Forum Activity for @Melanie Boudar

Melanie Boudar
@Melanie Boudar
04/30/11 07:02:29AM
104 posts

The Perfect Chocolate Kitchen ...


Posted in: Opinion

My dream kitchen has excellent temperature control, a large cool room for storing work in progress and tons of verticle bakery racks for storing things in various stages of completion.it also has open shelves under the steel tables where you can stack molds as you unmold them or sheet pans.
Melanie Boudar
@Melanie Boudar
07/17/11 07:03:15PM
104 posts

What's YOUR Desert Island Chocolate?


Posted in: Opinion

I like Omars Pirates of the Carribean Truffles! I think I'd have to have some Felchlin Cru Savage for day in day out indulgence and for more special occasions my own peanut butter cups, salted mixed nut caramel and coconut creme brulee truffle.LOL! Hope theres some exercise equipment on this fantasy island.
Melanie Boudar
@Melanie Boudar
02/07/11 01:53:39AM
104 posts

What's on YOUR chocolate bucket list?


Posted in: Travels & Adventures

Think that Chocolate Museum in Peru is a good excuse to finally see Machu Pichu as well.
Melanie Boudar
@Melanie Boudar
01/07/11 12:24:17AM
104 posts

Mechanized cutter for chewy centers


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

I am wondering the difference between the automatic and semi automatic as its a big price difference. I actually have ot had a chance to peruse the catalog yet.
Melanie Boudar
@Melanie Boudar
01/02/11 04:34:02PM
104 posts

Mechanized cutter for chewy centers


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

Lucky you to be close, I'm not close to anything except we grow cacao!

I would be interested in pricing on the cutter clay mentioned and if they get used equipment which would be more affordable.

Melanie Boudar
@Melanie Boudar
01/01/11 04:00:42PM
104 posts

Mechanized cutter for chewy centers


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

Thanks Clay,

I'll check it out.

Melanie Boudar
@Melanie Boudar
01/01/11 03:34:25PM
104 posts

Mechanized cutter for chewy centers


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

I want to make more chewy, nutty centers and a caramel cutter is just too much work. Does anyone know any machinery used for the cutting of things like this?
updated by @Melanie Boudar: 04/10/15 04:32:53PM
Melanie Boudar
@Melanie Boudar
10/23/11 04:58:02AM
104 posts

Chocolate Drinking Machine Recommendations


Posted in: Geek Gear - Cool Tools

I think the capacity is about three gallons. I'd love to check out your drinking chocolates for my store.

Melanie Boudar
@Melanie Boudar
10/09/11 10:06:27PM
104 posts

Chocolate Drinking Machine Recommendations


Posted in: Geek Gear - Cool Tools

At night you can put the bowl in the fridge and rewarm the next day. You disassemble the nozzel and clean daily. We use almond milk which is dairy free and lasts longer than cows milk plus adds a nice nutty taste.
updated by @Melanie Boudar: 09/08/15 02:17:39PM
Melanie Boudar
@Melanie Boudar
10/09/11 05:29:58AM
104 posts

Chocolate Drinking Machine Recommendations


Posted in: Geek Gear - Cool Tools

http://www.webstaurantstore.com/cecilware-choco-1-delice-countertop-hot-chocolate-dispenser-120v/385CHOCO1.html

I have this hot drink dispenser and love it. I make my own chocolate sludge with spices, then dilute it, still making a thick chocolate shot which we serve in a 3 oz portion with a shot of whipped cream or handmade marshmallow. The machine warms and agitates and has a wide temp range. It does get some condensation inside but usually not until its gotten pretty low, The bowl capacity is plenty large to take to a function/festival and sell a lot of shots.

