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Shelf Life
December 12, 2004
7:35 pm
stu
Wellington, New Zealand
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Hello All

I am going to be making a few batches of chocolates for friends and family this Christmas. I will be doing some almond paste based ones, some ganache based ones and some truffles. All will be dipped in tempered couverture. Does anyone know what sort of shelf life can I expect from these?

Stu

December 12, 2004
10:20 pm
Sebastian
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Stored in the 'fridge? Give it a week and a half. Keep them frozen until ready to use? Much longer. Hard to say w/o knowing your formulation, but if you're going with a general chocolate/cream ganache, stick with the above. You can add a tbsp or two of heavy corn syrup to it to extend the shelf life, but dunno that i'd give it more than a week or so before getting nervous.

January 5, 2005
2:17 am
stu
Wellington, New Zealand
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Thanks very much for your advice Sebastian

I spent the weekend before Christmas doing some pretty intensive chocolate making (coarse language may offend). The end results were well received by everyone, and they were all eaten within a week and a half...

Just realised that this was probably the wrong section to post in. Will post this kind of stuff in the recipes section from now on!

January 5, 2005
4:38 am
Lone Ly
Oslo, Norway
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Stu, as you can see, I have moved the topic. Truffles is a bit tricky since there is only this review forum. I did suggest to change this either to a truffles forum covering reviews and other discussions, or create an additional forum for discussions, but so far it does not happen too often that truffles come up anyway, so we should post non-reviews in the Recipes and General discussion sections, perhaps even in News.

--

I also thought that the best solution to your problem is to make the truffles so irresistible that they disappear within time :-)

"Man cannot live by chocolate alone - but woman can." (Unknown)

"Man cannot live by chocolate alone - but woman can." (Unknown)
January 6, 2005
10:43 pm
Martin Christy
London, United Kingdom
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Sorry, I didn't get round to reviewing the forum categories over the holidays, will try soon, promise. (I am off topic, aren't I :D )

Martin Christy
Editor
http://www.seventypercent.com

Martin Christy Editor www.seventypercent.com
January 11, 2005
7:05 pm
Lone Ly
Oslo, Norway
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Yes you are, dear, but since it's you I won't bust you :-D (And haven't we all things we should have done long time ago? I have ...) I appreciate if you can find a reasonable solution. For example, shelf life could be relevant for recipes, reviews and general discussion.

"Man cannot live by chocolate alone - but woman can." (Unknown)

"Man cannot live by chocolate alone - but woman can." (Unknown)
April 25, 2005
3:32 pm
leggie
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Hi all,
Corn syrup is mentioned above to extend shelf life. How about sorbitol and glucose? I read about these two can do but at what percentage should be used?
Also there are arguments about sorbitol causing "irritable bowel syndrome".

April 25, 2005
4:09 pm
Hans-Peter Rot
USA
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This is a somewhat tricky subject for several reasons. There are severaly types of sweeteners, all with their unique properties and applications. Glucose is basically the building block of all sugars and is found in everything from fruits to honey. Most people encounter it in the form of corn syrup, which is 53% glucose and 42% fructose (sugars found in fruits). Corn syrup is extremely popular in the food industry because of its extreme viscosity, which 1) lends a chewy texture to baked goods; 2) prevents moisture from loss and thus prolongs the storage of baked goods without an extreme sweetness that honey would impart. Sorbitol is MUCH sweeter than glucose, so it should not be used in a 1:1 replacement situation. Furthermore, sorbitol is a sugar alcohol and is processed by the body differently than regular sugars. It has a unique property of holding onto water extremely well and is actually used in cosmetics, toothpastes, and of course, processed foods, to maintain moisture. But this retaining of water causes an excess in the bowels and therefore it doesn't get completely absorbed in the intestines. So as you imply, it can cause IBS. However, this mainly occurs if it's consumed in excess. Besides, sorbitol has an awfully artificial taste reminscent of iron, and furthermore, it's popular among diabetics who have no choice to use it because of its relative minimal influence on the glycemic index. As you mention, sugars are also commonly used as preserving agents, usually in brines or rubs to "cure" meats and vegetables. But the best examples of sugar's preserving capabilities are jams, jellies, preserves, and marmaledes (basically any fruit spread), but in all these situations, however, it's used in huge amounts, so the amount you'd have to use in a confection would make the final product too sweet. A lot of times, alcohol will be used to extend shelf life. For example, a chocolatier's Grand Marnier bon bon will have a longer shelf life than a pure ganache bon bon. However, this extended shelf life just masks inferior product quality (a lot of times anyway), and as a result, the consumer doesn't know whether the product has been sitting on the shelf for six months or six days.

April 25, 2005
5:33 pm
Sebastian
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Both can be used to extend shelf life, but you're gonna get into complicated territory. The way corn syrup, sugar, or almost any other solid works to extend shelf life is by decreasing what's known as the water activity (Aw)...the basic concept is this: organisms need so much freely available water in order to live and multiply. If you 'tie up' a good portion of that water by dissolving solids (sugars) into it. That way, even though the same amount of water is present, it's not useable by the things that cause that type of spoilage. It's complicated in that if you were able to use 1tbsp of corn syrup to effectively prevent spoilage, that doesn't necessarily translate to 1 tbsp of sorbitol syrup to do the same thing, and most folks don't have the equipment needed to measure Aw. It certainly can be done by trial and error, but it's time consuming. Unfortunately i don't have any starting levels to give you.

