Life by Chocolate

Chocolate, white, milk, dark, in all its forms forms life. Chocolate truffles, caramels, and other confections are at the core of enjoyment. This is life by chocolate because death by chocolate is the wrong attitude.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Hilliard 6" Coater is in the house

The Beast!

Well, normally what we do is hand dip our caramels and other products. But using a 10 lb Chocovision machine while cool, just isn't big enough for our growing chocolate business and it is very slow dipping caramels. I wont even mention tempering.

Chocovision and hand dipping. Ouch.

The Hilliard not only has a 35 lb bowl but one can push about 240 lbs through the Hilliard especially if you have liquid untempered chocolate. Even without additional untempered chocolate, I find that I can coat my caramels, not to mention ganaches, all day long without having to retemper.

The Chocovision Rev X, the most I ever pushed through was about 60 lbs. I can load about 10 lbs into the Rev X, I can get about 20 lbs into my melter, at most 25. And, when dipping, I can do so for about 1 hour before I have to retemper. When I am filling molds, I can fill about 7 lbs worth of chocolate into the Rev X before I have to replenish from my melter, a messy job, and add a little seed. Usually I have to reset and retemper 2 to 3 times a day which is a pain.

With the Hilliard, I can recharge it with either solid chocolate or a combination of solid chocolate and my 20 lbs from the melter. So, I can easily push 150-200 lbs, maybe 240 before I have to call it quits and reset and retemper. But even when I do that, it is fast. I found that with a little skill and understanding of the Hilliard, I can get 2-4 hours of enrobing before I either have to add untempered chocolate to the mix or retemper it because it's gotten too thick and I've gotten dangerously hot. 

The manual says that as long as I am increasing the temp, I am fine. I have my doubts. When I'm not enrobing, I turn the pump off. This helps extend the life of the chocolate. Now, all I need is a 50 lb Savage Brothers Melter/Cooker and I will easily be able to push 240 lbs or maybe more through this system. Now you have to do your part and order chocolate so I can see how many lbs a day I can do. ;-)

By the way, enrobing is 3-5 times faster than hand dipping and they come out better. I find that for my caramels, I do need a foot. It makes it so much easier.

Nancy waiting for machine to temper before doing more Santas. Sure this is posed because no one just sits around in my kitchen.

So, after a little trial and error, about 1/2 hours worth and about 15 messed up caramels, we got the hang of it. Since I have only one arm that I can use right now, I fed the caramels into the enrober and Nancy took them off. We had several tricks to making sure that everything got covered, including enrobing by hand and using a ladle.

Are we jammed in or what? Not that bad. Snug rather than tight.

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