Melanie Boudar
@Melanie Boudar
08/22/10 05:22:07AM
104 posts

Cacao Pods Picture


Posted in: Uncategorized

thanks
Melanie Boudar
@Melanie Boudar
08/16/10 10:01:54PM
104 posts

Cacao Pods Picture


Posted in: Uncategorized

thanks Cheebs, I need it before OCT and I think Koa Kahili of Garden Islae Choc has the perfect picture.Hope you have a great trip!
Melanie Boudar
@Melanie Boudar
08/15/10 03:48:17PM
104 posts

Cacao Pods Picture


Posted in: Uncategorized

thanks, thats a nice shot but I need a pile of colorful pods, not just yellow.
Melanie Boudar
@Melanie Boudar
08/14/10 06:18:11PM
104 posts

Cacao Pods Picture


Posted in: Uncategorized

I aMlooking for a really colorful hi res iMage of a pile of cacao pods, horizontal orientation, to use for aMural. Would likeMulti-color pods. Ok if one is open, or background is leaves etc. I have looked on stock photo sites but the one pic I found I liked , the pods were probably a week old and blackened-not as bright as I'd like.
updated by @Melanie Boudar: 04/11/15 03:35:24PM
Melanie Boudar
@Melanie Boudar
08/03/10 03:34:41AM
104 posts

Getting the temper right with my Selmi?


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

Hi- I use a Selmi- An enrobed piece will not have the shine that a molded piece has due to no contact with plastic. As Sebastian said- place a sheet of acetate on top of the enrobed pieces, cool and then peel off. It will (should) be shiny.That will show you that your temp's are OK. I work in Centigrade but I heat to 43C,(about 109) and work at 30.0-31.1C.
Melanie Boudar
@Melanie Boudar
07/30/10 09:02:24PM
104 posts

Fresh cacao pods hooray, but what to do?


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

The pods do not dry with the beautiful colors. They have a high water content, like many tropical plants and quickly shrink and go brown. You can use them to make a cast of the pod however with the plaster like material they make arm and leg casts of. Mold them, let dry, then paint them and shellac them and you will have a nice replica.
Melanie Boudar
@Melanie Boudar
06/24/10 01:42:08AM
104 posts

Cocoa Butter Problem


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

Hi Brian,I do tons of (sucessful) cocoa butter in the tropics so am working at about 72 degrees.I would prefer it cooler but use shared space and it doesn't get any cooler in summer. I work in centigrade so you will need to convert. You did not mention what temp the cocoa butter is when you are using it. Coacoa butter can appear tempered at 29C but will flake at that temp. I found it needs to be at 30.5 C to come out perfect. When you run it thru a air gun it cools it so maybe start at 31C.I let it dry at room temp or put in my 65 F wine cooler.I leave it for about an hour, then let come slightly back to room temp.I have an automatic tempering machine so the chocolate is perfectly crystallized. It goes in at 31.1C. I let it set up at room temp, then put it back in my wine cooler at 65 F for about 1/2 hr. I then fill and let set overnight, cap, let sit in the wine cooler a couple hrs and tap out.
Melanie Boudar
@Melanie Boudar
06/19/10 04:41:03AM
104 posts

Hawaii


Posted in: Travels & Adventures

Hi Lowe,How have you been? Back to Hawaii anytime soon? Our newspaper the merged Honolulu Advertiser and Star Bulliten, now the Star Advertiser I think will be running a feature on Cacao June 30th.
Melanie Boudar
@Melanie Boudar
06/19/10 04:39:05AM
104 posts

Hawaii


Posted in: Travels & Adventures

Besides Steelgrass ,Koa Kahili is in Kauai and does a few chocolate bean to bar classes, His profile is on the Hawaii Cacao Page. I think overall what is happening in Kauai is small and probabl more focused on raw chocolate.
Melanie Boudar
@Melanie Boudar
06/11/10 02:04:09AM
104 posts

Hawaii


Posted in: Travels & Adventures

The Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory in Kona gives tours as does Tom Sharkey on the Hamakua Coast of the Big Island. His website isn't much but his farm is nice, with vanilla growing up the cacao trees and surrounded by coffee. He also has a vacation rental and does chocolate making classes.http://www.konasharkscoffee.com/The Hilo Farmers market usually has cacao pods for sale. A third farm on the Hamakua coast will be offering tours in about another year.MAlie Kai does not own the trees- it is the Waialua Estate on the North Shore of Oahu and is owned by Dole. They do not give regular tours except to large groups.Let me know if I can answer any other questions- I live on the Big Island and have 2 chocolate shops. My production kitchen, Sweet Paradise Chocolatier, is located in Waimea on the Big Island, the main store is in Kailua, Oahu.
Melanie Boudar
@Melanie Boudar
06/28/11 04:17:43AM
104 posts

Summer shipping tips & tricks?


