Forum Activity for @Edward J

Edward J
@Edward J
03/09/13 11:18:47PM
51 posts

How I pan hazelnuts


Posted in: Geek Gear - Cool Tools

It's just a kitchen aid mixer with a panning bowl--they are commonly available.

What I have is a portable air conditioner, made a "mask" for it, and stuck on a length of flexible dryer vent hose.

With this set up, I can direct a steady blast of cool air into the panning bowl. This greatly cuts down on the time needed to pan items. I can let this set up run unattended for 5-1o minutes while I do other tasks, run back, squirt in a shot of couverture, go back to other tasks and repeat.

Edward J
@Edward J
03/06/13 09:03:21PM
51 posts

How I pan hazelnuts


Posted in: Geek Gear - Cool Tools


updated by @Edward J: 03/25/16 06:14:18PM
Edward J
@Edward J
02/25/13 11:32:10AM
51 posts

Cooling equipment.....


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

Currently I make about 18 varieties of 50 gram bars plus another 25 varieties of bon-bons. My volume on bars has increased now to about 200 per day, peaking at 400 day every now and then. I have problems with my workflow in regards to cooling.

Most of my bars are made with a "sandwich" (caramel, fruit, honey, etc), so the molds are cast with a thin layer, cooled, sandwich deposited, and capped off. Currently I trott out of my chocolate room 10 feet way to the hot kitchen with a tray of 4 molds(24 cavities) and place in the fridge, when I return with the next tray, I remove the first.

Cooling tunnels would be nice, but I do not have space for that. My chocolate room measures 8' x 8', but if I get another client, I will tear out one wall and "annex" the office, giving me roughly 8' x14'. Upright or vertical cooling seems like the best way for me to go at the moment.

I could get a cheap single door upright fridge to put into the chocolate room. But I have lots of questions:

-What temp should the fridge run at? This is assuming the fridge is dedicated for chocolate only--no storage of any products.

-Will running the fridge raise the temp of my room significantly?

-What are some other options?


updated by @Edward J: 04/21/15 03:42:09AM
Edward J
@Edward J
01/24/13 12:53:09AM
51 posts

Decorating Chocolates


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

The stuff I get from QZINA is certified Kosher--blessed by Rabbi Schlessinger himself.

I'd still love to know what is in that stuff..........

Edward J
@Edward J
01/24/13 12:48:42AM
51 posts

long shelf life fillings


Posted in: Recipes

Sounds like my type of operation........

You gotta go back and look at stuff 100 years old when there was no refrigeration

Candying

Drying

perserving

nuts

Caramel

Nougat based (including croquant)

Butter ganaches can be quite shelf stable if you remove the 18% or so water in the butter....

Now for instance, honey is a partial inverted sugar

Dried fruits last for years

Pate de fruits are very shelf stable

Nuts and nut pastes/marzipans are good for 6 mths

Am I giving you enough information without "giving away" my farm?

Edward J
@Edward J
01/17/13 11:34:10AM
51 posts

National Chocolate Show / Chicago Fine Chocolate Show / Miami Fine Chocolate Show


Posted in: Opinion

I don't know what it is about chocolate that attracts all the scam artists. The first and last chocolate show I attended in Vancouver was a flop. Patrons were complaining about the entrance fees, and lack of vendors, but one of the major complaints was the scotch. One of the vendors had nothing to do with chocolate but was selling scotch, which he paired with chocolate. The show was coupled with a festival which was poorly run, for instance the organizer would call me up a week afte the festival started and tell me that "a photographer" would be at my shop that day, and I was to compensate him and his party of 4 with chocolate high tea @$25.00 p/p. I declined, and later found out from others that the "photographer" used his cell phone camera. Then there was the last minute call telling me to compensate a " well known blogger" with 2 of the same high tea packages because the blogger wanted to take his mother. This was to promote the festival--two weeks after it was launched. Rather than deal with the organizer, I e-mailed the blogger directly and told him I would be delighted, but he must state on his blog that it partly funded by me----I never heard back....

