Forum Activity for @Mark Heim

Mark Heim
@Mark Heim
12/17/11 03:05:49PM
101 posts

Toffee troubles


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

The temperature you cook to will determine flavor and color. Once over 300F you are down under 3% moisture.

Doctor solids are anything dissolved in the water that isn't sucrose. This typically includes glucose syrups, invert syrup, salts, proteins, etc. They affect cook temperatures, browning rate, inversion, but are primarily used to controlsucrose crystallization, and give final desired texture and shelf life.

The added water affects more caramelization, not burning.

Rate of cooling primarily affects caramelization.

Humidity is a big factor. Once the toffee cools, it will begin to absorb moisture from the air. Needs to be below 45%RH, but below 35%RH is ideal. The sugar is in its amorphous, or glass, form rather than crystal, or solid.

Boiling the sugar and butter first is common practice. Add the sugar while stirring, and once all in, the sugar should be all in solution about the temperature it begins a full rolling boil, somewhere near 225-230F depending on the amount of water you use. A rule of thumb is the water should be a third the weight of the sucrose. Once boiling wash any crystals off the side of the pot, andyou can remove from heatto check clarity on the side of a metal spatula, just note the difference between crystals and bubbles, you can feel the crystals. You may need to wash down the sides a few times through the cook.

Reducing the heatas you near the finish helpsprevent burning.

Mark Heim
@Mark Heim
12/17/11 01:11:17AM
101 posts

Question about grinding and conching


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

Traditionally chocolate was conched for 72 hours. If you continue to conch, I've tried for 5 days, the flavor continues to change, developing some very nice notes. The rate of change starts to plateau outin 72 hrs, why it was how long tradition did it. Try a batch, pulling once a day for the 5 days. You'll be amazed. It comes down to your desired taste, versus how long you can afford to do it.

Mark Heim
@Mark Heim
12/17/11 01:06:01AM
101 posts

Toffee troubles


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

Make sure that when you start boiling the sugar that all of it is completly in solution. Wash down the sides with a brush and water, but make sure it's all dissolved. The reason it seems to separate at about 250 - 255F is that that's the point that the saturation and boiling curves intersect. If you still have crystals there, especially not using any doctor solids, the sugar will continue to crystalize out to thesaturation point of the curve, giving you the fudge like texture. Adding water can help redissolve but the additional time held hot will increase your inversion level,with enoughresulting in a stickier, darker piece with increased bitterness from the new compounds formed. Also once above the above temperatures, since the syrup is supersaturated, minimal shear will help prevent crystallization. I typically don't stirr at all, using reduced heat to prevent burning.

Mark Heim
@Mark Heim
12/02/11 11:42:29PM
101 posts

Caramel recipes and chocolate


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

Caramelization of sugar and of milk are two completely different things. Caramelization of sugar is a breakdown of the sugars, producing several new compounds that produce the brown color and it's flavor. With milk it's a Malliard reaction between the milk proteins and the reducing sugars (glucose, lactose, maltose..... but not sucrose). With milk the flavor and color are controlled by time, temperature, and pH. So even if you cook to the same temperature, but one batch taking longer than the other will give two different color/flavored caramels. Even changes in the water you use can make changes (pH, hardness...)

As far as recipes, there are hundreds. It's all a matter of what you want in color, flavor, and texture. Milk caramels are usually not colored by caramelized sugars as the temperature doesn't get high enough. Sugar will start caramelizing over 300F and developing a nice flavor about 345F. Much over that you start forming compounds (HMF) that give strong bitter notes.

Mark Heim
@Mark Heim
11/30/11 09:52:11PM
101 posts

Chocolate sides caving in?


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

Look at the moisture level and the sugar types and levels.If the water isn't tied up enough by the sugars it will easily migrate into the chocolate, making the chocolate soft, and the center will shrink and firm up. How the chocolate is standardized to viscosityalsoinfluences how fast the migration occurs.

Mark Heim
@Mark Heim
11/29/11 08:14:55PM
101 posts

Praline fillings


Posted in: Recipes

Easy way is to start with a basic fondant, then make a bob or thinning syrup of sucrose and glucose syrup at a level and ratio to make the creme thin enough to use and give you the final texture you're looking for. Starting with a basic fondant or better yet making your own(its own topic)will give you a much smaller crystal andsmoother/creamier texture. Most basic fondant is an S-10 type, meaning 10 parts glucose syrup solids to 100 parts sucrose.You can hold the basic fondant for weeks, just using as needed with the thinning syrup, saving a lot of time in production. If you need to lighten the texture and reduce sweetnesss you can add a frappe.

