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Hi All,

I want to use some new bar molds I've bought to include caramelised nuts and other inclusions and I want to have a professional appearance with the nuts enclosed within the bar and the shell smooth. I've molded them as i would a bonbon so that there is a shell of chocolate, then dropped nuts into the shell before filling with chocolate. My problem with that is that when I then cap them off it looks messy and 'homemade', for want of a better word, because of the nuts. I also can't use whatever is scraped off as I can't return it to the tempered chocolate (as there are nuts within it), so I'm left with lots of waste. I've also found that the bars tend to curve slightly out of the molds when I fill them so that I can't even scrape them clean within the mold.

Are there any obvious ways of sorting this out? I could just fill the molds and drop the nuts in at that point but I like the idea of not having any of the inclusions showing.

Thanks in advance,

Nick.

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Hi Nick,

Our complete range of tempering machines has been upgraded to the 'New Generation' where you can work with inclusions in the chocolate.

http://www.selmi-chocolate.it/eng/tempering/plus-ex.html

Regards

Tom

Tom:

I don't see any mention of the ability of your "new generation" of machines to handle inclusions. Can you please let the community know what the maximum size of inclusions your machines can handle (in mm) and what the max percentage of inclusions that can be handled (ratio of chocolate to inclusions) and of the inclusions are handled both with the measured depositor and with the depositor plates.

I don't really mind too much your not actually answering Nick's question - but it is not okay just to post a link to an equipment vendor's site where the answer to the question is not immediately apparent.

I hope you understand.

:: Clay

Hi Clay,

I'm sorry, I did not realise that this information was not on the website.  in the new generation of the tempering machinery we can put inclusions upto 2-3 mm.  we can add 20% inclusions in the tank.

We now also have an automatic moulding line for this so people can create bars, napolitains etc with inclusions.  I think that this is big news for the market to share.  No more mixing chocolate by hand with the inclusions in a bowl, just put them in the tempering machine and dose....

Regards to you Clay, good to hear you are well !

Tom

Nick:

What sizes are the inclusions and what's the ratio of chocolate to inclusion? That'd help us understand better what you're working with and how we might be able to help you address your production challenges.

Assuming, of course, that you aren't looking to spend $20,000 to solve the issue.

:: Clay

Hi Clay, yes $20,000 is a little out of my price range!

My molds are 3/8ths deep and 90 grams in weight which allows for most inclusions to be added as the first layer of chocolate dries. Assuming they fit I can then add the remaining chocolate and scrape off the excess cleanly, leaving a nice, flat base (which is what I'm after). Most problems are caused by nuts - I can zap them in a blender but they then tend to come out too small and leave an insignificant taste and texture. But if they're too big then of course I can't scrape without losing some of the nuts back into the machine, which obviously I don't want to do. I've also tried to pour chocolate delicately into molds but find that, without scraping, the bars can have up to 20% more chocolate than the customer will be paying for. For now I'm individually cutting the inclusions by hand - be they nuts or dried fruit - which works ok but is very time consuming. The other way around it would be to allow the inclusions for poke out from the chocolate base but it makes the package looks lumpy and I'm not sure about shelf life if they aren't fully enrobed

Not sure if there's a better solution but if anyone has one I'd love to hear it.

Thanks,

Nick.

Hi Nick,

A color EX is 9900 euro and it has a dosing system and vibrating table, that's not 20.000$

you can mix the inclusions in the machines tank and create 133 tablets per batch in no time. (if you have enough moulds)

If you dose too much chocolate, you can just scrape off the excess of chocolate and let it flow back in the tank.

Tempering screw can be easily removed and the complete system can be washed with water.

regards

Tom

Tom -

You still have not explained what is "new" about the "new generation" of machines that makes it possible to deposit inclusions so easily.

The size range you are talking about, 2-3mm, and the percentage you are talking about - 20% - is something that can easily be handled by a number of other machines, including those from FBM, and have been capable for some time.

So, I am curious to know what's so new about the new generation machines that sets them apart from the old generation machines where working with inclusions was not possible.

