Forum Activity for @Lane Wigley

dsfg
@dsfg
10/23/13 07:09:10PM
31 posts

Keeping temper when melting a chocolate


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

I have some solid tempered dark chocolate that I want to use as shells for some bonbons. If I melt it carefully, should I be able to keep it in temper so I don't have to do it again? My understanding of the science says I should if I don't melt the "good" crystals, but I'd like a second opinion.

Also, if I'm using a milk chocolate as a bonbon filling, how much of a difference will it make if it's tempered or not?

I'm trying to figure out how lazy I can be and still do a good job.

Thx.


updated by @dsfg: 04/10/15 06:10:26PM
dsfg
@dsfg
03/10/13 08:57:57AM
31 posts

Saving a batch at home (doesn't temper/solidify properly)


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

Something went wrong with my current batch at home. It's a relatively large batch for me so I'm trying to rescue it. I originally used 2kg cacao liquor, 1 kg cocoa butter, and 1k sugar. It ended up very runny to the point where it wouldn't all stay in the same side of my Revolation as some would run back through the bottom. When I molded it, it just never solidified, maybe finally overnight but not in the 75 mins it normally does and definitely not tempered. I thought perhaps I had too much cocoa butter so I added in 1 kg of store-bough Callbut chocolate liquor, and then another. Still no luck, just to thin.

It's the best flavor I achieved so far so I'm really frustrated. Any ideas and can it be saved?


updated by @dsfg: 04/11/15 01:47:30AM
dsfg
@dsfg
01/14/13 10:27:28PM
31 posts

wine fridge for chocolate storage


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

It's ideal. Refrigerator is too cold and more importantly the humidity there is too high. Just give it 15 mins to get back to room temp and you're good.

dsfg
@dsfg
12/18/12 09:37:13AM
31 posts

Do I need to store my home made gianduja in the refrigerator?


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

I'm primarily worried about food safety issues. I'm also working with consistency. It was too liquid so I added white chocolate, but I added more than was needed to get the consistency I wanted. When cooled, it's about as solid as a regular milk or gianduja bar would be at room temp. At room temp, it's pretty soft.

dsfg
@dsfg
12/17/12 02:04:39PM
31 posts

Do I need to store my home made gianduja in the refrigerator?


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

I'm making gianduja for gifts. It has cacao liquor, hazelnut praline (nuts and sugar), and white chocolate (couldn't get cocoa butter on time). Do I need to store it in the refrigerator or is room temp ok? Same for what I should tell my friends. I'd think all these things can be stored at room temp on their own, but I'm not sure if that changes when the nuts are broken down or when it's all together.


updated by @dsfg: 04/16/15 05:07:41AM
dsfg
@dsfg
12/08/12 08:58:57PM
31 posts

FYI - some Chuao beans for home brewers over at Chocolate Alchemy this week


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

This stuff is hard to get...


updated by @dsfg: 04/14/15 03:57:59PM
dsfg
@dsfg
12/07/12 07:53:26PM
31 posts

Chocolate bar packaging for lazy people


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

I make bars at home for friends. I'm not sufficiently motivated to wrap them in foil. What are some alternatives? They don't need much shelf life as they get eaten pretty quickly. I'm mostly looking for something a bit nicer than the cellophane bags I started with, or possibly use the bag inside a box. I'd like something for 1.5 and 3oz bars.


updated by @dsfg: 04/19/15 12:18:04AM
dsfg
@dsfg
11/23/12 06:07:38PM
31 posts

18 tons of chocolate stolen!


Posted in: News & New Product Press

I guess this gives new meaning to "hot chocolate"

5:59PM EST November 23. 2012 -In a real-life caper that could have starredWilly Wonka, Austrian police are seeking a thief who stole 18 tons of chocolate bars and melted into thin air.

Earlier this week, a truck driver loaded 33 pallets of milk chocolate at a factory inBludenzfor a delivery in the Czech Republic, Austrian public broadcasterORFreports, according to theAssociated Press. But the license plates and paperwork for the truck and driver were forged, was discovered when the real truck showed up later, theAustrian Independentsays.

