Forum Activity for @Valerie

Valerie
@Valerie
02/23/12 05:10:19PM
29 posts

How many per day?


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

It's really just a matter of practice and planning your production carefully. I've been at it for two years now and my speed has increased gradually along the way. I'm also careful about how many different flavors I'm making in any one day. When I'm by myself I top out at 5 different flavors, anything above that becomes overwhelming. I also try not to work with multiple chocolates for coating the truffles, i.e. I'm either dipping in dark chocolate that day or dipping in milk chocolate.

Valerie
@Valerie
02/23/12 03:23:05PM
29 posts

How many per day?


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

Hi Krista,

I'm not sure if you're looking for an actual production total or just the number you can dip in an hour. My average production is around 400 chocolates/8 hour day if I'm working by myself. This number includes everything - making the ganaches, tempering the chocolate, cutting and/or rolling the set ganache, dipping, decorating, packaging, dishes, cleaning up and packing away (I share kitchen space and need to pack all my equipment and move it back to my storage cage at the end of my production day). Hope that's helpful.

Valerie
@Valerie
10/08/11 08:40:22AM
29 posts

looking for glassine paper for lining boxes


Posted in: Classifieds

I'm looking for glassine paper to line chocolate boxes and for such a popular item I'm not finding it through any of my chocolate box suppliers. Does someone have a source they could share with me?

Thanks,

Valerie


updated by @Valerie: 06/07/15 03:02:34PM
Valerie
@Valerie
04/02/13 11:15:01AM
29 posts

Looking for recommendations for a portable display case


Posted in: Classifieds

I was. I went with this case:http://www.bakedeco.com/detail.asp?id=6322&categoryid=231#.UVr1fZM3s0I

I've been using it for 2 years now and it's working perfectly.

Valerie
@Valerie
10/04/10 09:44:29AM
29 posts

Looking for recommendations for a portable display case


Posted in: Classifieds

Does anyone have recommendations for a portable display case for chocolates? I'm looking for something simple that I can display my chocolates in during marketplace shows that will allow for easy access so that people can customize their flavor selections in different box sizes. I've been using a standard cake display with cover plus platter with plastic wrap, but it's much too small (and plastic wrap is cumbersome) and requires refreshing too often. I'd be looking to display about 12 flavors at a time. Any suggestions would be much appreciated.

updated by @Valerie: 06/07/15 03:02:34PM
Valerie
@Valerie
05/05/10 10:40:58AM
29 posts

Box labels


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

Thank you Clay. Do you have any suggestions for high quality label printers?
Valerie
@Valerie
05/05/10 07:19:34AM
29 posts

Box labels


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

I'm getting close to launching my chocolate brand and I'm struggling with labels right now. Are there any tips for accommodating differing ingredients and weights by box? I'd like to print the labels in bulk to save on cost, but I don't want to be stuck into a certain flavor combination dictated by my ingredient label, and while my boxes fit a standard number of pieces, depending on what those pieces are the weights vary. I'm in MA and have tried reaching out to the state's regulating authority on this, but haven't been able to get through. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

updated by @Valerie: 04/19/15 06:45:09PM
Valerie
@Valerie
04/12/10 06:17:39PM
29 posts

How to find Rental Kitchens?


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

Try http://www.bizkitchens.com/Your state dept. of agriculture might also have suggestions.
Valerie
@Valerie
03/18/10 08:50:41PM
29 posts

Chocolate tours in several cities


Posted in: Travels & Adventures

I'd be happy to speak with you. You can reach me at vconyngham@gmail.com.
Valerie
@Valerie
03/02/10 08:15:47PM
29 posts