I'm also wary of "Competitions", in which small shops and producers are solicited to compete. I have "learned my lesson" and now will only compete IF the judging is open to the public-live--AND blind. y va

Edward J
@Edward J
12/04/12 08:48:30PM
51 posts

What Do YOU pay for chocolate?


Posted in: Opinion

Max Felchlin sells in pounds????????????

I'd love to get his stuff in, here in Vancouver, but no one wants to bring it in, and I can't find the head office to ask what minimum quantities they want for Vancouver.

Before you consider Qzina, consider Lindt. They have an office in Toronto and will ship in quantities of 100 kgs.

Edward J
@Edward J
11/24/12 03:15:18AM
51 posts

What Do YOU pay for chocolate?


Posted in: Opinion

Like others have said, it all depends on volume. Chocolate is a commodity.

If it means anything to you, I buy aprox 1000 kgs per year. I'm paying around $12./kg for a good single origin 70%, and around $10.00 for a good 38% milk chocolate.

These prices were negotiated with the CDN branch of the mnfctr and based on a minimum of 1000 kg/year. One very nice thing I like about the mnfctr. is that their prices are very stable--usually it will only change about every two years-barring any unforseen circumstances. They will give you a 2 mth "heads up" before prices do change.

What you should be doing is estimating your minimum amount and taking this to the various suppliers and asking them what kind of a price they can give you. You know that old saying about asking the price of a Rolls Royce? If you ask suppliers for pricing on a high volume product, you'll get all kinds of answers. Dangle your yearly consumption infront of them, and they'll sit up and sharpen their pencils before giving you a decent price.

In my town (Vancouver Canada) prices are all over the place. For the same Callebaut 70/30 prices can range from $8.00 to $20.00 depending on the supplier and their "story of the day".

If you are using large amounts, it helps to deal directly with the mnfctr or regional sales rep for the mnfctr and NOT local distributers.

Edward J
@Edward J
11/15/12 01:29:31AM
51 posts

Making a large hollow figure


Posted in: Tasting Notes

In getting ready for christmas, I've got plenty of smaller figures "in storage" for the time being, but now I need a few "super Santas" for display. Here's the mold, a two piecer, from Belgium. The marks on the rule are in inches, 20 inches is around 42 cm.

First, all of the white coloured features are done--beard, fur trim, pupils. Using an artist's brush for this is ridiculous, waaay too much real estate to cover, I use a cornet.

Next come the dark coloured features--toy sack, eyes, and boots. This means of course that the body will be milk chocolate.

The one and only coloured feature, red mittens. This is almost a must in the city I live in, Vancouver. Red mittens were the trademark of the 2010 winter olympics held here.... This was brushed on in several layers. I always buy my colours--primary colours only--in the powder form and mix my own with cocoa butter. Far cheaper this way....

It does look kind of ugly right now, doesn't it? I've brushed on a layer of milk chocolate over most of the mold. For this I use a silicone brush, found with the BBQ gadgets in the kitchen stores. Best brush for this purpose-- I never loose any hair/bristles and it is easy to clean--just let the chocolate harden and pull it off!

Here we are ready for filling. The mold never came with any clips, and the mold has a heavy rim/frame around it so clips wouldn't work anyway. Last year I used woodworker's "C" clamps (or cramps if you're British...) to hold the mold closed. It was awkward and I was always afraid I'd crack the mold if I applied too much pressure on the clamp.

What I found works best is packing tape. You can get some decent tension on it and really clamp the mold tight.

Now I have to work quick, chocolate shrinks as it dries. What happens with large molds is that I get "bleeding" with two colours. Say for example the the toy sack which is dark, if I'm not careful I'll get milk chocolate creeping in between the mold surface and the dark chocolate feature when I ladle the milk in.

Ladleing in. I usually do two coats, with the final weight around 3.5 kgs. This is sufficient enough for a figure to withstand heavy shaking and transport, and light enough to make the figure affordable.

Here's the final Santa. If you look at the boots, you'll see what I mean about the two colours "bleeding" under the mold.

