Forum Activity for @Gap

Gap
@Gap
03/06/17 12:05:00AM
182 posts

How to make chocolate "softer"


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

That's true Sebastian Happy

To crackedcitrine - I would recommend trying it as a side by side comparison next time you're making a batch. When you're done grinding the chocolate, take half out and add 3-4% milk fat to the other half and continue grinding for 20-30 minutes. Mould the two batches up and taste them side by side.

Gap
@Gap
03/03/17 03:50:48PM
182 posts

How to make chocolate "softer"


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

This is geared completely to dark chocolate. I use a commercially made ghee that is 99.9% fat. 

Gap
@Gap
03/02/17 07:44:48PM
182 posts

How to make chocolate "softer"


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

It's a bit intimidating after that comment from Sebastian, but . . .

I would suggest adding some anhydrous milk fat (AMF). Adding 2% will start to soften the chocolate, but 4% may be necessary. 

If you don't have access to AMF (it can be tricky to get hold of) you can substitute ghee (often available from supermarkets or Indian grocers).


updated by @Gap: 03/02/17 10:49:12PM
Gap
@Gap
07/25/16 01:09:08AM
182 posts

Aging chocolate - what is the real taste of my chocolate?


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

Thanks Sebastian - that's really interesting given what we see a lot of the "larger" small-batch bean to bar makers do.

Gap
@Gap
07/20/16 05:34:24PM
182 posts

Aging chocolate - what is the real taste of my chocolate?


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

Based on the above Sebastian, is it fair to say that chocolate should be "aged" in a tempered & moulded state?

I see a lot of people ageing their chocolate straight from the grinding/refining/conching machine in a large tub in an untempered state. But based on the above, when they melt it all to temper and mould it, wouldn't that re-liquefy the ccb and restart some form of ageing process as it solidifies again in its now tempered/moulded state?


updated by @Gap: 07/21/16 01:47:05AM
Gap
@Gap
06/06/16 12:46:36AM
182 posts

Identifying couverture chocolate


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

Based on your recipe and assuming 50% ccb in your liquor, your fat content would be 0.5 * 56% + 14% = 42% total fat. This is quite high and might actually be higher than a commercial couverture depending on what she is using . . . there might actually be more cocoa butter in your chocolate than her current couverture. Of course, you will have a different manufacturing technique (different roasting, refining and conching etc) which can all affect the final product. Also, you don't seem to have lecithin which the commercial product probably does.

It is possible to approximate the commercial couverture recipe assuming we're only talking about dark chocolate/couverture? Does her current couverture have a nutritional label with fat (in grams) per 100 grams of product? In Australia, we have that on the nutritional labels and that combined with the cocoa solids % of the chocolate will let you estimate the recipe for the chocolate. An example is (apologies for all the maths, but it's the only way I can think to try and replicate her exact couverture):

Assume at 70% chocolate/couverture that has 39g of fat per 100g serving size (so 39% Total Fat)

You also have to make an assumption about what % of the liquor is cocoa butter: I will assume 51% of the liquor is ccb.

So;

From the cocoa solids = 70%, we know [1][Liquor + CCB = 70%]

And from Total Fat = 39%, we know [2][51% x Liquor + CCB = 39%]

From the first equation: CCB = 70% - Liquor

Substitute that into the second equation 51% x Liquor + 70% - Liquor = 39%

Re-arrange to get Liquor = 63.27%

Therefore, CCB = 6.73%

So the chocolates recipe is estimated as:

Nibs/Liquor   63.27%

CCB   6.73%

Sugar  29.6%

Lecithin  0.4% (most commercial couvertures use lecithin)

We can check the recipe by using the first two equations above:

1: 63.27%+6.73% = 70% cocoa content

2. 51% x 63.27% + 6.73% = 39% total fat content

Gap
@Gap
06/05/16 10:13:55PM
182 posts

Identifying couverture chocolate


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

RawChocolateLife:

That can't be right though because then by that definition all chocolate made with liquor is also called couverture. 

I disagree. What about a chocolate made with 50% liquor and 50% sugar. That would have ~25% cocoa butter which would not meet the EU minimum of 31% (I'm basing that 31% on a quick look at the Wikipedia page linked above for chocolate standards, I haven't checked its up-to-date) - note, different countries have different standards as well.

RawChocolateLife:

couverture is supposed to be more rich than just plain liquor on its own.

Once again, I disagree. Couverture is supposed to have more cocoa butter than regular eating chocolate. Basically that makes it easier to work with when making moulded chocolates or dipped chocolates. 

