Forum Activity for @John Duxbury

John Duxbury
@John Duxbury
10/01/16 02:25:15PM
45 posts

Pectin for slab jellies


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

Thanks Ruth and Paul.  Much appreciated.  I did try Grewelings recipe but didn't have any success with it.  I'll try Chef Rubber's pectin.  Paul, you mentioned that Chef Rubber's is Yellow Pectin.  I have a recipe that calls for "yellow pectin".  The citrus pectin that you referred to, is that considered "yellow pectin"?  Thanks again, John

John Duxbury
@John Duxbury
09/30/16 02:41:50PM
45 posts

Pectin for slab jellies


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

Hello All.  I keep trying to make slab jellies to cut and enrobe.  Pectin has always been the problem for me.  Nothing worked from making it myself (from apples), to using commercial, off-the-shelf pectin.  The jelly was always too soft to slab and cut.  I did fond a confectioners pectin that worked (from Burke Candies) but I have to buy it in 10 pound quantities.  I only use 3 ozs per batch and with a shelf life of 1 year, I throw out  most of the pectin.  Any suggestions on a firmer pectin or ordering confectioners pectin in 1 pound lots?  Thanks, John

John Duxbury
@John Duxbury
05/07/15 03:43:31PM
45 posts

Selllng Chocolate in the summer


Posted in: Tasting Notes

Hello again, Kerry.  Someone in another thread recommended Bubble Wrap bags.  What type of insulated bags do you use, and who Brands them for you?  Also, the small ice packs you referred to - not sure what they are.  Thanks again for the help.  John

John Duxbury
@John Duxbury
05/07/15 11:13:46AM
45 posts

Selllng Chocolate in the summer


Posted in: Tasting Notes

Thanks Kerry.  I'll try that.  John

John Duxbury
@John Duxbury
05/03/15 01:06:22PM
45 posts

selling chocolate in the summer (in the correct Forum - I hope)


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

Out towards Lancaster and Litiz?  I buy my chocolate from Weaver Nut in Ephrata.  Look forward to meeting you.

John Duxbury
@John Duxbury
05/02/15 09:44:49PM
45 posts

selling chocolate in the summer (in the correct Forum - I hope)


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

Sebastian:
John - what's your business called?  It sounds like you're not far from me at all..

 

Hello Sebastian.  It's called Chillings and Chocolate in Upper Darby PA.  What's the name of your store?

John Duxbury
@John Duxbury
04/30/15 02:32:46PM
45 posts

Pairing Chocolates with a Tea Room


Posted in: Tasting Notes

 Hello All.  Sorry for posting my previous post in the wrong forum  - (should have gone into tip & tricks).  Still getting used to the new site!  I may have an opportunity to sell my chocolate in a local Tea Room where they serve tea and gourmet sandwiches.  Any thoughts as to pairing chocolate with tea?  The only pairing that  I currently make is a tea & honey truffle.  Thanks for the help, John 

John Duxbury
@John Duxbury
04/30/15 02:22:04PM
45 posts

selling chocolate in the summer (in the correct Forum - I hope)


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

Hello All.  I posted this in the wrong forum and I'm not sure how to "Move" it, so I'm re-posting here - still getting familiar with the new site.

In order to keep selling chocolate in the summer, I'm looking for a way to keep the chocolate from melting when customers transport it a short distance to their house (90 degree f in Philadelphia).  Any suggestions for relatively easy and inexpensive ways to do this?  Thanks for the help, John

John Duxbury
@John Duxbury
04/30/15 02:12:06PM
45 posts

Selllng Chocolate in the summer


Posted in: Tasting Notes

Hello All.  This will be my second summer in business and last summer I pretty much discontinued my chocolate sales (I sell ice cream also).  I'd like to keep making / selling throughout the summer but I'm not sure how to ensure that my customers can get the chocolate home, without melting.  I live in Philadelphia and the temperatures stay in the 90's (f) for much of the summer.  Is there a relatively easy and inexpensive way to transport chocolate for small distances during hot summer months?  Thanks for the help, John

John Duxbury
@John Duxbury
01/25/15 02:10:51PM
45 posts

Can't Access Your Account?


