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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. 

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So Paul, how did the ganache come out?

Great.... I posted a picture of it on my Facebook page chocolate-asm by Paul John Kearins . Glossy dark ganache that has a more bold favor without any dairy in there.... Try it out! Note higher percentages of cacao can be used but the risk of separation is there. If that does happen I just put a hand held blender in the ganache and zoom it back together :)

it's possible...

-good sanitation

-minimize the use of products with high in water

-stabilize recipe with glucose, invert sugar, sorbitol

-use more cocoa solids

-if ingredients allow then heat up to boil

-low storage temperatures

good luck :)

rene

Hello Rene

All good points. Certainly your summary included most of the information I've been able to find.  My challenge is I've never worked with sorbitol. What is the relationship of the added sugars to the other ingredients and their affect on the ganache?  Do you have formulas, or basic percentages I could use as a starting point to begin to develop some formulas for testing?

Thanks

dear Abdullah,

sorry i don't have formulas for you, but maybe you can find them in the internet like the other information. i only know what i learned thru practical work in chocolate and pastry school. 

good luck.

rene

No worries Rene

The community has been very helpful sharing information on this subject.  I certainly have enough information to start testing some formulas. The information you've offered really does summarize the available knowledge on the subject.

Thank you

you are welcome Abdullah. glad if i could help.

cheers.

rene

When formulating ganache recipies, you have to remember that even 60% alcohol contains 40% water, butter still contains 12-15% water.

I think the expression "having your cake and eating it too" applies here.  You can't have a "good" ganache containing only cream, chocolate, and flavourings last for 6 mths.  You must remember that a chocolate shell is still somewhat porous.  Think of a wine bottle, a cork is a must as it allows the wine to "breathe", but unlike wine, ganache flavours  do not improve with age.  I feel this idea of a 6 mth shelf life for a cream ganache is looking for the Holy grail, it doesn't exist.

As per Wybauw youi can use the "weird" sugars, including glycerine and others for a long shelf life.

 You can also use shelf stable fats like coconut fat as Lindt does with it's "Lindor balls" to replace cream/butter

 You can vacuum pack and freeze "real" ganache bon-bons with the added bonus that frozen articles don't require an ISO 9002 certificate that many retailer demand.  The trade off is  an un-interrupted frozen transportation cycle.

You can use nuts, nut produts, (marzipan, nut pastes, gianduja, etc) caramel, nougat, pate de fruits, honey, sugar crusted alcohol centers etc. for a long shelf life.

But 6 mths shelf life for a "real" ganache?"  I dunnooo.........

I think the key word is  here is "real ganache."  Certainly there will be loss of quality as in flavor and mouthfeel the more sugars and stabilizers you add to the ganache over such extended periods of time.

The question is can you get a reasonable product with an extended shelf life. Maybe the line of what is called reasonable doesn't extend to six months.  Maybe it is three, four months, let's see.

I have never used glycerine, sorbitol or some of the other life extending ingredients.  With your help and the help of others in this thread I intend to see what can happen.

Can you tell me the shelf life of the crusted alcohol centers?

Thank you Edward

About 6 mths, maybe longer .  Basically you make a syrup, add in the booze and pour into starch molds (typically bottle shaped or cigarette shaped).  After about 24 hrs, you can take them out, brush off the starch and enrobe.

I'm curious as to where you are located and if you can get away with selling alcohol based confections in your area.   And in some places, getting all those "wierd" items is almost impossible.  Sorbitol (aka sorbex) is quite impossible to get in B.C., Canada unless I get it in enormous quantities, and the dosage of this is quite precise.  Also, remember that many of the "Wierd" sugars are laxative if consumed in moderate quantity.  And expensive....

In Wybauw's #2 he tells you how to make invert sugar; simple really, with just sugar and baking soda, but almost as simple is just using pure honey, which is a partially inverted sugar--but it will crystalize eventually.

Basically, shelf life is directly related to the water content (or more accurately water activity) of the item.  Dark chocolate by itself has a shelf life of 2 years or even longer simply because it has almost no water in it.  Sugar, if kept dry, can last for centuries.

More and more people are starting to realize that with medicine, "new" is not neccesarily better than "time tested".

Keeping that in mind, every nationality/race has age old methods of preserving food.  Salting, smoking, sugaring, and drying are all popular--and have been for centuries.  They all have in common the fact that water is removed.  Raisins, for instance, have a shelf life of years, and have a m/c of about 10%.   This is the "zone" where you will get your shelf life.

For me, I always look back, to what is time tested.  For instance, the people of India have been using "ghee" for centuries, and one of the main reasons is that it keeps so well.  What is "Ghee"?  Butter, pure dairy (cow's) butter.  But it is butter that has been transformed, it has the remaining 12-15% water removed, it is 100% pure fat, and because of this has a shelf life of well over a year.  Time tested, for centuries.

l

I am in North Carolina.  The laws in the US are strict.  I think confections are limited to 5 by volume.  At the same time it would be good to make to give to friends, etc.  I took a class with Chef Wybauw where he make them. The information was on my lap top which got stolen. Does Chef Waybauw cover it in any of his books?  It would be great if you could share the formula and method of production.

On the subject of ingredients, I have not yet started looking into the sourcing of ingredients.  I am hopeful that I will be able to secure a reasonable amount to start testing.   Perhaps I can purchase from someone that has some.  

I appreciate the concept of preserving.  As you've said, Ghee sounds interesting.  I'll start researching that as well.  

I think I'll start with a butter ganache, use an invert sugar and possibly the Ghee in replace of the butter and play with the flavorings trying to keep the water activity down. From there play with the Sorbital and other "Wierd" sugars.

Thanks again. I appreciate you help.

You know your stuff, Edward.... I was thinking about your comment re the water percentage in liquor and was thinking that the extended life of my ganache must therefore be an anomaly ..... I mean , it DOES last a long time . Without losing " freshness" . Then i realised that the liqueurs I have been using, Cointreau , amararetto etc would contain inverted sugars, which have been mentioned here....and I used the Van Wees esprit range contains 80% alcohol ( these are pure flavour distillates of fruits , nuts and flowers) ..... Maybe that's it?

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