29PM
101 posts

Where is the tempering error(s)?


Posted in: Tech Help, Tips, Tricks, & Techniques

You mention that they develop a powdery texture, and that you have high humidity.  Look for sugar bloom.  When you hold the bar, does the bloom remelt or remain, and when tasting the surface is it the dry powder you describe.  To prevent, after you cool the chocolate, let rewarm gradually, keeping product above the dew point for room conditions.  It doesn't take much moisture to condense on the surface to cause the problem.

Mark Heim
@Mark Heim
02/07/15 12:57:28AM
101 posts



Are you casting solid bars or are you enrobing?  If casting solid bars you can look to add the flavor in a separate mixer just before casting/depositing, using the tempering machine to run the base chocolate.  This may help with more consistent temper as well.

 

Mark Heim
@Mark Heim
02/05/15 12:50:18AM
101 posts

adding sugar and lecithin to chocolate


Posted in: Tech Help, Tips, Tricks, & Techniques

Sugar before, lecithin after.

Mark Heim
@Mark Heim
02/03/15 06:25:13PM
101 posts

Pate De Fruit


Posted in: Tech Help, Tips, Tricks, & Techniques

You will want to use a high DE pectin.  The pectin will set by solids, temperature, and pH.  Typical solids is 78-80%, this will dehydrate the pectin enough for it to set.  The temperature needs to be kept hot until deposited or sheeted, otherwise you will get pre-gelling.  The acid, lowering the pH will set the pectin, pH should be 3.1-3.5.  As soon as the acid is added, deposit or sheet as it will start to pre-gel quickly.  Lower solids and higher pH will give a slower set, high solids and low pH will give a fast set.  There is also a lot you can do with the pectin type, not only deciding on apple or citrus, but the DE (also called DM) as well.

Citrus pectin is typically a cleaner, clearer gel.

You also want to look at how much protopectin you're adding with the fruit, if any, and compensate with the level of pectin you're adding.

One final note, be sure the pectin is fully hydrated before you cook.

Mark Heim
@Mark Heim
02/01/15 05:55:25PM
101 posts

How to inhibit sugar crystalization?


Posted in: Tech Help, Tips, Tricks, & Techniques

Cream of tartar is a buffered acid, be carefull what effect your added level has to pH.  Keep well above 4.6.  Adding corn syrup is easiest.  How much you need depends on 3 factors as they control crystallization.

- What is your final moisture level.  One percent moisture will increase or decrease the syrup phase by 3%. 

- What is the ratio of sucrose to other sugars.  From the milk (lactose) and any added corn syrup solids.

- What is the final viscosity.  More viscous requires less other sugars to doctor.

Also the colder it's stored the less sugar can stay in solution.

A traditional dulce de leche is just sugar and milk.  The cooking time is long, which continues to invert some of the sugar.  Same thing the cream of tartar does but much slower.  High moisture versions (pudding or flan like) are kept refrigerated as their Aw is too high for good shelf life.  Versions with lower moisture can be grained unless they have additional sugars (invert, corn syrup) added to increase the total solids the moisture can hold at ambient temperatures.

Mark Heim
@Mark Heim
01/31/15 11:38:32PM
101 posts

Commercial fudge recipes???


Posted in: Recipes

Fudge is a grained caramel, and can have a very wide range of acceptible recipes.  Several questions determine recipes best for your use. 

How are you making the fudge, are you hand beating on a marble slab, in a creamer?

Will you form a loaf on the table to be cut, or cast into moulds or boxes?

Are you looking for ingredient restrictions?

What shelf life are you looking for?

Mark Heim
@Mark Heim
10/12/14 05:22:53PM
101 posts

what did I do to my chocolate?


Posted in: Tech Help, Tips, Tricks, & Techniques

At 50C your cocoa butter is melted, but you have small agglomerates formed when your "leftover" cooled uncontrolled. If you smear the warm chocolate between your fingers or on your tongue and feel nothing more than soft clotted texture this may be all it is. Try an immersion blender in the chocolate while hot and they should disappear as they're broken up by the high shear.