Posted in: FAQs on Using the new Site

Hi Clay.  Thanks for doing this.  I know how difficult it can be to transfer applications to new platforms / software.  I'm also having dificulty completing steps 10a, 10c and 10d.  If you can find the time, screen shots would be great.  Once again, thanks for taking your time with this project.  I know we all very much appreciate it.  John

John Duxbury
@John Duxbury
10/12/14 01:01:15PM
45 posts

Fudge recipes


Posted in: Tasting Notes

Hello All. I'm just getting into making fudge and with the exception of Greweling's commercial recipes, I'm having difficulty locating additional recipes. Any suggestions on good sites / books for commercial fudge recipes? Thanks, John


updated by @John Duxbury: 04/23/15 11:49:38PM
John Duxbury
@John Duxbury
09/19/14 12:52:50PM
45 posts

Using leaves as template for chocolate


Posted in: Tasting Notes

Hello All. I've just started making decorative leaves and I'd like to get some feedback on my selection. I'm using Lemon Leaves (Salal leaves), and have been told that they're non-toxic. I wash and rinse them before covering with chocolate. When the chocolate dries, I peel away the leaf and have an edible, chocolate leave. Any one else using Lemon leaves for this process? I just want to double check with the group for any safety issues that I may not be aware of? Thanks for the help, John


updated by @John Duxbury: 04/18/15 08:08:49PM
John Duxbury
@John Duxbury
09/10/14 01:06:55PM
45 posts

Looking for inexpensive ways to stir caramel


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

Thanks Larry. I do use sweetened condensed milk and I'll try your other suggestions.

John Duxbury
@John Duxbury
09/09/14 06:40:49PM
45 posts

Looking for inexpensive ways to stir caramel


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

Thanks Dirke. I'm finding the same thing. I just came back from the Philadelphia Candy Show and was talking to Savage Brothers about the same issue. They don't see any other solution than buying a fairly expensive machine. if you don't mind me asking, what changes were you able to make that allowed the manual process to go faster? John

John Duxbury
@John Duxbury
09/04/14 05:19:00PM
45 posts

Looking for inexpensive ways to stir caramel


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

Hello All. We're starting to do a fair amount of caramel business and it's very time consuming stirring a batch of caramel for an hour or so. I'd love to have the $$$ to buy a Savage melter but that's not in the cards for right now. Has anyone tried to make / adapt their own stirring equipment, similar in concept to the professional models? I'm using a 5qt pot to make it now and would like to go up to a 20qt pot. Thanks for the help, John


updated by @John Duxbury: 04/09/15 11:52:43PM
John Duxbury
@John Duxbury
06/18/14 05:51:50PM
45 posts

Thick chocolate while tempering


Posted in: Tasting Notes

Thanks Jon. The amount of time seemed normal and I usually do check the temperature manually - it was right at 88 (Dark Chocolate). I've used it a few times since then and the problem hasn't recurred. I now use a portable air conditioner that I locate right next to the Delta so I'm hoping that it was either a humidity or an over-seeding problem.

John Duxbury
@John Duxbury
06/12/14 08:51:25PM
45 posts

Thick chocolate while tempering


Posted in: Tasting Notes

I was noticing the humidity level in my work room this afternoon and it's around 65% so maybe it is a moisture problem.

John Duxbury
@John Duxbury
06/12/14 12:22:01PM
45 posts

Thick chocolate while tempering


Posted in: Tasting Notes

Thanks Sebastian. I'm careful with moisture but I will up the temperature a few degrees. John

John Duxbury
@John Duxbury
06/11/14 07:14:11PM
45 posts

Thick chocolate while tempering


Posted in: Tasting Notes

Hello All. I know this is something I should already know (probably have forgotten it a few times over!). When tempering chocolate using my Delta machine, occasionally it becomes very thick just as the machine says it's in temper. Whenever that happens I just start the process over again because I know it will just cause me blooming problems if I continue. Is the thickness being caused by over seeding, or something else. Thanks for the help, John


updated by @John Duxbury: 04/09/15 09:57:12AM
John Duxbury
@John Duxbury
04/14/14 11:06:19AM
45 posts

Milk chocolate changing color


Posted in: Tasting Notes

Hi Nicole. Could be the same problem as I was having. I re-ran the batch, using the same bar of Peter's, and found that it was a tempering issue, although I've never seen un-tempered chocolate look that completely "gray"; usually it's streaky, similar to how yours turned out. Originally, I thought the problem was going to be defective chocolate, but now I'm pretty sure it was my problem of not adding enough seed to the chocolate during the tempering phase.

I've always had blooming issues when I try to produce anything thick, like eggs. I think it's caused by the latent heat not being able to escape. They've always been challanging to me. Thanks, John

John Duxbury
@John Duxbury
04/04/14 07:37:51PM
45 posts

Milk chocolate changing color


Posted in: Tasting Notes

Thanks Sebastian. I still have a piece of the bar left over so I'll try to re-temper it by hand. Maybe I didn't add enough seed to the machine the first time.

