White Chocolate Woes

Discussion in 'Pastries & Baking' started by sherbel, Dec 8, 2011.

  1. sherbel

    sherbel

    Messages:
    91
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    Every year for friends and family, I make 200 or so shortbread cookies with lime zest added to the dough. These cookies are typically half-dipped in white chocolate. This year I decided to change from my usual Bakers white chocolate, so I bought Callebaut couverture white chocolate to use. I used a makeshift double boiler, heavy pyrex bowl over barely simmering water, bowl not touching the water, etc. The chocolate was weird, never really thinned out as it melted, and had persistent small lumps. It never actually seized, mind you, but it was nasty and thick. I tinted it with paste food color which didn't affect the texture. The chocolate firmed up on the cookies and tastes fine, but the cookies look very peculiar...as though dipped in lumpy Elf snot.

    We're not set up for baking at work, (one oven, right on the line), and we buy our pastry. Nevertheless, having tasted these, my boss thinks that it would be nice to add these cookies to our assorted dessert trays for the Christmas season. (They taste incredible.) Probably 800 cookies altogether. I'm okay with that, the cookies aren't an issue, but I'd love to have a recommendation for a good quality white chocolate that can be melted, slightly tinted, and that will give me a thin, smooth coating. I'm not a chocolate person (obviously), to me, chocolate is something that I buy from people who know what they're doing. I am out of my depth here.
     
  2. jellly

    jellly

    Messages:
    402
    Likes Received:
    38
    Exp:
    Professional Pastry Chef
    I would recommend you get a good quality coating chocolate for your cookies.  I usually wouldn't suggest coating over couverture, but in this application I think it makes the most sense.  Ask your vendor to provide you with samples so you can choose the one you like best.  This will be designed to melt easily without tempering and setup nicely on your cookies.

    If you don't work with chocolate frequently and aren't comfortable tempering it, then using the couverture might just add too much trouble to one component of a cookie.  The quality difference would be more noticeable in other applications, but for this it would be just fine.
     
  3. sherbel

    sherbel

    Messages:
    91
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    Tested Guittard white coating chocolate. Perfect. Thanks, Jellly.
     
  4. prettycake

    prettycake Banned

    Messages:
    352
    Likes Received:
    17
    Exp:
    Cook At Home
    I always use Wiltons White Candy Melts...    I know they are not white choclate,  but to me they are not temperamental and very easy to melt and have a great consistency.  I would not take a chance trying something expensive and comes out looking funny.. or was what you said looking like "Elves snot"
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2011
  5. foodpump

    foodpump

    Messages:
    4,953
    Likes Received:
    506
    Exp:
    Professional Pastry Chef
    The "elve's snot" syndrome has happened to me on several occasions. 

    Humidity is the culprit. 

    -The humidity can come from open or ripped packaging,

    -Chocolate stored in a cold place, and then warmed up (condensation)

    -Humidty in the air--in my case usually from the dishwasher being opened, the convection oven door being opened, or a big pot of steaming something wafting.

    So yes Wiltons wafer's will work, but reading the ingredient label on that stuff is as scary as reading the label on a microwavable 7-11 pre-packaged hamburger....
     
  6. sherbel

    sherbel

    Messages:
    91
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    Thank you! Having read your post, I'm sure that in this case, humidity was the culprit. (Boiling homemade perogies while coating cookies with white chocolate....never again.)

    I still think that chocolate is best left to the experts, though. My career has been littered with disastrous chocolate events; I don't have the...whatever it takes, the "touch", I guess. I do excel at eating chocolate though, so that's something.
     
     
  7. chef_matt

    chef_matt

    Messages:
    73
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    Another way to help melt the white chocolate is to use vegetable oil to thin out the mixture just add 1 T to achieve the consitancy.  You can also use cocoa butter to achieve but the oil is a little bit cheaper. 

    Matt