Forum Activity for @John DePaula

John DePaula
@John DePaula
04/24/09 04:23:36PM
45 posts

Corn Syrup


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

Unfortunately, unless you're just making them for friends and family, a "week or so" shelf-life isn't going to work.Invert sugar certainly has its place, but I'm pretty sure I won't be using rosemary extract to extend shelf-life.
John DePaula
@John DePaula
04/23/09 04:42:00PM
45 posts

Corn Syrup


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

Lana, if you're planning to order some organic corn syrup in large quantities, I'd definitely recommend trying a sample first. You just never know...
John DePaula
@John DePaula
04/01/09 01:23:24PM
45 posts

Best Chocolates in Vienna, Venice, France?


Posted in: Travels & Adventures

In Paris, my top two would be: Jacques Genin and Patrick Roger.But there are many many others to try: Hevin, Herme, Marcolini, Aoki, Maison du Chocolat, Constant...Don't forget Denise Acabo's shop in the Pigalle, L'Etoile d'Or, where you can even score some Bernachon.
John DePaula
@John DePaula
04/01/09 01:15:35PM
45 posts

Chocolatiers = Re-melters?


Posted in: Opinion

To my mind, if at some point in your business, you have not sat at a table folding bars for hours on end, you just havent earned it!.Here, here!
John DePaula
@John DePaula
03/30/09 12:29:14AM
45 posts

help with El Rey tempering!!


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

I am not in a temperature controlled room but it is fairly consistent room temp..Can you elaborate? Room temperature and humidity can make or break your efforts.
John DePaula
@John DePaula
03/23/09 01:34:10AM
45 posts

Cleaning polycarbonate molds.


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

I am also very carefull with my molds. Why can't I use soap? If not, what can I use? Thanks..Soap is fine, e.g. Palmolive Dish Liquid, just don't use something with abrasives and rinse well so no soap residue remains.
John DePaula
@John DePaula
03/21/09 01:40:31AM
45 posts

Cleaning polycarbonate molds.


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

Lots of folks recommend Cotton Batting.
John DePaula
@John DePaula
03/20/09 01:25:51PM
45 posts

Chocolatiers = Re-melters?


Posted in: Opinion

"TCHO makes obsessively good dark chocolate from pod to palate in our San Francisco factory."This implies that they also ferment and dry the cacao in their facility in SF. I think that we can quite safely assume that this is not true.I would like to see more clarity in Tcho's marketing and public statements..Thanks, Alan, for that clarification. I agree with you: more clarity in their marketing campaign would be better.
John DePaula
@John DePaula
03/19/09 07:12:58PM
45 posts

Is Taxing Chocolate A Good Way to Help Fight Obesity?


Posted in: Opinion

I don't know what the word is for that flappy sound she made with her lips, raspberry(?), but, well, that! ;-)Yes, I found myself getting angry just reading the topic title. Perhaps a better strategy would be a campaign of public service announcements that get people to think about what they're doing. And maybe throw in a copy of one of Michael Pollan's books e.g. In Defense of Food,.
John DePaula
@John DePaula
03/13/09 06:35:06PM
45 posts

4 hours to complete two molds?


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

Well, I have to say that if you're starting with solid couverture that is already in temper (I understand, Tom, that you are not), it's unnecessary to cool the chocolate and then reheat. Simply use the seed method, which is documented, like, everywhere. If you add the right amount of seed, you end up at the working temperature with no need for an ice water bath.(Also, if you're using a microwave oven, I recommend using it on the lowest setting for relatively short bursts, to prevent scorching.)
John DePaula
@John DePaula
03/12/09 12:51:30PM
45 posts

4 hours to complete two molds?


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

Ok. I don't have as much time as I'd like to reply but here's the quick version.First of all, you don't absolutely have to have a temperer but that depends on the quantities you intend to make. Why not start out with a good melter, like the Mol d'art ones. Even if you decide to get a temperer later, the melter will still have a place in your chocolate kitchen.Secondly, you will want to organize your work by function. For example, take one day to just make shells. (This is something you can do ahead of time and if stored properly, they will be ready when you need them for a long time.) The next day, ganaches. Fill those trays and set aside to cure overnight. Then seal and unmold all of those chocolates. Let the packaging commence! ;-)Personally, I find it very inefficient to do all of these tasks in a single day since there's a certain amount of overhead involved for each phase - you want to maximize your work to get the most bang for the buck so to speak.Don't get discouraged - learning to temper efficiently will take time. But it's time well spent and you'll learn tricks about how to recover from problems that you might not learn if you rely solely on a temperer to fix it.
John DePaula
@John DePaula
03/12/09 11:55:38AM
45 posts

4 hours to complete two molds?


