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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 Chris:

That's not how these are supposed to be used. There's no way to clamp them tight enough to fill with chocolate and then rotate to fill each cavity with a thin layer and then dump the excess. You deposit the centers and then enrobe some other way.
Thanks, Clay. I couldn't tell from the pictures...

I like the molded truffles better than enrobed, and currently use a half-dome mold to make a shell (it's easy to coat & shake out the excess when the whole bottom is open), then funnel in liquid ganache. I've been hoping to find a way to eliminate the step of tempering another batch to cap off the bottoms, but haven't found it yet..... tried some of the rigid magnetic molds last year, but couldn't get them to work well....
That's very interesting. I wonder if the other shapes, e.g. squares, rectangles, come out of the mold as easily as the photos suggest. Sure can't do those truffles on a guitar, though. :-)

Looks like a nice tool to have in the arsenal.
There are fondant items that are disposable on the market that do this. I found them at www.sugarcraft.com when I was learning the art of porcelana fria, and making flowers and foliage out of fondant. You can see them on their site under "TOOLS of the TRADE GUMPASTE / FONDANT". Got to be frugal where I can, and these worked great for me.
Annette:

There are lots and lots of pages of gumpaste and fondant tools. Any ones in particular that you are recommending? Please use the actual names of the links.

Thanks,
:: Clay
truffles can be done by hand dipped method which requires a lot of patience and trail and error method.
HI Clay,

Their website is funny. If you go to an individual page, they all have the same address in the location bar. So, that is why I noted where to fine them in my post. The locator is the heading Tools of the Trade gumpaste/fondant. They don't make it any easier. I tried copying the url and it just shows up as www.sugarcraft.com
sorry!
I just acquired the spherical and square molds, but haven't tried them yet. The bottom of the square mold is thin enough that I think it will be easy to push the centers out. The two other issues I am wondering about are (1) is it safe to pour hot caramel in these? and (2) how easy will it be to leave a uniform amount of space in each of the (square) molds to add a tempered chocolate foot before popping them out? There are no English instructions. The foot is the one element that would seem to be neglected when you never have a block of ganache/filling to cut centers out of. Anyway, I'll get back with my findings as soon as I have more info!
The stats show a heat tolerance up to 280° C and it's silicone. You should be fine to do just about whatever you can concoct.

I like the idea to save some time but a fixed size doesn't work too well for us. We make a few bulk varieties and then have a number of other intermediaries due to tailoring for some customers. Maybe it could help shorten one chain...

I'd like to see a lot of silicone products come down. I'd think by now some have a good grade of industrial process but alas, I guess if the market is content we'll be up the wall.

Get back to us Katie, I'd like to know some further thoughts.

-a
Well, I tried them out! I loved the spherical mold for getting uniform sized ganache truffles in one step, and was even able to dip them just once, but I had mixed results with the flat squares one - the first ganache I tried in it was too soft, and even freezing it didn't stop it from adhering to the sides. I had to scoop all the ganache out of the holes, which was not cool. A pate de fruit worked great, though, so I think it was just the consistency of the ganache that was the problem. I haven't tried caramel as originally planned, but I will!

The round ones are fab (but so expensive!). The flat ones may be a good substitute for a guitar for a small business.
we got a few of the round flat ones for bon bons. Mixed results getting the ganache out-- found that refrigerating them some helps as does spraying the mold with oil. But I have had mixed satisfaction considering these are $80 a pop. I would like to know what results people get with caramels in them. If they worked for caramel it would be worth it as a guitar doesn't cut caramel and we sell a lot of freaking hand cut ones. This could be a lifesaver.
Hi Sarah,
I'm interested in the chocoflex mold. Any update on this?

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