The paper says the truck was chartered fromChechnya.

"The fraudsters were very sophisticated," police said.

The news reports do not identify the producer, butSuchard, famous for itsMilkabrand, has a factory (and shop) in Bludenz.. Kraft Foods now owns the formerly Swiss

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2012/11/23/18-tons-chocolate-stolen-austria/1723445/


updated by @dsfg: 04/20/15 04:47:43PM
dsfg
@dsfg
11/24/12 08:33:43PM
31 posts

Is it worth tempering gianduja?


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

I should have mentioned, this is for making bars and not fillings. I think I'm right on the border of this batch being able to hold its shape as a bar without melting or breaking too easily. I'll try doing a temper and see if that holds better at room temperature. If not, I'll just put it in some 4oz mason jars. It's for holiday gifts.

dsfg
@dsfg
11/23/12 01:51:11PM
31 posts

Is it worth tempering gianduja?


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

Am I going to get a crystal structure with all the hazelnuts in there? They were in the conch for a few days so they are fully incorporated. I molded one that wasn't tempered and it seemed pretty much like what I'm used to. Thx.


updated by @dsfg: 04/10/15 05:49:58PM
dsfg
@dsfg
11/11/12 02:45:20PM
31 posts

Chocolate Tours in the Caribbean - NYT Article


Posted in: Travels & Adventures

That looks awesome. The hotel has a menu where every dish includes chocolate.

dsfg
@dsfg
11/10/12 08:11:46PM
31 posts

That One Bar of Chocolate


Posted in: Opinion

Good call. Cluizel makes a 5kg Villa Gracinada. That would probably last 3 weeks.

dsfg
@dsfg
11/09/12 05:19:52PM
31 posts

That One Bar of Chocolate


Posted in: Opinion

Used to be Amedei Chuao, now Pralus Chuao

dsfg
@dsfg
11/09/12 10:24:07AM
31 posts

What the Chocolate Industry Needs is A $100 Bar of Chocolate


Posted in: Opinion

It might be useful in this pursuit to have a some well presented place(s) on the Internet where consumers can learn about the chocolate world in ways that they understand the wine world. I'm not sure what the best one is today. Perhaps it could be a joint effort of this group, but it needs to be a consistent format.

- Detailed history and style of chocolate makers, bios, videos and interviews

- Detailed information about chocolate appellations (a world map would be good). I think single origin is the only way to get the prices up.

Again, the idea being to allow customers to begin to go deeper in a way that enables them to build preferences, for which they may pay more.

dsfg
@dsfg
11/06/12 01:01:46PM
31 posts

What the Chocolate Industry Needs is A $100 Bar of Chocolate


Posted in: Opinion

Cool. My first experience with high end beans was getting some nibs from Amano. I went straight from the Cuisinart to the Santha, added some vanilla and it was incredibly fruity and great all around. thanks for the link, I'll check them out.

dsfg
@dsfg
11/06/12 12:08:06AM
31 posts

What the Chocolate Industry Needs is A $100 Bar of Chocolate


Posted in: Opinion

If we look at this from the demand side, let's think about who is going to pay for a $100 bar and why? Although people for whom the difference between $10 and $100 doesn't matter may be a major part of this market and enough to sustain smaller makers, let's think about how to create that value for people for whom it represents a real buying decision (perhaps defined as needing to work more than 2 hours to afford this $100/100gram pinnacle of chocolate).

Starting with some differences between wine and chocolate. Wine has vintages which are influenced by weather and which receive ratings and reviews. I don't think many people really appreciate the difference, but they are told to by the experts so they do. Is cacao as sensitive to yearly weather variations (I don't know)?.