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

Since you posted in the "Micro-Batch "Homebrew" Chocolate" forum, I assume you're talking about making chocolate from bean to bar; however, you then talk about making a ganache so now I'm leaning toward thinking that you started with couverture and are having tempering problems.Could you provide more details about what you're doing and problems you've encountered - then we can be better able to help you out.
John DePaula
@John DePaula
03/10/09 08:01:21PM
45 posts

Molding Chocolate


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

"Thanks John for giving me some sign to tell the difference between sugar and fat bloom.You got me curious now for that last phrase of your first sentence, "for lots of reasons". Would appreciate more info...please."- I think someone mentioned that moisture could form on the mold before you actually put in the chocolate- the chocolate will set too quickly which, depending on your mold, will lead to lots more bubbles- (Alan please correct me if I'm wrong) If you cool the chocolate too rapidly, one of the unstable crystal types forms, leading to loss of gloss, fat bloom and sensitivity to touch (according to Wybauw).
John DePaula
@John DePaula
03/10/09 04:54:22PM
45 posts

Molding Chocolate


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

I don't think "pre-cooling" the molds is a good idea for lots of reasons.Fat bloom is more cloudy and diffuse; sugar bloom you will see white specs form.
John DePaula
@John DePaula
03/07/09 12:35:26PM
45 posts

Corn Syrup


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

Well I'm no doctor but I don't subscribe to the notion that corn syrup is bad for you. Unless you put it in just about every single item on the grocery shelves, which is exactly what we do in the U.S. :-(For the average person, the key to good health is to have lots of variety in your diet and conscientiously stay away from processed foods as much as possible. Moderation in all things.What does Michael Pollan say? "Eat Food. Not Too Much. Mostly Plants."There's a place for chocolate bonbons in ones' diet but it shouldn't be a major food group.Just my opinion. :-)
John DePaula
@John DePaula
03/06/09 08:17:02PM
45 posts

Chocolatiers = Re-melters?


Posted in: Opinion

I was certain that I'd read a while back that TCHO was, in fact, a "re-melter," and Jeff's observations would seem to confirm this.It occurs to me that some of you may not have read the "expos" on Noka, which is germane and of interest: What's Noka Worth? on DallasFood.org.
John DePaula
@John DePaula
03/06/09 06:11:48PM
45 posts

Corn Syrup


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

Oh my gosh, you certainly don't want to omit it. Doing so would drastically alter the balance of the recipe and reduce the shelf-life as well.Typically, you can substitute glucose roughly 1:1. You can try substituting other sweeteners, but you'll have to rebalance the level of sweetness. Honey, for example, can be used but it shifts the flavor profile in a direction that may not be desirable since honey is not very neutral.
John DePaula
@John DePaula
02/18/09 03:40:06PM
45 posts

Starting out now - what are the essentials?


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

Chocolate melterTemperer (optional)IR Thermometer (I think it is essential...)Chocolate Refrigerator with a fanMolds (if you're doing molding)Ganache frames and/or caramel rulersetc. etc. etc.Bon courage!
John DePaula
@John DePaula
01/29/09 11:08:53AM
45 posts

Mixed News From Hershey: Recession is Good - Closing Plants


Posted in: News & New Product Press

Well, Golly! It's sure tough to put a positive spin on Hersey's buying up artisan producers and shutting them down... :-(I'm pretty sure they knew where these plants were located when they purchased them.
John DePaula
@John DePaula
01/29/09 11:05:44AM
45 posts

Where to Buy Tools for Working with Chocolate


Posted in: Classifieds

If the order came to you incomplete, you should 'dispute the charge' on your credit card. If they don't get paid, they may take you more seriously.Also, consider contacting the Better Business Bureau to file a complaint.
John DePaula
@John DePaula
01/28/09 12:30:40PM
45 posts

Tempering with Beta 6 crystals


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

1% Mycryo per 1000g couverture = 10g Mycryo.You're right: Mycryo is not a substitute for cocoa butter. If I only need to thin couverture, I use bulk cocoa butter; however, for tempering I sometimes use the Mycryo esp. if I don't have a lot of seed chocolate on hand.I wasn't always a big fan of Mycryo. In pastry school, we used it once and I thought the results were not as good as using one of the more traditional methods of tempering. Since I've started using it more in a professional environment, I think it's an excellent product and definitely has its place.
John DePaula
@John DePaula
01/25/09 07:48:55PM
45 posts