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

we cant ship in styrofoam coolers or liners, the cost is prohibitive. pharmecueticals are shipped to veterinarians though, so we recycle their boxes.gel ice is readily available on fishing pier/ marine supply stores though, only $8.00 for 24 1/2 lb blocks at the dock.
Melanie Boudar
@Melanie Boudar
03/14/10 05:32:22PM
104 posts

Anyone in Bali?


Posted in: Travels & Adventures

I am making a trip to Bali in June and would love to visit a cacao farm there. (would help me write off the trip too)
updated by @Melanie Boudar: 04/10/15 04:02:22AM
Melanie Boudar
@Melanie Boudar
05/05/13 04:49:27AM
104 posts

Custom Chocolate Molds


Posted in: Classifieds

Tomric, Micelli Mold co both do custom
Melanie Boudar
@Melanie Boudar
12/17/09 02:12:59AM
104 posts

Godiva "Breaks the Mold" for its new Chocoiste store in Tokyo's Harajuku District


Posted in: News & New Product Press

I think it looks gross and uninviting. And Chocoiste...whats that? Sounds like imitation chocolate.I think they got it wrong. I'll take the museum quality cacao tree replica in my resort store any day!Pictures coming soon...
Melanie Boudar
@Melanie Boudar
12/13/09 04:31:59AM
104 posts

How Are You Making These Holidays Special with Chocolate?


Posted in: Tasting Notes

A few new flavors..fig, walnut and port wine, cranberry,walnut and orange, caramel stuffed and dark chocolate dipped turkish figs, lime in the coconut- a mounds type coconut layer except with organic unsweetened coconut and agave syrup so its not so sickening sweet with a lime infused ganache layer, and tropical fruits we dehydrate ourselves-no preservatives-pineapple, papaya, apple bananas, mango and starfruit, dipped in dark chocolate.
Melanie Boudar
@Melanie Boudar
11/15/09 04:02:30PM
104 posts

Chocolate packaging & boxes, something special?


Posted in: Opinion

Cocolat-chocolat has beautiful boxes. They are fairly expensive but I offer the customers a small credit to come recycle and refill the boxes and many do.
Melanie Boudar
@Melanie Boudar
10/15/09 04:12:10AM
104 posts

Need Ideas for an Advanced Chocolate Course - what would people want to learn?


Posted in: Chocolate Education

Hey sounds great to me!! You'd have to schedule the class Hawaiian style...enough time for the beach. The Selmi lives 20-25 min from a beach with Manta rays and turtles.
Melanie Boudar
@Melanie Boudar
10/14/09 03:24:11AM
104 posts

Need Ideas for an Advanced Chocolate Course - what would people want to learn?


Posted in: Chocolate Education

You East Coast people are lucky...thats 5000 miles and 6 hr time zone difference for me! Not inexpensive to fly to Buffalo.
Melanie Boudar
@Melanie Boudar
10/14/09 03:21:06AM
104 posts

Need Ideas for an Advanced Chocolate Course - what would people want to learn?


Posted in: Chocolate Education

thanks for the sugesstion Robert. I don't have a spray gun but I did recently buy some food lacquer to play with. I solve my problem by putting the salt inside. I do Kiawe smoked salt caramels- tastes smoky like bacon wood but no meat (yuk) . Kiawe is like mesquite. I use a variety of Hawaiian salts that we have here-red, black, green.
Melanie Boudar
@Melanie Boudar
10/11/09 02:41:43AM
104 posts

Need Ideas for an Advanced Chocolate Course - what would people want to learn?