Nick - Just FYI, the number of tablets per batch Tom gives (133) is a kind of strange number as the Color has a 12kg working bowl. The number of bars you get depends on the volume of the mold cavity. If you were depositing 80gr bars you'd get more out of 12kg than 133. Also, these are continuous tempering machines so there should be no concept of "batch." For a number of reasons you never want to get close to emptying the bowl during normal production. This will introduce variability into the weight of the deposit and cause changes in temperature that will affect tempering and the viscosity of the chocolate.

Continuous tempering machines operate under very different principles than batch machines and the two should not be confused or mixed.

:: Clay

Hi Clay and Nick,

First of all my calculation is quiet good.  I see that Nicks moulds are 90 gram so I calculated 12000 gram divided by 90 and this is 133,33, sorry I missed the 0,33 :-)

why wouldn't you want to empty the bowl?  The tempering is perfect, also when the bowl is almost empty.  It is correct that you cannot dose exactly the same quantity of chocolate because the tempering screw is not completely filled with chocolate during the transport.  The dosing is only perfectly accurate when you have a completely filled bowl and the pressure on the chocolate is perfectly the same all the time.  We can have a special accessory where you can perfectly dose nomatter how much chocolate is in the tank, but therefore people can contact me.

I must disagree that you can work also with other automatic tempering machines with inclusions.  what will you do with the nuts allergy?  The EX systems is possible to open completely and wash the machine completely with water.  Kindly confirm if this is also possible to wash the machines with water that you represent Clay.  

Working with inclusions was possible with our previous range of machinery, but we did not recommend because really if you cannot open the machine, you cannot wash the machine with water to remove all the inclusions out of the internal system.

I do not want to fight with you Clay, I know you represent another brand and you talk for your business, like everybody does, that's normal but I just think that the people should be informed well before they buy a machine that is a big investment for our customers.  I thought from the beginning that this site was the goal.  To inform the people very well about all around the chocolate....

Many regards

Tom

Tom:

I missed Nick's mention of 90gr molds and so your math is correct ... but only by assuming you can get every single gram of chocolate out of the machine. In my experience, that is simply not possible, and it is misleading to suggest that it is. This is a situation where your being precise is misleading. 125 molds, maybe. 130 molds I could even get down with, but exactly 133 molds, sorry.

You explained why someone would not want to empty the bowl - the dosing becomes less accurate as the bowl empties. But there is another, and far better, reason not to empty the bowl that has to do with throughput. Even if Selmi does make an accessory to keep the bowl pressure more constant.

Also, in my experience talking with many owners of Selmi machines, the tempering is rarely perfect and often starts to suffer when the bowl starts emptying during normal production. This is because there is a very small mass of chocolate in the bottom of bowl near the melt point and you are dumping tempered chocolate into the bowl (which can be 10C or more cooler) and there is no chance to melt out all the crystals before it goes through the tempering pipe again. This can lead very quickly to over crystallization. I understand the mechanics and physics of these continuous tempering machines quite well.

And yes, the augers can be removed from FBM machines and they can be washed with water.

And still, Tom, you misunderstand. I can have biases. I don't have to be perfectly neutral about everything (or anything!). I get to have opinions and I get to express them freely. One of the reasons TheChocolateLife now counts nearly 7,500 members in over 140 countries is that I do have opinions, and I do express them. People want to know what I think. Here's one - there's nothing magic in the air or water (or equipment or cocoa beans) that automagically makes chocolate made in Belgium better than chocolate made anywhere else -- just because it comes from Belgium. It's just marketing hype. I think that the small batch bean-to-bar craft chocolate movement is making a lot of the really interesting chocolate in the world right now.

I don't keep it a secret that I sell equipment. I started to sell equipment in part to cover the costs of hosting the site and because I wanted to get out of the business of shipping chocolate bars. It's right up front on the home page of the site that I sell equipment, and what I equipment I sell. There is no hidden agenda and the site does not exist just to sell equipment. I sell Chocovision tempering machines, I've sold Bakon melters, I've sold CocoaTown grinders. I've even sold a couple of Selmi Pluses (through Tomric). More importantly (for me and for ChocolateLife members), FBM worked with me to create a program that made it possible for me offer meaningful discounts on continuous tempering equipment to ChocolateLife members around the world.

And, rest assured, I do my very best to make sure ChocolateLife members are educated about equipment purchases large and small.

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