Mark Heim
@Mark Heim
10/28/11 10:47:09PM
101 posts

Pectin


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

Pectin is a unique gelling agent and is perfect for fruit since it uses acid to set, where most other gelling agentsused (gelatin, starch, agar,...) do not tolerate acidity well, and it has a very clean flavor profile. A high methoxyl (or HM) pectin is common for jellies, and is available in a range of DE (degree of esterification). The set is affected by solids level, but once you add the acid source, your time to deposit is limited before it begins to pre-gel. Acidifying to a pH of 3.1 will bring on a very rapid set, and a pH of 3.5 will be longer to set. When purchasing pectin ask if it has already been buffered. This helps slow the set. If not you can add your own, usually the buffer salt of the acid you use. So for citric acid, you add sodium citrate.

Many feel a citrus pectin is cleaner than apple. The level of pectin you use will vary depending on the type and level of fruit you use, as some already contain protopectins.

Mark Heim
@Mark Heim
10/28/11 10:33:23PM
101 posts

Making bark with a tempering machine


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

Take the bloomed bark, warm it back up to melt out the chocolate, sieve it to get out the inclusions, and use the chocolate you've collected. Just watch for any needed changes in temper if you get enough oils from nuts or other sources.
Mark Heim
@Mark Heim
10/10/11 08:00:08PM
101 posts

Dipping cold centers


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

I've used Clay's snobinettes technique for years, but wrap the plastic around soft foam rubber fingers, I cut them to size and shape. They collapse easily making it easy to remove. Also, if you want high gloss on the surface, dip the plastic wrapped cork or foam as described, then loosely wrap again with more plastic.

Mark Heim
@Mark Heim
10/07/11 09:39:55AM
101 posts

painting solid chocolate...


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

Yes, you can airbrush the colored cocoa butter on the demoulded pieces. Using a brush can be done too but you can't apply it toothick, and is really best for fine detailing as you get brush strokes. Just be sure of your temper. You can also control where you airbrush by spraying through a template you can cut out of paper.

Mark Heim
@Mark Heim
09/28/11 09:42:37PM
101 posts

Dipped ginger-infused truffles cracking or streaking


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

Watch the time you roll the truffles in hand with chocolate. Temperature of your hands at the surface are 92F+ and you can untemper the chocolate. When you then dip again, it can soften and blend with the untempered first coat. Also watch the temperature of the centers, if too cold you can get streaks as you no longer control crystallization.Try rolling on parchment paper in chocolate. The paper on wood or styrofoam sheet keeps it from cooling too quickly.
Mark Heim
@Mark Heim
09/28/11 09:30:05PM
101 posts

Keeping chocolate in temper


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

A technique that works well for me is as you use up the chocolate, replace it with untempered paste. I add chocolate at 40C (104F). I will add it until the chocolate is back up to tempering temperature. But if you're not using up enough chocolate when dipping, you may not be able to add enough to bring the temp up enough. Since thickening is often overtempering, where your percentage of crystal is too high, adding untempered chocolate helps bring the percentage back to where it should be. After getting used to how it works it's a big help.

Mark Heim
@Mark Heim
09/24/11 01:10:29PM
101 posts

Fondant creamer


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

To get your smallest crystal (smoothest texture) allow your syrup to cool evenly with no agitation. I spread on a marble slab inside framing bars to about a quarter inch thick with a thermometer in the layer. You can get some crystals forming early on the surface but a light water misting gets them back into solution. Once to target temperature you can beat it on the slab with scrapers, or in a hobart bowl, but watch how much is in the bowl, it gets very thick. Once it crystallizes I put it into a plastic bag and knead it to break the crystal bridging, seal out air, and let it mature. If you can keep the slab warm while beating it only takes 2-3 minutes, and if you add some other fondant as seed even less time.
Mark Heim
@Mark Heim
09/04/11 04:20:30PM
101 posts

Using Coating


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

The melt down and flavor release properties of cocoa butter are unique. Changing to other fats in compound coatingschange the melting profile, and how it will taste. There are tempering coatings that are an improvement, cost more than those not needing temper, but cheaper than cocoa butter.
Mark Heim
@Mark Heim
09/02/11 11:46:14PM
101 posts

Dipping Chocolates


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

Look for a lower % cocoa butter chocolate, ask for it from your supplier, or if looking for higher quality, a similar % cocoa butter in whatyou're using now but withoutthe emulsifier such as lecithin. Look at the viscosity given for your paste andrequest a higher one.