Posted in: Chocolate Education

I have a small production that supplies 3 retail outlets and numerous hotel and wholesale accounts. I have a great tempering unit, a SELMI Plus, but can't afford to add a $3000 guitar or $1400 Thermomix or Robocoupe( everything cost double here after you add shipping) or lots of other goodies that cost a bundle. ( Actually I bought an $1800 guitar and the plastic base warped so that was a costly error and I'm back to low tech cutting)I love molding and am fast and consistent at it but also like the efficiency of slab ganaches that you can decorate.The combination of techniques makes the case more interesting.So a challenge for me is getting consistent results with low tech equipment-cutting ganaches with drywall tools or paint shields etc. I 'd like to do more complex ganaches with layers of texture but when you start adding ingredients like that all kinds of new problems occur and they are also challenging to cut into somewhat perfect consistent pieces. So understanding more about how different things react with each other and at what point to add them to maximize their crunch or flavor etc....building more complex ganaches.Also knowing what the effect of various additives is whether its glucose, trimoline, sorbitol or other shelf life extenders.I see people put salt on top of chocolate ...well in my tropical climate you can't do that, it melts almost instantly. So does sugar. I made a creme brulee ganache and caramelized sugar, then smashed it up and added it to the cooled ganache. It was heavenly for several hours.. But in the time the pieces sat overnight, even in my 65 degree cool room to dry out a little to enrobe the next day the sugar "melted" and lost its crunchy edge due to humidity most likely. You can't leave cough drops out here , they get soft in a few days.Peppermint bark would never work, the candy canes go liquid in their wrappers.I guess the "artisan" part of the chocolate is that they are not all perfect mirrors of one another but in striving for better perfection I'd just like to find solutions for having a little more consistency.
Melanie Boudar
@Melanie Boudar
10/14/09 03:16:54AM
104 posts

Temper, temper!


Posted in: News & New Product Press

Dirke,Invest in a laser thermometer. Its the best tool you can own. You can get one at a pastry chef supply or a hardware store, electricians use them. After you zap your chocolate in the mico you will be in the 40-45C range, don't go above 50C. The temp will drop as you seed but the agitation (stiriing) only becomes critical at 34C. Above that you can stir in some chocolate and walk away. Come back and check it, stirring occasionally. At 34 you want to seed very lightly so it will melt and you won;t have lumps and then keep pretty regular stirring. Dark chocolate will come into temper around 30-31degrees. Milk and WHitewill be lower- 28-29 as a rule but again depends on the chocolate brand.test on a sppon or piece of acetate, it should set up in less than 3 min-pretty simple and reliable really once you understand what you're shooting for. If the set up is streaky it needs more agitation, if grainy you didn't seed enough(but don't go overboard on seed either)Rich Valhrona is EZ to get here in Hawaii if you need to know where just email me.
Melanie Boudar
@Melanie Boudar
10/09/09 12:48:47AM
104 posts

Temper, temper!


Posted in: News & New Product Press

Dirk,The answer to your question is more than just giving one specific temp. Most chocolate manufactures list a recommended tempering curve on the box which can vary by several degrees. Also, your room temp and speed of cooling can affect the temper of the chocolate....it could have been in temper when you enrobed your piece and a warm room and too slow a cooling took it out of temper. Milk chocolate with its various solids can be more difficult than dark. Sounds like you would benefit greatly from some hands- on type of class or an environment like ecolechocolat.com where the therory is mixed with practical work and observation of the results. Many peoples first tempering results are like yours- not sure what went right or wrong. Maybe practice with dark at first to gain more confidence and most of all don't give up!
Melanie Boudar
@Melanie Boudar
10/09/09 12:07:51AM
104 posts

The Holidays Are Upon Us - What Are YOU Making Special This Year?


Posted in: News & New Product Press

OK the gore is coming out now...bring it on.
Melanie Boudar
@Melanie Boudar
10/09/09 12:07:12AM
104 posts

The Holidays Are Upon Us - What Are YOU Making Special This Year?


Posted in: News & New Product Press

Wow, Robert...never mind dessert, whats for dinner at your place?
Melanie Boudar
@Melanie Boudar
10/08/09 01:25:24PM
104 posts

The Holidays Are Upon Us - What Are YOU Making Special This Year?


