I just made a batch of chocolates that taste great, but have bloom. I am suspecting the problem is the molds were not properly cleaned as there was no bloom on the chocolate on the bottom of the chocolates. I have had similiar problems before.
Does anybody have a suggestion for how to clean the molds really well by hand (I don't have a dishwasher), or is there a good cleaning solution to use?
Do not clean them! Use a hair dryer to melt the chocolate then wipe the outside of the molds with a soft towel. Use a cotton ball to polish the indentations.
I don't think the cleanliness of the molds should cause bloom. Maybe if there was some chocolate still in the molds that the new chocolate mixed with, but I think that would be a relatively localized issue.
For cleaning, I follow Brad's comments either on this forum or on Chocolate Alchemy. He suggested cleaning with ammonium hydroxide, rinsing thoroughly and air drying. It really cuts through any chocolate remants and leaves the molds squeaky clean (literally).
I've tried using a hair dryer and cotton balls but got a lot of cotton ball lint in the molds. I've also tried washing in the dishwasher using ammonium hydroxide and vinegar in subsequent cycles, but it left a lot of residue and I ended up having to clean them by hand anyway.
Cleaning molds is the worst part of chocolate making, in my opinion. :)
For the benefit of other ChocolateLife members, can you post the link to Brad's discussion on mold washing?
Thanks - Clay
Had to go look for it. The original post is here:
And he mentions it again here:
Thank you. I will look that up. Yes, I hate cleaning molds too. I went to a seminar at The Chocolate Academy in Chicago and Barry Callebaut states one of the reasons for bloom is the cleanliness of the molds. I know that alot of people say don't wash them, but for sanitation purposes I think they should. After all you are dealing with dairy products, not just cocoa butter.
Currently, I only do dark chocolate, so I mostly clean them to make the bars look nice. :)
Interesting about Callebaut saying bloom could be caused by dirty molds. Did he explain why that could happen?
I'll have to find the product literature that they gave me. I know it was on there. They listed all the causes of bloom, and that was one of them.
thanks for the info! i also hate washing the molds extremely after a batch of 50 molds that has gone bad (bad, really bad blooming) and is faster to wash then just polish.
we use at the moment just warm water and dishwashing liquid but i will try the ammonium hydroxide,
what percentage per liter of water shall i use?
now a question about polishing the molds: my second best hobby!
i was thinking to buy a rotative brush (like the one that clean shoes at hotels) and put the softest brush you can find, would that work??
anyone ever tried?
i remember as trainee that was my job before go home: hours spent with cotton ball doing each little corner, nowadays seems impossible to ask the apprentice to do it...
I generally dump about 1/2 cup - 1 cup ammonium hydroxide in a full sink.
Don't know about the rotating brush, but in one of those threads Brad mentions using a brush to clean stubborn chocolate. I use a very soft cloth with very little pressure.
Are you washing after every use? Or only when you need to.?
I always have a release mark on my bars that leaves a little remnant on the molds. So, I always intend to do a quick wash after every use, but in practice it's when the molds really need it. It would be a lot easier and quicker if I did it every time, though.
If you have release marks, you're not letting the chocolate cool long enough. Well tempered chocolate will release itself from the molds, and allow you to make bars several times through the molds before you have to wash them.
Now having said that, if you don't have much detail in your molds, you should very seldom ever have to wash them. Our molds have lots of little tiny crevices and details where chocolate gets caught and doesn't come out. After a while we have no choice but to wash them.