I think the Wikipedia page linked above gives a good illustration (although I'm not sure if it is the latest in standards). For EU standards, both chocolate and couverture chocolate must have 35%+ total dry cocoa solids. But chocolate need only have 18%+ cocoa butter, whereas couverture must have 31%+ cocoa butter.


updated by @Gap: 06/05/16 10:18:21PM
Gap
@Gap
06/05/16 06:50:20PM
182 posts

Identifying couverture chocolate


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

Don't forget liquor has cocoa butter in it (anywhere from 47-56%). If we assume the liquor is 50% cocoa butter then, as an example,

70% chocolate made up of 60% liquor + 10% cocoa butter

Total cocoa butter = 60% x 50% + 10% = 40% total cocoa butter in the chocolate

OR

70% chocolate made up of 65% liquor + 5% cocoa butter

Total cocoa butter = 65% x 50% + 5% = 37.5% total cocoa butter in the chocolate


updated by @Gap: 06/05/16 06:51:30PM
Gap
@Gap
05/29/16 10:46:33PM
182 posts

Santha Melangeurs


Posted in: Geek Gear - Cool Tools

I don't know about larger machines, but if you like the Premiers, there are these versions which have been "upgraded" specifically for chocolate making:

http://indichocolate.com/products/chocolate-refiner?variant=7781420993

Chat to them about gears etc as well - I think they have improved gears and belts for the standard Premiers.

Gap
@Gap
04/29/16 05:32:33AM
182 posts

How does additional fat/non fat ingredients affect tempering?


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

Adding fats generally softens the chocolate. You work out the % of fat based on weight.

For instance, if your formula has 10% full fat milk powder (assume 26% fat content), then the milk fat in your formula = 10% x 26% = 2.6% milk fat.

In terms of non-fats and tempering: I don't think non-fat ingredients (eg., skim milk powder) would affect tempering. I imagine it as a solid-type ingredient that just displaces sugar in your formula and gets ground up/refined with all of your other ingredients. This is just a hypothesis from my side, I've no testing or evidence to back it up.

If you want to sell your product and call it chocolate, there may well be limits to what additional fats and non-fats you can use and how much of them you can use.

In terms of other fats, I haven't used them. I would expect them to soften chocolate. I'm not sure how much, say, vegetable fat, you can add to normal chocolate before you turn it into compound chocolate. Most things I've read suggest 4-5% before you start affecting your ability to temper, but this probably differs based on the fat you are using. And as mentioned above, I think some fats can't be added to chocolate if you want to sell it as chocolate.

For some reason I have in my head that, as a rule of thumb, you should try and keep the additional milk fat from milk powder to <15% of total fat (ie., total fat = cocoa butter + additional fat) to minimise any problems with tempering. I'm sure that isn't a hard rule and depends on what type of milk powder you're adding, but it might give you a starting point for testing. So for a 40% fat chocolate, that would give an upper limit of 6% (40% x 15%) milk fat. If your milk powder was 26%, then the milk powder in your recipe would have an upper limit of 6%/26% = 23% milk powder by weight in the total formula.

When I have made milk chocolate, I have added ~5% milkfat but have taken it as high as 6.5% - it depends what you're after from your milk chocolate. 


updated by @Gap: 04/29/16 05:46:24AM
Gap
@Gap
03/20/16 04:41:58PM
182 posts

Getting Strong Ganache Flavor and Shelf Life


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

I remember in one of my courses doing a raspberry pate-de-fruit and letting it set in frames. Then blitz it in the robot coupe with a little raspberry liqueur to help loosen the texture and make it pipeable. I'm not sure alcohol has much impact on the aW value, but it does help to extend shelf life. Alcohol in your chocolates can also be an issue in some parts of the world (local regulations etc).


updated by @Gap: 03/20/16 04:42:25PM
Gap
@Gap
03/16/16 11:33:58PM
182 posts

Which cocoa bean roaster to consider?


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

I'm interested to hear as well. I have access to a Unox, so I'd like to hear practical experience others have had with it.

Gap
@Gap
03/10/16 03:31:10PM
182 posts

Tempering


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

I think that's more a question of you working out your budget, your production schedule and then seeing what equipment you need (to produce at capacity) and what you can afford.

Sorry I couldn't be more help.

Gap
@Gap
03/09/16 03:27:56PM
182 posts

Tempering


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

All tanks are the same - the tricky part in using them is when there is only a small amount of chocolate in the bottom.