Where to Buy Tools for Working with Chocolate


Posted in: Classifieds

I really like my Raytek Mini-Temp Laser Thermometer. Just wish I'd bought one sooner. Saves me tons of time and it's very accurate.The only caveat, and it's a small one, is that it's not easy to switch between Celsius and Fahrenheit scales.
John DePaula
@John DePaula
01/22/09 06:04:09PM
45 posts

measuring cocoa question


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

I never need to weigh this small an amount of cocoa, but it would come in handy for small amounts of spices or even for tea.
John DePaula
@John DePaula
01/22/09 01:23:00PM
45 posts

Guitar


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

A search for "wire" at the Grainger site turns up the following:Grainger wire search (3 pages of results).If anyone has more info about wire thickness, we could go from there.
John DePaula
@John DePaula
01/04/09 11:06:51PM
45 posts

Spicy dark chocolate bars?


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

Oil-based additions to chocolate are fine. You get into trouble when you try to add water-based liquids (this includes alcohol); the chocolate will seize. Powders are fine, but depending upon how finely they're ground, you will notice this in your mouth - not always pleasant.I would add these at the initial melt, but you could probably add them at seed time, too.
John DePaula
@John DePaula
01/04/09 05:15:36PM
45 posts

Spicy dark chocolate bars?


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

Finely ground chili peppers, or perhaps a chili-based oil. Some folks use black pepper. Just try a pepper you like and see what works.
John DePaula
@John DePaula
01/02/09 10:22:01PM
45 posts

Guitar


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

I love the new cutter. It's going to make my work faster and improve precision - can't ask for more than that! The snow definitely impacted my business, too. Had to delay (or even cancel) getting out some last orders but what can you do when it's not even possible to get the car out of the driveway.

But I do love how beautiful it is when it snows.
John DePaula
@John DePaula
01/02/09 07:50:11PM
45 posts

My Favorite Kitchen Confectionery tool(s)


Posted in: Opinion

My favorite tool, by far, is my Laser Thermometer:

Although I can't use it for making caramel (laser thermometers do not accurately measure boiling liquids) there are lots of uses in the chocolate kitchen. Wonderful tool!
John DePaula
@John DePaula
01/01/09 06:35:17PM
45 posts

Making Chocolate covered Macadamia nuts.


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

Actually, I wouldn't recommend following the procedure outlined in the link you referenced above. You don't need to let the chocolate cool so much, just takes up too much of your time and as I said, it's just not necessary. If you seed correctly, you end up at the working temperature with tempered chocolate.The way I do it if I'm in a hurry and I don't have to temper a large amount:1) Chop chocolate using a serrated edged bread knife or you could use your food processor - fairly small shards/bits.2) Place this in a glass mixing bowl and microwave on defrost for, say, 2 minutes. Each microwave is different (power and hot spots) so you have to experiment. You do not want the chocolate to get too hot, as it will scorch. Stir well, though it will probably only be a thick partially melted mass at this point.3) Return to microwave and nuke for 60-90 seconds on Defrost. Lather, rinse, repeat as necessary.4) STOP HEATING BEFORE YOU THINK YOU HAVE TO. Your target is to get all of the chocolate to JUST melt and no further. The bowl will feel lightly warm to the touch when the chocolate is nearly all melted. Be patient, stir frequently. If you have to add a short blast at Defrost, do so but cut the time down so you don't overheat and lose the temper.See how easy that is? ;-) And you don't have to make a big mess with tabling the chocolate.Temper more than you think you'll need since you can always reuse the leftover chocolate in the next batch.
John DePaula
@John DePaula
01/01/09 04:08:02PM
45 posts

Making Chocolate covered Macadamia nuts.


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

Absolutely, the colored streaks and/or spots may indicate that you're not stirring enough. You don't want to whip the chocolate but don't be afraid to stir a lot and frequently.Here's just one place to show how to temper using the seeding method.
John DePaula
@John DePaula
01/01/09 02:46:02PM
45 posts

Making Chocolate covered Macadamia nuts.


