The Chocolate Life

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Hello, everybody, happy new year! :)

I'm very new in chocolate making and was very happy when i found this website. I tried searching for similar discussions and was not very successful, it could be my keywords were all wrong. So i apologize if this was already discussed at lenght and will appreciate anything you can tell me. :)

I bought martellato polycarbonate molds for praline, the first time i used them, the chocolate shells i made (i made liquer filled chocolates) almost fell out on their own. I followed the procedure for making chocolates that i found on theblog chocolate covered kitchen: i put the temperated chocolate in the mold, put it in the fridge for 5 minutes, emptied the molds to obtain chocolate shells, put that in the fridge for the next 15 minutes, then to the freezer for 7 minutes. The molds have the washing machine sign imprinted on them, so i washed them in the washing machine. One of the molds became cloudy, the other is still clear. My next attempt at chocolate making was not so successful. The chocolates got stuck in the molds and i could not get them out no matter how hard i banged them at the countertop. So i washed them (and the chocolate out of them) with hot water and dish detergent. Then i polished them with cotton. Some googling and asking questions showed i should not have put my molds in the dishwasher, wash them with hot water, used the detergent, put them in the freezer ... pretty much everything i did was (supposedly?) wrong. So i washed them with tepid water and a bit of hand soap once again, still with no success. Then i read someplace that i shouldn't wash the molds at all, that the water is bad for the PC plastic, so i used the blow-drier to melt the chocolate and cotton balls to clean the surface and polish the cavities. Out of 58 chocolate shells i should have gotten, i got 22 out in one piece. Then i called martellato and told them of my problems and they advised me to rub some cocoa butter in the cavities. I also got another piece of advise from a different source to not have my molds too cold, so i used a blow drier to make them warm to the touch. I couldn't get one single chocolate released from one of the molds, from another i got 9 that were in one piece and usable.

I should also mention that i had tried other methods of cooling the chocolate, i read someplace that the best temperature is 18 C, so i put the molds in the room with 18 C, left them there for 2 hours, also turned upside down this time (the advice about the temperature and upside down cam from the same place, keylink), but my molds are not so straight as they seem, so i got some chocolate hardening around the cavities and i still couldn't get them out in one piece, so i switched back to the method that first worked for me. 

Another piece of information that is probably usable is the type of chocolate i am using: at first i used a 70 % chocolate i bought in lidl, and added 15 % of cocoa butter to it. Then, encouraged with success, i bought kessko chocolate (the only chocolate available in bulk where i live) and i am now using this one. I know i am tempering the chocolate correctly, because it does get nice and shiny and it does snap. Any advice on what a novice enthusiast working with chocolate at home can do and what am i doing wrong greatly appreciated.

I have asked Janice from chocolatecoveredkitchen and she said that, contrary to what she reads, putting the chocolates in the freezer for longer times if they don't want to release from molds is what works for her. I tried that and the longer they were in the freezer, the less it seemed to help.

I should also add that i am retempering the same chocolate (with as much "new" chocolate as needed) i got left from previous attempts.

Thank you for reading this, i know it is long. :)

Tags: chocolates, molds, praline, release

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Retry warming the molds, but no where near that warm.  Your fingers typically are about 92F, so if it felt warm to you they were probably warm enough to remelt the chocolate poured against them and lose your temper.  The molds should be the same temperature as your tempered chocolate to about 5 degrees cooler.  Molds too cold will also cause problems as the cocoa butter will set up too quickly in untempered state, before the seed crystallizes the rest as it should. 

Thank you, Mark, i'll try that next! 

Update: so, i washed the molds with warm water, no detergent whatsoever, used cotton balls to remove the chocolate that was stuck in them, and them polished them dry with cotton balls. Today i polished the molds with cotton once again, tempered the chocolate and i put them on the balcony for 2 hours. And every single shell fell out, i tapped the mold lightly twice, most of them fell out then, the rest i just lifted with mu fingers. I couldn't be happier. :) Thank you, Mark, for the advice. 


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