This figure has a very large stomach and toy-sack, but with small feet, making it very top-heavy and tippy. After casting and cooling, I usually sit the mold on a thick puddle of couverture to give it a heavy "sole" for it's boots and to add a little weight to the bottom. In any case the figure will be packed in a sturdy box and cellophaned up. It can't tip over in the box.

Thanks for looking, and don't work too hard this christmas


updated by @Edward J: 04/09/15 04:53:18PM
Edward J
@Edward J
11/07/12 12:49:59AM
51 posts

Unwanted fragrances in potential new shop


Posted in: Opinion

Yup.

New ceiling tiles won't break the bank, nor are they particularily hard or time consuming to install, but the price can add up.

Shellac has a very nice property in that it blocks odours, it's also organic. Again, applying this to the walls won't break the bank, but the cost will add up, and then you'll need a few more coats of paint on the walls.

Same goes for the floors, Sand them down and reseal with varnish (or linoleum in the kitchen) will block the odours.

On one hand you have to deal with "perfumy" odours. I dealt with 30 yr old "ethnic restaurant " odours..........

Edward J
@Edward J
10/13/12 01:19:48AM
51 posts

Problem with sun fading the chocolate.


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

Nope. Strata is very picky about that, and it is expensive to install and darkens the room dramatically. Also, if the window ever needs to be replaced, new film has to be installed.

No, I'm happy with my el-cheapo Ikea blinds

Edward J
@Edward J
09/17/12 12:45:07AM
51 posts

Modifying molds....


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

Here is the completed santa.

I'm quite happy with my modifications, it cuts down on assembly time dramatically--pour into the open bottom instead of casting two halves and "glueing" them together.

About 20 minutes time was needed to convert the mold and no materials. I did need access to a woodworker's bandsaw, but it is a very common machine, and I don't see why a butcher's bandsaw couldn't be used.

Edward J
@Edward J
09/17/12 12:40:26AM
51 posts

Modifying molds....


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

Here you can see the mold filled with couverture, The locating satay sticks are in place and the mold clips are on

Edward J
@Edward J
09/16/12 12:15:49AM
51 posts

Modifying molds....


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

Next comes sanding the bottom of the mold flush. First I use very rough grit (80 grit) sandpaper on a flat surface and rub the mold until all the bottom edges are flush and smooth. Then I switch over to 180 grit paper and smooth off the roughness from the 80 grit. The edges don't have to be very smooth or polished, as this doesn't come in contact with chocolate.

After that, the mold is taken apart, the rough edges of the perimeter of mold are smoothed off with a file, and any flash from the bottom (from sanding) is removed as well.

Tomorrow I will post pictures of the finished molded piece

Edward J
@Edward J
09/16/12 12:03:41AM
51 posts

Modifying molds....


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

Once I have the two sides of mold perfectly aligned and firmly clamped, I drill two "locating" holes on either side of the mold. The holes are 1/8th inch dia holes. This is important, because when I assemble the mold with couverture I will use a small piece of bamboo skewer (a.k.a Satay stick) that is 1/8" dia. to keep the mold aligned.

Edward J
@Edward J
09/15/12 11:57:35PM
51 posts

Modifying molds....


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

Now I've removed the protective masking tape and temporary clamped both sides of the mold together. This has to be done very carefully, both sides have to match as closely as possible. Not an easy thing to do with opaque molds. I have had decent success "feeling" both sides of the mold to see if they match up with my finger

Edward J
@Edward J
09/15/12 11:53:18PM
51 posts

Modifying molds....


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

And now the bottoms are sliced off from the mold. You can see a bit of the bottom still on the mold, I try and cut as little of it off as possible.

Edward J
@Edward J
09/15/12 11:50:28PM
51 posts

Modifying molds....


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

And now we cut straight down the middle......

Edward J
@Edward J
09/15/12 11:48:01PM
51 posts

Modifying molds....


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

Using a bandsaw with a fine toothed blade the sides of the mold are cut off. I see no reason why a butcher's bandsaw can't be used either. I have done this with a tablesaw, but it is kind of frightening--a bandsaw is much safer.