Mark Heim
@Mark Heim
02/24/14 07:27:57PM
101 posts

adding liquor to caramel


Posted in: Tech Help, Tips, Tricks, & Techniques

Alcohol reduces the solubility of sugar. If your control'scombined recipe and texture had your caramel on the edge of graining (crystallization) the alcohol can take you over that edge. To compensate you can reduce the sucrose, and increase the doctors (glucose syrups, etc.). Another option would be to control the crystallization, getting it to grain in much smaller crystals, done through technique. However this will start to shorten the texture.

Mark Heim
@Mark Heim
02/24/14 01:12:55AM
101 posts

Every time I use my molds for chocolate bars, they bloom.


Posted in: Tasting Notes

It depends on how deep you want to get into it. There are several articles, youtube videosand such on crystal formation that keep it simple, covering the temperatures you use and a little bit on why. For more depth there are several books, Beckett and Minifie are two good ones. If you're just interested in the fats involved with confections then Talbot is good.

Mark Heim
@Mark Heim
02/21/14 03:36:53PM
101 posts

Every time I use my molds for chocolate bars, they bloom.


Posted in: Tasting Notes

You mention that the room conditions are 64-68F. If your moulds are this temperature it can be the problem. When you are in temper, only a small percentage of the cocoa butter is crystallized in the type V crystals (~3%). If you deposit the chocolate in a cool mould you can crystallize some of the fat on the surface in less stable crystal forms. Ideally you want the moulds to be at or just below the temperature of your tempered chocolate. The thin plastic moulds are notorious for this as they do not hold the heat. Polycarbonate or thicker moulds are more insulated from losing their heat but they should still be warm when depositing.

Mark Heim
@Mark Heim
07/30/13 09:31:19PM
101 posts

Problems with panning


Posted in: Tech Help, Tips, Tricks, & Techniques

Chocolate does not like to stick to the dried strawberries. A pre coating of gum Arabic or gelatin can help.

Are you cooling the chocolate sufficiently after each dose of chocolate?

Is your chocolate the right viscosity?

Are you adding too much chocolate at each dose?

Mark Heim
@Mark Heim
01/16/13 09:35:22PM
101 posts

Panning Ginger


Posted in: Tech Help, Tips, Tricks, & Techniques

The ginger pieces are water, the chocolate fat. They don't like each other. Try precoating the pieces with something to act as an emulsifier "glue". Common is gum arabic solution or a quick coat solution (1:1 gum arabic:sugar). There are some modifiedstarches, low bloom gelatins, etc that will also work.

Once you get sufficient chocolate on for support, chill it down well to crystallize more of the cocoa butter. Then turn enough to warm up only enough to add the rest of your chocolate.

Have fun and enjoy

Mark Heim
@Mark Heim
12/08/12 01:01:36AM
101 posts

After action report on my first attempt at Caramels


Posted in: Tech Help, Tips, Tricks, & Techniques

The moisture after cook has a huge affect on texture. Try a few degrees higher, maybe 245F. There are other things you can do with recipe to control the cold flow, but moisture is the easiest. Unless the caramel is very firm, it'll mend back if left as is after you cut, so cut just before you enrobe.

Mark Heim
@Mark Heim
11/24/12 04:28:09PM
101 posts

Is it worth tempering gianduja?


Posted in: Tech Help, Tips, Tricks, & Techniques

I temper until about ambient. Getting the right crystal structure can not only help with texture but in slowing oil migration into the shell.

Mark Heim
@Mark Heim
10/05/12 09:48:51PM
101 posts

HELPPPP: CHOCOLATE IS CRUMBLY


Posted in: Tech Help, Tips, Tricks, & Techniques

Look at the centers. Chocolate will pull water from a ganache. Once it does it gets dry and crumbly in texture, as themoisture enters the chocolate and forms syrup with the sugar. Look at how much moisture you're adding to the ganache.

Mark Heim
@Mark Heim
10/05/12 09:38:39PM
101 posts

Tempering


Posted in: Opinion

Ask 10 people and you'll get 12 techniques, and they can all work. Give all of 'em a try with the goal to find which one, or your own version of one, that works best for your situation, your equipment. And enjoy exploring.

