Forum Activity for @Ashley2

Ashley2
@Ashley2
03/05/14 09:15:37PM
11 posts

Suppliers and pricing


Posted in: Classifieds

Hi! I really like the brand CasaLuker. I went to the Chicago chocolate show and tried a LOT of chocolate, I thought they were the best, and I like their business practices. I really like their Noche milk chocolate, it's a little darker than typical milk ch and had a really good flavor. They have a variety of dark single origin as well, I like the Acura it's 70% and has an herbal/fruity taste.They sell 22lb cases for around $100 depending on the type of couverture.Not sure where you are located you might use a different supplier. I'm in Michigan US, my supplier is IFI Gourmet. They are really great to work with, and ship via FedEx. They also carry a line of colored cocoa butters that are all natural. And they will send you samples of corse :)
Ashley2
@Ashley2
12/15/13 11:09:21PM
11 posts

Using three different colours in one mould: white is sticking.


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

I'm a novice as well... Might try first painting/spraying a thin coat of cocoa butter on the mold? That's something I've done to have a uniform shine once released from mold. Perhaps it will help keep the white together.I think if the chocolate you are using is in temper, it shouldn't matter if the previous layer is set.Also, I try to steer clear of the fridge, due to high humidity. Once set up, I put the mold in the freezer for five min.Best wishes!
Ashley2
@Ashley2
12/14/13 09:45:08PM
11 posts

Ideas for a chocolate festival...?


Posted in: Opinion

I've found a food photography workshop to be really helpful. Just a basic how to use your phone or point and shoot camera.Perhaps one that has an emphasis on current trends, handmade marshmallows are popular in US, maybe demo a s'more truffle, or deconstructed s'more.Bean to bar is super trendy right now too. A workshop showing how to do so on a small/hobbyist scale.Pairings would be cool too, chocolate paired with beer or wine, local produce etc.Also a lecture about sustainability would be helpful. The difference between fair and direct trade, what to think about when sourcing ingredients, especially cocoa.These are workshops I would go to :)Good luck!
Ashley2
@Ashley2
12/17/13 01:03:12AM
11 posts

Ganache Separation Difficulties


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

Originally I was taught from Greweling's books as well. Even in class, almost every time we used white for ganache we had to beat the hell out of it with the stick blender.I can tell you, the faster you can blend the cream and chocolate the better the emulsion will be.Good luck!
Ashley2
@Ashley2
12/17/13 12:51:18AM
11 posts

Ganache Separation Difficulties


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

Tom- can you tell my why you don't boil the cream? How shelf stable is the ganache if you don't boil the cream? How long does it last? Do you add preservatives?I always boil the cream, to remove as much water as possible. Higher water content=higher chance of mold and/or bacteria growth. That's how I was taught, and I never really questioned it. Any advise/knowledge shared is appreciated :)Thanks!
Ashley2
@Ashley2
12/15/13 11:20:11PM
11 posts

Ganache Separation Difficulties


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

I recently attended a class that taught to melt the chocolate to around 86 and let cream cool to the same temp, and mix them at the same temp. It has worked for me. My white chocolate ganaches used to always break- an immersion blender usually brought them back together though (takes me several min.). Results have drastically improved since I started adding the cream at the same temp. I add any flavors, purees, sugar or glucose to the cream after it has been brought to a boil. Then let cool, while I heat the chocolate.Best wishes!
Ashley2
@Ashley2
12/02/13 01:34:42PM
11 posts

hand-dipping truffles


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

I pre-coat mine. Wearing gloves I put a nickel size amount of chocolate in my palm and roll truffle, then drop onto pan (I drop them a little hard so that the bottom is flat). The ganache I make is a bit soft, so rolling them in chocolate before dipping them helps keep the round shape. After they are set I dip them, I use a fork and a toothpick. I hold the fork at an angle, and use the toothpick to help slide it off. If your ganache is firm enough though I wouldn't pre-coat, but I always keep toothpicks around to help me out :)
Ashley2
@Ashley2
12/02/13 02:26:02PM
11 posts

Organic Walnut Chocolate Bar


Posted in: Opinion

I agree that it is important. I buy direct trade. Most small farms and co-ops cannot afford the certification fees for fair-trade or organic.It's good that Hershey has this line available, however I would be impressed if they took steps to ensure all of the cocoa they purchase is fairly traded.
Ashley2
@Ashley2
11/13/13 11:28:14PM
11 posts

Tempering & surface texture issue, swirls, circles & matte finish.


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

Not sure if this could be related...What kind of sea salt are you using?I make a carmel that I dip in chocolate then sprinkle salt on top. I've had to experiment with different salts. When I used a coarse Pink Himalayan Sea salt the chocolate seems to almost weep, and it spotted and swirled in the area around the salt. I used a Fine pink Himalayan and it did not weep, but did get spotty. It's not bloom, and doesn't affect the taste, but it doesn't look pretty! Then I used a plain old kosher salt- and they were just fine! (But I wanted to use a FANCY salt! ;))Not sure if there is any validity to this, but my pink sea salts seem to be kind of moist.Anyway, like I said not sure if this could be the culprit, and I hope you figure it out :)
Ashley2
@Ashley2
10/14/13 09:56:58PM
11 posts

Going to the Chicago show next week?


Posted in: Travels & Adventures

Hello, I'm new to The Chocolate Life, and am a new chocolatier in West Michigan. I am sure some of you will be going to the trade show in Chicago next week. I wanted to know what you are anticipating to see/learn? I am especially excited to find creative packaging. I am also hoping to find a supplier who carries direct trade couverture.I'll be taking a few seminars on Monday and Tuesday, thought it would be fun to get to know some of you if you will be there as well?I was also wondering if there would be any interest to get a group together to meet, socialize, share ideas and networking? Thanks!
updated by @Ashley2: 04/16/15 08:57:33PM
Ashley2
@Ashley2
12/07/13 09:57:43PM
11 posts

Cleaning Chocolate Molds


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

This is how I was taught to clean polycarbonate molds:1) clean each cavity with a cotton ball and vinegar2) wipe each cavity dry with cotton ball or make up applicator3) use heat gun to lightly warm cavities then polish wtth a foam/cotton make up applicator. (Extremely careful not to hear too much, can ruin mold. Just want warm to the touch.)(Only use steps one and two as needed, if colored cocoa butter is seen.)I only use hot water to wash molds about once every 5-10 batches.I've always had success with this method. I wouldn't be comfortable using anything stronger than vinger as a cleaning agent.FYI I was also taught to always apply a thin coat of cocoa butter, either colored or plain, to ensure shine. We also put the mold in the freezer after capped to restrict the chocolate so it comes out of the mold super easy.