I often start with 2kg in a 6kg tank. That's easy enough to work with. The tricky part is when you start your moulding and you get down to the last 500-750g. At that point I often hold one end of the tank up so that the chocolate pools at one end. Alternatively, lift the pan out of the tank and simply pour the remaining chocolate into waiting moulds.

Gap
@Gap
02/29/16 10:30:28PM
182 posts

Which cocoa bean roaster to consider?


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

Sebastian: Actually, to amend my previous statement, there ARE very good references for small producers on roasting, he's just not written a book yet ;-)

What a book it would be if he did!!

Gap
@Gap
02/23/16 04:00:28PM
182 posts

Looking for the smallest R&D fully automatic (seedless) tempering machine/solution


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

Good job - looks great. Tempering is all about practice and learning to see when the chocolate is doing what it should be. 

If you happen to run into trouble in the future, you could always try and find a local chocolatier and pay them for a 2-hour tutorial (seeing it "hands on" is sometimes useful).

Edit to add: I notice you do a lot of two ingredient chocolate (no added ccb or lecithin). You might find these don't look/feel the same as chocolate that does have those ingredients when tempering. In particular, it tends to be thicker while working on the table.


updated by @Gap: 02/23/16 04:03:27PM
Gap
@Gap
02/22/16 03:29:44PM
182 posts

Looking for the smallest R&D fully automatic (seedless) tempering machine/solution


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

Two thoughts:

1. Are you not able to table/hand temper? I can temper 3kg of chocolate in 5-10 minutes and then dump it into a holding tank at working temperature (eg., a Mol d'Art) to mould. By far the cheapest option and it is quick.

2. Couldn't you just adjust your chocolate formula so that when you add 1% ccb from the EZTemper, it all balances out to the exact percentages you want?

Gap
@Gap
02/12/16 05:53:29PM
182 posts

Premier Wonder Grinder Help


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

That's interesting. My machine runs with the chocolate temperature at 47C initially (1-2kg batch) and comes down to 43C when everything is more refined - which is about 12 hours in. This is with a room temperature of approximately 25C. Your batch size maybe looks a little larger, but that's still a large difference.

We've never had a machine running with the chocolate temperature over 50C (either Santha or Premier).

All I can think of is trying to lube the inside of the wheels/shaft with some ccb as mentioned above.

Gap
@Gap
02/12/16 05:38:10PM
182 posts

Premier Wonder Grinder Help


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

Yep, I've been told that 60C (maybe 65C by some people) is the upper end of what the epoxies can handle. Personally, when running a "heated" grind, I never take it over 57C.

I have previously run at 60C a couple of times and had the central shaft in the bowl start turning while still "glued" in place.

In terms of machine relaibility, I've used up to 5 Santhas and 4 Premiers in different settings. You may be surprised how UNstandardised these models are. It seems like each time they do a production run, the manufacturers change some aspect of the machine. In my own experience, the Premier Wonder grinders have been better than the Santhas, but both have had issues. I think its really idiosyncratic to themachine you get - some are better than others and it almost seems to be manufacturer independent.

Gap
@Gap
01/26/16 01:32:08AM
182 posts

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


Posted in: Opinion

Does this count? Total weight 105g for $100

https://www.c-spot.com/shop/chocolate/heirloom-chocolate-series/

From C-Spot new website:

Product Description


7 tasting tablets, 15 grams each, of the officially designated Heirloom Chocolate Series

HCP (Heirloom Cacao Preservation) in partnership with the USDA is the first and only to map the world of hi-flavor cacao. In caring for these special trees, HCP faces down the specter of a world in a which chocolate stands for nothing but the color of brown.


updated by @Gap: 01/26/16 01:33:43AM
Gap
@Gap
01/11/16 10:49:26PM
182 posts

what machine is this?


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

I agree with Sebastian. A good stick blender (I paid $50 for mine) can give you a wonderfully smooth ganache (and I've eaten more than my fair share of Parisian chocolates)

Gap
@Gap
12/01/15 04:47:13PM
182 posts

Anyone used the Olde Tyme peanut butter mill to make pnut butter?


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

Sebastian - I sure you'd have thought of this already and have your reasons for not doing it, but I'm interested why you wouldn't use a cheap food processor to grind the nuts and then drop them in a Premier Wonder Grinder for a couple of hours? I do it all the time with pistachio, hazelnuts and almonds and haven't had a problem. I've made pure nut pastes and also 60/40 praline pastes (without caramelising the sugar). Seems much cheaper.

