Today has been a somewhat frustrating day – I failed (again) at casting the chocolate shells, and will have to wash out the molds and start over. The odd thing is that the dipped chocolates (which I did using the same batch of tempered chocolate, both before and after attempting the molds) came out perfectly. I’m going to do some troubleshooting tomorrow and see if I can get it working. If not, all the chocolates this year will be dipped.
Which brings me to the other frustrating thing: the chocolate has been thickening on me after a relatively short working period, making it difficult to get anything done. It takes about 15-20 minutes to get a batch of chocolate tempered, after which I have about 20-30 minutes of working time before it gets too thick to work with, which means I spend only about half my time dipping chocolates and the other half sitting around waiting for the chocolate to finish tempering. I suspect the high humidity has something to do with it (moisture thickens chocolate, and it’s been raining all day), but think it might be my technique as well.
But! despite all the frustrations, I have made substantial progress. I have dipped all the caramels (and there were a LOT of them!), have prepared all the citrus peels to be dipped, and have dipped all the candied yuzu peel. All in just about six hours. If I put in a longer day tomorrow (which I plan to!) I think I will be able to finish most of the stuff I set out to do.
Pretty pictures tomorrow!