Edward J
@Edward J
09/15/12 11:44:28PM
51 posts

Modifying molds....


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

The first step is to mask off the entire cavity of the mold, so it doesn't get scratched

Edward J
@Edward J
09/12/12 11:13:28PM
51 posts

Modifying molds....


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

a picture of a cacoabarry mold being modified

Starting to gear up for Christmas, and last year two molds really started to irritate me, both CacaoBarry molds, of Santas.

I never understood the logic (or lack thereof) of the molds. They are framed, with bottoms. In order to assemble one half has to be removed and glued on to it's opposite with a bead of couverture.

I found this messy, and the "weld" usually breaks during shipping or packaging. Plus the seam on the bottom has to be removed in order for the figure to stand in it's packaging.

O.T.O.H I'm IN LOVE with clear molds with open bottoms that can be clipped together. By the second week of December last year, I knew what I was going to do with the molds, but I never got around to it.

So I have a series of about 18 photos sowing how I modified the this mold. I don't know how many pics I can display per post, so if Chris can tell me how to proceed, I'd be more than happy to oblige.

Edward


updated by @Edward J: 04/10/15 11:31:58AM
Edward J
@Edward J
09/11/12 11:08:31PM
51 posts

Adding heat to Chocolate Pan


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

The Germans and the Swiss love thier "Gebrannte Mandeln", or sugar coated/carmelized whole almonds. Some of these panning machines can be very elaborate and expensive affairs

Edward J
@Edward J
09/11/12 11:05:14PM
51 posts

Boycott Ritter Sport ??


Posted in: Opinion

Rights to ALL square chocolate products, or only rights to the square in the size Ritter produces?

Edward J
@Edward J
08/17/12 10:15:35AM
51 posts

temperer


Posted in: Opinion

IMHO you should be tempering by hand.

Now, in my shop, I have two 20 kg (45 lb) and one 7 kg (15 lb) melters. I am the chief tempererer, as well as chief bottle washer.

Tempering is essential, and it should be mastered. It can't be mastered if you rely on a machine every day.

BTW, my couverture holds it's temper for 3 or 4 days in the melter

Edward J
@Edward J
08/16/12 01:19:06AM
51 posts

panning equipment sources?


Posted in: Classifieds

In the past few years I have had moderate success with panning choc. hazelnuts, and have been happy with the D+R panning bowl. My sales are growing and the D+R is getting too small as well as developing problems.

The first problem was the shaft snapped off from the thick steel plate. This happened during a production run, and I needed the thing fixed FAST! I found a very competent welder who got it back to me within a day. However when the shaft snapped off, it dented the bowl a bit. Now the bowl has developed cracks where it was spot-welded to the shaft plate. It goes without saying that the warranty is long expired.

Does anyone know of a source for small (5-10 kg capacity) panning machines? I am in Vancouver, Canada.


updated by @Edward J: 06/07/15 03:02:34PM
Edward J
@Edward J
08/16/12 01:08:46AM
51 posts

Panning Process


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

Very nice equipment!

I have only used a panning device with chocolate, and the ambient temp. should be around 13-14 Celcius.

The temp inside the bowl really doesn't matter much, but for chocolate work, cool air should be blown in during running

Regards,

Edward

Edward J
@Edward J
07/31/12 12:38:20AM
51 posts

Problem with sun fading the chocolate.


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

Tinting can get expensive, depending on the film, the size of windows, if you have it done or do it yourself, and how much sun you want to block out. (the darker the film, the more expensive) If you work in a Strata bldg, or have a land lord looking for any kind of excuse, it's best not done. And if the a window ever needs replacing you have to re-apply all over again

Blinds are your best option. I have the finest blinds Ikea has--at $20.00 a pop. This is the gauzy type of open mesh material that actually looks classy, and you can roll it up or down as you wish. Venetian blinds are another option, but are a dust magnet, bamboo is another option

Edward J
@Edward J
07/27/12 11:24:58PM
51 posts

Nutritional calculator


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

Thanks!