Water brings on problems with howthe chocolate melts downin the mouth and texturewhen eaten.Water can absorb up to twice its weight in the sugars, making a syrup, and the sugars can crystalize to larger and larger sizes over time making it gritty.

Mark Heim
@Mark Heim
07/29/11 09:00:31AM
101 posts

Adventures with Colored Cocoa Butter


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

Along with watching the temper of your cocoa butter, also look at the temperature of your molds. Try to warm them up to within adegrees or two of your temper. If too cold, even a good temper can be ruined, especially since you have a thin coat.

When tempering cocoa butter watch the temperature. For chocolates, rule of thumb is the more other fats/oils in the chocolate, the lower the tempering temperature, with dark being higher than milk, and milk higher than white. A gianduja tempers down to room temp. You would think then that pure cocoa butter would be the highest, but it's lower. Reason here isyou can't just look at the fat(s) in your system, but other solids. With pure cocoa butter you don't have the sugar/cocoa particulates to help induce seeding.

I've had a lot of luck using your "shake it in the bottle" tempering. I warm the bottle in hot water until about half is melted. This works better than a microwave since hot water melts outside to in, leaving center cool and hard.I getthe melted portionto about 105F, but stillthat solid center. Then I shake it until the solid center cools down the melted portion to tempering temp. The seed coming from the unmelted center. Didn't take much practice to get it working consistent.

Mark Heim
@Mark Heim
06/30/11 07:44:58AM
101 posts

Mycryo Powder


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

The Mycryo powder is a type 6 cocoa butter crystal. Instead of tempering by traditional methods to develop 3-7% type 5 crystal, you just add the powder as the crystal needed.Many times stays as small lumps that can be dispersed with an immersion blender This is because the type 6 crystal has a higher melt point than you use in chocolate tempering to form the type 5. However this is an expensive way to go and not recommended for regular use. It adds more cocoa butter to your chocolate, changing its flow properties, and if reused you just keep adding more cocoa butter. The powder is more for a quick and dirty way to temper a little chocolate, but not recommended for larger batches. The biggest downside is it doesn't help you learn to temper as you normally would. They use the powder as much for glazing meats and vegetables with spices as for chocolate. There are many sites to learn how to temper chocolate. Ask 10 people and you'll get 12 ways to do it. Find one you're comfortable using based on how much you're tempering, play with it and you'll have your own way.
Mark Heim
@Mark Heim
06/27/11 07:37:25PM
101 posts

Barry Callebaut hard coatings


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

A key difference between cocoa butter and compound coatings aside from temper - no temper, is compound coatings do better if chilled faster than you would chocolate. Probably why Callebaut recommended freezing the centers. I've had good luck with ambient centers and fast cooling. Another reason for the matt finish could be the coating itself. Did the block or pieces you received have a good shine? Try some in a mold, where you get the best shine compared to enrobing/dipping, and if still a matt finish after cooling quickly, try a different coating.
Mark Heim
@Mark Heim
06/02/11 09:57:45PM
101 posts

Lecithin substitute


Posted in: Opinion

Lecithin will allow you to use less cocoa butter in your recipe, thinning itto get the flow properties you need for your use. It affects yield value a little more than viscosity, but overall more fluid rheology. It does have emulsification properties, and there is water in chocolate. Most chocolatespecifications call for less than 1-1.5% moisture, but it's there. The refining process generates heat, and some of the sugar becomes amorphous and will draw water from the air, the same thing is seen when you make confectioners sugar where you need a little starch to keep it free flowing. This moisture is emulsified by the lecithin. The lecithin has a polar and non polar portion of the molecule, the non polar portion extends into the fat, the polar portion into the moisture, usually on the surface of the sugar. If lecithin was simply a lubricant it would not start thickening the chocolate when you use too much, even tenths of a percent too much. It's not necessary but chocolate without it has higher cocoa butter levels compared to chocolate with, madeto similar rheology. The use of PGPR is becomming more common, but does not work very well if not with lecithin. Both thin the chocolate to let you use less cocoa butter, an expensive ingredient.
Mark Heim
@Mark Heim
05/25/11 10:24:56PM
101 posts

can unsweetened baking chocolate be used for tempering?


