Just a really stupid question.... Im contemplating buying a Hilliard Little Dipper but I dont want to do dipping, I want to do bars. Besides holding the bowl over the mold, and tipping, what would be the best solution?
I use 100cc syringes when making bars from my smaller tempering machines. Works a treat, plus dosage can be controlled very accurately. Additionally, they are very cheap! With practice, I can mold almost as quickly as my Savage dosing pump can.
The Savage pump costs around $4k new. It fits on the Savage 50lb tempering melter and uses compressed air to move a piston that can be set to the desired dose. You can control it with a pedal or it can be set to work on a timed basis.
IIRC the last quote I got from Savage for the tempering machine/dosing pump combo was $9.2k. I bought mine used from a shop that had closed for considerable savings. Look in the Classifieds section at the Retail Confectioners' Association website for possible leads on used gear. I bought a lot of my shop's equipment that way.
Dear Cheebs..... Thanks for the informative answer. Much appreciated. The link to RCA is a new one and very useful. Thanks. Living in South Africa is like living in a hole! Nothing. I just wish we had so much equipment floating around... anyway. Thanks again. T
I like to use disposable pastry bags. I fill them up and can estimate pretty close how much chocolate I need. The bonus part is when I am finished, I squeeze out the excess and let the remainder harden in the bag. When I want to use, I scrunch the bag and the loose, hard chocolate falls out (I remelt it) and I can reuse the bag. (I put a binder clip on the hole). I have 3 Savage tempering melters that have a guillotine opening, but I can't control the flow like I can with a pastry bag. I would think you could temper in the microwave faster than the Little Dipper. It doesn't hold that much chocolate.
I've seen easy pour funnels mentioned and am about to pick up a couple, but Ruth's pastry bag solution seems like a better solution. Tony, I can confirm your intuition that ladles are a source of constant frustration and waste.
I don't use a ladle per se but a large flat kitchen spoon that scoops about 75g at a time (the size of the mould I wish to fill so I don't have to double dip), just scrape the bottom of the spoon on the side of the bowl and pour into the mould which sits on an electronic balance. It is very accurate and no drips I promise.
This is more accurate than some dosing machines choc companies use, I quite often weigh a bar before I eat it and you would be surprised at the variation you find in their weights.
I love this idea and will use it. The thing I am wondering about is - how to get the shells filled and then drain them quickly enough to get a nice thin shell. The first time I tried this method, I had to really bang out the excess chocolate and the shells turned out uneven. Any advice?