I'll be checking it out

Edward J
@Edward J
07/26/12 03:14:30PM
51 posts

Displaying chocolates on granite vs. candy case


Posted in: Opinion

Couple of fators to consider:.................

Shopping centers have central a/c, very few flies, and no direct sunlight. You can get away with no cases in this scenerio.

My store, for instance, has windows facing due south, halogen lighting, spotty a/c and a lot of cutomers who like to "look" with their hands. In this scenerio, a display case is best. I ended up making trays for my bon-bons, with a plexi-glass bottom and wood sides, about 1" high, these fit nicely into my display case

Edward J
@Edward J
07/26/12 01:34:37AM
51 posts

Nutritional calculator


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

One of my customers wants nutritional information on all the packaging of our bars (12 varities).

I do not bode well with computer programs in general, but have an old "mastercook6" program. It is, alas the last "mastercook" that came with an actual instruction manual, and I will not purchase nor down load any program that does not come with an actual, paper, instruction manual. I do not bode well with computer programs.....................

The M6 gives me all of the nutritional information EXCEPT "sugars" or grams of sugar in a serving, and this is one of the criteria the customer wants.

Does anyone know of a program that will give me this information?


updated by @Edward J: 04/09/15 09:42:27PM
Edward J
@Edward J
07/03/12 11:05:54PM
51 posts

Controlling Relative Humidity when Polishing Panned Chocolate


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

According to my old (very old) gr. 10 Physics teacher, the higher the temp, the more humidity it will carry. Thus, when I lived in Singapore, with an ambient temp of 30 C, the rh was around 95 %., but when I lived in Saskatchewan with winter temps of - 30 C the air was so dry my skin would crack

What kind of polishing agents are you using, and high of a cocoa butter content will they tolerate?

Edward J
@Edward J
07/02/12 02:06:13AM
51 posts

Kitchen Aid Panning Attachment


Posted in: Geek Gear - Cool Tools

I have one, use it exclusively for panning hazelnuts--although it can be used for many other items. Maximum weight of "raw" (uncovered) hazels is around 1 kg, with the shell being around 6 mm thick. Really, it all depends on how thick you want the chocolate shell to be, there's only so much space in the bowl for the nuts to "grow", thicker shell = smaller amount of "raw" nuts to begin with.

You need a cool room (ambient temp of 13 celcius or lower) or an air-conditioner for panning chocolate items, although some have "cheated" by throwing in a hunk of dry ice, or stuffing the whole contraption in a fridge.

The hallway in my commercial bldg is just the right temperature in the winter months, I set the whole thing--K. Aid and device--on a trolley and wheel it into the hallway. In the summer months I do it in my kitchen, I have a cheapo air conditioner that I added a 4" dryer hose to, and can direct a flow of cold air into the bowl.

If you add to much chocolate into the bowl, the surface on your items will be "wrinkly". I like to fill a large squeeze bottle with couvertute and squeeze just enough choc, into the bowl to gt the items wet, then tumble around for a minute or two, direct some cold air in, tumble a bit more, add more choc., etc. etc. etc.

Glazing is lost on me. I tried with gum arabic glazes, but didn't have much success. High glosses with gum arabic is dependant on the cocoa butter content of the chocolate. I hate cheap chocolate so the glazes don't work well with my regular 70% couverture, There are commercial glazes, but I don't know of any sources to get small quantities, and they contain many "funny" ingredients. I finish off my hazels with cocoa powder.

Cleaning the bowl can be easy or hard, all depending on how you look at things. I run the heat gun around the outside of the bowl for a minute or two--or toss it in the oven, and then remove all the chocolate and cocoa powder residue with a plastic scraper. I re-use this on my next batch for the first coating--the cocoa pwdr helps a bit to make the first coat stick. Or you could try to wash the whole thing in the sink and wash about a kilo of choc. down the drain and plug up the pipes.

Edward J
@Edward J
06/30/12 06:12:22PM
51 posts

Manually Enrobing


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

I mold a lot of chocolates. What about dropping the f.dried fruit into a molded shell, then panning it?