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

I have a couple of thoughts:1) Temperature of the nuts will make a difference: Too cold and the chocolate will set too quickly; youll end up with a blocky mess. Too hot and obviously, they will throw the chocolate out of temper.2) 75F seems a bit hot to be working with chocolate. Others have different experience but my optimum range is 68F-72F (tops). Outside of that range, for me at least, things get more difficult.3) Is it possible that youre seeing fat migration from the macadamia nuts? You may not be able to do anything about that unless youre prepared to use some kind of vegetable gum based glaze as a barrier. I dont know much about that sort of thing.If it is fat migration, then try a thin coat of milk chocolate before finishing with the dark. The milk fat in milk chocolate may form a partial barrier so that it wont come through to the dark.4) You can thin any chocolate by adding melted cocoa butter prior to tempering.5) After a quick review of your post, it seems that you may want to review tempering. If youre new to tempering, it can take a while to master but its not difficult at all. 95F is just too hot your chocolate will not be in temper when its that hot. Try the Seed Method and use the manufacturers suggested working temperature of 88F (max).Anyway, try monitoring your working environment first. Make sure your chocolate is actually in temper and that the nuts are very close to, but cooler than, the temperature of your tempered chocolate. Once theyre enrobed, and just beginning to set, pop them into the refrigerator for 5-10 minutes or so. When you remove them from the cooler, cover them so that they dont condense ambient moisture. If you still get streaking, try enrobing with milk first, then dark.But really, it sounds like your chocolate wasnt in temper to start with. I think theres an article here on TheChocolateLife about tempering and there are many online elsewhere, too. Oh, and be sure to keep the chocolate well mixed so that the beta-crystals are well dispersed.Hope this helps.
John DePaula
@John DePaula
01/01/09 02:13:10PM
45 posts

Guitar


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

I can't believe the site just ate my reply...First of all, I think that any hobby store e.g. Michaels, will probably carry s/s wire that you could use to fix your guitar.Places that sell guitars, e.g. bakedeco.com, must also sell it but I wasn't able to locate it on their site after a quick search.Chef Rubber's claim that "This wire is better then [sic] what came on your cutter originally" must be true because HOLY COW! 200' for $500! You could probably build another guitar for $500...Check out Design and Realization. Their site is a bit clunky, you can't search and you can't link to a particular page, but select 'Guitar for Chocolate and Candies' on the left-side navigation bar and scroll down until you see 'Wire for guitar.' US$37.35 for 295' will fill the bill nicely.
updated by @John DePaula: 09/14/15 10:35:32PM
John DePaula
@John DePaula
01/01/09 01:49:21PM
45 posts

Guitar


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

Hi Sarah,'Inox' just means 'stainless-steel.' I will check around to see who might have some replacement wire. I'd shop more at Chef Rubber but WOW their prices are super-high...Cheers,J
John DePaula
@John DePaula
12/23/08 04:58:33PM
45 posts

need help with jelly fillings


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

This is why I recommended that the tray be well chilled before spraying the cocoa butter - it will instantly harden when it hits the filling - so no pooling or sinking. However, if the filling is too high, then you'll be out of luck.With fillings that are too stiff, you can sometimes lay plastic film across the top of the mold and gently flatten each bonbon; afterwards, you can gently peel back the film for sealing.
John DePaula
@John DePaula
12/23/08 03:30:58PM
45 posts

need help with jelly fillings


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

That's difficult... With the caveat that I haven't done this myself, you could try this: chill the backless filled bonbons and spray a thin layer of cocoa butter. This will "pre-seal" the chocolate so that you can then seal them in the normal way once the mold has returned to room-temperature.
John DePaula
@John DePaula
12/22/08 07:55:18PM
45 posts

Any Chocolatier lifetime subscribers reading?


Posted in: News & New Product Press

And of course, I neglected to mention the name of the new magazine: Dessert Professional and you can find them at DessertProfessional.com
John DePaula
@John DePaula
12/22/08 11:34:18AM
45 posts

Any Chocolatier lifetime subscribers reading?


Posted in: News & New Product Press

Pastry Art & Design and Chocolatier Magazine and frozen desserts have all merged, it seems. It's a nice magazine; I like it.However, if you have a lifetime subscription I'd think that the classy thing to do would be to honor that purchase and allow you to continue to receive the new publication.I tried to order a subscription to Chocolatier magazine a couple of times but their customer service was so poor, I never ended up getting it. And I've heard folks complain about not receiving their copies of PA&D.
John DePaula
@John DePaula
12/20/08 01:19:34PM
45 posts

Guitar


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

And then, I noticed a 3% "Foreign Transaction Fee" from Chase. :-(
John DePaula
@John DePaula
12/06/08 09:54:38PM
45 posts

solid cocao liquor


Posted in: News & New Product Press

I think there's a liquor made from Cacao called, "Mette." Does anyone know more about it?
John DePaula
@John DePaula
12/03/08 01:29:23PM
45 posts

Cool Tool: Chocoflex Spherical Truffle Mold


Posted in: Geek Gear - Cool Tools

That's very interesting. I wonder if the other shapes, e.g. squares, rectangles, come out of the mold as easily as the photos suggest. Sure can't do those truffles on a guitar, though. :-)Looks like a nice tool to have in the arsenal.
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