The Chocolate Life

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Chocolate Technique: What would you like to learn more about?

I'm currently wrapping up a guide to fine chocolate technique. The expected audience is advanced hobbyists and those with professional aspirations. The finished manual will be released as a free e-book. Those of you who are new to chocolate or still actively learning: what would you like to see included in such a book? What have you found to be poorly documented, what has caused you ongoing frustration, what makes you say "wow, how did they do that"? Any feedback (however broad or specific) would be appreciated and will hopefully help others. Here are some of the topics already covered:

Characteristics of fine chocolate
Blending couvertures
Principles of tempering chocolate
Ganache composition
Overview of commonly used ganache ingredients
Commonly used tools and equipment
Slabbing and piping ganache
Dipping/enrobing bonbons
Molding
Storage

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Decoration
I am not talking about showpieces. I am talking about different techniques to decorate bonbons (spraying, transfer sheets, etc).
Aside from what you already include, it would be nice to have info on:

Pralinés
Nut Pastes & Giandujas
Caramels and Fruit Caramels.
Brendan:

If you'd like to have a fact-checker/copy editor look at the manuscript before you release it, please consider me. I know that having editors on my book led to a far better product. As the eBook is to be free I will volunteer my services in this capacity. I am not looking to influence the content or direction, just help to make sure it's factually correct with good sentence construction and grammar.

:: Clay
Thanks, Clay. I might take you up on that!

And thank you Andre & cheebs. I have a short, non-exhaustive section on decorating bonbons now. Are there any specifics you'd like to see? My focus has been largely on chocolate, but if there's an overwhelming interest in caramels and other confectionery, I might add some material in this area.

More feedback, anyone?
Maybe a little on filled chocolates ....

Chrissie
Brendan,
You might want to mention the special attention needed to mold in old metal molds.
I collect and sell these molds and offer cleaning and maintenance instructions on my web site: www.oldmolds.com under LINKS & DIRECTIONS.

If you are interested in listing me as the largest on-line source of antique and old metal molds in your book I would be glad to reciprocate by having a link to your web site for your book or in some way recommending your book.

I also have a LinkedIn Group you might to join (Chocolate Mold Collector http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=1815647&trk=hb_side_g).
In which case we can feature the book when it comes out.

Good luck on your book.

PS you will be mentioning Luster dust I hope!
Specifics on temp and humidity (storage and working), non-guillotine cutting techniques when slabbing, changing chocolate consistency through the intro of cocoa butter.
may i ask that all tempuratues are in both fahrenheit and centagrade....and all measurements are in pounds/ounces and kilos/grams as well as cups[/]....i know all your non american friends and collegues will appreciate this....and if you mention specific brands, that may or may not be available all over the world, that perhaps you state the cocao % as well....look forward to seeing your research and topics...best regards
Hi,
It would be interesting to see some food pairing techniques. What combines with different chocolate and what replaces different ingredients ? Especially taste like.
Also interesting is the comparison water / fat / fat content percentages in combination with different ingredients.
Textures, different sorts of sugars ...

grtz
Alain
Paul here. Chef Rubber.
Chef Rubber get many requests on 'how to....' The item we find interesting is the lack of understanding of the different types of 'levels' of equipment used for different techniques. as an example, One simple can not use a small compressor to spray large show pieces. additionally, 'HOME DEPOT" compressors are not food grade as the oil travels through the line to lube the construction type tool. Chef Rubber offers medical grade compressors with moisture traps and components to avoid such circumstances. it is also quite interesting the misunderstanding of tempering. one does NOT temper couverture, you temper the cocoa butter contained there in. Also the lecithin in the ingredient of couverture, one tenth of a percent, is a great emulsifier and aids in the tempering process. some couverture manufactures try to imply 'pure premium' because they have taken it out. i hope the book is a success and when published Chef Rubber would like to offer it!
kind regards,
Paul
Would like to see a section on pre-bottoming technique for slabs as well as technical advice on prolonging shelf life.
Hello,
I thought I'd take the opportunity to tell you all about my site: chocolateratings.wordpress.com
Namaste,
Nicole

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