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

You can temper unsweetened chocolate. When you purchase the bars, they're tempered. When blending chocolates, especially adding cocoa powder look for a change in percent cocoa butter of your new blend. This will have a significant affect on the chocolate from processing to eating quality.
Mark Heim
@Mark Heim
12/08/10 09:40:36PM
101 posts

Why does chocolate overcrystalize


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

The final temperature for tempering a chocolate is the point where the unstable crystals would be melted out. Best for the betas you want. But as mentioned by Gap, they continue to multiply. Taking you far above the 2-3% target of crystal fraction. Reheating is tricky and not a long term solution, just a quick fix for that last mold or two.Easier to temper just what you need, then add chocolate that was just taken down from 110-120F full melt to a couple degrees above temper and add it to the tempered paste to thin it back out. You need to find the point where you match your usage rate to the amount of chocolate always tempered, to the rate you can add new paste. With some practice you get a rhythm down that works. But equipment the wrong size put limits on.If you're just looking for a little more time each tempered batch, when you're tempered, hold a degree or two high with no mixing, just an occasional good stir to make sure temp is even throughout the mass. Mixing produces shear, promoting crystallization.
Mark Heim
@Mark Heim
11/02/10 06:55:24PM
101 posts

Chocolate class


Posted in: News & New Product Press

Best way I've found, make the samples for your own practice, and see what you comfortably needed.
Mark Heim
@Mark Heim
09/28/10 09:17:37PM
101 posts

Precoating Chocolate


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

Doing a double dip will help with slowing down oil migration into the shell, softening it.
Mark Heim
@Mark Heim
09/24/10 12:25:16PM
101 posts

I ‘d love your comments and feedback on Chocolate Mold designs


Posted in: Opinion

An additional item to consider is the angle of the sides. If you look at a cross section, the sides should have at least a 15 degree angle to them, never straight vertical.
Mark Heim
@Mark Heim
09/09/10 09:04:06PM
101 posts

blending couverture


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

Easy would be to just mix the blend to taste, then temper the blend. The temperature to temper to will depend on the amount of milk fat. So a blend of dark and milk will temper between either, same dark/white, or milk/white. You have to deal with the same thing with different milk chocolates tempering at different temperatures.
Mark Heim
@Mark Heim
08/06/10 12:36:06PM
101 posts

Has anyone attempted flavoring their chocolates with beer?


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

There are a couple web sites that talk about beer and chocolate pairing. Use their recommendations, and since the beer is reduced, you don't need much. Add a little at a time until it is just above threshold levels with flavor. An alternative would be to make the fondant creme. Depending on the desired finished texture you would use the beer in the bob syrup to dilute and soften the fondant. Bob syrup recipe would determine if it would be extruded, cast, or deposited into shells. Just have fun with it and enjoy. Keep us posted as to how it works.
Mark Heim
@Mark Heim
08/05/10 03:47:38PM
101 posts

understanding the chemistry...


Posted in: News & New Product Press

An acid will remove the rust, reduce vs oxidize. If just light surface rust vinegar will help. If more than that try navel jelly, a gelled sulfuric acid. However any pitting from the rust will be there no matter what.
Mark Heim
@Mark Heim
08/05/10 03:44:58PM
101 posts

Has anyone attempted flavoring their chocolates with beer?


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

Try the reduction, it works nicely making a beer brittle. The sugar offsets the bitterness.
Mark Heim
@Mark Heim
08/05/10 03:42:36PM
101 posts

Fresh cacao pods hooray, but what to do?


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

To preserve the pods with the color...Drill a small hole into the pod, then freeze dry it. I have pods that are 5-7 years old and still look great. Once dried, we shellac the surface and put a small rubber plug into the hole.
Mark Heim
@Mark Heim
05/07/10 08:26:52AM
101 posts

Chocolate without Soy Products


Posted in: News & New Product Press

There are makers who use PGPR (polyglycerol polyricinoleate) instead of lecithin. Usually from castor beans.
Mark Heim
@Mark Heim
05/05/10 08:12:23PM
101 posts

rich creamy fillings without the cream


Posted in: Opinion

Any soft fat or many oils can be used, just watch the flavor they bring. Also consider a nut praline to make a gianduja. They are especially nice with other brown flavors.
Mark Heim
@Mark Heim
05/04/10 09:53:43PM
101 posts