Posted in: News & New Product Press

I was hoping Jeff and his crew would post some gory stuff...this is your time to shine! with the gore!I made bloody finger pops with purple , black and green fingernails. Also dipped dried bananas and we call them skeleton fingers, packaged in a little cauldron or pumpkin. Sorry no pics yet.
Melanie Boudar
@Melanie Boudar
10/22/09 04:15:01AM
104 posts

Online buying/selling?


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

I have bought chocolates on line from several places before I started my own website. I never had anything arrive damaged. On the other end, the shipping end, we have had maybe 1 or 2 boxes not arrive good, one was because the address they gave us was wrong. It came back beat up and melted after 10 days. We remembered the person was a doctor and googled his name and town, found the right address, called and shipped a new box despite it not being our mistake. We do a lot of on line business. Shipping is expensive, not just postage but also packing, gel ice etc. best to negociate a rate with Fed-X. I recently joined an organization that I will get 40% off Fed X rates so that savings will pass to the customer. We have shipped packages to 1/2 dozen foreign countries as well and it all went FED X and arrived fine.Not that many people live where there is a good selection of chocolate boutiques. In that case its still good to have an internet presence for your store. People may visit the area and want to send gifts home or buy later on.
Melanie Boudar
@Melanie Boudar
09/18/09 01:53:31PM
104 posts

How small can a small shop be?


Posted in: Opinion

I have 2 retail shops and lease a commercial kitchen in another location. Both retail stores are about 300 sf. One location has a small kitchen, about 250 sf but its cramped with packaging storage etc. so I leased space elsewhere. I deliver to one location and ship to the second. I also ship to numerous wholesale accounts. While its nice to think you can wait on customers and save labor while you are making chocolate its really impossible. You cannot be in the middle of making a ganache and have 3 sets of customers come in and all wait on you. Its very disruptive if you are in a busy location. ( Location, location) The plus side was when I did have help there on slow days they could help me. I have undercounter wine coolers for extra storage and garnite or stainless on top. I think its ideal to have a busy retail location and a kitchen in the back that you don't expect yourself to be the one ringing up the sale. But then you also have the problem of paying prime retail $$ for kitchen space.
updated by @Melanie Boudar: 09/10/15 01:52:23AM
Melanie Boudar
@Melanie Boudar
10/22/09 12:10:07AM
104 posts

Best chocolate school


Posted in: Opinion

The artistic part is what you, yourself add after studying and refining good basic techniques. The techniques are taught by Callebaut Academy, Ecole Chocolat in their Masters courses, Notter School, CIA in NY, ICE and various workshops with people like Andrew Schotts, Jin Caldwell or a host of other accomplished chocolatiers. I personally see more "artistic" chocolate being done in the US. Many of the schools, such as Callebaut have international instructors so I wouldn't presume Europe is better. A Good solid foundation is required no matter what.
Melanie Boudar
@Melanie Boudar
05/05/09 03:38:39AM
104 posts

Getting customers in the door


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

I have a policy about charitable/fundraising events that has generated a lot of business.... I will donate 20% of their purchase.I like the events where there is a dinner and theme involved. So if they spend $1000 for chocolate at the dinner tables I give them $200 off the bill. The $200 doesnt cost me $200 so its worthwhile.
Melanie Boudar
@Melanie Boudar
05/03/09 02:48:02AM
104 posts

Getting customers in the door


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

get some writers to write a story on you in a local paper or magazine.
Melanie Boudar
@Melanie Boudar
04/11/09 02:59:25AM
104 posts

Massive amount of lemons available


Posted in: News & New Product Press

There used to be a company in Florida called Island Oasis that made a great lemon sorbet. Maybe they are still around but they did not respond to a recent email..What made their sorbet/ice unique was it was stuffed in the half shell of the lemon which was apparently flash frozen somehow..retained its color, etc. They were importing the frozen fruit rinds from South Africa! Seems crazy. Someone should capitialize on this. They had oranges, pineapples, and coconuts as well as lemons. Oranges , and limes would be the same. I'd buy them!.
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