I have a small chocolate business where I produce hand crafted, ganache filled chocolates with a three week shelf life. I have a customer that is requiring a 6 month shelf life. What is the best ingredient to use, in what amounts should I use it and where can I purchase it.
I am not sure you can extend the shelf life of a ganache-filled chocolate to 6 months. If you could it would require serious chemicals/preservatives. Why does this customer require a 6 month shelf life? I think most people who make chocolates on a small scale want them as fresh and as natural as possible. This may not be the customer for you (I know it is a novel idea, but you don't have to accept every customer that comes along). Good luck.
When wine ages, the flavour improves. When chocolate and cream/liquids ages, the flavour does not improve. There are various sugars that you can incorporate in your recipie to greatly extend shelf life (See Wybauw's F.C.#3) that probably will give you great shelf life, but you are adding a lot of weird sugars.
Then there are natural sugar rich confections like Italian nougat, pate de fruits or caramel that might give you 6 mths shelf life. Nut based ones too, but nuts tend to go rancid within 6 mths
You can, however succesfully freeze bon-bons and pralines, with a freezer shelf life maximum of 6 mths. It's actually very simple: Vacuum pack the items, refrigerate for 24 hours, then freeze. To thaw, refrigerate for 24 hours, then at room temp for 24 hours, then open the package.
Hope this helps
I've located F.C. #3. I think it will provide me with the information I need. Thank you very much for sharing. You have been very helpful.
I just got F.C. #3. It answers my questions and much, much, more. Now off to learn more about chocolate, "The Food of the Gods"
Thank you very much
If they want 6 months, have them buy Godiva. Those things are the Twinkie's of chocolate.
You are correct. The laws regarding alcohol are different in the US and other places. In the US the limit is 5%. This is certainly a way to extend shelf life although not enough to extend 6 months.
The water ganache sounds interesting. The challenge is to extend shelf life the water activity level of the ganache must be low. If you would be willing to share the formula it would be worth a test.
As you've indicated, it sounds like the formula would have to be adjusted to lower the aw with extra fat..,interesting proposition.
This is very helpful. While 30% alcohol ganache would be a big hit, it may attract the wrong king of attention.
I understand the point about shrinkage. You often see the bottoms of bon bons curving in which is an example of your point.
The water ganache formula is interesting. Intuitively I would think there is too much water in the water ganache formula. Most of the established thinking indicates a reduction in water. So I am excited to try it. I will definitely the water ganache formula.