Tempering Raw Chocolate


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

To make a solid bar, you're not going to be able to do any worthwhile tempering if there is moisture in it. Raw beans, even sun dried, still have enough water to give problems. You want to be below 1%, maybe 1.25% moisture. The roasting process is what gets the rest of the water out.
Mark Heim
@Mark Heim
03/05/10 08:25:51PM
101 posts

Chocolate Panning, process and equipment


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

The PMCA offers a nice panning course, covers hard, soft, and chocolate panning. Think too of a pan you can also hot pan with. Similar pan but with gas burner under to caramelize sugar around the nuts. Add a variety of seasonings and you can offer a nice seasonal variety. But then you can also season the chocolate. For chocolate, think of a cool/dry air source. Portable coolers work nice but overall warm the room so not good for continuous use. Just blowing ambient air will work if cool/dry enough, but you lose some control, especially if you're looking to add color for marbling or speckling.Good luck with whatever you choose.
Mark Heim
@Mark Heim
02/19/10 07:03:48PM
101 posts

alternative sweeteners ...


Posted in: Recipes

A common objection to using xylitol is the cooling effect due to the high negative heat of solution.
Mark Heim
@Mark Heim
02/16/10 07:50:36PM
101 posts

Best White Choc. for Hand-rolled Truffles/Effects of Cocoa Butter Content on Viscosity


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

A ganache is an oil in water emulsion. The fat, from cocoa butter or milk will be as dispersed globules in the continuous water phase. So the greatest affect on the rheology will be what is in the water phase, and how much there is. Imagine sand in water, more sand or less water thickens it.The blend of fats though will also have an effect, but much less. With more milk fat the fat globules will be softer, giving less stand up or firmness. But the water phase and what's dissolved in it has the greatest influence.
Mark Heim
@Mark Heim
02/04/10 08:36:47PM
101 posts

Dealing with mold release marks


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

Don't just look at the molds. A thin vacuum formed mold like that is affected faster by room and table surface temperatures. If you have the molds on a cold surface the chocolate can crystalize too quickly, forming unstable crystals. Try making sure the molds and table surface is slightly warm. Also, if placed in cooling that works for polycarbonate, it may be allowing the bar to set up too quickly. Bottom line, make sure you're not cooling the bar or surface too quickly.
Mark Heim
@Mark Heim
01/20/10 06:31:21PM
101 posts

Crystalization of sugar


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

To get smaller sugar crystallization, the cooler the better, the recommended 100F will help. Also the more shear you can give it, the smaller the crystals will be, so when you beat it, put as much into it as you can, tabling like you would for tempering chocolate works nice or in a planetary mixer but watch the strain on the motor. The temperature you pour it for slabs will make it firmer or softer due to the level of sucrose still in solution and the bridging affect with further crystallization after setting.If you add additional glucose syrup you will increase the syrup phase, making the fudge softer and stickier. The polysaccharides in the syrup will make the fudge less tender. The advantage is with increased shelf life.
Mark Heim
@Mark Heim
01/03/10 08:04:31PM
101 posts

General Tempering Question


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

Are you using the chocolate to tablet or to enrobe?
Mark Heim
@Mark Heim
12/15/09 08:34:13PM
101 posts

chocolate tempering machines


Posted in: Opinion

I use the ACMC for personal use, holds a nice charge of chocolate. Oh, it does have a fan for the cooling stage. And 2 100w bulbs for heat. Simple, and stands up to a good bit of abuse.
Mark Heim
@Mark Heim
12/10/09 06:24:58PM
101 posts

Has anyone used an air compressor from Chef Rubber?


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

Talk to them first, I've found them helpful. Depending on what you will spray (water based colors, colored cocoa butter, chocolate) you will have increasing demands on the pressure needed and the type of airbrush that will work.
Mark Heim
@Mark Heim
11/20/09 06:24:21PM
101 posts

longevity, how to make your chocolates last longer.


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

There are 2 primary ways to extend shelf life, reduce the water activity, or with cold storage. Common way to reduce water activity is to add a corn/glucose syrup, invert syrup, sorbitol, or glycerol. Each have their advantages and disadvantages, but all are considered to compromise flavor and/or texture, some more than others. Cold storage will work, just be carefull in how you warm up your pieces from the fridge or freezer to prevent sugar bloom from condensation.
Mark Heim
@Mark Heim
11/13/09 07:33:52PM
101 posts

Alcohol in Chocolates


Posted in: Recipes

I make them only for gifts and to bring to holiday gatherings. Something they can't easily find and something special they come to look forward to over the holidays.
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