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Lindy quandary
February 27, 2007
9:52 pm
Hans-Peter Rot
USA
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August 1, 2006
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I'm no stranger to making truffles, nor am I stranger to life's greatest mysteries, such as the Bermuda Triangle, Area 51, or color safe bleach. But what does puzzle me is the fact that the past three times (the other night) I tried making truffles with Lindt Excellence 70%, I ended up with what every home chef dreads: a clumpy, grainy, separated mess of chocolate and oil that apparently seized horribly.

This problem happens *only* and I do mean *only* with this chocolate. Every other different kind of chocolate I've used in the past has cooperated beautifully, no problems whatsoever. And in fact, because my patience was thrown out the window along with that last batch of ruined chocolate, I used a different kind of chocolate, determined to make a batch of truffles before the night was over. And what do you know? It worked like a charm. What gives?

I'm not exactly requesting an answer to this problem primarily because this is one of life's greatest mysteries, never to be solved by the likes of man, John Walsh, or any other extraterrestrial civilization. Instead, I'm just wondering if anyone else has encountered similar problems.

March 1, 2007
3:14 am
gap
Melbourne, Australia
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October 20, 2005
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Interesting. I have eaten a chocolate mousse made from the 70% and had no problems.

March 3, 2007
12:56 am
Alex Rast
Manchester, United Kingdom
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October 13, 2009
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quote:


Originally posted by Montegrano

I'm no stranger to making truffles, nor am I stranger to life's greatest mysteries, such as the Bermuda Triangle, Area 51, or color safe bleach. But what does puzzle me is the fact that the past three times (the other night) I tried making truffles with Lindt Excellence 70%, I ended up with what every home chef dreads: a clumpy, grainy, separated mess of chocolate and oil that apparently seized horribly.

This problem happens *only* and I do mean *only* with this chocolate.


That sounds like an incompatibility between the fat content of the cream and that of the chocolate. I can't remember what Excellence 70%'s fat content is like: I'm guessing pretty high? That combined with a somewhat lower milkfat cream could cause the effect specified, especially if your cream was very hot. You could always test this theory out by making truffles with Hachez 88%. If they broke too you'd know that was indeed the culprit.

What's your method? Do you use the grate and pour-over? Melt and stir?
Combined melt?

If it did turn out to be the problem then the obvious solution would be to add some butter. You could test the too-hot-cream theory by heating it to a lower temperature (this is where an instant-read thermometer would come in handy).

Alex Rast
Alex_Rast_Alternate@hushmail.com

Alex Rast Alex_Rast_Alternate@hushmail.com
March 3, 2007
1:23 am
Hans-Peter Rot
USA
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August 1, 2006
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I tried three methods, Alex, all of which you mentioned! And none of them worked. And you know what else? I *almost* grabbed a Hachez bar to see how that chocolate would react to being incorporated into a ganache. I have both the 77% and 88% on hand but decided against it because I figured that *if* the chocolate didn't seize, then I'd be stuck with a mild and useless ganache that wouldn't even be suitable as dog poison! Besides, at that point I already had three bowls of chocolate sauce, and I didn't want a fourth, much less one that consisted of Hachez.

The cream I use is a standard supermarket variety, certainly nothing of gourmet appeal or of a superlatively high fat content.

March 5, 2007
10:23 am
erikos
New York, USA
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I remember my mentor telling me that one of the reasons that they use lecithin was to make sure that the chocolate mass, sugar and cocoa butter all worked harmoniously together. Perhaps adding a (very little) bit to it will help. You might be able to add some to your messed up ganache if you haven't thrown it away. Except for vanilla which is only used for flavoring, lecithin is the only other additive that I can think of that can vary between brands.

March 22, 2007
3:38 am
erikos
New York, USA
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Actually I was reading a book on broken ganache and it pointed out that too much fat can cause the problem, which in your case is a very good possibility, since there is soo much less sugar. Perhaps you can use milk instead of cream, or glucose with a low DE.

June 18, 2007
9:33 am
mica
melbourne, Australia
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June 18, 2007
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This is caused by the high fat content of the chocolate. I remedy this by adding a small amount of milk chocolate to the recipe, this does not take any of the flavour away from the recipe but will stop the ganache from spliting, if you are going to add butter to this yoou will have to wait until the ganache is at 35 degrees celcius this creates an emulsion that is very stable.

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