Edited to add: I think you make a bit of chocolate yourself as well. The Champion Juicer (if you use it) is also capable of making nut butters, although I haven't used it for that before.


updated by @Gap: 12/01/15 04:50:16PM
Gap
@Gap
10/22/15 09:39:19PM
182 posts

looking for a more efficient way to make slabbed ganache


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

Yep - I use the same as Sebastian mentions. As per here:

http://www.savourschool.com.au/equipment/frames/products.aspx

Very easy to make/have made. Mine are 3mm high and in a variety of dimensions, depending on how much ganache I am making. I can customise my recipe sizes to the frame dimensions I want - eg., 1000g of ganache fills 3 medium frames.

I put the frames on a silpat mat (which is on a tray) and stick multiple stacked frames together with chocolate. When the ganache has set, apply over-tempered chocolate to the top to create a foot, cover with baking paper and a tray, flip it over and peel off the silpat. Run a knife down the edge of the frame and remove the frame and you're ready to cut your slab and enrobe.


updated by @Gap: 10/22/15 09:42:42PM
Gap
@Gap
07/21/15 07:25:01PM
182 posts

Raw Cacao Beans vs 100% Dark Chocolate


Posted in: Opinion

For your 70% dark bar - essentially yes. Usually the 30% is made up of sugar (majority), lecithin (~<0.5%) and vanilla or vanillan (~<1%).

White chocolate has cocoa butter - usually in the 28-35% range (but it can be outside that range). So it is typically a 28-35% chocolate because the only cocoa solids are the cocoa butter (because as you note, their is no liquor). It is not 100% cocoa solids because there is also sugar, milk powder, vanilla, lecithin etc

Gap
@Gap
07/21/15 05:42:22PM
182 posts

Raw Cacao Beans vs 100% Dark Chocolate


Posted in: Opinion

Think of cocoa beans as made up of cocoa powder and cocoa butter. That is what you're eating when you eat beans. The amount of cocoa butter can vary between ~48%-56% depending on where the beans are from. 

A 100% chocolate bar is made from 100% cocoa solids. This could either be 100% cocoa beans (usually that have been roasted) or any combination of cocoa beans and cocoa butter (both are considered cocoa solids and are added together to get the 100% number). Often, but not always, commercial bar makers add additional cocoa butter to a 100% bar - so the bar may be 90% beans/10% ccb or 80% beans/20% ccb.

As for which is more healthy - there is plenty written on this forum and others stating that raw cocoa beans are not a healthy option (google it if you want more info). There are plenty of nasties on raw cocoa beans which are killed by roasting. Also, some people consider cocoa butter (in the right quantities) to be a "healthy" fat which seems to run contrary to your comment above. All depends what you're aiming to get from eating chocolate I guess.

Gap
@Gap
07/15/15 05:54:38PM
182 posts

A Visit to the Cocoa [About a Brazilian Cocoa Plantation]


Posted in: Travels & Adventures

That is a great photo journal - thank you very much for sharing

Gap
@Gap
07/07/15 06:17:37PM
182 posts

Brazil Roast


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

The roast time seems very short. When we do a low roast (as your temps seem to indicate) we often do 1kg roasting for an hour. Also, Forastero beans can often take a higher degree of roasting (closer to 300F) - but obviously I wouldn't roast at that temp for an hour. I'd try experimenting with your roasting times and temperatures.


updated by @Gap: 07/07/15 06:18:57PM
Gap
@Gap
06/25/15 05:27:02PM
182 posts

Immersion Blender or Robot Coupe for Ganache?


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

To add to Sebastian's point: we were always taught that you should use the RC when making a ganache that has a tendancy to split - the RC will make it less likely to split. Otherwise we just used a stick (immersion) blender.

 

Gap
@Gap
06/22/15 11:27:07PM
182 posts

Newbie here so go gentle please...LOL


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

I've used the Twirlo machine with Capol glaze (Capol 254) and lacquer (Capol 425). The glaze makes it shiny, the lacquer "locks it in" and seals it. I was working in 14C conditions though in the kitchen . . . so very different to yours. 

See if you can find your local Capol representative - they do a lot of different products to suit a lot of different conditions. They might have something better suited for where you live.

Gap
@Gap
06/16/15 06:52:21PM
182 posts

Induction Cooktops and Digital Thermometers


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

Just throwing it out there - could it be to do with the induction cooktop as well as the thermometer? I use a cheap probe thermometer and have never had any problems with it. My induction cooktop is professional quality - not one of the cheaper portable units.

 

Nothing to back this up, just a thought that maybe all induction cooktops are not the same.