Most folks use corn syrup for this, and the most common form is a fairly thin, fluid corn syrup (there's all sorts of types, from very thin and fluid like to very thick, almost like glue). It tends to be stable, cheap, and work well. Once you start to get into other solids, the price, useability, or effectiveness changes - or all three. Sorbitol (crystalline) has a tolerance of about 0.24g/Kg of body weight - so the average adult might consume, say, 30 g of it before the 'uh oh' factor kicks in. It'll be much less for smaller adults or children. The 'uh oh' factor is caused because the sorbitol (and most sugar alcohols) are fairly large molecules, and the body doesn't have the enzymes needed to break them into smaller pieces. Since they're too large to pass through the tissues in your digestive system into your bloodstream, the body begins to work like a water softener - there's a high concentration of something (sorbitol, say) in your digestive system that can't get into your blood stream, so your body tries to equalize the two sides by sending water from your blood over to your digestive system, in an attempt to dilute out the sorbitol. Too much of this, and you get the 'uh oh' factor 8-)

June 22, 2005
10:58 pm
cioccolata
Santa Rosa, USA
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For example, a chocolatier's Grand Marnier bon bon will have a longer shelf life than a pure ganache bon bon. However, this extended shelf life just masks inferior product quality (a lot of times anyway), and as a result, the consumer doesn't know whether the product has been sitting on the shelf for six months or six days.
[/quote]

Hi Montegrano, I was wondering generally how long shelf life of chocolatiers' bon bons are. If I order Amedei bon bons from a U.S. website, for example, how good are they likely to be?

Thanks much.

June 23, 2005
2:36 pm
Hans-Peter Rot
USA
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That usually depends on chocolatier and what shelf life they give their bon bons, but the general time frame is usually two to four weeks (for the good stuff, of course). This mainly applies to brands such as Amedei, Valrhona, Debauve & Gallais, La Maison, etc., but smaller scale chocolatiers usually issue an expiration date within one week of product manufacture. But with such good chocolate around, this shouldn't be a problem...should it? [;)]

From whomever you order those Amedei bon bons, I would request the expiration date and the freshness anyway.

January 18, 2006
7:15 am
BeckersChocolate
SoCal, USA
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From Norman Love's Confections the outside date is about 3 or so weeks for almost all product I've brought in for large catering work.

Each tray is carefully stamped on the production line. [8)] For comparison, I'm sure you could call and talk with Norman or Mary and see if any specific piece or formulation they prepare can be held longer. IE: Milk/Caramel vs Passion/Dark Ganache vs any White Cream.

Maybe it depends on the the provider of the bon-bon exterior chocolate, and interior chocolate provider if different.

Might be a good comparison.

January 19, 2006
5:33 am
Hans-Peter Rot
USA
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I would say that the shelflife here is not so dependent on the coating chocolate as it is on the filling inside, since it is the fillings that contain substances that will spoil quicker. Chocolates containing layers of freshly whipped cream should ideally be consumed within a matter of days, while ganaches can technically be stored up to a month, but I wouldn't expect the flavor to be as wonderful as it would have been if consumed within a week or two of production. Cream goes rancid, plain and simple, and if you're dealing with the pure ganaches (i.e. no preservatives), then it's best to consume within two weeks. As mentioned in other posts, the ganache eventually hardens and becomes brittle, but it also can spoil, especially if exposed to warm temperatures. In either case, the ganache needs to be pitched. So if I were to recommend a maximum date of storage, I would not exceed two weeks, and even with this timeframe I am hesitant.

However, it should be noted that some chocolates can taste better if aged slightly for a couple days (depending on chocolate used and on ingredients used to flavor the ganache). But shortly after the aging process, though, the timeframe for maximum flavor enjoyment is sometimes rather small, so eat fast and enjoy immensely.

February 27, 2006
11:24 am
Dale
United Kingdom
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February 13, 2006
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Hi,
l have just been using cream & chocolate for my ganache then enrobing, but have started to think about extending the shelf life with sorbitol or glucose syrup. which is best (tasting and length or shelf life)
Am very confused.l am a very small producer of truffles but just wanted still 'to keep it real' and not compromise on taste or quality
but as l am about to open a very small shop in a quiet location am worried that, l won't sell enough and have to through the truffles away after a fortnight.
Just having a cofidence panic!!!

D Skipper

www.thechocolatedeli.co.uk
February 27, 2006
11:35 am
Dale
United Kingdom
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Also forgot to ask how much of sorbitol to use per kg of ganache

D Skipper

www.thechocolatedeli.co.uk
February 28, 2006
3:47 pm
Bala C
United Kingdom
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Hi,

I make rose truffles with a tiny bit of rose oil - this contains alcohol - does this mean that my truffles might be ok for a bit longer - I usually give a 3 week shelf life on them - I have had them for 6 weeks and they've been ok, but not at their best. Just curious about the amount of alcohol required to extend shelf life - normally avoid alcohol completely.

Thanks - Bala

Bala :)
http://www.thechocolatecellar.co.uk

Bala :) www.thechocolatecellar.co.uk
March 1, 2006
10:51 am
gap
Melbourne, Australia
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Hi All,

for those of you interested, I'm using a book at the moment called Fine Chocolates, Great Experience by Jean-Pierre Wybauw - it has an extensive chapter on shelf life and factors that extend it

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