Chocolate tours in several cities


Posted in: Travels & Adventures

These are in addition to Brendan's suggestions. Taste of Chocolate is a new company on the Boston chocolate scene, they do chocolate tours in Boston's Back Bay, Beacon Hill and South End (a Cambridge tour will be coming soon). They also do chocolate truffle making workshops, which I developed and lead about twice per month (it's offered every Saturday and there is an alternate teacher when I'm not there), either are a fun way to spend a weekend. Contact me if you want more information on them. Other places worth a visit - Hotel Chocolat in Boston's Back Bay has very informative tastings in their tasting room at the back of their store on Newbury Street, Max Brenner is opening up a shop in Boston (Back Bay, Boylston Street) this winter and LA Burdick is a must stop for their hot chocolate and their handmade chocolates. LA Burdick is in Cambridge. Depending on when you'll be in Boston there is also the Chocolate Buffet at Langham Hotel in downtown Boston, it runs September until June.
Valerie
@Valerie
01/08/10 06:03:40PM
29 posts

Question on the shelf life of raw chocolate


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

I'd like to begin experimenting with making molded raw chocolates and I have some questions on shelf life/storage. I read on another website that the raw chocolates need to be kept in the refrigerator or freezer and that the shelf life in the refrigerator was about 4 days and in the freezer 10 days. Since non-raw chocolates do not need refrigeration and last for more than 4-10 days I'm wondering if the information I found is simply wrong? Could someone please verify if raw chocolates need refrigeration and what the shelf life is?
updated by @Valerie: 04/13/15 01:41:44AM
Valerie
@Valerie
01/06/10 02:26:39PM
29 posts

Where to buy bulk couverture?


Posted in: Classifieds

Thanks Nina. I'm somewhat familiar with your company through your Twitter stream. I just filled out the contact me form on your website. Looking forward to speaking with someone.
Valerie
@Valerie
01/05/10 04:27:14PM
29 posts

Where to buy bulk couverture?


Posted in: Classifieds

I'm looking for another source for bulk couverture. I usually buy through www.gourmail.com because they have the best prices I've found ($49.95 for 11 pound blocks of Callebaut or 6.6 pound blocks of Valrhona), but the selection is limited to a few products out of the line. Any recommendations for other sources for bulk couverture?
updated by @Valerie: 06/07/15 03:02:34PM
Valerie
@Valerie
11/16/09 07:10:00AM
29 posts

Help - Couverture on truffles is cracking.


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

There were three types - raspberry ganache, caramel ganache and whiskey ganache. They were all rolled to a round shape. I'm not familiar with the term bottomed (but curious, would love to know the process). I thought the chocolate was tempered perfectly and it did take around 7 minutes to set. The finished truffles have a nice sheen and color, but cracks on half...
Valerie
@Valerie
11/13/09 08:32:16AM
29 posts

Help - Couverture on truffles is cracking.


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

Nope, they were at room temperature. I got interrupted while making them so I covered them with plastic wrap and came back about 2 hours later to temper the chocolate and dip them.
Valerie
@Valerie
11/12/09 09:39:37PM
29 posts

Help - Couverture on truffles is cracking.


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

Yesterday I made a batch of truffles and the couverture that I coated them in (53% valrhona) cracked on 50% of them. It happened after they were set and I left them out at room temperature to set. This has never happened to me before and I cant think of a reason why it would have happened. Anyone else have this problem before or any ideas why it would have happened?
updated by @Valerie: 04/20/15 10:10:14PM
Valerie
@Valerie
11/12/09 09:52:43PM
29 posts

Best Chocolate Book | Best Chocolate Authors


Posted in: Opinion

If you're looking for something more educational on the history of chocolate and learning about the different types of beans I highly recommend The New Taste of Chocolate by Maricel E. Presilla. It's one of my favorites.
Valerie
@Valerie
11/16/09 07:56:06PM
29 posts

Insert - printing solutions


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

www.printingforless.com is a good resource. I haven't used them for insert printing, but have used them for business cards and postcards. Instead of inserts I usually buy large oval labels, print directly on them what each box contains (I can usually verbally differentiate between my chocolates) and stick them to the inside lids of boxes.
Valerie
@Valerie
10/23/09 10:19:49AM
29 posts

