The Chocolate Life

Discover Chocolate and Live La Vida Cocoa!

Mark Heim
  • Male
  • Harrisburg, PA
  • United States
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Mark Heim's Friends

  • margaret
  • chocochoco
  • Catherine Failor
  • Jayne Hoadley
  • Laura Marion
  • Susan Van Horn
  • Julie Helzer
  • Ruth Atkinson Kendrick
 

Mark Heim's Page

Latest Activity

Mark Heim replied to Alan Caldwell's discussion what did I do to my chocolate?
"At 50C your cocoa butter is melted, but you have small agglomerates formed when your "leftover" cooled uncontrolled.  If you smear the warm chocolate between your fingers or on your tongue and feel nothing more than soft clotted…"
Oct 12
Mark Heim and chocochoco are now friends
Jul 2
Mark Heim replied to Nicole's discussion adding liquor to caramel
"Alcohol reduces the solubility of sugar.  If your control's combined recipe and texture had your caramel on the edge of graining (crystallization) the alcohol can take you over that edge.  To compensate you can reduce the…"
Feb 24
Mark Heim replied to Jessica Osterday's discussion Every time I use my molds for chocolate bars, they bloom.
"It depends on how deep you want to get into it.  There are several articles, youtube videos and such on crystal formation that keep it simple, covering the temperatures you use and a little bit on why.  For more depth there are…"
Feb 24
Mark Heim replied to Jessica Osterday's discussion Every time I use my molds for chocolate bars, they bloom.
"You mention that the room conditions are 64-68F.  If your moulds are this temperature it can be the problem.  When you are in temper, only a small percentage of the cocoa butter is crystallized in the type V crystals (~3%).  If you…"
Feb 21
Mark Heim replied to Colin Green's discussion Problemswith panning
"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?"
Jul 30, 2013
Mark Heim replied to Colin Green's discussion Panning Ginger
"The ginger pieces are water, the chocolate fat.  They don't like each other.  Try precoating the pieces with something to act as an emulsifier "glue".  Common is gum arabic solution or a quick coat solution (1:1 gum…"
Jan 16, 2013
Mark Heim replied to Walt Moody's discussion After action report on my first attempt at Caramels
"The moisture after cook has a huge affect on texture.  Try a few degrees higher, maybe 245F.  There are other things you can do with recipe to control the cold flow, but moisture is the easiest.  Unless the caramel is very firm,…"
Dec 8, 2012
Mark Heim replied to Lane Wigley's discussion Is it worth tempering gianduja?
"I temper until about ambient.  Getting the right crystal structure can not only help with texture but in slowing oil migration into the shell."
Nov 24, 2012
Mark Heim and Susan Van Horn are now friends
Oct 25, 2012
Susan Van Horn left a comment for Mark Heim
"Hi Mark, I'm hoping you can help with 2 things since you appear to be well versed in the science of things, and I just can't seem to figure this one out.  !. What do I need to do to get a nice, easy crunch to my toffee? Most of the…"
Oct 25, 2012
Mark Heim replied to Christine de Massis's discussion HELPPPP: CHOCOLATE IS CRUMBLY
"Look at the centers.  Chocolate will pull water from a ganache.  Once it does it gets dry and crumbly in texture, as the moisture enters the chocolate and forms syrup with the sugar.  Look at how much moisture you're adding…"
Oct 5, 2012
Mark Heim replied to Bindiya sharma's discussion Tempering
"Ask 10 people and you'll get 12 techniques, and they can all work.  Give all of 'em a try with the goal to find which one, or your own version of one, that works best for your situation, your equipment.  And enjoy exploring."
Oct 5, 2012
Mark Heim replied to Esteban Iriart's discussion BRIGHTNESS ON CHOCOLATE
"If all of the pieces are round, they may have been polished and glazed through panning.  If they are you can taste it just before the chocolate melts."
Oct 5, 2012
Mark Heim replied to Katie Perry's discussion Best hazelnut flavor
"You might want to try making a basic praline.  Take 50:50 sugar and hazelnuts, you can caramelize the sugar with them, like a croquant, or partially, or just a blend depending on your target flavor profile.  Grind them to a nut butter and…"
Sep 10, 2012
Mark Heim replied to Michael Karren's discussion Invertase
"Invertase as an enzyme will continue to work until forced to stop.  One way is heat as mentioned above, another is pH, but not a problem with fondant unless you've added acid for a fruit flavor.  The final way it's stopped is if…"
Sep 4, 2012

Profile Information

Dark, Milk, White?
Dark
Most memorable chocolate experience:
As a child, went on tour of the Hershey Factory, back when you could tour the factory. The room full of conches made it look like a chocolate lake in an amusement park.
My favorite chocolate is:
Depends on when, dark, milk, but usually with almonds.

Comment Wall (2 comments)

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At 3:21pm on October 25, 2012, Susan Van Horn said…

Hi Mark, I'm hoping you can help with 2 things since you appear to be well versed in the science of things, and I just can't seem to figure this one out. 

!. What do I need to do to get a nice, easy crunch to my toffee? Most of the time it's too hard for my taste. Is it the temp. that I cook it to? 290°. It's just too hard for my liking and I would love to have your help on this. When it is refrigerated (I did this due to weather) it comes out with a nice, much easier crunch. But when it warmed up again, it went back to being too hard.
2. How do I get it to not pack teeth?!!. Is it the thickness? 1/4" Is it the texture? If so, it goes hand in hand with needing help on #1.
Help!!
At 10:54pm on July 9, 2012, Tom said…

I just replied to a comment you left in the fresh pods thread but don't know if you will see it as you didn't start the thread. Just wondering how many days in the freeze dryer you dry your cacao pods?

 
 
 

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