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I recently started hand-dipping my truffles instead of shell molding so i am still working out my techniques.  I read somewhere that it's good to coat the bottom of the truffle with a "crumb coat" of chocolate before you dip to make it easier to slide off the dipping fork.  i have tried this, and it's a time-consuming process.  does any one know if this is really necessary?  any tips on getting the dipped truffle off the fork smoothly and quickly (besides lots of practice - which i am certainly getting this season!)

thanks

Tags: hand-dipping

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Mary,

From your picture, it looks like your truffles are square. This will make it much easier (and quicker) to precoat them. There are two ways you could pre-bottom your truffles.

1. spread your chocolate out before putting your ganache frames down and pouring your ganache. thus once your ganache sets, and you cut it, you'll already have a very smooth bottom.

2. pour your ganache into your frame & when you are about ready to dip, coat the top of the ganache, let the chocolate set a bit, & then flip it over & cut it. I prefer this method because you can cut the chocolate before it fully sets. This helps prevent the chocolate from cracking when you cut it.

Our centers are very soft so pre-coating the bottom prevents the center from sinking into the dipping fork and thus sliding off much easier.

To get the truffle off the fork, i like to keep the fork warm in the chocolate (this prevents the chocolate from setting to the cold tines of the fork). Also, I like to dip with tip of the fork thus the truffle only needs to slide a short distance.

Also, once the truffle is sliding off the tip, I'll set the front end on the paper & push my fork down to break the tension and slide it out more easily. This sounds peculiar - If the truffle and fork are at a 45 degree angle, i'll set the tip of the truffle on the paper & push the tip of the fork to say 35 degrees and thus the fork pulls away from the truffle and it is easier to slide the fork out.

Then, we'll slide the fork out a bit & push the center back onto the foot. This helps minimize any feet.

Then lay the fork flat & pull it out.

I hope this helps. :)

I was just thinking about the angles I mentioned above. I think I got them backwards. - Instead of going from 45 to 35 degrees, I'm moving the tip of the fork away from the chocolate which should increase the angle. So the chocolate would stay at 45 degrees but the fork would move to a higher degree with the tip slightly pulling off the base of the chocolate, say 55 degrees.

Does that make sense?

Yes, thanks Larry.  i will try it!

I pre-coat mine. Wearing gloves I put a nickel size amount of chocolate in my palm and roll truffle, then drop onto pan (I drop them a little hard so that the bottom is flat). The ganache I make is a bit soft, so rolling them in chocolate before dipping them helps keep the round shape. After they are set I dip them, I use a fork and a toothpick. I hold the fork at an angle, and use the toothpick to help slide it off. If your ganache is firm enough though I wouldn't pre-coat, but I always keep toothpicks around to help me out :)
Why are you switching?

I actually do both.  but i love using transfer sheets and so i started enrobing truffles.

If you're hand-dipping square truffles, you'll ideally want to use what's called a 'bottoming mix.' Basically, take 50/50 Cocoa Liquor and Cocoa Butter, mix and melt to about 32-34C, stir and cool to about 29/30C, and apply to the top or bottom of your truffles.

Most often, the easiest way to do this is by taking a pastry brush and brushing the bottom of a piece of parchment, putting your ganache frame on top and finally filling it with your ganache before it is fully set.

The other way to do it would be once your truffles are cut, to place them evenly apart on a tray and spray that bottoming mix through a compressed air system. Of course, if you are doing very low volume, other methods may make more sense (but these are the most time-efficient).

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