Questions on American Chocolate Mould Table Top Tempering Machine


Posted in: Opinion

Thanks for your feedback everyone!
Valerie
@Valerie
10/18/09 09:07:10AM
29 posts

Questions on American Chocolate Mould Table Top Tempering Machine


Posted in: Opinion

I'm going to be teaching a chocolate truffle making class and I'm looking for a larger, but still easily portable chocolate tempering machine. I have a Sinsation for home use and love it, but their larger capacity machine is a bit pricey. I was looking at the ACM Table Top Tempering Machine and was curious if anyone else had experience with this one. The price is within my budget and with a 6 lb capacity it should be good for a class size of 20 - 40 people to each be able to cover truffles with tempered chocolate. I would want to have the chocolate tempered before the class (since I won't be able to keep my eyes on the temperature while teaching) and then I'm hoping the machine is good at holding the final temperature so that it doesn't come out of temper. Also, what I like about the sinsation is the whole thing is automatic and dummy proof, so I'm also nervous about having to be responsible for controlling the temps on this one, but again if the machine holds the temps once it reaches them I'm assuming it shouldn't be a problem. Any feedback anyone has would be great. Thanks!
updated by @Valerie: 04/11/15 06:55:29AM
Valerie
@Valerie
11/13/08 05:56:25PM
29 posts

Advice on packaging please


Posted in: Opinion

How about dropping the box idea and going for a clear bag instead. You could put your label on one side and tie it closed with a nice ribbon. Then you don't have to worry about cushioning the chocolate in a box or having it bounce all around.
Valerie
@Valerie
12/21/09 02:49:58PM
29 posts

chocolate tempering machines


Posted in: Opinion

Ian, I would love to try the holey baffle. Do you have one available for the Rev 2 that you could send me? Also, one more product suggestion while we're on the subject. I've started using the valrhona and cacao noel disks and they tend to jump out of the tempering machine while they're behind the baffle waiting to be melted. Perhaps making the piece of plastic that attaches to the top of the baffle (not sure what the official name of this piece is) would solve the jumping disk problem?
Valerie
@Valerie
12/20/09 08:53:55PM
29 posts

chocolate tempering machines


Posted in: Opinion

I just bought the Rev 2 (my last machine was the sinsation) and I love it. It's good for small batches, with a 1.5 half pound capacity. Like others have said it's really loud, but it's the right capacity for me so I make due with the noise. I've also used one of the more professional grade chocovision machines which is also great, much quieter, but it's a minimum capacity of 3 pounds which is usually way more than I'm working with in the small batches I produce.
Valerie
@Valerie
05/04/08 04:37:08PM
29 posts

Free Bean to Bar chocolate in exchange for critique


Posted in: Tasting Notes

I'd be happy to sample your chocolate and critique it. I'm not seeing the send message button that Clay references below but you can email me offline vconyngham[at]gmail.com for my address.
Valerie
@Valerie
04/06/08 09:41:34PM
29 posts

Take The Chocolate Personality Test


Posted in: Opinion

I tested Medium Dark which is spot on. My favorite milk chocolate (with curry and coconut) is Vosges' Naga Bar. Pure heaven.
Valerie
@Valerie
02/15/08 06:23:17PM
29 posts

How Green is my Chocolate?


Posted in: News & New Product Press

There was a great article in the February-March issue of Plenty Magazine on ethically traded cacao. The article is titled Sweet Satisfaction and is available on Plenty's website (read it here). It talks about how some artisanal chocolatiers are sourcing their beans themselves and using fair trade practices in order to allow cacao farmers to provide a better life for their families and invest more money in their farms.
Valerie
@Valerie
02/15/08 06:02:32PM
29 posts

Cocoaroma has a new issue!


Posted in: News & New Product Press

Thanks for sharing this. It sounds like a great magazine. I just ordered my copy.
Valerie
@Valerie
02/11/08 09:16:30PM
29 posts

Is Cheap Name Brand Chocolate a Good Thing?


Posted in: Opinion

I think this is a common mistake that many higher end brands take in an effort to drive more sales. And most of the time it results in the dilution of its brand along with a broader move to becoming more common at the expense of diluting its premium price tag. In my opinion place (i.e. where the item is sold) is one of the most important differentiators a higher end brand, like Neuhaus has. Visiting a boutique store to find your favorite chocolate brands is part of the fun. If Neuhaus feels it needs a broader distribution channel it should look at alternatives that are more aligned with the Neuhaus image, I'm thinking Whole Foods would be a better compromise.