Gap
@Gap
06/01/15 05:27:07PM
182 posts

changing the belt on premier wonder grinder


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

This website sells replacement parts for the Premiers. Might be best to contact them first and have a chat:

http://indichocolate.com/products/chocolate-machine-replacement-parts?variant=1168767445

I've also seen this photo (at the top of the thread)

http://chocolatetalk.proboards.com/thread/1572/premier-grinder-loosing-refining-ability?page=2

 

Gap
@Gap
04/23/15 04:38:54AM
182 posts

Extraction small coca butter machine


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

Here is another quote from Mark in another thread:

06/17/14 12:00:03PM @Mark-Allan:

The screw press is not as effective as the conventional butter press. A bit, maybe 20%, of the solid is still in the butter. It's not cost effective for someone in the USA to use, because your beans are so expensive there. However here in Honduras, where they don't even sell cocoa butter, it's the cheapest way to enable bean to bar. It's also more time consuming, requiring about an hour of hands on labor, to make 2 kg of butter. On the bright side, you don't feed this machine heated chocolate liqueur as you would a butter press, you just feed it room temperature cocoa nibs.

A local machinist wanted $700 to make a conventional butter press powered by a hydraulic car jack, but he had never made that type of machine before, so it was risky.

The screw press machine itself, ordered from Alibaba, was delivered to me for a total of $230.

- See more at: https://www.thechocolatelife.com/clay/group_discuss/955/new-to-the-chocolate-life#sthash.tSfrrXML.dpuf

Gap
@Gap
04/23/15 04:32:58AM
182 posts

Extraction small coca butter machine


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

This is a post from this link:https://www.thechocolatelife.com/clay/group_discuss/966/longlasting-machines

 

07/08/14 09:49:22AM @Mark-Allan:

Good morning again,

This is the press I bought:

http://www.alibaba.com/product-detail/High-quality-DL-ZYJ02-Traditi...

If you end up getting it, let me know and I can give you some operating tips that will save you time. Also, let the heating element warm up the drive shaft for a good 10 minutes and your output will be much more pure. I found that out on my last run. I tend to grind out enough for 3-4 batches of chocolate at once so that I don't have to run and clean the machine that often.

If I were going for higher output than 1-2kg/hour, I would look at this one:

http://www.alibaba.com/product-detail/New-Condition-and-Cold-Hot-Pressing_1922574051.html

 

I have used the machine in the first link a few times and I think it looks similar to yours. I've had similar experience to what Mark mentions above but have only used it a few times. Maybe Mark can chime in or your can send him a message through Chocolate Life for more information.

 It is worth adding you wont get pure cocoa butter. There will be some cocoa solids left in it and it will be black (not clear/yellowish colour). But it can be used to make chocolate.

 


updated by @Gap: 04/23/15 04:36:38AM
Gap
@Gap
03/12/15 04:35:54PM
182 posts

Wrapping Chocolate Bars... We've been doing it wrong???


Posted in: Opinion

Maybe its done that way commercially by the big guys because its easier for foil wrapping machines to fold against a flat back? And then its just become the norm - no idea.

But its a valid point.

Gap
@Gap
03/12/15 04:30:57PM
182 posts

Bug reports


Posted in: FAQs on Using the new Site

Hi Clay - great site and thanks for all your work to get it running and with your troubleshooting.

A couple of things I've noticed about the Groups:

1: as Ben mentions above, the discussion threads are sorted by Start Date rather than Last Contribution Date.

2: I don't seem to be getting e-mail notifications for new Group discussion threads when they are started like I did with the old site (I've tried looking through my profile to make sure everything is set to send me e-mails, but maybe I've missed some notification setting).


updated by @Gap: 03/12/15 04:32:14PM
Gap
@Gap
03/05/15 12:16:54AM
182 posts

Where is the tempering error(s)?


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

Peter,

I think you're confusing two different people (the second poster was not the original poster) - I made the same mistake initially.


updated by @Gap: 03/05/15 12:51:53AM
Gap
@Gap
03/01/15 05:30:08PM
182 posts

How do I get nutritional infomtion for my prouct?


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

Thanks Sebastian - much appreciated as always

Gap
@Gap
02/28/15 07:06:36PM
182 posts

How do I get nutritional infomtion for my prouct?


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

On a similar theme: is ghee an allowable ingredient in milk chocolate? 

Or asking a different way, is there a difference between ghee and anhydrous milkfat or butterfat? Is it essentially the same thing, just a different name? Or are they made fundamentally differently and considered different ingredients?

1