Mark Heim
@Mark Heim
10/05/12 09:32:29PM
101 posts

BRIGHTNESS ON CHOCOLATE


Posted in: Tech Help, Tips, Tricks, & Techniques

If all of the pieces are round, they may have been polished and glazed through panning. If they are you can taste it just before the chocolate melts.

Mark Heim
@Mark Heim
09/10/12 06:27:06PM
101 posts

Best hazelnut flavor


Posted in: Tasting Notes

You might want to try making a basic praline. Take 50:50 sugar and hazelnuts, you can caramelize the sugar with them, like a croquant, or partially, or just a blend depending on your target flavor profile. Grind them to a nut butter and refine. You can then add cocoa butter or some dark chocolate to make a finished praline or gianduja. As mentioned above the quality of the nuts and the roast technique are the most significant factor.

Mark Heim
@Mark Heim
09/04/12 09:14:11PM
101 posts

Invertase


Posted in: Tech Help, Tips, Tricks, & Techniques

Invertase as an enzyme will continue to work until forced to stop. One way is heat as mentioned above, another is pH, but not a problem with fondant unless you've added acid for a fruit flavor. The final way it's stopped is if there is not enough moisture in the fondant.

Invertase will work until the moisture level of the syrup phase falls below 20%. Most fondants are about 50:50 crystal to syrup (but can range to 60:40, and about 12% total moisture. So if 50% syrup phase, it's about 24% moisture. So you should see significant softening.If less moisture, just a couple percent, will result in minimal or no noticable effect. However, it all depends on all of the above.... age of the invertase, temperature seen, pH, and then moisture level of the fondant and resulting syrup phase. The level of invertase will effect speed to the end result, not how far. A lot more involved but the above should hopefully help.

Mark Heim
@Mark Heim
08/02/12 11:45:04PM
101 posts

GANACHE FEELS CRUMBLY


Posted in: Tech Help, Tips, Tricks, & Techniques

The ganache is an oil in water emulsion. So the water/syrup phase has a lot to do with texture. Peanut butter loves to suck up moisture, and so will have a dramatic effect on texture in no time. This is why nut pastes are made into pralines where there is no water.

The oil in the peanut butter when blended with chocolate will be enough to soften the texture you look for. A basic praline is 1:1 nuts:sugar, ground, and refined. There are French, German, and other types mostly differing in if the sugar is caramelized, boiled, or just used without any heat. Then added with chocolate for gianduja. Nice soft texture, smoothness depending on how well the praline is refined. You should need no added oils.

Mark Heim
@Mark Heim
07/31/12 11:33:39PM
101 posts

Troubleshooting the Chocolate on Butter Toffee


Posted in: Tech Help, Tips, Tricks, & Techniques

Start with about 2%, temper like you would milk, and compare the snap of a tabletwith the original dark or see if it's close to a milk sample. You can use other oils like coconut oil, but then it would fall out of the standards of identity for chocolate in the U.S.

Mark Heim
@Mark Heim
07/31/12 12:42:50PM
101 posts

Troubleshooting the Chocolate on Butter Toffee


Posted in: Tech Help, Tips, Tricks, & Techniques

Called butter oil, clarified butter, or AMF (anhydrous milk fat). Should be clear yellow when melted. Note that the more you add, the lower your temperature for tempering. Same reason why milk is lower than dark, and white lower still.

Mark Heim
@Mark Heim
07/25/12 05:03:40PM
101 posts

Troubleshooting the Chocolate on Butter Toffee


Posted in: Tech Help, Tips, Tricks, & Techniques

Regarding the difference in success between white or milk vs dark. The toffee is an aqueous system and so does not want to adhere to chocolate. If you were panning chocolate on a water based center, or sugar on chocolate,you would put on an emulsifier coat, such as gum arabic, to get the two to adhere. But not easy to do on a slab of toffee as you would want to dry it. Caution adding moisture to the surface for itseffect on level of sugar crystallizing out, adding a stale note, and possibly more tooth packing.

But the main difference in this application between white/milk and dark chocolate is the amount of butter oil (AMF) in the continuous fat phase, resulting in a higher percentage of the lipids remaining an oil, less crystallized fat, this is why dark has a harder snap than milk, than white. This more liquid coating will adhere better, and it is more flexible so it won't "peel" off as easily. You can try to add a little butter oil to your current dark chocolate. A side advantage is that a little butter oil will help with fat bloom.

