I've looked a lot into panning, and found it to be really too much of a burden for us. Yet I continue to be asked for panned items. I've seen that silly attachment that is sold to make your Kitchen Aid a panner and have written it off time and time again as a joke.
After reading another person panning and I saw a K. Aid attachment mentioned, I thought I should stop thinking about it being a myth and see what you all thought.
To be completely up front about this, I do not have what I consider "experience" with this - I saw this panning attachment used once in a class I took. It seemed very handy but you needed to go relatively slowly - adding small amounts of chocolate at a time until an adequate coating is achieved. It seemed to do a good-sized quantity at a time though. I thought about buying the attachment but the last time I checked it was about $500. Not sure what you mean about requirements - other than a Kitchen Aid mixer... Limitations - fairly noisy, slowing going. Now that I think about it I am not sure what cleaning is involved say between batches with different chocolates or different types of nuts (glazed, plain...)
I have one, use it exclusively for panning hazelnuts--although it can be used for many other items. Maximum weight of "raw" (uncovered) hazels is around 1 kg, with the shell being around 6 mm thick. Really, it all depends on how thick you want the chocolate shell to be, there's only so much space in the bowl for the nuts to "grow", thicker shell = smaller amount of "raw" nuts to begin with.
You need a cool room (ambient temp of 13 celcius or lower) or an air-conditioner for panning chocolate items, although some have "cheated" by throwing in a hunk of dry ice, or stuffing the whole contraption in a fridge.
The hallway in my commercial bldg is just the right temperature in the winter months, I set the whole thing--K. Aid and device--on a trolley and wheel it into the hallway. In the summer months I do it in my kitchen, I have a cheapo air conditioner that I added a 4" dryer hose to, and can direct a flow of cold air into the bowl.
If you add to much chocolate into the bowl, the surface on your items will be "wrinkly". I like to fill a large squeeze bottle with couvertute and squeeze just enough choc, into the bowl to gt the items wet, then tumble around for a minute or two, direct some cold air in, tumble a bit more, add more choc., etc. etc. etc.
Glazing is lost on me. I tried with gum arabic glazes, but didn't have much success. High glosses with gum arabic is dependant on the cocoa butter content of the chocolate. I hate cheap chocolate so the glazes don't work well with my regular 70% couverture, There are commercial glazes, but I don't know of any sources to get small quantities, and they contain many "funny" ingredients. I finish off my hazels with cocoa powder.
Cleaning the bowl can be easy or hard, all depending on how you look at things. I run the heat gun around the outside of the bowl for a minute or two--or toss it in the oven, and then remove all the chocolate and cocoa powder residue with a plastic scraper. I re-use this on my next batch for the first coating--the cocoa pwdr helps a bit to make the first coat stick. Or you could try to wash the whole thing in the sink and wash about a kilo of choc. down the drain and plug up the pipes.
We have one and Dianne uses it often. The one issue is cooling like Edward mentioned. We too had gotten a number of requests and we cannot keep them in the shop. It's a good stop gap solution to see if they really want the product enough to warrant a bigger unit.
Anyone hazard a guess at the time from start to finish?
Andy - the time depends on what you are panning. Some things like coffee beans have to be done slowly. Other thgings like hazlenuts can be done quickly. It depends on the size of the product, "flat sides" which induce "doubles" (like coffee beans) and temperature you can get down too. If you can do it nice and cold it will be much faster. Also how much chocolate you want to add.
It takes me at least four hours - sometimes six or so - to do 15Kg of coffee beans. I can do razz cherries (try them!) in a couple of hours. But then I am NOT what you'd call an expert. I'm a bit of a perfectionist and have taught myself. I am sure that others here can help a heap to make that better but at least this is an answer of sorts.
I am getting VERY excited about the "Cool Bot" to get low temperatures. Not especially costly and worth looking at.
Andy, sorry but that was Union Confectionery Machinery in New York.
Jim hangs out on this forum and has a heap of great advice. That can be invaluable. They have good notes to help you through the processes too.
Andy, I think it really depends what you need to do with it. I looked at this and eventually gave it away as being too small to be useful. As I see it, it's a hobbiest tool and probably quite fun. But I'd not think commercial at all except maybe to test ideas.
I eventually purchased a "no-name" 15Kg unit on that basis that it was cheap and of a size that I could actually use for some profit. It IS now too small for me but I have learned on it and am ready to move up and I can now retire it as a polishing pan so it was a good investment.
I looked at some units from National Equipment in the USA which looked good too. I nearly bought one but was able to obtain a lower price which although doubtless of less quality did the job to now. They have a couple of small options that may be helpful to consider.
Thanks Colin for all the information, a lot to ponder. I've read your other thread as well. Interesting thoughts... Since I had written the thoughts off for such a long time I'm not sure anymore of where to start, or when to start, but at least now I have enough information on ways to start. :D
Hi, all. The Kitchen Aid Panning Attachment was, conceptually, a great idea. However, the pan is not situated at the correct angle and the bowl is not properly shaped.
We sell brand new pans in 12", 16" and 24" sizes that are fully self-contained in that they come with a base, drive, speed controller 0-36RPM, removable bowl, and optional blower for both hot and cold panning, removable polishing ribs and extra bowls if needed.
We have sold thousands of these pans around the world to retail confectioners, R & D labs, pharma labs and snack food companies. Comes with instructions, too, and my assistance as needed. I have been involved with panning for years and taught the National Confectioners Association Panning Class. Happy to help.
To view the pans please use this link:
Pricing on request with all inquires to firstname.lastname@example.org
Polishing/glazing is easy if you use the Capol line of glazes. www.centerchem.com and ask for David Jordan and mention my name - he starts up many of our pan buyers with starter sized kits.
Thanks and Happy 4th all.
PS - my company goes by both Union Confectionery Machinery & National Equipment Corp.
The time is takes to 'pan' a batch under optimal conditions is as follows:
1) Nut meats and chocolate = 1.25 hour per grossing. If the final ratio of nut meats to chocolate is 1:1 = 1.25 hour. 2:1 = 2.5 hours etc. If the air flow is wrong, temp off and RH too high then it will take longer and the end result will be poor.
Bad post! The ratio should have said 1:1 Chocolate to nutmeats 1.25 hours. 2:1 chocolate to nutmeats 2.5 hours.
Standards do not exist but I see most panning at 2.5:1 chocolate to nutmeats and it takes time to build good layers with proper cooling.
New panners please note that tempering of the coating is unnecessary as tempering causes more problems than good in this process. Tempered chocolate is too viscous and does not coat well whereby untempered coating flow better and the glazing process provides the nice shine later. Many folks just pan and then powder coat - lots of options.
Is there any other small panning machine, not the Kitchen Aid attachment, that you can recommend?