John Duxbury
@John Duxbury
04/03/14 07:59:34PM
45 posts

Milk chocolate changing color


Posted in: Tasting Notes

Thanks Sebastian. I did dip a few of the pretzels directly into the tempered machine - inside the Delta. Could the salt have altered the color significantly? John

John Duxbury
@John Duxbury
04/03/14 06:49:39PM
45 posts

Milk chocolate changing color


Posted in: Tasting Notes

Hello All. I've been using Peters Broc milk chocolate for about a year with no problem. Today I pulled the third bar out of a box that I've been using this week. I tempered it and it remained in the machine (Delta) for about an hour before I use it to cover pretzels. When the chocolate dried it was considerably lighter than the bar I used yesterday. It was very milky and muddy colored - very noticeable. Even the leftover chocolate remaining in the Delta was the same milky color. Any thoughts as to what's happening with it? It tastes ok. Thanks, John


updated by @John Duxbury: 04/21/15 07:48:52AM
John Duxbury
@John Duxbury
04/01/14 07:19:49AM
45 posts

How to handle my allergen paranoia


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

Thanks for the info. It probably will get to be a pain, asking if they have allergies, but I'll probably keep doing that. I also like the idea of selling skeptically to unaccompanied, younger kids.

John Duxbury
@John Duxbury
03/27/14 09:18:51AM
45 posts

How to handle my allergen paranoia


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

Hello All. I've asked this a few times (different verbiage), so sorry for repeating but this one keeps me up at nights. I've recently opened and I'm still concerned about allergic reactions happening (mostly to kids) when they buy from me. I have all of the required signage posted but I still get very concerned about someone (most likely a kid) buying something they shouldn't just because it looks so good. I guess I'm not asking for advice here, I'd just like some comments from anyone who has experienced this - or at least how to deal with the paranoia. Thanks, John


updated by @John Duxbury: 04/12/15 06:00:15PM
John Duxbury
@John Duxbury
03/06/14 12:39:19PM
45 posts

Adding melted chocolate to tempered chocolate


Posted in: Tasting Notes

That's why I like this site so much. The answers you get are always top-notch. Many of these participants have a wealth of knowledge that they're more than willing to share.

John Duxbury
@John Duxbury
03/05/14 08:33:54PM
45 posts

Adding melted chocolate to tempered chocolate


Posted in: Tasting Notes

Thanks All. I tried this today and the temper held just fine. Keeping dark chocolate melted at 90 degrees in the Bakon, I was able to add an equal amount of melted chocolate to my tempered chocolate with no problem. Thanks again for the help, John

John Duxbury
@John Duxbury
03/04/14 11:18:17AM
45 posts

Adding melted chocolate to tempered chocolate


Posted in: Tasting Notes

Hello All. I have a Bakon mini enrober that I'm having issues with and I also use a chocovision delta. At this point I'd at least like to be able to use the Bakon as a Melter and add that melted chocolate to my tempered chocovision machine, as needed. At what temperature should I keep the Bakon chocolate as I'm adding it to the Delta machine, and should I only add a certain amount at a time. Thanks for the help, John


updated by @John Duxbury: 04/09/15 06:22:51AM
John Duxbury
@John Duxbury
02/14/14 09:15:39PM
45 posts

Marketing


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

Thanks Brad. Very helpful! i live in Pennsylvania where wine is sold in State Stores and the staff is not very knowledgeable. Delaware (neighboring state) does have Wine stores with very knowledgeable staff. I'll take a ride to Wilmington and talk to them about the pairings. Thanks again for the help. John

John Duxbury
@John Duxbury
02/13/14 10:39:56AM
45 posts

Marketing


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

As always, thanks for the great advice, Brad. I always find your posts most useful. Knowing a fair amount about chocolate but very little about wine, how did you initially determine the pairings? Do you know of any short video clips that could be shown during the party that help explain the relationship between the wine / chocolate? Also, are there any regulatory concerns about serving wine to paying participants (I'm in the US)? Thanks again, John

John Duxbury
@John Duxbury
12/18/13 07:51:47AM
45 posts

Inventory Control Software


Posted in: Opinion

Thanks Clay. Much appreciated.

John Duxbury
@John Duxbury
12/16/13 02:43:24PM
45 posts

Inventory Control Software


Posted in: Opinion

Thanks for the link, Clay. One line says: " If a person isnot an importer, and has fewer than 10 full-time equivalent employees, that person does not have to file a notice for any food product with annual sales of fewer than 10,000 total units." Would you interpret that as not needing the exemption if those qualifications are met? Also, I'll check with my insurance agent to see what the savings would be like if I use a batch tracking system. Thanks again for the help.

