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Old 02-13-2007, 12:10 AM   #1
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Calling all chocolate experts!

Here's the problem: I'm trying to make a chocolate cage, and eventually want it to looks similar to the following picture:



Right now I'm trying to practice by using the methods described by Bo Freiburg in his book "The Professional Pastry Chef", if any of you are familiar with that. His book illustartes a spherical "bird cage" constructed by blowing up a balloon, trying it off, coating it in vegetable oil, and then piping chocolate onto the oiled balloon, letting it cool, and then slowly releasing the air, leaving the cage intact.

I've managed to make the cage properly, but the chocolate will not set at room temp. So far I've had to freeze the balloon for about 90 seconds to get the chocolate to set before I've been able to release the air and stand my cage on a plate. Of course, the cage quickly melts. I used Bo's simple recipe for Piping Chocolate (12 oz. Dark Coating Chocolate, and 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of simple syrup). The directions state that the melted chocolate should form soft peaks after adding the simple syrup. My chocolate never achieved soft peaks, so I stopped adding simple syrup after 1 teaspoon.

His recipe calls for Dark Coating chocolate, which I was told is the same thing as baker's chocolate. Is this correct? I purchased 12oz of Ghiradelli 60% Cacao Baking Bars to use for my chocolate. Is this the wrong type of chocolate to be using?

I guess I'm looking for someone to identify a flaw in my process. I was told that baking chocolate didn't need to be tempered, so I didn't temper. Also, I'm not entirely clear on the process. If anyone has any ideas, I could really use some help to crack this one.

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Old 02-13-2007, 01:12 AM   #2
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Where's aguynamedrobert? I'm pretty sure he'll have the answers you're looking for!
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Old 02-13-2007, 03:28 AM   #3
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Not a cage, but I saved a few recipes for making chocolate dessert bowls (using balloons). Perhaps reading through these methods/recipes & video will help:

Exploratorium Magazine: Chocolate: Activity: page 2

Visual Recipes - Chocolate Bowls for Ice Cream Recipe


Great Recipes Online: Edible Chocolate Bowls

Chocolate Lace Bowls - Cooking for Kids
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Old 02-13-2007, 04:46 AM   #4
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this first one will help you out. the second one is nice too. use the kind of chocolate that tastes good to you.

PBS: Julia Child: Video Player


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Old 02-14-2007, 05:24 PM   #5
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Ok- I've been tinkering around with this a little more, and I think my problem may be that I need to temper, (and now I know how to do it properly) and possibly omit the simple syrup from the recipe. I'll admit it does make for a very nice shine, but I think the simple syrup might be part of the reason I'm having trouble working with my shapes at room temperature.

Also, the balloons are very difficult to work with to try to get the shape on the picture in my first post. So I'm trying to brainstorm for other ways to make that tower shape. I have 2 metal cylinders, like the type you might use to make a molded salad, and thought that if I lined those with a layer or parchment or wax paper if I might be able to peel away the paper from the chocolate once it has set. Anyone have any experience with a procedure like this?

Also, any ideas you might have on how to create that tower shape are appreciated, and I'm willing to try anything that might work.
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Old 02-15-2007, 12:01 AM   #6
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Ok I'm not sure why he said to add simple syrup but throw that idea out out out the door! lol...

Bakers chocolate is a brand and sometimes refered to as 100% cocoa content chocolate. Either way it is real chocolate and not chocolate coating or compound...It still has the cocoa butter in it and not vegetable fats like coating or compound...

This means your idea you just mentioned was correct...you need to temper the chocolate.

I like your idea of using cylinders to get that effect....you can temper chocolate and then pipe it out around the cylinder and then try to pop it loose when you are done and you will have your shape...

You are on the right track with the cylinder, tempering, and not adding the simple syrup...keep it up and let us know how it comes out...

Good Luck!

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Old 02-15-2007, 12:07 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aguynamedrobert
Ok I'm not sure why he said to add simple syrup but throw that idea out out out the door! lol...

Bakers chocolate is a brand and sometimes refered to as 100% cocoa content chocolate. Either way it is real chocolate and not chocolate coating or compound...It still has the cocoa butter in it and not vegetable fats like coating or compound...

This means your idea you just mentioned was correct...you need to temper the chocolate.

I like your idea of using cylinders to get that effect....you can temper chocolate and then pipe it out around the cylinder and then try to pop it loose when you are done and you will have your shape...

You are on the right track with the cylinder, tempering, and not adding the simple syrup...keep it up and let us know how it comes out...

Good Luck!

Robert
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Old 02-15-2007, 12:30 AM   #8
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I knew he'd have the right answer!
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Old 02-15-2007, 01:15 AM   #9
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I did try to pipe the chocolate directly onto the cylinder, after lubricating it of course, but it stuck pretty badly. I need to head to the store and buy some more chocolate and parchment paper as well, and see if that idea works.

Could the Cacao% effect the ability of the chocolate to set properly?
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Old 02-15-2007, 02:01 AM   #10
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Wow you guys are so supportive! I love this forum...
-----------------------------------------
Anything in the higher cacao contents should act very similar in setting properties...I like your parchment paper idea as well...try that out...

If for some reason that doesnt work then you can always get two half cylinders the same size and pipe the cylinders in halves and then glue them together with more tempered chocolate...

Let us know how it works...I'm eager to see how you pull it off...

Have a good one,
Robert
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