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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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Hey Everybody;

I stumbled across this thread today while perusing the site.

I could see potential if one were using a liquid that hardened, such as a ganache.

In our case, we actually whip the cream, and cream the butter before we mix both with chocolate. Then while it's semi-solid we spatula it into tubs to cool and solidify. This considerably aerates the buttercream and makes it very light and fluffy when it reheats to room temperature in the center of the truffle. If we were to heat it to a liquid, such that we could pipe it, all of the light fluffy nature would disappear.

Having said that, we hand scoop our truffle centers using small spring loaded dishers (like icecream scoops) to ensure uniformity in weight. Personally, I can portion out and hand roll (just to help shape them) about 300 truffle centers per hour. If I have a staff member rolling them, and I set the pace by dishing, we can achieve about 550-600 per hour. (last count we were at 35,000 truffles sold since opening 8 months ago)

The benefit of portioning them with the disher is that they are scooped when the buttercream is cold, thereby ensuring the aeration is kept in tact, and the truffle center is light and silky smooth when enrobed. While this may work, I believe we'll most likely have to stick to hand portioning.

This mold system would sure be nice for cream caramel though!!!! It is so popular here, and I hate cutting the stuff! A caramel truffle center would be to DIE for!

I'd love to hear if anyone has tried it with hot caramel yet.

These work well with caramel. Fill, allow to set at room temp, freeze, unmold.

As for the buttercream, melt to a liquid, pour into a whipper, charge with N2O, chill, then dispense into the mold. This will save you considerable time and yield excellent results.
Does anybody know of a UK distributor for Pavoni moulds and so on? They haven't replied to my e-mail requests and ordering Italian moulds from America makes no sense, somehow. Lots of nice stuff on their web-site but no apparent means of ordering anything!
I used the square molds and was less than impressed. The corners do not come out clean.
The spherical mold is interesting ,but I am not adverse to using premade shells either.
For squares to enrobe Its far easier to put your ganache in a square guitar frame. (you can make these at a plastics or steel co inexpensive) and cut your ganache with a very long drywall tool if you don't have a guitar.I freeze it for 20 min and it cuts very clean squares.

I also tried an interesting black silicone mat that was for baking interesting shapes. They had one that was long and skinny 1/2 round. The ganache pops out of that much easier than the white silicone. The sticks can be cut into three pieces. The mat has about 40 impressions so 120 piece yield and you have an interesting shape, not just boring squares.
I had similar mixed results with the flat round molds, Melanie, and at $80 plus a pop, I expected better. I have found that if I spray them with a vegetable spray it helps. Opposite to my intuition a creamier ganache works better for me in these than a firmer one. I did try caramels and they came out GREAT, and when I can afford it I will get more just for caramels which we labor many hours over with hand cutting.
Robert, I am interested in the freezing step you do. Is that just to remove them? How does it affect the caramels, if it all?

Freezing is good for removal... and for reasons that I have yet fully explain, freezing reduces fat weeping on protein-free caramels, but different recipes freeze differently. Freeze as fast as you can. The freezer is also good for basic storage of caramels.
I am curious how you get the caramel in that mold fast enough? Is it a soft or stiff recipe?
I don't have a problem with time- it is a pretty soft, but not runny cream and butter caramel- so I just pour it directly in the molds and scrape off the excess.

Back to the freezing of the caramels- how about protein based ones? I am worried that the cream ones might get "funny". Have you tried those? What kind of caramels are you using in these molds Robert?
There are so many variables with caramel, you're best bet is to test a small batch. It typically seems to make the caramels a tiny bit tighter, I correct this by cooking to 1C cooler.
Just keep it insulated while depositing?

Honestly I've never had an issue, but if I did, that is the approach I'd take.
Hi Duffy,

I am Stefania Maffeis - Export Area Manager for company Pavoni Italia (the one selling CHOCOFLEX, PAVOFLEX and other interesting items).

Of course, I do love chocolate !!! A reason more for visiting this website!!

Back to your request, could you please confirm me your email address so that I can give you all information you need for our products??

Hope to hear from you soon, should you want to write to me... please find here my email address:

Kind regards
Stefania Maffeis
Duff - Please respond via private message rather than making your e-mail publicly available.


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