John Duxbury
@John Duxbury
12/16/13 01:30:37PM
45 posts

Inventory Control Software


Posted in: Opinion

Hello Clay. As usual, excellent information. I wasn't aware of the labeling laws exemptions. Do you know how I go about applying for that exemption? Also, do you think batch / lot tracking requirements are close to fruition for small shops? Thanks again. John

John Duxbury
@John Duxbury
10/29/13 07:17:42PM
45 posts

Sorry, another Shelf Life question


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

Excellent Dale. Would it be too close to plagerizing if I paraphrase this for my store? John

John Duxbury
@John Duxbury
10/28/13 04:43:38PM
45 posts

Sorry, another Shelf Life question


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

Thanks Nick. That's my next procedure to accomplish. John

John Duxbury
@John Duxbury
10/28/13 09:56:34AM
45 posts

Sorry, another Shelf Life question


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

Thanks Paul. Temperature and humidity have been a problem at my location. It's a fairly small site - I wish I could build a cool-room but the size is too prohibitive. I'll start paying more attention to temperature as I move forward.

One other question that just occurred to me: how do you advise your customers to deal with temp and humidity after the purchase (home-based shelf life issues)? Is that an issue you address?

John

John Duxbury
@John Duxbury
10/24/13 05:34:17PM
45 posts

Sorry, another Shelf Life question


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

Thanks Ruth. A few of the more delicate centers like Pumpkin and Raspberry ganaches will get moldy. Some of them will dry out - Dulce de Leche and Peanut butter. And some of my caramel pieces will just lose their flavor. It happens pretty consistently and predictably. I know that I'm not keeping the proper, constant temperature where I store the pieces (covered, on a bakers rack), but I hope to fix that over the next few weeks as my store is completed and I can control the air conditioning better.

John Duxbury
@John Duxbury
10/24/13 03:16:45PM
45 posts

Sorry, another Shelf Life question


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

Thanks Ruth. I was looking at the Pawkit analyzer - is that the model that you use? If so, do you remember what it cost? I do keep samples out and look at them weekly; I just wasn't sure if there was anything else other than mold that I should be looking for. I'll have to improve my technique: on average, I get 4 - 6 weeks shelf life on ganache-type pieces. Once again, thanks for the help. John

John Duxbury
@John Duxbury
10/24/13 12:18:15PM
45 posts

Sorry, another Shelf Life question


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

I know this has been discussed before but this one keeps me awake at night. I'm a month or 2 from opening my shop and I'm looking for advice on how to tell if the pieces I made a week ago, a month ago, or 3 months ago are still good. The absolute last thing I want to do is make any one sick. It makes me very nervous just cutting samples open and looking at the center of the piece - for the most part, I'm not even sure what I'm looking for, other than mold which is obvious. I follow GMP's as best I can, I've read Greweling and Wybauw and anything else I can find for advice and I've looked for testing materials, but outside of some inexpensive water/moisture readers, I'm not finding anything. Is there any kind of realistic testing that I can do myself short of sending stuff out for analysis? How do Health Inspectors test your inventory when they inspect your site? Sorry for the basic nature of this question but I've been in the IT field for 35 years and only have only been able to pursue this endeavor for the past 2 years. Thanks in advance for the help. John


updated by @John Duxbury: 04/10/15 04:07:30PM
John Duxbury
@John Duxbury
07/15/13 08:04:43PM
45 posts

A little Off-Topic Ice Cream question


Posted in: Tasting Notes

Thanks Gap. This site looks very interesting. I'll explore their forums. Thanks again.

John Duxbury
@John Duxbury
07/15/13 09:26:27AM
45 posts

A little Off-Topic Ice Cream question


Posted in: Tasting Notes

Hello All. I've been in The Chocolate Life for about 2 years now and find it very valuable: information-wise and purchasing-used-equipment wise. I also sell Ice Cream during the summer and I've been searching for an Ice Cream version of The Chocolate Life (unsuccessfully). I'm a member of NICRA which is very helpful, but not to the extent of the Chocolate Life - particularly in purchasing used equipment. Anyone aware of ice cream resources similar to this site? Thanks for the help. John


updated by @John Duxbury: 04/09/15 12:45:14PM
John Duxbury
@John Duxbury
09/03/14 04:28:28PM
45 posts

Hot chocolate transfer tool


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

Hello Brad. Sorry if I'm posting this in the wrong thread: I can't find your original post regarding your Hot Chocolate formula. Also, I apologize for being "thick" not understanding your process. Your post went something like this:

"Premake your drinking chocolate base using a scaled up recipe of 1 part liquor, 2 parts granulated sugar, and one part powdered sugar. We make 16 litres at a time, heat it to 165 degrees F and put it in a fridge to cool. It's important to NOT bring it to a boil, but heat it high enough to kill pathogens.

Then when a customer orders, we portion out 200ml and use a cappuccino steamer to heat it. It only takes a few seconds, and at that time the cornstarch in the powdered sugar thickens the drink, making it very rich and creamy."

Can I ask what is being heated to 165? Is it just the chocolate, then adding the sugars? Is this being added to heated milk at the end of the process?

Second question: the link you gave for the BABBYNITA machine above has been sold and no info is available about it. Any other suggestions for inexpensive steamers? Thanks again for the help, John Duxbury

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