March 17, 2009
I've been making chocolates as a hobby for a few years, and recently a local deli has agreed to sell a few, and now wants me to do a stall the weekend before easter outside the deli, mainly easter eggs, it's a busy touristy area.
I've never made chocs on such a large scale before and although I am managing fairly well doing batches of egg shells in my little Rev 1, the storage of the chocolate is becoming an issue, and now I am getting worried about when to make the ganache mini eggs to put in the middle.
I'm using well tempered Callebaut couveture for the shells.
I'd like some experienced opinions on the following (thank you very much!):
When is the earliest I should make the ganache centres if selling this April 4th (2 and a half weeks away as of today)? I know they should be ok in the fridge for a few weeks (it's very firm ganache with very little cream and not butter), but once they are inside the eggs, I can't fit all the eggs in the fridge, and to be honest I don't really want to refigerate the shells.
The problem is I have to start making the shells now or I'm never going to have enough. How long will the shells taste good if wrapped in the cellophane now, they are tied with ribbon tightly but obviously not completely airtight?
If I make the ganache centres this weekend would they be ok out of the fridge for 2 weeks (inside the egg and celophane?
I'm a bit stuck and I know I've bitten off more than I can chew, lol, but any advice welcome. I've eaten my own ganache after a month in the fridge and weeks out of the fridge and it always tastes nice, but how long is safe?
Part of me wonderers whether to forget the ganache centres and concentrate on making the eggs beautiful, and put solid chocs inside, but I want people to feel they are getting a good value quality product, and that just looks too easy, what do you think?
And the chocolate shells - if wrapped in cellophane now, that should be absolutely fine shouldn't it?
Thank you so much!
June 23, 2007
your shells will be absolutely fine as long as you keep them at a stable, cool temperature away from any strong odours or sunlight.
As for the centres, I would think you would be OK with a firm ganache up to your selling date, but you also need to consider how long people might keep the product once they have bought it from you.
For this reason, I would suggest either adding a bit of invert sugar to stabilise the ganache, or forget the ganache and do praline based centres which have a much longer shelf life. You can make a nice soft texture if you use a high proportion of praline to chocolate (I like to use equal quantities of praline paste, pure unsweetened hazelnut paste and milk chocolate).
In terms of filled eggs as opposed to hollow, you can offer both. Last year I filled every one of my eggs, even the smallest, but this year I have conceded to the demand for a lower price break and done some hollow eggs too. Choice is as important as perceived value. Just make sure people know which eggs are filled and which are not.
March 17, 2009
Gracie, thank you SO much for your reply, I really appreciate you sharing your knowledge with me. That's a brilliant idea about the praline centre, I didn't know they had a longer shelf life. I have so much to learn! And yes, having a choice is important, some people wont fancy the idea of ganache centres anyway I suppose,
If you store in an airtight box and wrap it in a few layers of saran typr plastic wrap, you can put in fridge for 2 days, then freezer. Take it out to the fridge 2 days before selling. Keep in an air conditioned room and slowly bring to room temp. Frozen they will be fresh...
March 17, 2009