The Chocolate Life

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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 still haven't tried this mold yet, but I did find a smaller silicone chocolate mold at a local store this year - one of the Silkomart line, seen here - http://www.thebakerskitchen.net/Cubo-silicone-candy-mold.aspx 

 

My preference is to use the mold to make a chocolate shell, then fill it with a warm ganache and let it set. I have generally used poly molds for this, and I thought the silicon worked better than I expected. The sides and angles were much smoother and crisper than I expected. Fewer imperfections than the poly molds, although I only made a few batches with the silicone. The silicone require freezing even more than the poly to pop the truffles out, but that might have been because of the deep cube shape (only one available in the store at the time). 

 

Don't know how similar Silkomart is to the Chocoflex, but the Chocoflex still seems to hold the promise of a 3-d shell (eliminating the need for a second shell-covering step, which adds time. 

 

I have this mold and I have not been successful at making ganache centers. The centers stick inside and won't release properly. I was wondering if anyone had any suggestion on what I'm doing wrong or how to do it properly. Thanks so much!!

Jennifer:

I know several people who use the mold. Part of their success (they say) is in getting things cold enough. You can't let these sit out at room temperature. They refrigerate and/or freeze before removing the centers.

I will try to freeze them next time. Thanks for the tip.

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