I make molded truffles with ganache made with tempered chocolate, I leave them overnight at room temp to crystallise and then I cover them up. The problem I'm having is that SOME truffles crack open and others dont (most of them dont), even thought the ones that crack open smell and taste fine and have no sign of mold. It is driving me crazy! Any ideas, comments or suggestions of why this is happening and how can I prevent that?
I had some of my molded chocolates do that to me... I never figured out what caused it, but I think maybe thin shells and air pockets settling and causing suction? That was the best idea I had as to why it was happening. I've stopped doing molded chocolates for the time being (I'm waiting to get a tempering machine), so I haven't been able to do any trouble-shooting for that particular issue...
Hmm I'll try making the shells slightly thicker, it's so frustrating though :(
Very. I work with my parents and my wife, and they didn't mind though! They loved getting "rejects" with bloom or air bubbles for the first month or two... These days, I only taste em when necessary. I gained a good 10-15 pounds during my initial learning phase, and that's just gotta go! lol
I have been told that heating chocolate to max working temp is best when enrobing curved shapes. I haven't tried it because the situation hasn't arisen, but the advice was from a knowledgeable source.
Here's what happens:
Your centers are firm with very little air incorporated into them (that's ok).
You mold the chocolate shells, fill them and wait. (no cracks yet because as your thin shells fully crystalize they shrink, but can push the filling up a tiny bit as there is no bottom on it yet.
You then pour, tap, and scrape your bases, which are MUCH thicker than your shells you molded up and let set over night. The ones where the chocolate completely fills the bottom of your confection (no air bubble inside) will always crack, because the much thicker base will ALSO shrink as it crystalizes, and in doing so puts pressure on your filling. The pressure causes the filling to blow out the weakest part of your shell (almost always the top, because when you drain your molds the tops will clear away most.
You can fix this problem a couple of ways:
1: You can pour thicker shells (either by using thicker chocolate, or by letting the mold sit for a minute or so before pouring it out), or
2: whip your ganache and incorporate air into it (kind of like whipping cream), and pipe the whipped product center in. Not only will your centers be more decadent, but the tiny air bubbles act like cushions and help prevent blow outs.
Hope that helps.
Awesome advice! Thanks Brad!
You see Tom? I'm not just an uncouth pitbull with a keyboard!
Happy chocolate making.
Oh I'm sure, man. I can tell you've got a wealth of information you're ready and willing to share with others who seek it. It just seemed to me (with that one particular thread) that you didn't need to be as aggressive as you were, so I felt the need to say something. Arguing tends to shut people down, while being diplomatic tends to garner more appreciative responses. lol. I've seen plenty of trolls on forums, and you don't seem to be one. You obviously just have certain peeves that can set you off. That's all. lol. We're all human. :D
Keep on making those posts! I always enjoy reading them!
that's interesting :) I figured it HAD to be something with the shells because happens only to a few and based on what Thomas said. Thank you for the info! I'll definitely try it.
It should also be pointed out that incorporating a lot of air into a center (such as whipping a ganache) WILL shorten the shelf life of the product if no other techniques/ingredients are used to extend shelf life.
That is - if you have the exact same ganache recipe and divide it into two parts. One half you make "conventionally" and the other half you whip to incorporate air, the half you whip will have a shorter shelf life -- all other things being equal -- than the half you don't.
This is because there are spores in the air that grow in the free water in the recipe.
There is nothing inherently bad or wrong with whipping, and it does change the texture of the ganache, making it more mousse-like (lighter, fluffier); but it does shorten shelf life if that is a concern for you. Brad makes everything to order so there is no inventory, and he does not ship, so shelf life not an issue for him. However, if you are doing wholesale and need to offer shelf life measured in months, then it will be an issue for you.
lol I did my shells thicker but now they cracked at the bottom! I've never seen that before, I guess the bottom was way too thin :(