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?
I'm using some pretty simple vacuum formed molds, which are kind of notorious for release marks. I've been able to minimize them with better cooling, but only rarely completely eliminate them. If left, the marks can add to the next batch's marks. I generally wait several batches before cleaning, but I think a quick dunk in an ammonium hydroxide solution and rinse after each batch would get the marks off without much effort.
Thank you for your help. I'm going to try that.
We also have release marks on our bars, and we leave overnight. The bars are released from the moulds but just seem to leave a mark, which intensifies after use - being in Scotland we dont ever have a cool issue! It may be the bars are cooling too fast if anything. The marks do rub off easily off, but annoying just the same. We use PETG moulds, and i know when we have tried polycarbonate, we dont have the same problem. Just the tooling costs for polycarbonate are a bit prohibitive - but thats where we are heading i think - to be rid of the release marks.
i guess if you wash your molds so efficiently you don't need to sit there and polish like a maniac.
That's my thinking on the matter. :)
I'm actually going to school right now to learn how to make molds via CAD/CAM/CNC. My hope is to use a different type of plastic that is water resistant and can withstand high heat and chemical soaps.
The plastic has already been invented and is currently used in the Chocolate Industry. It's called Polycarbonate. This is the defacto plastic used in commercial quality molds.
Yes, I understand that polycarbonate is mainly used, but there are other higher quality plastics that are being used internally by large confectionery companies that are not currently being offered.
Instead of cotton balls, try cotton dish towels. The very thin ones work well. We use the warming cabinet, then wipe away residue. Seem to work pretty well. We don't wash every time.
For those of you using ammonium hydroxide--are you buying it from a lab supply company or using ammonia from the hardware store? I tried some dilute ammonia and it didn't really cut the cocoa butter much, but i was worried about ruining my molds by using higher strength.
There's a difference between ammonia and ammonium hydroxide. I don't know that I would recommend ammonia. I buy our ammonium hydroxice from a local commercial food wholesale store.
In the past I've used full strength (from the bottle), and it did no harm to the molds.
Be sure to wear protective gloves though.
Thanks for the reply Brad. I have a background in chemistry, so I was picturing ammonium hydroxide (lab grade, caustic), but then realized I couldn't find it as a cleaner so I thought maybe it was a nomenclature thing since NH3 + H2O <-> NH4OH.
I did find a company in Canada that supplies it, but only in Canada (unless I buy a truckload!). I will keep looking, but anyone in the US that can offer tips on a source, please let me know (I know of most of the lab supply houses, but they are generally pretty expensive when you want very pure/food grade solutions).