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Many chocolatiers like to make perfectly spherical truffles. (Okay, well maybe not perfectly spherical - they have to have a flat bottom so they don't roll around.) Up until now there have generally been two ways to do this:

Buy a one-shot depositor (expensive)
Buy pre-made shells (cheating? misleading?)

Recently, the Italian company Pavoni started a line of silicon molds specifically designed to work with ganaches as an extension to their Pavoflex line of molds for cakes and pastries. They have basic shapes (square, rectangle) that can be used in many environments to replace an expensive guitar cutter, and a circle and oval that replace a "cookie" cutter. To use them, you place the mold on a flat surface (e.g., a sheet pan covered with parchment paper), pipe the ganache into the mold cavities, and with an offset spatula and bench scraper make sure the ganache completely fills the mold cavity and that the top (what will end up as the bottom) is flat.

Perhaps the most interesting mold shape, however, is the spherical mold. With it, chocolatiers can make ganache spheres that they can then enrobe, either by hand or on a belt.


Using the Chocoflex Spherical Truffle Mold

As can be seen from the picture above, you simply pipe the filling into the molds, let it crystallize, and then remove the top half of the mold to reveal the finished spheres - ready for the next stage of production.

A 2-piece 67-sphere mold set costs $150. Expensive, yes, but far less expensive than a one-shot machine and you'd quickly recoup the costs by not having to buy shells. Plus, the mold is not limited to ganache; anything you can pipe (praline, gelee, fondant) you can use to fill the mold cavities. You can also bake and freeze in them.

Tags: ganache, molds

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I also use the Valrhona shells. I am very happy with them. I often use one color shell for everything and then dip them in whatever suits the filling-white,milk or dark. Makes the truffle interesting IMO. I have gotten quite good at having the hole part placed bottom down after dipping but sometimes it doesn't work no matter what! Anyone have a nice method? I angle the hole part at a certain pont when lifting out of the chocolate and then it moves as I get rid of the extra chocolate, to just where it is convenient to place hole down.
It is an obsession and when it doesn't work it is annoying!
Thanks Ilana -

BTW, do you purchase your Valrhona shells from the company itself or a distributor?

It sounds as though you are dipping each round truffle individually, yes? That's how I've been doing it for a few years now, but not with the shells, just hand rolled ganache and then dipping (twice) to avoid cracks.

The new technique I learned has been a real time saver. But it requires that you re-think how you want your round truffles to look. For myself, I've decided that my hand-dipped chocolates (cut on the guitar) will be the ones I decorate with either transfer sheets, etc., and the round truffles will be more textured.

What I learned is this - Once you have all of your round truffles closed and are ready to dip, wearing your food handler's gloves, dip the palm of one of your gloved hands into the bowl of chocolate (or tempering machine), so that you have a nice thin coating. You then grab about 5 truffles with the other hand, place them in between both palms and roll the truffles until they are completely covered with chocolate. You then let them roll out of your hand (from your palm down along your fingers) onto a tray, rack, bowl of chopped nuts, etc, wherever you want them to go next. Allowing them to roll out of your hand as opposed to using a dipping fork, creates texture on the truffle, and my experience was that it did a good job at taking the focus off of the closed hole in the side of the truffle.

We did a few truffles - textured only with dark or milk chocolate, one rolled in sugar, one rolled in chopped almonds, and being able to roll 5 truffles in 5 seconds and be done with it, allowed us to do a couple hundred in about 20 minutes. The only trick is that if you are also going to be covering in sugar or nuts, you need a second person. It's hard to do yourself if you've got chocolate on your palms. (Although I was able to pull it off myself when in a jam, it required using my wrists, don't ask :-) )

Hopefully that gives you another option to consider to take the focus off of that pesky hole. With the rolled, textured method, you don't have to worry about where the hole will end up.

Cheers, P-
lovely idea! Thanks. I BUY DIRECTLY FROM THE iMPORTER OF vALRHONA. Oops caps were on-sorry.
My colleague/friend also does textured truffles but she has a diff method. She puts a bunch in a bowl that has some choc in it and whirls the bowl around and then mixes them around with her gloved hand and as the choc gets thicker and they all bump around each other they get texture and that pointy look. Kind of hard to explain. She does not roll them in anything afterwards tho.
Another great idea and time saver, thanks!

Hi Patty,

 

Did you have the opportunity to try both molds?

Which one did you like the most?

 

Thanks!

Hi Lana,

 

Is it possible to use the Chocolate World's or Chef Rubber's polycarbonate truffle mold to fill the cavities straight with ganache as it is done with the Chocoflex spherical truffle silicone mold?

 

Thnaks!

Short answer - nope!  You'll never get the ganache back out.
thank you! very useful info and good news!

Hello Clay,

 

Have you used this mold for ganache truffles? Is it worth?

 

Thanks.

Hello,

 

I would appreciate if some of you kindly share your experience with the Chocoflex spherical truffle mold.

Is it worth buying it? Does really stream/speed up your truffle production?

Do you have to freeze the truffles before demolding?

How the mold compares to this one from Chef Rubber? Link follows:

http://www.shopchefrubber.com/product.php?productid=14870&cat=1...

 

Thanks,

Omar

We ordered 5 to start with, and just ordered another 5.  We don't use them for our ganache truffle centers, because I find the spheres a bit small.  We do however use them for other purposes, such as creme caramel truffle centers, where the caramel is very soft, and requires refrigeration to harden to the point where it can be dipped.

 

In all honesty, I've found that the average $10 per hour employee when given a scale, can accurately hand scoop and roll about 240 truffles per hour - more or less negating the need to use the molds.

 

Conversely, the advantage of the molds is that the centers are almost perfectly round. (there's usually a little rib around the middle, and also a dip at the top where the mold is filled.)

 

Hope that helps.

Hi Brad,

 

Thanks for your reply. As you said, the Chocoflex mold seems to be a bit small for ganache truffle. What do you think about this silicone truffle mold from Chef Rubber? The cavities are bigger (16gr/0.6oz). Link follows:

http://www.shopchefrubber.com/product.php?productid=14869&cat=1...

 

Do you think this type of mold would stream/speed up your ganache truffle production?

 

Thanks a lot,

Omar

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