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marks on pralines
August 30, 2006
9:21 pm
limor
Israel
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August 11, 2006
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I have just finished making a batch of pralines. I seem to sometimes have a bit of a problem and I dont know what the cause of it is. The chocolate comes out shining and it seems that the tempering is good but on a few there these small marks a kind of little patterns. It doesnt happen to all the pralines.What could it be? I would appreciate any tips or advice.
Thanks!

LIMOR

LIMOR
August 31, 2006
12:17 am
Sebastian
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September 30, 2004
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Could be lots of things, from dirty moulds (water spots or rough marks) to heat streaks caused by thermal gradients. A picture would help, a box of the finished products would help even more 8-)

August 31, 2006
6:34 am
limor
Israel
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I will try to take a picture and post it. Just a few questions...how exactly should I be cleaning my molds. Its a bit hard when they say we should not clean them too much. I do shine them before making the pralines. What do you mean by thermal gradient?
Thanks!

LIMOR

LIMOR
August 31, 2006
8:01 am
Hans-Peter Rot
USA
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August 1, 2006
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A thermal gradient is a difference in temperature between two areas. For example, think of the weather conditions outside and how reptiles depend on this to regulate body temperature. A reptile will go back and forth from shade to sun, shade to sun, to regulate his body temperature. This is a thermal gradient. The shade obviously represents cooler conditions, while the sun represents warm.

In geologic terms, though, a thermal gradient is a difference of temperature from the earth's surface all the way down to its core. Changes in the thermal gradient can cause changes of the surface by causing expansion due to strain exerted onto the earth. This is why the ground cracks. This phenomenon is also called thermal shock.

In chocolate terms, I think this means that the chocolate didn't cool gradually. Allow the chocolate to cool for a slower rate and the marks might not form.

August 31, 2006
11:29 am
Sebastian
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I've always had good luck by using a high pressure hot water stream, no soap, allow the moulds to air dry, then buff them out with a cotton ball prior to use.

Monty's spot on - thermal gradient means temperature differences w/in the chocolate. There arre usually 2 causes of this - one you've tempered too quickly and just need to be patient - if you let the tmepered mass just sit for a minute or two prior to using it, and make sure you've thoroughly mixed it, you can eliminate this cause. The second is a bit more complicated, and has to do with the mould design and your cooling capacity and the rate of heat removal - basically if you've got a mould that's very thick in some spots, very thin in others, or a cooling setup that's not sufficient, you'll see differences in the rate at which the chocolate at those spots on the moulds cools, and this will present itself as color differences (white/grey streaks).

August 31, 2006
8:46 pm
limor
Israel
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Thanks for all this information. The marks on the chocolate are not streaks but kind of small zigzag patterns and also they dont come on every praline so maybe that shows its not a problem of tempering. I have a feeling that it might have to do with the molds themselves. I will wash them as you suggest and see if this makes any difference.Do you mean cotton wool for shining the molds or cotton cloth?
Its really great that I have a place to ask these questions cos here I have no one I can really ask and its helpful to discuss these issues.
Sorry another question...how can I post the picture I took of the chocolate?Thanks alot!!

LIMOR

LIMOR
August 31, 2006
9:27 pm
Sebastian
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I like cotton wool, but a good (very soft, non abrasive cloth) should work well also

August 31, 2006
9:46 pm
limor
Israel
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August 11, 2006
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Thanks again..I will try it out and let you know if there is any improvement!

LIMOR

LIMOR
August 31, 2006
11:56 pm
Hans-Peter Rot
USA
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As far I know, you are unable to post a pic directly to this forum, but if the pics come from an online source (i.e. if you posted them on your own web-site, for example), then you can post a link here.

September 1, 2006
9:57 pm
choconeill
Ireland
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June 17, 2006
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All very complicated. In europe the earth doesnt crack so much so - Warm your moulds before putting the chocolate in, they should be warm, but not warmer than the chocolate.. so maybe 25C ish. some shapes of moulds(higher and fatter) may leave funny marks, somewhat like fingerprints or streaks, there are solutions, however, as above its a heat thing, with the moulds, with your chocolate - filling..unless you really love the mould maybe try a shallower shape?

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