Wine is a social experience. While it's fun to have a chocolate tasting, I've never heard of a group of people ordering a chocolate bar at a restaurant or a bar; a chocolate menu would be cool! Wine is defined by the appellation, vineyard, and winemaker. I'm a chocolate nut and couldn't tell you the name of a single farmer, although I've seen blogs about lots of them. In wine, people pay for cachet, that's hard to do without extremely fine segmentation (think about number of wines vs. number of chocolates). I collect boxes so I could say with some confidence that I've tried about 300 different bars. I suspect there are another 300 out there if we really got into each bean for the top 20 producers. I suspect that number is at least 5000 for wines.A bottle of wine also provides a good serving for 6 people. I'm not sure 1/6 of a chocolate bar is going to cut it, although the 40g packaging might help here. I think the biggest thing is that people drink wine because it's an expected part of the dinner ritual. There's no social event that calls for chocolate (except perhaps coming over to my house)

I think you'd obviously need to expand the number of people who appreciate fine chocolate. If you don't appreciate the difference among Amano/Mast/Amedei/Cluizel/Valrhona/Pralus and the variations within their offerings then you aren't going to chase something "special". Developing a memory of what Chuao tastes like, describing that in words, and then talking about the difference between what Cecilia, Art, Pierre, and Francois do with it takes a lot of experience. Oh, we need to invent chocolate name dropping too! I recently tried the Marcolini and Amedei bars back to back and Chuao "clicked" for me. I always enjoyed it but now I can recognize it. I now have amassed 6 different Chuaos for an upcoming chocolate making party. Perhaps we should encourage that sort of tasting to enhance the focus on the origins, which can drive preferences, which can drive demand.

Another challenge is the taste bud issue. As the world converges towards an American diet, we're losing the ability to distinguish anything other than salt, sugar, fat, texture, and temperature. This may be less among the upper class we're aiming for, but it's still a problem.

Unlike wine and Scotch and caviar, chocolate is something you can make by yourself with pretty good results. I think having a friend who makes chocolate is a great way to get people into the game. I just started and for a $1000 investment and a bit of web surfing (thx Alchemy John) in equipment you can get some good results very quickly. Now if I could just find out how to get my hands on 20lb of Porcelana...

dsfg
@dsfg
10/25/12 11:10:57PM
31 posts

Care and feeding of chocolate bar molds


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

Any tips on this front? I'm using some good polycarb molds. I can get it to work, but it's a pain to get them clean. I think I was told hand washing only and to dry them right away. How hot can the water be? Seems like it's just really hard to get all the corners clean.


updated by @dsfg: 04/18/15 12:48:20PM
dsfg
@dsfg
10/24/12 09:20:54AM
31 posts

Identifying couverture chocolate


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

Tom - thanks. I think that will be useful. Unfortunately, you can't always get the fat number until you have the chocolate in hand. It would be so much easier if they broke down the cocoa solids vs. cocoa butter for chocolate that isn't intended directly for eating.

dsfg
@dsfg
10/23/12 08:36:54PM
31 posts

Identifying couverture chocolate


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


I'm trying to figure out what is and isn't couverture by looking at the labels, and I'm a bit confused. My understanding is that in general couverture chocolate has more cocoa butter which makes it easier to enrobe/cover stuff. Since the cocoa butter is part of the stated percentage of chocolate, a 70% bar and 70% couverture could be quite different with regard to cocoa mass vs. cocoa butter.

So is there some guessing involved? Is it only couverture if it says so?Are blocks and disks usually couverture? What about the 9oz baking bar at the grocery store?

For example, the Valrhona page on chocosphere has tons of items but the word couverture only occurs 9 times.

As an example, would a Manjari block 64% be the same as a Manjari 64% bar?

How much less cocoa mass and more cocoa butter is most common?

Thx.