Mark Heim
@Mark Heim
05/01/12 05:45:15PM
101 posts

Stuck Chocolate In Mold


Posted in: Tech Help, Tips, Tricks, & Techniques

The moulds should be just below the temperature of your tempered chocolate. If too cold it will crystallize in less stable forms. You can get the same thing if cooled too quickly. Skin temperatures are about 92F, making it hard to warm up too much in the time to fill.

Not only water in the moulds, but water spots will also make them stick.

Leave a cocoa butter film in the moulds, this will help not only with release but shine.

Mark Heim
@Mark Heim
03/14/12 07:41:10PM
101 posts

The best way to include coffee into chocolate


Posted in: Tech Help, Tips, Tricks, & Techniques

I saw a bar at Fancy Food Show a couple years ago, made somewhere in PA, he used ground coffee, sugar, and cocoa butter, processed it like you would make chocolate, into a fine paste, then formed it into bars. Very nice work.

Mark Heim
@Mark Heim
03/14/12 07:32:30PM
101 posts

Question on using double molds


Posted in: Tech Help, Tips, Tricks, & Techniques

If it is a 3D mould, you can use it like a book mould to fill. If the filling is runny, you back off one half like its own finished piece, then turn over to adhere to the second half. If you don't need the support of the chocolate backing, make your shells but when you invert to empty, let stay inverted until it starts to set, then clean. Some will set inverted on parchment paper for cooling to insure a flat, wider edge. This will give you a thicker edge to adhere to the other half. Warm where you want the chocolate to fuse when you combine.

To do a hollow figure, as you said, put the chocolate you need in one half, seal the halves, but don't shake or you'll have nothing but bubbles. Just turn the mould in all directions so it flows everywhere. Keep turning until it sets enough to stop flowing, then cool and demould. If seasonal, you can reverse paint the inside of the mould with colored cocoa butter. Doing a hollow figure make sure the mould is no more than a few degrees cooler than your tempered chocolate, you'll need the time to get a nice even coating.

Mark Heim
@Mark Heim
03/08/12 08:38:50PM
101 posts

At what stage to add lecithin


Posted in: Tech Help, Tips, Tricks, & Techniques

As has already been noted, lecithin coats the particles so you need less cocoa butter. It also ties up the moisture in chocolate. Chocolate is usually about 1% moisture, so can make syrup once itdissolvessugar, but it's not all available for that, somebeing tied up in thefiberand such.Since it is an emulsifier, you don't want to add it until the end of your conching. Add before refining and it can help absorb moisture if the room is even a little humid. The heat from the friction in refining melts some of the sugar, making it amorphous, so it likes water, just like pulverized sugar. Then during conching one of your objectives is to remove moisture, and having the lecithin in just makes it harder.

Mark Heim
@Mark Heim
03/06/12 08:21:54PM
101 posts

Invertase


Posted in: Tech Help, Tips, Tricks, & Techniques

Invertase comes in several strengths. You only need a few tenths of a percent. The invertase will continue to invert the sucrose, increasing solubility, softening the creme. The inversion continues until the syrup phase gets to 20% moisture. Cordials become more liquid as you add more water with the fruit. As sucrose inverts, it takes up water to complete the two new saccharides. The more you use, the faster it works. But no matter how much you use, you get the same result. Reason to use as little as possible is it's expensive. But watch the temperature you add it as it is a protein and will denature with heat, making it ineffective. Once you get your technique and timing to completiondown you can add it at levels to match when you expect sales, commonly to get a head start on seasonal items.

Mark Heim
@Mark Heim
01/03/12 10:07:57PM
101 posts

Chocolates not releasing from PC molds


Posted in: Tech Help, Tips, Tricks, & Techniques

Retry warming the molds, but no where near that warm. Your fingers typically are about 92F, so if it felt warm to you they were probably warm enough to remelt the chocolate poured against them and lose your temper. The molds should be the same temperature as your tempered chocolate to about 5 degrees cooler. Molds too cold will also cause problems as the cocoa butter will set up too quickly in untempered state, before the seed crystallizes the rest as it should.

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