Edward J
@Edward J
06/27/12 02:23:27AM
51 posts

Versatile Confectionery Kitchen Multi-Tasker


Posted in: Geek Gear - Cool Tools

I use an electric blanket for the same purpose. $20.00 for the 'basic" model, "low", "med" and "high" settings. "med" works pretty good for around 34 C

Edward J
@Edward J
06/27/12 02:19:18AM
51 posts

Manually Enrobing


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

What about spraying the fruit with choc/c.butter via an airgun to get a good coating on it, then panning it?

I have the D+R panning jobbie (K.Aid attachment) That I use all the time. I have a cheap air conditioner that I have rigged up with a "mask" and 4" dryer hose. I direct a stream of a/c air into the machine and have very short panning times. In the winter, I wheel the mixer+panning pan into the commercial hallway of my bldg, which is usually around +10-+15 celc. during the winter months.

The couverture doesn't need to be tempered, I keep mine in a large squeeze bottle in a pan of warm water, one good squirt every few minutes.........

Edward J
@Edward J
06/25/12 11:14:13PM
51 posts

anyone with silicone mould making experience?


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

O.K., think a large box, pretty much like a restaurant soup warmer. I large (full size) hotel pan sits in the box with aout a 11/2" (35mm) border all around the pan. When I mold or even dip, I tend to get drips all down the sides, but worse is choc. build-up on the border--where the lip of the hotel pan sits on the warmer.

What I want is a covering that goes over the lip and continues a little into the pan.

Maybe it would work better if I posted a picture or two.

Ah yes, the negative mold, I don't know what kind of material I should make this out of.

I'll get some pics for tommorow

Edward J
@Edward J
06/23/12 10:20:17PM
51 posts

anyone with silicone mould making experience?


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

My "chocoalte room" is visible to the public in our small store, and no matter how hard I try to keep clean, the melters are always a mess,

What I have now are two D+R melters on home made carts, the dark melter has a wheel. I've done the cling-film over the sides thing, and it is easy to pull off the dirty film, but it is a hassle. I do a lot of moulding, and no matter how hard I try, I still get drips down the sides of the melter and on the rim.

The melters are just big s/s boxes, each one holding a full size deep gastro-norm (hotel pan) pan.

What I had in mind was making a "Bib" out of silicone to fit on top of the melter and down the sides, with a collar on the top reaching down about 1" (2 cm) into the tub, and an other collar at the bottom catching drips. If made of food grade silicone, I can just yank off the thing, let the couverture harden, and shake the crumbs right back in.

However, I have no experience with moulding silicone. I will be putting an order in a Chefrubber for other things, and I know they have silicone mixes for sale, but have no idea how to use the stuff.

Any ideas?

Edward


updated by @Edward J: 04/10/15 09:13:11AM
Edward J
@Edward J
06/18/12 01:25:34AM
51 posts

Shelf Life of Chocolates


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

How about a classier name, like ferrero rocher?......................

Edward J
@Edward J
06/17/12 12:18:37PM
51 posts

Shelf Life of Chocolates


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

Ahhh....... may I guide you down the supermarket shelves to "Nutella"? A blend of oil, nut paste (including nut oil) cocoa and lotsa sugar. Smooth enough mouthfeel. This is probably where you can start your research.

Although, I have to split hairs with the definition of "emulsifaction". To the best of my knowledge, emulisifcation requires a fat phase and a water phase, and there is no water in oil and very little (under 1/2%) in chocolate.

But you are right, stick with natural ingredients and you can't go wrong.

Edward J
@Edward J
06/16/12 10:26:44PM
51 posts

Shelf Life of Chocolates


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

I use ghee in two of my pralines, I like it.

I don't use much glucose in my ganaches (I do in my caramels and Ital. nougat).

Invert sugar is quasi "natural" ( you can make it with regular sugar and baking soda as per Wybauw #2) but I don't bother--I use honey. It is a partial invert sugar and will provide shelf life--but it will crystalize after 2-3 mths.

However, longer shelf life, and packaging go hand-in-hand.

Yes, you can make bon-bons with a 6 mth shelf life and sell them to your client within a week of making them. But you can't brush off your hands and say "that's that".

