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Hi everyone!
I need help and advice on running my chocolate fountain. At a recent event - my Belgian milk chocolate was not it's usual flowing texture. I've never experienced this before and am wondering what went wrong. In fact when I was dipping strawberries etc into it, the chocolate seemed to be thick and creamy and not dripping off but rather setting. Any ideas? I wonder if the 'day's' temperature affected this, or a poor batch of buttons, or there's something wrong with my fountain. Your replies are greatly appreciated. Cheers. Michelle

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There could be many reasons.

Are you using a milk chocolate specifically formulated for a chocolate fountain?

Most chocolate fountains specify that cream/oil/cocoa butter be added to the chocolate that it will use, in order to make it more fluid.

Can you provide more information about the chocolate you are using?

Thanks.
Hi Brad,
Yes I'm using Belgian chocolate direct from a factory that uses the same buttons to make their bars. I've used it before and had no problems. Content wise it has 40% Cocoa in the milk chocolate buttons, cocoa butter - there's no mention of oil on the label. I was under the impression that as Belgian chocolate has a high content of cocoa butter there's no need to add oil?

Thanks
Michelle;

There are still some unknowns.

First of all, the 40% you refer to is most likely a combination of cocoa beans and cocoa butter. Even if the maximum amount of lecithin is used (and at the right time) in the manufacture of the chocolate it will be very, very thick - most likely too thick work in your fountain.

Lecithin in the manufacture of chocolate can play a double role - it can either thicken the chocolate, or it can thin the chocolate. The percentages used in relation to the batch made at the factory are in fractions of one percent by weight. If that fraction is too high, even by 1/10th of one percent, it could thicken the chocolate and cause you the grief you are experiencing.

In the case of the chocolate you are using, this may be the case - a slight miscalculation at the factory.

The chocolate I make here at Chocolate, is a 48% (17% cocoa beans, and 31% cocoa butter) and it still needs to be thinned out for a fountain.

Furthermore, with a 40% milk chocolate you may not be getting enough "chocolate" flavour. My recommendation would be to thin it out with a combination of cocoa butter and a strong 70% dark. You will still get the milky chocolate, but a slightly stronger chocolate flavour.

Also, by using cocoa butter, the chocolate will crystalize again once cold, and store for future use with the fountain (if you are so inclined to do so). Using cream will cause it to spoil at room temperature, and using another oil (vegetable oil is common... Yuck!) will also give you grief, as vegetable oil also goes rancid in time.

To thin it out, start with increments of cocoa butter, 5% by weight, until it's thin, and then add some dark chocolate to bring back the chocolate flavour.

That's my 2 cents for what it's worth.
Hi Brad,
WOW! Out of my depth here!
I'll have to track down where to obtain cocoa butter from, perhaps just to have on hand should this happen again. Out of curiosity I've noticed Copha has lecithin in it. (Not sure of what %) What are your thoughts on adding a tablespoon of this to the chocolate buttons before going into the fountain?
For Sure Don't use lecithin.
Could be that your chocolate has been stored improperly and absorbed mositure.
Hi Theo,
The chocolate was packaged in a sealed cellophane bag. I tend not to reuse chocolate already gone through the fountain and there's not much left. I do have a couple of bags for my next function and still am concerned. Thanks for your response.
I assume your chocolate absorbed moisture. I have heard that cb should be added. Or some other oil, which is less preferable.

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