The Chocolate Life

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Hi there,

Is the anyone using Crystofil from Belcolade. I am thinking of using it but like to know if there are people who have any experience with this product.

It seems to be quit easy and produces a long shelf life for the products. But it is also very hard to find any recipes and technical FAQ's on the product.

Thanks

Jan

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Hi Jan,

I've haven't yet used it but like you I was intrigued and went to a demonstration organised by Belcolade a couple of weeks ago. I was cynical to begin with but came away largely converted. It's very easy to use and really versatile. You can add pretty much anything to it - nut pastes, alcohols, fruit concentrates, syrup, oils, inclusions - and it aerates well too. It can also be used either for dipping or moulding dependent on the ratios you use. It also crystallizes much quicker than a traditional ganache. The real beauty is the additional shelf life and that the taste also apparently remains stronger for longer (though I can't personally vouch for that). It's also very reasonably priced.

The downsides: well, you still need to add additional chocolate to remove the 'fatty' taste of the product. It also must be heated to exactly the correct temperature before use and other users said that this could be a problem at least until you got used to the product. The biggest problem for me is how customers will view a non-dairy fat based/long-life product. Once you start going down this road I feel you're moving away from what makes the small, 'artisan' chocolatier different and special. But perhaps that's just me. You would certainly be hard pressed to call it a 'fresh' product though whether that is an issue for you depends on the sort of customer you're going for. While a 2-3 week shelf life shows just how fresh my products are (and justifies the higher price), admitting that my chocolates last for 12 months is not necessarily a selling point (though obviously makes production more convenient). As far as the taste is concerned I would say it wasn't quite as good as a traditional ganache but again, the question is whether your customers would tell the difference. For me the difference wasn't significant.

All in all, I certainly intend to give it a try at least in a small way to see the reaction I get. If people don't recognise the taste difference and don't care that it's a vegetable rather than dairy fat then the advantages it offers will certainly make me think hard about where I would go with it.

In terms of recipes, there are several online and, as I say, it's very versatile and a trial and error strategy is worth trying. We got several from the demo so if you contact Belcolade they will no doubt send some to you.

hope this helps,

nick.

Callebaut also has some products you may want to look at for long shelf life.  Callebaut’s Crème à la Carte is a cream based ganache with 12 month shelf life, and Callebaut's Tintoretto is a vegetable based filling with 12 month shelf life.  I have not used either of these products but thought you may want to look at them if you are looking for products with long shelf life.  Let us know your evaluation if you decide to try any of them.

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