Why does the customer want 6 mth shelf life?

So they can sit on a shelf.

What is the ambient temp of that shelf?

Foriegn odours?

Humidity?

A regular cardboard box won't offer much protection against these evils. Odours are the worst.

Why does all quality chocolate have some form of aluminum in the packaging? Welded seams? Shrink wrapping?

If the client stores the chocolates on a shelf above his esspresso machine, or beside his beverage cooler, he will be calling back in 3 mths to complain they they have melted--even when he knows darn well he shouldn't have--it doesn't hurt to ask, right? If he stores them in a dank, musty basement that smells like mould and wet cardboard, your product will take on this odour if you do not protect it.

You will need to invest just as much money and time in the packaging as you will for the product...

d.a.m.h.i.k.t. ................

Edward J
@Edward J
06/13/12 01:04:48AM
51 posts

Shelf Life of Chocolates


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

About 6 mths, maybe longer . Basically you make a syrup, add in the booze and pour into starch molds (typically bottle shaped or cigarette shaped). After about 24 hrs, you can take them out, brush off the starch and enrobe.

I'm curious as to where you are located and if you can get away with selling alcohol based confections in your area. And in some places, getting all those "wierd" items is almost impossible. Sorbitol (aka sorbex) is quite impossible to get in B.C., Canada unless I get it in enormous quantities, and the dosage of this is quite precise. Also, remember that many of the "Wierd" sugars are laxative if consumed in moderate quantity. And expensive....

In Wybauw's #2 he tells you how to make invert sugar; simple really, with just sugar and baking soda, but almost as simple is just using pure honey, which is a partially inverted sugar--but it will crystalize eventually.

Basically, shelf life is directly related to the water content (or more accurately water activity) of the item. Dark chocolate by itself has a shelf life of 2 years or even longer simply because it has almost no water in it. Sugar, if kept dry, can last for centuries.

More and more people are starting to realize that with medicine, "new" is not neccesarily better than "time tested".

Keeping that in mind, every nationality/race has age old methods of preserving food. Salting, smoking, sugaring, and drying are all popular--and have been for centuries. They all have in common the fact that water is removed. Raisins, for instance, have a shelf life of years, and have a m/c of about 10%. This is the "zone" where you will get your shelf life.

For me, I always look back, to what is time tested. For instance, the people of India have been using "ghee" for centuries, and one of the main reasons is that it keeps so well. What is "Ghee"? Butter, pure dairy (cow's) butter. But it is butter that has been transformed, it has the remaining 12-15% water removed, it is 100% pure fat, and because of this has a shelf life of well over a year. Time tested, for centuries.

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Edward J
@Edward J
06/12/12 09:03:13PM
51 posts

Shelf Life of Chocolates


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

When formulating ganache recipies, you have to remember that even 60% alcohol contains 40% water, butter still contains 12-15% water.

I think the expression "having your cake and eating it too" applies here. You can't have a "good" ganache containing only cream, chocolate, and flavourings last for 6 mths. You must remember that a chocolate shell is still somewhat porous. Think of a wine bottle, a cork is a must as it allows the wine to "breathe", but unlike wine, ganache flavours do not improve with age. I feel this idea of a 6 mth shelf life for a cream ganache is looking for the Holy grail, it doesn't exist.

As per Wybauw youi can use the "weird" sugars, including glycerine and others for a long shelf life.

You can also use shelf stable fats like coconut fat as Lindt does with it's "Lindor balls" to replace cream/butter

You can vacuum pack and freeze "real" ganache bon-bons with the added bonus that frozen articles don't require an ISO 9002 certificate that many retailer demand. The trade off is an un-interrupted frozen transportation cycle.

You can use nuts, nut produts, (marzipan, nut pastes, gianduja, etc) caramel, nougat, pate de fruits, honey, sugar crusted alcohol centers etc. for a long shelf life.

But 6 mths shelf life for a "real" ganache?" I dunnooo.........


updated by @Edward J: 09/11/15 01:04:39PM
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