I am panning freeze dried strawberries. So quite large (much larger than coffee beans).
Currently using milk chocolate but I use white & dark too.
Problem is that as I pan deep crevices develop exposing the strawberry through the chocolate. At first I thought that if I stopped adding chocolate and simply let the batch "run" the chocolate would close over the crevises and then I could continue to add chocolate and get a nice result. But the crevices actually deepen right down to the strawberry.
I THINK I know why. I think that there are naturally "holes" in the centers and that chocolate covers the center but leaves cavities. The chocolate in the "ridges" becomes tempered by vibration but the chocolate in the cavities remains untempered and shakes out - thus the cavity grows.
This may NOT be a reasonable explanation but from my hours of observation is the conclusion I have come to.
Does anyone have any idea as to how to avoid or fix the peoblem please? It's sending me nuts and consuming a massive amount of time and effort.
Chocolate does not like to stick to the dried strawberries. A pre coating of gum Arabic or gelatin can help.
Are you cooling the chocolate sufficiently after each dose of chocolate?
Is your chocolate the right viscosity?
Are you adding too much chocolate at each dose?
Thanks Mark. I precoat the centers with choclate thinned down with cocoa butter - time consuming but to date the only way I know to do this.
I do cool as I go by directing air from an air conditioner onto the product.
The chocolate is stright from the box and I hold it at around 45 degrees C so it should be OK. If I take it down too far it goes "oily" which will be the cocoa butter separating.
I don't think I'm adding too much chocolate at a time. If I do it then adheres to the pan rather than the product. In fact I do find that it pays to be generous with the application otherwise the product starts to break up - a real challenge!
I am using untempered chocolate. If it' tempered it's much harder to do and slow. The vibration of the chocolate tempers it I believe.
Thanks so much for your thoughts!
Try pre-coating with a little cocoa powder. It will help[ the chocolate adhere and also if the coat is thinner in spots it will not have a significant color difference.
Hmmm... Interesting idea Brian. Might just try that! Thanks Colin :-)