- Lane


updated by @dsfg: 04/10/15 08:21:59PM
dsfg
@dsfg
11/21/12 05:07:06PM
31 posts

Equipment


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

I was in your shoes a few months ago so let me share some thoughts.You need to get a melanguer. I'm happy with the Santha 11 I got from chocolate alchemy. Get polycarbonate molds, the ones called "hobby molds" probably won't last a week and I can't see how you'd get air bubbles out with them. You probably want to get some cocoa butter. If you want to start very slowly, you can skip quite a few steps by buying some roasted nibs, put them in a Cuisinart and then into your melangeur without additional processing. My best batch so far was done this way (I got some Madagascar nibs from Amano so not very cost efficient). Beyond that you need a way to temper. You can learn to do it without special equipment or buy a tempering machine. This is the only mistake I feel I made. If you get a tempering machine, spend the extra money for the one that's 6 lbs or 6 kgs or whatever. The Revolation is just too small to handle a full load from the Santha, probably would take 10 cycles.

Good luck.

dsfg
@dsfg
11/24/12 08:32:04PM
31 posts

Gianduja at home


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

Thanks Patti. I did this and it still was a nightmare to husk them all (but better than other ways). I'm going to buy paste next time. I used 7 cups of hazelnuts. It tastes wonderful, but what a pain.

dsfg
@dsfg
10/22/12 05:43:12PM
31 posts

Gianduja at home


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

I forgot to ask, what's a reasonable range of chocolate to nuts? Can I do it without any milk powder or should I do at least a bit?

dsfg
@dsfg
10/21/12 05:09:20PM
31 posts

Gianduja at home


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

What's the best way to de-hull?

dsfg
@dsfg
10/20/12 08:04:51PM
31 posts

Gianduja at home


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

I'm assuming that if I put the hazelnuts through a food processor first the Santha should be able to take it from there. I wouldn't think I'd need to buy paste. Make sense?

dsfg
@dsfg
10/20/12 09:37:38AM
31 posts

Gianduja at home


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

such as: when to add the hazelnuts, anything different about tempering, molding, etc

dsfg
@dsfg
10/20/12 09:36:58AM
31 posts

Gianduja at home


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

Any tips for making Gianduja at home? I'm interested in getting something like the dark gianduja that Domori makes.


updated by @dsfg: 04/10/15 07:24:14AM
dsfg
@dsfg
09/23/12 07:33:00PM
31 posts

Time in Melangeur and storage


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

If I do a 1 lb batch of chocolate at home with 10 hours in the melangeur (Santha) and then do everything the same except a 3lb batch. Would the same time in the machine produce consistent results or do I need to adjust for the batch size?

Also, are there any issues in storing cocoa liquor? It takes such a long time to clean the equipment I'm using that it seems like a too process a lot of beans at the same time. For liquor and chocolate in general, are plastic containers ok or would metal be better?

- Lane


updated by @dsfg: 05/14/15 11:03:33PM
dsfg
@dsfg
11/08/12 08:21:19PM
31 posts

Lactose added separately to Milk Chocolate?


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

FYI French Broad Chocolate makes a 45% milk malt bar. It's quite addictive

dsfg
@dsfg
11/06/12 04:17:15PM
31 posts

Pralus Chuao - a stylistic discussion


Posted in: Tasting Notes

Just tried it for the first time. Holy crap it's amazing. So dark but still can tell it's Chuao. Wow!

dsfg
@dsfg
11/21/12 05:00:29PM
31 posts

How Are You Making These Holidays Special with Chocolate?


Posted in: Tasting Notes

When I got my chocolate gear 3 months ago, I thought it would be a mostly solitary endeavor with the exception of all the happy recipients of free chocolate. But, several of my friends showed quite a bit of enthusiasm in having a chocolate making party and it was awesome.

My next project is going to be the gianduja I was asking for advice on a few months back.

- Lane

dsfg
@dsfg
12/01/12 10:10:05AM
31 posts

chocolate tempering machines


Posted in: Opinion

I got the Revolation one and don't like it at all. I should have understood the capacity better, that's my fault. The parts I'm frustrated with are that is has a small transparent piece that's very easy to lose. It has a bar going across the top with two tiny pins that connect into the machine. They bend all the time and I suspect they will break soon. Beyond that, it's just flimsy. Thinking about the components of this machine, I'd have expected it to cost around $60 dollars.