I plan on buying pre-made truffle shells for my truffles. I'm not sure which ones to get since everyone I talk to has different brands.
What do you guys think about Chocoduc truffle shells?
Also, I seen Keller, Callebaut, and Pastry 1 (Paris Gourment brand) ----> any thoughts on these as well?
Is there really a difference and does it matter which one to get? Do people typically focus just on price?
Sorry if this is a very basic question for you professional chocolatiers out there : )
I bought a few cases of Keller shells to try out. One problem with these is they tend to get stuck in the bottom of the trays, so after you've filled them and try to pop them out, some get punctured, cracked or completely broken, which sucks big time when their filled with liquid caramel. I suppose the solution is to cool the tray and pop them out before filling them, but if that doesn't work, then I probably won't use them anymore...
My objection to truffle shells already made is that they are (for my tastes) small. I think most if not all are 1" in diameter, and I like a larger piece than that. I actually bought a double mold for making truffle shells, not realizing they would turn out the same small size. Using it was quite an adventure--no instructions came with it, the vendor's online "help" left a lot to be desired, and other directions I found were contradictory. I experimented a few times, had a couple of successes, but it was too undependable for me, and the mold now sits unused.
I too would be interested in the brands recommended by others. I've heard good things about Valrhona. I would be particularly interested if anyone has found a shell larger than 1".
Some people focus on price, others size, others fit and finish, and others on the chocolate that is used to make the shells. Another thing to consider is availability - does the company you're buying them from have them in stock all the time? You'd hate to have a big production run in front of you only to learn that the dealer was out of stock for 30-60 days.
In the end, you want the product that works best for what you are trying to achieve. Personally, I focus on fit and finish (e.g., what are the seams like), and how even and how thick is the chocolate shell itself? I tend to prefer thinner shells (as I don't have any control over the taste of the chocolate).
Also take into account production considerations. Broken/sticking shells are another thing to consider and the thinner the shell the more delicate it is and the more vulnerable to breakage it will be in shipping.
My suggestion - try them all and pick the one that works best for you. The investment in starting up is not that huge, all things considered.